In the Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, Desdemona proves herself to be a well-spoken, intelligent and loyal woman. In the introduction, Desdemona proves much wit with her choice of words and explanations of her love for “the Moore.” In Act 1 Scene 3 lines 187-88 Desdemona makes her case in favor of her loyal marriage to Othello; “So much I challenge that I may profess/ Due to the Moor my lord,” (1.3.187-88). Women of this era were typically given away by their fathers, but it is seen in Othello that Desdemona created her own path and marries the Moor against her father’s wishes. In fact, Brabanzio states that Othello is a “foul thief” who has “enchanted her [Desdemona],” (1.1.63-4). This beginning deception leads to the demise of Desdemona by the end of the play. She proves to be loyal to Othello allowing his destructive path and personality shape her fate into what now
However strong Othello's and Desdemona's marriage seems, it begins to deteriorate as a result of Othello's self-pride. At first, Iago convinces Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful. Iago suggests to Othello that Desdemona slept with Cassio. Iago uses a handkerchief given by Othello to Desdemona that he got Emilia to get for him as his proof against
She is then disowned by Barbantio with no further words directed to her by him but is referenced as a liar and should be kept on watch for her conniving ways by him towards Othello. Which then begins Shakespeare’s in depth writing on Othello and Desdemona’s relationship where she is as “a child to chiding” (4.2.119-120). Not even a moment after her father leaves Othello commands Iago to tell his wife, Emilia, to tend to Desdemona as a babysitter. Irony occurs within (2.1.169-171) where Desdemona challenges Iago and stands as an independent woman for Emilia objecting to his conclusion, that women no matter how beautiful or intelligent play the same “foul pranks”. However, as Othello’s jealousy and rage arises throughout the play it seems as her character has to fight even harder to breathe under his control; symbolic for her death of suffocation. Desdemona is a gentle women living under her love’s control with no power to object even if she had opposed this type of controlling relationship. As a higher class woman she had more power and respect over other women characters such as Emilia or Bianca, but is this dominance enough to feel in control of oneself? It is believed that Shakespeare added the 2 other
“Othello” begins in middle of an argument between Roderigo and Iago. Desdemona and Othello’s wedding is the main topic of their argument. Desdemona is a Venetian beauty who is treated as a possession of her father, Brabantio, but by marrying an outsider Othello, she goes against the tradition of venetian custom which she is expected to marry a rich man to maintain her family’s honour. Iago reports Brabantio that his daughter is being stolen by Othello. “Awake! What ho, Brabantio! Thieves, thieves!” (1.1. 76). This quote depicts how unmarried women were treated back in 16’s century. However, while everyone in the play thinks that Othello has stolen Desdemona to marry him, Desdemona speaks herself to prove that she truly loves Othello. “That I love the Moor to love with him” (1.3. 246). Also, she even asks for her permission to go to Cyprus with Othello because she can’t stand the thought of remaining at home, which doesn’t have any adventure. There is a comparison between her social class and her
The relationship between Desdemona and Othello in the play ‘Othello’ is used to express and observe the way that humans are selfish by nature. Although both Desdemona and Othello do sincerely love each other, both of them find great personal gain in their marriage, which clearly contributes to their feelings for one another. Othello, who is a black leader in an overwhelmingly white, Christian society, has come from a troubled and difficult background, being “sold to slavery” and working in the military all his life. In finding a good Christian wife in Desdemona, he finds someone to always support him in hard times, as evidenced in his summary of their romance, “she loved me for the dangers I had passed, and I loved her that she did pity them”. This quote suggests that their love is more self-serving than he lets on; Desdemona loves Othello for the adventures he has been on and the stories he tells, and Othello loves Desdemona because she listens and devotes herself to what he has to say. When Desdemona gets a chance to explain their relationship herself, she is particularly proud of the fact that she “did love the Moor to live with him; my downright violence and storms of fortunes may trumpet to the world”. We note that she mentions her ‘violence’, the way she deliberately disobeyed her father and fled his company to secretly marry a man who is not one of her father’s approved suitors. This furthers the idea that Desdemona seems to be in love with Othello because of the adventures he has been on, and the excitement and liberty of her being with such a man; she is seeking her own freedom in a misogynistic society by defying her father to marry Othello. Their relationship is
Emilia contributes greatly to the dramatic action of the play. In the rising action she unwittingly gives her husband the very object that will seal Desdemona’s fate. The handkerchief she hands to Iago becomes the material evidence that convinces Othello of Desdemona’s guilt. There are a couple of opportunities where Emilia is in a position to alter the tragic outcome. In Act III, scene iv Desdemona asks Emilia if she know where she lost her handkerchief. Emilia states, “ I know not, madam.” (III.iv.23). Again, later in the scene Emilia misses another opportunity to foil Iago’s plan. Emilia sees how upset Othello gets about Desdemona not being able to produce the handkerchief yet she does not come forth. Instead, she blames it on men and marriage; “ Tis not a year or two shows us a man. They are all but stomachs, and we all but food…” (III.iv.103-104). She does not see the connection between the jealous husband and the handkerchief. This dramatic device of having the character being naïve to information about which the audience is aware builds tension. The audience knows of Iago’s plan to use the handkerchief
The contrasting characters; Desdemona and Emilia, form an interesting and important relationship in the play Othello. Desdemona is very ‘sheltered’ from the ways of the world and Emilia is very ‘down to earth’ and ‘experienced’. From this difference we see a fascinating relationship between the two of them.
