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Women's Roles in Othello and Trifles

            Throughout history women have fought a constant struggle to be heard, they have fought for the right to be treated the same way men are treated and they constantly have to prove that a women's job is not just in the home. But before women really started to fight for their rights, a women's job was to cook, clean and do whatever her husband told her to do. In the plays, Othello and Trifles, we witness first hand what women's roles were and how in small ways they try to change the viewer's perception of women. In Othello we see a marriage that started off good, but with the help of Iago, soon turns rocky and results in the strangling of Desdemona and the stabbing of Emilia, the two main female characters. In Trifles we see a woman who has possibly just killed her husband and two women who figure out the mystery behind the man's death. In a small way the women in both plays show that women can do more than just have children and be housewives and that women are meant to be both seen and heard.
             Othello was written during the Elizabethan era. During this era "men were the breadwinners and women had to be obedient housewives " [Eki09] and also during this era single women were supposed to be property of their fathers and were to be handed down towards men. The women in Othello are treated like property. In the beginning of the play, when Iago tells Desdemona's father of Othello's engagement to her he says, "Zounds, sir you've been robbed "[Sha10]. He speaks of Desdemona as though she were something to be stolen, like an object. Desdemona is constantly talked about as though she were property, first when Iago tells her father about her engagement and again when Iago lies about the affair that she and Cassio are having to Othello. Othello feels like Cassio has stolen Desdemona from him. The men in Othello treat the women like they are property and they treat them with little importance. .
             In Trifles, like Othello, the women are supposed to be subordinate housewives who are really only meant to be seen and not heard.

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