ITHS Ms.Hyde's E7 and Shakespeare's Othello Blog

1. What rules dictate the behavior of men and women in relationships today.

 There are certain instances that clearly state the actions of men and women. Some instances are outlined by a code of chivalry where men are to hang on the every whim of a woman. Recently some women have decided to step up in order to share the load of the relationship due to many more relationships being equal. Although in some cases men are still meant to be the leaders and women to follow, yet more often than not will a couple state the ground rules early on. Some instances are whether or not one of them should foot the bill, or the

2. Name a situation in which in which the rules have been clearly violated? That is, what are things "nice girls" or "nice boys" just don't do?

Obviously one example of a rule violation is abuse clear and simple. Another is being over controlling and forceful in every little thing. Now for things that "nice people" don't do: They don't flirt around with others while in a relationship, they don't just act nice to get what they want, lastly they don't become sex crazed.

3. Why do these rules exist? Do you think they apply locally or even just at your school? What are the possible consequences of breaking these rules?

These rules exist to keep stable relationships as well as set boundaries for those starting out. The rules are almost universal except in certain cultures. The consequences of breaking these rules are usually ended relationships and sour notes in current ones.

4. Do you know if these rules are applicable to other cultures or are they total different?

In some eastern and middle eastern countries the rules rule heavily in the favor of the man of the house scheme but in the west we are able to see more eye to eye with the equal share relationship idea.

5. Think of scenes from ANY show/movie that adheres to these rules as well as shows/movies that violates these rules.

In the case of movies one movie that states the rules of strong women would be "Avatar" where the character Neytiri shows herself to be the guiding and supporting force within her relationship with Jake Sully. A perfect example of this is in the scenes in which she trains and teaches him. On the other hand the movie "Casablanca" shows a more strong chivalrous man in the form of Rick Blaine and the more submissive woman, Ilsa Lund. The best examples of this are in the scenes when Rick protected her from the dangers of war he proceeded to try to woo her but she was in turn submissive and true to her husband.

Background for understanding:  (The idea of “The cult of True Womanhood,” or “the cult of domesticity,” sought to assert 
that womanly virtue resided in piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity- The attributes of True Womanhood, by which 
a woman judged herself and was judged by her husband, her neighbors, and her society could be divided into four 
cardinal virtues - piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity... Without them.... all was ashes. With them she was 
promised happiness and power.). 
True Women were to hold the four cardinal virtues:
1. Piety - believed to be more religious and spiritual than men
2. Purity - pure in heart, mind, and body
3. Submission - held in "perpetual childhood" where men dictated all actions and decisions
4. Domesticity - a division between work and home, encouraged by the Industrial Revolution; men went out in the world to 
earn a living, home became the woman's domain where a wife created a "haven in a heartless world" for her husband and 


              Piety- Desdemona lacked a certain amount of piety because she ran away and got married in Act 1 Scene 3. Though later on she displayed great piety in the end of the play by blessing her husband while he killed her in Act 5. (She has Piety)

               Purity-To a degree you could argue that in following with period social understanding she was impure by falling in love with the moor. Yet with our understanding she was pure because she was faithful to him and only him and only married him because she loved him. (She has Purity)

              Submission- At one point (Act 1 Scene 3 Pg 41 lines 209-218) she wasn't submissive to her father's demands but submissive to her husband and this continues throughout the rest of the play when she gets hit and abused (Act 4 Scene 1 Pg 189 line 268) and later killed(Act 5 Scene 2 Pg 243 line 105). (She has Submission)

             Domesticity- Just becoming a wife she lacks Domesticity by constantly worrying about Othello's work and how it affects him. She even tries to help him by trying to get Cassio back his position which back fires first but ironically in the end gives Cassio Othello's position. (She lacks Domesticity)

Based on the fact that she has 3 of the 4 cardinal virtues and the fact that she loves and obeys her husband till the end we can successfully categorize her as a conventional woman.

            Piety- Bianca totally lacks piety because her profession is in direct opposition to church teachings. (She lacks Piety)

           Purity- Again she totally lacks a virtue due to her profession. She loses her purity by sleeping with that many men and her heart and mind forever have a skewed perspective of the world. (She lacks Purity)

           Submission- She has this until she comes back with the handkerchief and basically accuses Cassio of sleeping with another woman and giving her the woman's handkerchief. (She lacks Submission)

           Domesticity- She definitely lacks domesticity almost as much as she lacks purity; but on a that note just like the fact that she is selling herself and losing purity she also loses her domesticity by being like a man who works for a living. (She lacks Domesticity)

Based on the fact that she has 0 of the 4 cardinal virtues and the fact that she is a "lady of the Night" and that she is there merely to bring contrast to the others we can successfully categorize her as a unconventional woman.


           Piety- In this regard she has an old testement mentality basically meaning that some one should pay for their crimes to the utmost but she lessens up on Othello when she finds out that he has been duped. Nonetheless she still qualifies for piety (she has piety)

           Purity- There is no question in regards to the past and present day standards that she is pure in heart, mind, and body and in relationship to her husband.(She has purity)

          Submission- She has this from the point where she steals the handkerchief up until the end where she rails against her husband and reveals his treachery. This defiance clearly sets her in the unsubmissive category.(she lacks submission)

          Domesticity- She doesn't exactly interfere with Iago's work but when push comes to shove she interferes with his other work of betraying Othello so I would have to say she lacks Domesticity but in a good way.(she lacks domesticity)

Based on the fact that she has 2 of the 4 cardinal virtues we can safely assume that she is on the fence but because she fawns over Iago for almost all of the play we can successfully catergorize her as a conventional woman.