Essay on Female Power During Venetian Society
Dr. Gord Beveridge
21 July, 2016
Female Power in Venetian Society
“OTHELLO: To his conveyance I assign my wife, / With what else needful your good grace shall think / To be sent after me.” (I.iii. 284-6) The quote states that Desdemona plans to follow her husband to Cyprus, with Iago as her guard. From a broader perspective, the sentence reflects that in the Venetian society, married women are possessions of their husbands. In the Venetian families, husbands take charge, and the wives stay absolute obedient. In “Othello”, Desdemona and Emilia are subordinate to their husbands, however, love, honesty, and righteous quality let them exert their powers on their husbands. Patriarchal attitudes predominate over the Venetian Society, but women with love, and good qualities can change or cast influences upon the attitudes.
At first, Desdemona resists her father’s authority for her marriage and her love for Othello. This deep love gives her the courage to challenge her father and express her love for Othello. Desdemona quotes her mother’s words to explain the relationship between her and Othello. The words also is a reason Desdemona uses to disprove her father. “DESDEMONA: And so much duty as my mother showed / To you, preferring you before her father, / So much I challenge that I may profess / Due to the Moor my lord.” (I.iii. 183-5). Desdemona states that she prefers Othello just as her mother prefers her father. Desdemona tries to convince her…