Posted on: 12th May 2023


For the research paper assignment, you are required to submit a topic proposal. If you plan on choosing one of the first four topics, you may submit a proposal explaining which topic you are selecting, why you are selecting it, the sections of Othello you are interested in writing about, and some secondary sources you are thinking about including. If you intend to choose option five and construct your own topic, you must submit a longer proposal which explains your topic and why you think it is appropriate for this assignment. You must also include the sections of Othello you intend to write about. You should have some idea of what interests you in the play. Your goal here is to convince me that your idea for the paper is a good one.


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Gender is an important theme in Shakespeare's Othello." The story was developed from an earlier version that had been written by Un Capitano Moro who was a Moorish Captain. Originally, the story of Othello had been published in the year 1565. The story within the play revolves between two characters; Othello who is a Moorish general working for the Venetian army and his unfaithful junior by the name Lago. The story is still considered a significant literature material since the play still has significant themes that are evident in the contemporary society. Some of the topics that have been covered by Shakespeare within the play comprised of love, racism, revenge, gender, repentance, and jealousy among others such as violence and jealousy. Among all these themes, gender stands out an interesting theme basing on the fact that the issues of gender within the play are still relevant even within the contemporary society. For example, in the play, most of the male characters look down upon the female characters in the play. This is an act that is still relevant even in the contemporary society since it has been evident for many years that women have been fighting for equality. There is sufficient evidence from feminism studies denoting that many women in the current society are still being oppressed as a result of their gender. Therefore, this particular study will focus on the theme of women’s oppression within the play.  This is a good topic for evaluation since many years has seen researchers focusing on other themes such as revenge, repentance, racism, and betrayal while less concern has been focused towards the theme of gender, particularly oppression of women in the play Othello.

Research Proposal

Women oppression in Shakespeare’s Play Othello

Women oppression stands out as a significant subject in the course of examining Othello’s tragedy in Shakespeare’s Othello.  The recent years has seen scholars coming to realize the significance that female characters within the play contributed towards the growth of the plot and other themes within the play (Veldhuijzen 12). Women, gender, and domesticity are significant subjects to explore in this particular play since they are evident in almost all the scenes (Adams 4). They are significant to this particular study since different aspects of gender have been explored in the play to bring out oppression faced by women. An example is the roles and expectations that women in the play are supposed to conduct domestically. Also, women oppression has played a critical role in developing other characters and themes within the play. In the play, women oppression has been depicted through Othello’s mother even though she died prior the beginning of the play, Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca (Shakespeare Scene I).

Moreover, the subject of women oppression as depicted in the play remains a controversial subject even within the contemporary society. Therefore, by examining the depiction of gender and how women were discriminated in the past, the research can deduce findings on the development of women in the society (Veldhuijzen 3). All the sections whereby the named characters appear will be included in the research. For example, Othello accuses her wife of being unfaithful just because of racial differences; this insinuates that men at the time had little trust on women while the race was a factor that affected gender and vice versa.  Also, in the play, it has been shown that majority of the male characters thought of women as being inherently promiscuous. Apart from the play, another source that will be used in the research will be a book by Veldhuijzen regarding Feminism and Feminisms deduced from Othello’s play and an analysis of the book done by Michael Adams.


Works Cited

Adams, Michael. William Shakespeare's Othello. Woodbury, N.Y: Barron's, 1984. Print.

Shakespeare, William, and Jane Coles. Othello. , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Print.

Veldhuijzen, D. G. J. Feminism and Feminisms: An Analysis of Paula Vogel and Toni Morrison’s Feminist Play Appropriations of Othello. BS thesis. 2016.

Jordan Barney

Jordan Barney

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