Saturday, December 6, 2008

Desdemona and a nameless Lady

I just finished watching the last scene when I was feeling so sorry for Othello, I remembered what a professor had once said: that we end up crying for Othello (the murderer) and never Desdemona...and I thought how disempowered women are in Othello and Macbeth...surely Omkara tries to redress this in some part by having Emilia kill Iago....yet, we are never allowed to feel for Desdemona the way we feel for Othello...she's insubstantial like a pretty wisp of cloud....she is puzzled and upset at his anger and dies...whereas in the last minutes/hours before his death it is Othello who suffers from the ethical implications of his action...similarly Macbeth's torment, his extremely acute consciousness of what he has done is pitted against Lady Macbeth (who doesn't have a name) who conveniently goes mad and jumps off the castle... [and yes, Macbeth's not having a name isn't comparable to lady Macbeth's not having a name because his surname denotes and symbolises his rank, and power whereas lady Macbeth can only be his wife with an implied lack of agency--which she breaks and is 'punished' for]

PS: Has anybody seen Barkha Dutt's response? I want to slap her some more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think barkha dutt's response is quite bad. i mean, she has absolutely nothing to say to defend the practice of asking people in great trouble and sadness, "how do you feel"?

Also, she does not reply at all to the 'you are watching this exclusively on NDTV/or whatever channel' charge.

Nice points about no one feeling sorry for the two women. I have a very hazy memory, as you very well know, but in Kurosawa's macbeth, isn't Asaji presented as the one goading Macbeth to go and kill Duncan? she is sort of presented as the evil lady, if I remember correctly.