abigail.mcc
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So my english lit teacher has recently moved my predicted grade down from an A to B which has messed up my entire ucas application . I asked her if there was anything I could do to move it back up (as 2 of the unis I am applying to are relying on it) and she said if I wrote a paragraph on the portrayal of women in Othello and it was at an A grade, she would move it back up. I have written my paragraph and I could really use some feedback about if you think it is at A grade level and if not what I can do to improve it. Any help would be really appreciated

How are women presented through Othello?

Throughout the play, we acknowledge that women are presented as sex objects who are passive to the men who dominate Venetian society. Generally, reciprocations of the abuse of women by the hands of these men would have been discussed, if at all, in private primarily with other women. For example, Emelia and Desdemona in Act 4, Scene 3 discuss their dissimilar value systems regarding relationships and the justification of a women’s place in society. Iago’s misogynistic and hyper-sexualised language is recognised from our first introduction to him (“She must change for youth; when she is sated with his body she will find the error of her choice” presenting his early view of the social expectations for a woman like Desdemona) to his final words of the play (“Villainous whore!” illustrating his disrespect and hatred towards his wife”). This immediately creates a generalisation of the male opinion regarding a woman’s place in society. This attitude is depicted again when Iago is discussing his wife, who he suspects has slept with both Othello and Cassio. During his soliloquy, Iago describes putting “the Moor” into “a jealousy so strong” making it clear he fears suspected cuckoldry. He also says “And nothing can or shall content my soul, Till I am evened with him, wife for wife” explaining that he believes that by sleeping with Desdemona and therefore cuckolding Othello, he becomes equal with him. The emotions of both Emelia and Desdemona are routinely disregarded by Iago as he treats them as objects - fulfilling his selfish desires. This mirrors Cassio’s disregard for Bianca’s emotions when he expresses the comical notion of marrying her “I marry her! What? A customer! Prithee bear some charity to my wit”, demonstrating how he takes advantage of their relationship for his sexual desires. This clarifies that he observes Bianca as nothing but a sexual object that is at his disposal. In Elizabethan England at the time of this play being written, women were a form of property expected to obey and serve at the command of men. Desdemona’s character resembled the ‘ideal Elizabethan woman’ and Brabantio having control over her marital stance aligns with the time period in which Elizabethan fathers chose their daughter's husbands. Shakespeare could have reflected these societal characteristics in Othello to suit the lifestyle of the audience of the play. The critic Carol Neely (1993) argues that Emelia acts in accord with the “wifely virtues of silence, obedience and prudence” making herself subservient to Iago. This argument can be supported by the passive attitude of Emelia when finding Desdemona’s handkerchief where she states “I nothing, but to please his fantasy” which supports the idea that Emelia is an obedient wife, despite it potentially compromising her relationship with Desdemona. Iago is constantly treating Emelia condescendingly for example when sharply asking her what she is doing alone therefore implying that her every movement should be directed by him - “How now? What do you here alone”. This suspicion over Emelia’s movements could be due to his fear of cuckoldry and therefore her meeting other men, fulfilling the “whore” stereotype he has labelled her as. He also insults her by calling her “a foolish wife” which he then juxtaposes by calling her a “good wench” when seeing she has discovered the handkerchief, displaying a changed softened tone in his speech. This aligns well with the critic E.A.J. Honigmann (1998) who suggests it is a fear of Iago that causes Emelia to be submissive as his bathos-like temperament may appear intimidating. Therefore it could be suggested that Shakespeare uses women being treated as passive sex objects as a tool to display the domination of men in society, therefore reflecting the anti-feminist attitudes of the time period in which the play would have been written.
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SpleenieBeanie
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hiya,
It sounds good so far - perhaps split up some of your ideas into separate paragraphs (I know your teacher said one but as you have some quite dense stuff in here it might be better split up.)
I can add something, but I'm not sure where it might fit in best:
I read about the handkerchief in a piece of criticism our teacher gave us to read, and there's some stuff on how Othello places more value in that than in Desdemona, which might be useful for you. There's loads in the pdf link I'm attaching, and I haven't read it in a while so it might be worth a skim as there may be some helpful stuff in there.
file:///C:/Users/thele/Downloads/14471-Article%20Text-52587-1-10-20130406%20(1).pdf

Hope that helps and good luck w your uni applications
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abigail.mcc
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(Original post by SpleenieBeanie)
hiya,
It sounds good so far - perhaps split up some of your ideas into separate paragraphs (I know your teacher said one but as you have some quite dense stuff in here it might be better split up.)
I can add something, but I'm not sure where it might fit in best:
I read about the handkerchief in a piece of criticism our teacher gave us to read, and there's some stuff on how Othello places more value in that than in Desdemona, which might be useful for you. There's loads in the pdf link I'm attaching, and I haven't read it in a while so it might be worth a skim as there may be some helpful stuff in there.
file:///C:/Users/thele/Downloads/14471-Article%20Text-52587-1-10-20130406%20(1).pdf

