Compare and Contrast of Desdemona and Emilia

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As one of Shakespeare's famous tragedies, “Othello”, is a play that not only shows the love and the humanistic ideal destroyed, but also shows the tragic fortune of women in the era of the patriarchal society. (Snow 384) This play includes several main themes of love tragedies delivered through some contrasting values and characters such as love and jealousy, trust and breach of trust etc. Desdemona, a representative of the perfect embodiment of a faithful loving wife, eventually killed by her suspecting husband. Emilia, an analytical woman that knew to obey the social norms but still carried a sense of inherent moral compass and compassion. How do the characters perceive what is proper and moral in the society they were in? This…show more content…
She believed that any action to subdue the pain would mean a negative effect on Othello’s love for her and therefore should be avoided. It seemed that she fell in love with Othello, but in reality she fell in love with a heroic figure of her own imagination. Desdemona's submission to the patriarchy eventually led her to her tragic destiny.

Emilia: From compliance to rebellion
Emilia was Iago’s wife. She was initially loyal to Iago, which made her an unsuspecting link in Iago’s plot, Desdemona. Iago was a selfish and insidious character, he was a manipulative and deceptive figure that for lack of any good reasons was bent on destroying the people around him. As close as husband and wife, Iago never revealed his true intention to Emilia, he distrusted Emilia. At first, Emilia believed that a loving wife should obey to her husband that is why she respond to her husband's request to ask Desdemona to help Cassio. However Emilia’s compliant behaviors to Iago were different from Desdemona’s unconditional and endless obedience to Othello. On the one hand, Emilia obeyed Iago, did what Iago asked of her; on the other hand, when Iago wanted to destroy her image in front of other people, she dared to condemn Iago. She thought he have no reason to mistreat her in such fashion. It can be seen that Emilia’s compliant actions were selective and she
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