by Izzy Nelson
In the tragic play Othello by William Shakespeare, Bianca is a character who is important in the play for many reasons. She is a well known prostitute in Cypress. Bianca is in a relationship with Cassio; others judge her and do not respect her; Bianca does not value herself highly.
Bianca thinks of Cassio very highly. Cassio does not think of her as very worthy, while she does not think of herself as worthy either. Bianca is in love with Cassio and she thinks he is a truthful person who would not lie to her. She thinks Cassio is a honest and kind man who would always do what is best for her. In the play, Cassio tells Bianca “How now, my sweet Bianca!”(IV.i) This shows the language Cassio uses to Bianca and how he is able to talk her into doing whatever he wants. Others do not think of Bianca highly and Cassio is not in love with her. Iago and Cassio think Bianca is a woman who desperately wants to be with Cassio. Iago and Cassio do not have any respect for Bianca since she is a prostitute. Cassio thinks Bianca is simply waiting on him because she is blinded by her love for him. In Othello, Iago says: “Now will question Cassio of Bianca, / A housewife that by selling her desires / Buys herself bread and clothes: it is a creature / That dotes on Cassio;”(IV.i) This quote shows how little Iago thinks of Bianca and how little respect he has for her. Bianca thinks that she loves Cassio and that she does not deserve to be with him. Bianca does not think of herself highly because she is with Cassio even though he is married. Bianca lets him make up for the mistakes he has made in regards to her but she does not value herself high enough to stop seeing a married man. Bianca tells Cassio “But that you do not love me. / I pray you, bring me on the way a little, / And say if I shall see you soon at night.” (III.iv) She is telling Cassio that she knows he does not love her but she still wants to see him. Bianca is someone who does not appreciate herself, is not appreciated by others, and thinks very highly of others around her.
Bianca is included in the play Othello because I think Shakespeare is trying to illustrate that because of her self-esteem issues she is allowing Cassio to take advantage of her. This situation applies to a large number of women in the world who struggle with this problem.