Hope that helps and good luck w your uni applications
Thankyou!
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SpleenieBeanie
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(Original post by abigail.mcc)
Thankyou!
np let us know how you get on
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tinygirl96
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Structure your entire answer into several paragraphs. For example one on the most dense stuff and another for the much lighter stuff. You might also talk about the value Othello places on his handkerchief as well. For each of the characters in the play aim to have up to two paragraphs about them if possible. Concentrate solely on their behaviour including their actions too. Use a few different quotes that are included in the text to your own advantage here freely. Note how many marks you would get and then carefully plan your entire answer accordingly taking that into account in addition. Consider the full impact of any themes of the play. Develop each of your points in detail, provide a useful example and select a helpful quote that essentially backs up your argument.
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SpleenieBeanie
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that's a good point about noting the marks - look at the mark scheme perhaps and some example answers.
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abigail.mcc
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(Original post by tinygirl96)
Structure your entire answer into several paragraphs. For example one on the most dense stuff and another for the much lighter stuff. You might also talk about the value Othello places on his handkerchief as well. For each of the characters in the play aim to have up to two paragraphs about them if possible. Concentrate solely on their behaviour including their actions too. Use a few different quotes that are included in the text to your own advantage here freely. Note how many marks you would get and then carefully plan your entire answer accordingly taking that into account in addition. Consider the full impact of any themes of the play. Develop each of your points in detail, provide a useful example and select a helpful quote that essentially backs up your argument.
Thankyou!
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tinygirl96
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Also make sure it all is in black only if typing up.
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abigail.mcc
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(Original post by abigail.mcc)
So my english lit teacher has recently moved my predicted grade down from an A to B which has messed up my entire ucas application . I asked her if there was anything I could do to move it back up (as 2 of the unis I am applying to are relying on it) and she said if I wrote a paragraph on the portrayal of women in Othello and it was at an A grade, she would move it back up. I have written my paragraph and I could really use some feedback about if you think it is at A grade level and if not what I can do to improve it. Any help would be really appreciated

How are women presented through Othello?

Throughout the play, we acknowledge that women are presented as sex objects who are passive to the men who dominate Venetian society. Generally, reciprocations of the abuse of women by the hands of these men would have been discussed, if at all, in private primarily with other women. For example, Emelia and Desdemona in Act 4, Scene 3 discuss their dissimilar value systems regarding relationships and the justification of a women’s place in society. Iago’s misogynistic and hyper-sexualised language is recognised from our first introduction to him (“She must change for youth; when she is sated with his body she will find the error of her choice” presenting his early view of the social expectations for a woman like Desdemona) to his final words of the play (“Villainous whore!” illustrating his disrespect and hatred towards his wife”). This immediately creates a generalisation of the male opinion regarding a woman’s place in society. This attitude is depicted again when Iago is discussing his wife, who he suspects has slept with both Othello and Cassio. During his soliloquy, Iago describes putting “the Moor” into “a jealousy so strong” making it clear he fears suspected cuckoldry. He also says “And nothing can or shall content my soul, Till I am evened with him, wife for wife” explaining that he believes that by sleeping with Desdemona and therefore cuckolding Othello, he becomes equal with him. The emotions of both Emelia and Desdemona are routinely disregarded by Iago as he treats them as objects - fulfilling his selfish desires. This mirrors Cassio’s disregard for Bianca’s emotions when he expresses the comical notion of marrying her “I marry her! What? A customer! Prithee bear some charity to my wit”, demonstrating how he takes advantage of their relationship for his sexual desires. This clarifies that he observes Bianca as nothing but a sexual object that is at his disposal. In Elizabethan England at the time of this play being written, women were a form of property expected to obey and serve at the command of men. Desdemona’s character resembled the ‘ideal Elizabethan woman’ and Brabantio having control over her marital stance aligns with the time period in which Elizabethan fathers chose their daughter's husbands. Shakespeare could have reflected these societal characteristics in Othello to suit the lifestyle of the audience of the play. The critic Carol Neely (1993) argues that Emelia acts in accord with the “wifely virtues of silence, obedience and prudence” making herself subservient to Iago. This argument can be supported by the passive attitude of Emelia when finding Desdemona’s handkerchief where she states “I nothing, but to please his fantasy” which supports the idea that Emelia is an obedient wife, despite it potentially compromising her relationship with Desdemona. Iago is constantly treating Emelia condescendingly for example when sharply asking her what she is doing alone therefore implying that her every movement should be directed by him - “How now? What do you here alone”. This suspicion over Emelia’s movements could be due to his fear of cuckoldry and therefore her meeting other men, fulfilling the “whore” stereotype he has labelled her as. He also insults her by calling her “a foolish wife” which he then juxtaposes by calling her a “good wench” when seeing she has discovered the handkerchief, displaying a changed softened tone in his speech. This aligns well with the critic E.A.J. Honigmann (1998) who suggests it is a fear of Iago that causes Emelia to be submissive as his bathos-like temperament may appear intimidating. Therefore it could be suggested that Shakespeare uses women being treated as passive sex objects as a tool to display the domination of men in society, therefore reflecting the anti-feminist attitudes of the time period in which the play would have been written.
Just in case anyone cares my essay got a high B and my English teacher agreed to move my predicted grade back up! Thankyou everyone for your help, I'm submitting my ucas tonight
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tinygirl96
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(Original post by abigail.mcc)
Just in case anyone cares my essay got a high B and my English teacher agreed to move my predicted grade back up! Thankyou everyone for your help, I'm submitting my ucas tonight
Congrats.
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SpleenieBeanie
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(Original post by abigail.mcc)
Just in case anyone cares my essay got a high B and my English teacher agreed to move my predicted grade back up! Thankyou everyone for your help, I'm submitting my ucas tonight
sorry I'm late - well done
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