The Fun of the Hunt in Othello

In Shakespeare's play, Othello, the men hunt the women, as a human hunts animals in the wild. The man exerts dominance and expects the woman to accept her submissive role in relation to his dominance. The central couples involved in showing this type of male-female relationship are Othello and Desdemona, Iago and Emilia, and Cassio and Bianca. Shakespeare illustrates the hunt in the sexual encounters, the marriages/ relationships, and the murders exhibited by these characters during the play. Simultaneously, the way the men hunt the women in the play is mirrored by the way Iago hunts all of the characters. The hunting which is displayed throughout Othello is reinforced by the plethora of animal images Shakespeare uses in the language of the play.

Emilia clearly sees, and articulates, the nature of the hunter-hunted male-female relationship. She shows this understanding when she says "what is it that [men] do when they change us for others? Is it sport? I think it is" (IV,iii,107). Emilia is examining the inclination of men to sleep around. She explains it by saying that men do not see women as humans, but rather as animals who are fun to chase, but once conquered, lose some of their intrigue and the men want to...

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