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Othello and Ethics of Care

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  1. Introduction
  2. Calling Iago a care ethicist
  3. A richly feminist work
  4. Othello's tragic failure
  5. The essential goal of feminism
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works cited

While considering the time period and by closely evaluating how events and people play against each other, Shakespeare's Othello can be considered a full bodied and consummate feminist work. In fact, Shakespeare's close and dramatic critique of a system of absolutes in a patriarchal military society makes this work a template or preceding influence on what is known as feminist ethics, or care ethics today. While reading this play again I could not help but evaluate it under a feminist lens, and by scrutinizing how each character reacts in a system of events I feel that Shakespeare moves closer and closer toward an ethic of care, or one based on a personal relationships, individuality, and communal responsibility. This sharply opposes the existing system in the play that is military, justice-based, and overwhelmingly focused on honor.

[...] There is only Cassio who insists, was great of heart ii, Then there is Lodovico telling Iago of his fate and leaving to tell the state This heavy act with heavy heart relate ii, 381-382).? This is not the most consummate ending, because although we know that Lodovico is going to tell the state of what has happened, there is no further commentary that this knowledge of the destructiveness of social templates will ever be known, and perhaps this is a fact that Shakespeare himself knew. Although I personally do no wholly agree with care ethics, I am able to evaluate Othello with its concept of morality based on a system of interpersonal relationships, because the play [...]

[...] Emilia's sensitivity and intelligence are also tragically ignored when Desdemona is wondering what is causing Othello's behavior and she muses that, moor's been abused by some villainous knave, some scurvy fellow ii, 146-147).? In a living moment of clarity Emilia begins putting things together in a system of events and realizes that someone has tricked Othello for hierarchal, societal gain, but she is silenced by Iago's violent demand that she shut up. It is only after Desdemona's death that Emilia finds the strength to speak, even with the knowledge that she will most likely be killed. [...]

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