Shakespeare uses irony to develop the characters in Othello, Hamlet, and Macbeth and the themes. The women in the plays are chosen despite men being the protagonists of the plays because of the parallel aspects in the depiction of the women characters in the plays that reflect an Elizabethan picture of the women in the plays (Yuan 53). The women characters in the plays are depicted to have similar tragic elements unique to them, for instance, their unnatural death. The view of early death is an erotic idea that is common in all the female characters in the Shakespeare’s books. In his books, Shakespeare uses pathos to persuade the audience that Desdemona is guilty according to Othello the husband but the reader understands that Desdemona is not.
Ophelia is found to guilty since the audience feels that she has betrayed Hamlet by refusing to requite the love for him. Shakespeare uses pathos to evoke emotions on how the women are treated badly by women in the book of Macbeth. Apart from the irony of guilt depicted, the element pathos has been used to explore the primary role of the obedience in the life of the women character. In the book Othello, Othello, for instance, fights the wife to be obedient and fears that Desdemona is dependent whether he is absent from home or present. When Othello is in, he makes the wife obedient by the use of force. Pathos is also used by the author to illustrate how Ophelia is seen as obedient to her father and brother that creates the falsehood in her character, and this plays a critical role in the development of the play Hamlet. Shakespeare uses pathos to develop guilt and obedience in women characters in Othello and Macbeth.
The female character in Macbeth
The female character that best illustrate the use of pathos in the book is Macbeth. The quote “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” can best characterize the reversal order of Lady Macbeth’s tragedy. Immediately Macbeth is informed that the king is almost arriving; she lays off her female traits by begging the spirits to “unsex” her (Richmond 89). Macbeth has become an “innocent” person with the “serpent in her” and wants her husband to act like that. Through her actions, the element of pathos is clearly demonstrated when the author evokes the feeling of sympathy towards her. Lady Macbeth is unlike Macbeth since she is willing to plan to carry out the murder of the king as she is in charge and this is symbolized when she calls the castle “her battlements.” Lady Macbeth seems to have the inception, but in a wake of reversal order, we may conclude that Macbeth is an obedient person when he adheres to the wife’s commands (Richmond 89).
Macbeth may be considered a photonegative in the world that we can get the obedience character again. When lack of good character continues, chaos may come again that is the exact effects of all acts of obedience characterized in Lady Macbeth in the play. Lady Macbeth’s disobedience serves as a good example of the effects of the female disobedience. Lady Macbeth is guilty of conspiring to murder by the husband but in the real sense, the audience believes that she is not guilty. The line develops sympathy for the lady. Lady Macbeth fears about the feast so as to relay a bright image of their reign despite the troubles faced by the husband. She later becomes furious with the doctor’s report to Macbeth of her guilt that she can no longer hide (Rani 503).
Female characters in Othello
Desdemona is a key female character used to develop pathos in the play Othello. She is the daughter of a Venetian senator called Brabantio. In the play, Shakespeare tries to reflect the Elizabethan image in Desdemona since she appears to be a tragic figure in the play (Richmond 89). Desdemona seems to have some loaded guilt in her life and defends her husband’s incomprehensible jealousy. In the play, Desdemona is found guilty by the husband of not loving him. The audience understands clearly that she is not guilty, and it is the husband who appears to be insecure with her. Shakespeare tries to persuade the audience by the use of strong emotions that sends sorrow and sympathy to the lady (Richmond 90).
It is evident from the play that Othello wants his wife Desdemona to be obedient since he fears the wife is not obedient. The feeling makes him force the wife to be obedient. Desdemona is depicted in the play as being capable of defending Othello’s actions and marriage. Desdemona jests bawdily with Iago and responds with dignity and courage to her husband’s incomprehensible jealousy.
Emilia is another female character in the play. Emilia is Iago’s wife and attends to Desdemona. The play depicts her as being cynical and a worldly woman. The character is exaggerated according to the view by the audience. The character spells out the pathos in the play since it displays her as being deeply attached to her mistress and distrustful to the husband (Rani 504).
The ladies in the plays seem to be dominated by the men except for Lady Macbeth, who conspires to kill the king. Desdemona seems to have some loaded guilt in her life, and the husband believes that she is not obedient to him.Lady Macbeth’s disobedience serves as a good example of the effects of the female disobedience.Shakespeare effectively uses pathos to illustrate the elements of guilt and obedience in women in the plays Othello and Macbeth.
- Rani, Manisha. “Shakespeare and his Female Characters (with reference to Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth).” (2013): 203. Print.
- Richmond, Hugh Macrae. “The Audience’s Role in Othelo.” Othello: New Critical Essays (2013): 89-101. Print.
- Yuan, H. A. O. “An Analysis of Male Subjectivity in Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth.” Journal of Henan Normal University 1 (2012): 053. Print.