In the play ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare, masculinity and femininity are portrayed through various characters.  Even though, these portrayals of masculinity and femininity are different, there are various ideals postulated that are worthy recommendation.

Othello is a character who is portrayed as being masculine. He is courageous and a honorable person through the roles that he plays. He serves as a general in the army and this makes him earn his social status. This is a productive duty that he does to ensure that he provides for his family. This is an ideal and a sign of a person concerned about his family as he knows his role.  Furthermore, Othello shows love to his wife. The love seems to be genuine as he demonstrates this love through actions.

On the other hand, femininity is also presented clearly in the play. It is appropriate for women to carry out their duties diligently and respect their husbands. This is experienced or demonstrated through the behavior of Desdemona, Othello’s wife. She is a passive ideal wife regardless of the mistreatments she receives from Othello her husband.  Furthermore, Desdemona is portrayed as an obedient woman who accords respect to his father as well as his husband. She says, ‘Nor would I there recide, To put my Father in impatient thoughts’ (Shakespeare, 2003). She is even compared to Virgin Mary by Cassio at Cyprus (Shakespeare, 2003). Therefore, she is a woman that appreciates and respects her parents and husbands a quality that should be emulated.

Lago even though is a military and a man of war, he is committed to his family and exhibits honest. This is illustrated repeatedly in the play “the honest lago” and shows his character (Shakespeare, 2003). He also shows that regardless of his hatred to Othello, he will never do harm to him, “do not contrived murder” (Shakespeare, 2003). Therefore, these are some of femininity and masculinity ideals that are worthy taking away.

In conclusion, the book has some ideals of femininity and masculinity that are worthy taking away. Likewise, it has various masculinity and femininity depictions that need not to be emulated.  Society should embrace one another and live together without stereotypes and prejudices. Femininity and masculinity should help foster relationship, unity and love.


Shakespeare, W. (2003). Othello. Retrieved from:


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