act 1 & 2
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Regarding gender, the play is classic Shakespeare. Sought after women were either worshiped or scorned. There was no grey area here. This is sometimes known as the "Madonna/whore" complex. We see this in many of Shakespeare's plays. Othello worships the ground Desdemona walks on. When he finally acquires her, and her reputation is put to question, Desdemona becomes a common strumpet and deceiver. It's really a no win situation for the girl. Chastity and virtue are so easily turned into the opposite. This is so especially in the mind of Othello who already feels emotions in extremes. I think women are still objectified today. The extent can vary from culture to culture. There are social expectations and stereotypes for both men and women although, hopefully, there are not too many people with Othello's mind set around.