The significance of Emilia in Othello

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  • The significance of Emelia
    • Feminist
      • 4.3 Emilia helps Desdemona prepare for bed. Desdemona asks her if she thinks women really do cheat on their husbands. Emilia says she would cheat on her husband if the payoff were big enough. Then she rants about the double standard between men's behavior and women's behaviour.
        • "But I do think it is their husbands' faults If wives do fall." A4S3
        • "And have not we affections, Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?" A4S3
    • Jealousy
      • "But jealous souls will not be answered so. They are not ever jealous for the cause, But jealous for they are jealous. It is a monster Begot upon itself, born on itself." A3S4
        • Emilia understands the nature of jealousy. Here, she points out that jealous husbands like Othello never really need any cause to be jealous – they just are jealous.
        • This passage is the way Emilia explains that jealousy is like a "monster / begot on itself, born on itself." In other words, jealousy is generated out of nothing and multiplies or reproduces by feeding on itself.
        • Compare Emilia's description of jealousy to what Iago has to say about bringing his "monstrous birth"


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