Bianca is Cassio’s lover and a crucial element in the play’s tragic conclusion. She participates in Iago’s plot against her will, convincing Othello that Desdemona is untrustworthy. Bianca is jealous of Cassio because she believes he is cheating on her.
Iago and Cassio discuss sexual exploits with Bianca in Scene 1 of Act 4, berating her for her emotions and devotion while refusing to marry her.
I marry her! What? A customer! Prithee, bear some
charity to my wit: do not think it so unwholesome.
(Act 4, Scene 1)
He overhears them, thinking they’re talking about Desdemona. He’s overcome with fury and rivalry, ignorant of reality. Bianca follows soon after, holding up Desdemona’s handkerchief to Cassio. She flings it at his feet, proving that Othello’s doubts were correct:
Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did you
mean by that same handkerchief you gave me even now?
I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out the
work? A likely piece of work, that you should find
it in your chamber, and not know who left it there!
(Act 4, Scene 1)
This is the turning point in the narrative development. Bianca serves as a tool in Iago’s plan, which results in an ill consequence. It demonstrates Othello’s worries and encourages him to want to murder Desdemona and Cassio.
Bianca is depicted as a typical, weak woman. She relies on men and is harmed by them, being viewed as a sexual object. She is a prostitute looking for love, She believes that Cassio can heal her broken heart, and he gladly accepts. He promises to marry her but abuses her and keeps their relationship hidden. Furthermore, Cassio slanders her behind her back.
Bianca is often compared to Desdemona and Emilia. Her genuine sentiments for Cassio are comparable to those of Desdemona. Emilia’s cynical conformity to social norms, on the other hand, is compared with Bianca. She does not belong to any man officially since she is the only unmarried woman in the play.
Bianca is among the most liberated females in Shakespeare’s oeuvre, despite her lowly social status and reputation. Bianca has more liberty than any other female character in the play.
Despite her low social standing and reputation, Bianca enjoys greater freedom. Her unfounded animosity duplicates Othello’s grudge. Bianca, unlike him, lacks the ability to take action and doesn’t have sinister intentions for revenge.
Bianca is a courtesan from Venice who falls in love with Cassio… who considers her to be a contemptible annoyance. Shakespeare’s depiction of Bianca is sympathetic—when Cassio abuses her, it’s apparent that Shakespeare intended to make a point about how women are treated throughout the play.
We understand what you’re thinking: why would Shakespeare go to such lengths to give one of just three female characters in the play a prominent role?
Here’s what we’ve assembled as the conclusion. Bianca is a mirror to Desdemona, the virtuous and loyal one since she works in an area known for prostitution and immorality.
Othello, on the other hand, fails to see the difference between these ladies—he thinks Desdemona is cheating even though there’s no proof of it. This reflects a much broader issue in the play: that all three women are frequently accused of being immoral. We’ll go into it more later in “Gender.”