How Emilia Reveals the Feminist Theme in "Othello" Analytical Essay by Nicky

How Emilia Reveals the Feminist Theme in "Othello"
An analysis of the role of Emilia in Shakespeare's "Othello".
# 151464 | 1,224 words | 1 source | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Jun 11, 2012 in Drama and Theater (English) , Literature (English) , Shakespeare (Othello)

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The paper analyzes how Emilia, a relatively minor character in "Othello", plays a critical role in furthering the plot and especially the theme of misogyny. The paper points out how Emilia emerges as a progressive, big-hearted and wise woman who continually speaks out in favor of female empowerment. The paper clearly shows how through Emilia, Shakespeare makes important social commentary on gender roles and norms.

From the Paper:

"At first, Emilia seems like a subservient wife. She sometimes remains totally quiet when Iago insults her. She continually uses the common term "lord" to refer to the male in her life. Then she speaks mainly kind words about and to her husband Iago even though he is verbally abusive towards her. In Act III, scene one Emilia becomes the unwitting accomplice in Iago's sinister plot. She trusts her husband, even if she might not like the way Iago treats or speaks to her. Emilia exhibits tremendous kindness to Cassio, too. She seems genuinely concerned for him when Emilia states, "I am sorry for your displeasure; but all will sure be well," (III, i).
"Emila demonstrates remarkable compassion and interest in her husband's affairs. Referring to Cassio's case in Act III, scene three Emilia says to Desdemonda, "I warrant it grieves my husband, as if the case were his." Emilia also trusts Iago throughout most of the play, and does not suspect that her husband might be up to foul play. Emilia's faith in her husband is so unfailing as to be poignantly ironic. Shakespeare uses a healthy dose of dramatic irony when Desdemonda says about Iago, "O, that's an honest fellow," (III, iii). However, Desdemonda chides Emilia for being so passive in her relationship, stating, "Do not learn of him Emilia, though he be thy husband," (Act II, scene i)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Shakespeare, William. Othello. Retrieved online at

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"How Emilia Reveals the Feminist Theme in "Othello"" 11 June 2012. Web. 02 April. 2023. <>