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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

The Placement of Guilt in Shakespeare's "Othello"

In her essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," Laura Mulvey discusses how one function of the male gaze is to compensate for the castration complex. Applying Mulvey's idea that the masculine gaze is voyeuristic and sadistic to Shakespeare's "Othello" reveals that both Othello and Iago's perceptions of the women place blame on Desdemona and Emilia, making them appear guilty of adultery and deception. It is because they are viewed through the voyeuristic gaze of the male characters that Iago and Othello are able to assert power over both women, ultimately killing them for crimes they did not commit.

Presenters: Brenna Doran (Graduate Student)
Mary Ganster (Undergraduate Student)
Matthew Johnson (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 217 Hartwell
Time: 2:30 pm (Session IV)

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