Power women(2003) - Park 1 Samuel Park Professor Colombo...

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Park 1 Samuel Park Professor Colombo English 102 November 18, 2010 Independent Women There are many women that are successfully displayed as powerful individuals in our society. However, the role of women has been a huge issue throughout the world. Every culture has their own idea of a woman’s role and place. Stereotypical gender roles have evolved over the years reaching gender equality and opportunities. Most people often think that the perfect woman is supposed to be a great mother, have attractive appeals, and be loyal to their husband while serving marital duties. In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House as well as William Shakespeare’s Othello , the playwrights use independent female protagonists to reveal the problem concerning false beliefs towards women and their role in society. An important characterization of this theme is that the female protagonists are portrayed as victims of stereotypic gender roles . In developing this theme, the female protagonist of A Doll House, realizes her true identity as an individual and thereby challenges societal norms. Similarly, the female protagonist of Othello adopts a role comparable to man’s superior position. As a result, they both break free from the social bonds of their time. Throughout the play, Othello and his male counterparts establish very specific guidelines to which Desdemona and the other women must adhere. These rules of behavior and social perceptions hinge upon the central themes of obedience, purity, “honest, [and] chaste” (4.3.17). These coupled with a fixation upon “promiscuity” or the yielding of sexual access dictate the action of the play and perception of characters. Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, offers a prime illustration of this philosophy: Predicating his opinion on the aforesaid societal norms, he presents Desdemona as the penultimate manifestation of this gender ideology. Her lack of “bold[ness]” and “quiet” disposition runs in accordance with the idea of purity and adjectives such as “maiden,” “blush’d,” and “perfection" further enhance the spiritual virginity and saintliness of his daughter. Brabantio elevates his daughter to such and extreme she takes on a Madonna-like persona. (Women should, arguably, aspire to this level.)). Moreover, Desdemona exists in such a state she, “Fear’d to
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Park 2 look on [men].” (1.3.94-101) Her feminine sensibilities are such that she cannot abide the sight of men but actually experiences terror at the idea. The meek and mild girl’s obedience also exists on the same level of importance as her purity. She is “a maiden never bold” who defers all decisions of love and life to her father and acts only in accordance to his will. This speech of Brabantio’s condenses and exemplifies the rubric against which men judge all the women of the play. The woman’s suffrage was clearly examined and Glaspell 
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This note was uploaded on 03/08/2011 for the course ENG 102 taught by Professor Annwarren during the Spring '08 term at Los Angeles City College.

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Power women(2003) - Park 1 Samuel Park Professor Colombo...

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