From the very beginning of the drama anyone can see the love Emilia has for Desdemona. Emilia is always there whenever Desdemona needed her the most. Emilia has shown her loyalty towards not only to Desdemona but to Othello as well. Desdemona and Emilia get closer when Desdemona starts to have issues with Othello. Emilia is always there to listen and to give advice to young Desdemona whenever she needs it the most. All though, Emilia does one act of dishonesty towards Desdemona by taking her handkerchief which Othello gave to her. Emilia does try to regain her loyalty by revealing her husband’s intentions towards Othello and everyone else. Once she did it was too late, Othello already had killed Desdemona for falsely accusing her of being a “whore.” Even though, Emilia finally cleaned her best friend’s name it was too late to bring Desdemona back to life. As any best friend would do she sacrificed her own life for Desdemona. Her husband, Lago, kills her by stabbing her in the back for revealing his true intentions. Emilia can finally rest in peace knowing that she cleaned her best friend’s name and that they will be together in the afterlife.
Her silence causes Othello to become in rage with his wife this leads us to believe that Emilia is a liar. Although Emilia doesn’t intentionally lie to Desdemona she fails to tell her that she took the handkerchief as a token to win praise from Iago. This causes conflict between Desdemona and Othello just as it is the reason for Othello’s jealousy.
In Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello and Desdemona’s marriage was doomed from the start. They did not start well; their marriage was controversial because of their race and Othello’s failure to follow proper etiquette while he was courting her. However these issues could have been overcome with time. The biggest problem is Othello’s attitude to Desdemona. Othello’s model of Desdemona prevents him from considering her a person. He thinks of her instead as superior to himself in every way, to the point that she is a god. Her race, beauty, and status make her godly in his mind. She becomes untouchable in Othello’s mind, and he begins to distance himself from her. Because Othello thinks of Desdemona as “Alabaster”(5.2.5) he will never consider
In William Shakespeare’s tragic play, Othello, Desdemona asserts, “‘wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?’” (4.3.76). During a friendly banter, Desdemona asks Emilia this very question; would she cheat on her husband to help him become monarch and have power over all the world? She quietly replies that she would only in secret, but only for her husband’s own good. This question plays an essential role throughout Othello because Emilia is first accused of cheating on her husband. Additionally, she is obsequious towards Iago because of her female role and responsibility as a wife. As a result of being so obedient, she later steals the highly valued handkerchief because her husband desired it. Shakespeare utilizes Emilia to portray
Coupled with Emilia’s obedience to Iago, his ploy can finally convince Othello of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness. Emilia does not agree with her husband, Iago very much, but she does obey him when she has the opportunity to do so. However, Emilia picks up Desdemona’s handkerchief, with no thought, only that it will please her husband, “what he will do with it /heaven knows, not I; /I nothing but please his fantasy,” (OTH.III.III.297-289). Subsequently, this handkerchief may not have much meaning to Emilia at this moment, but once she finally discovers the truth about her husband, she immediately accuses her husband of being a villain, and dies by his hands. Correspondingly, Emilia is also loyal to her husband, to such an extent as to lie to Desdemona about where her handkerchief has gone. As Desdemona worryingly searches for her handkerchief, Emilia denies knowing where she could have lost it, and suggests a different reason for Othello’s uneasiness, “I know no madam… /Is he not jealous?” (OTH.III.IV.14, 20). Emilia knows where the handkerchief has gone, but remains silent because her husband, Iago has told her to. As a result of Emilia’s loyalty Iago does not need to worry about others discovering where Othello’s handkerchief
“I do think it is their husbands’ faults / if wives do fall,” Emilia says to Desdemona the night of their murders (4.3.82-83). However Desdemona goes and passively takes blame and only Emilia follows her ideology and fights back against the men. While both characters have their own distinct personalities, their choices boil mostly down their contrary senses of loyalty and justice. In Shakespeare’s Othello, although Emilia and Desdemona are both characterized as loyal and judicious, through their differing statuses, opinions of men, and trust in their husbands, Shakespeare shows Emilia to be more honorable.
Furthermore, she realizes that she has played an unintentional part in the tragedy by following Iago’s request to steal Desdemona’s handkerchief. It has all been a plot by Iago to destroy Othello, and this is finally revealed to everyone, including Emilia (Kennedy and Gioia, V. II. 179-182, 187-189). To see Emilia come to full awareness is to see first the emotional breakdown caused by this revelation, and then to see it begin to build, as she shows heartbreak, guilt, awareness of betrayal, and recognition of supreme cruelty on the part of someone she has trusted with her life. She finally speaks with the words, “Villainy, villainy, villainy!” (Kennedy and Gioia, V. II. 197), knowing she has to persuade everyone of Desdemona’s innocence. Recognition again occurs in Act V Scene II when Emilia hears Othello mention the handkerchief, after he has killed Desdemona: "With that recognizance and pledge of love / Which I first gave her. I saw it in his hand; / It was a handkerchief, an antique token / My father gave my mother" (Kennedy and Gioia, V. II. 221-224). At the same time, the attending visitors and soldiers, who have been called into action by Emilia’s cries in Act V, Scene II, are also realizing the truth of these terrible events. The reversal occurs as Emilia discloses that it was she who stole Desdemona’s handkerchief, “She give it Cassio? No, alas, I found it, / And I did give’t my husband” (Kennedy and Gioia, V. II 236-237). Immediately Othello knows that
Othello and Iago love emotions shows throughout the play that they have certain different view on their wives. Othello is so in love with Desdemona that he can’t imagine the thought of her being unfaithful to him. The aspect of him and his unbreakable love for Desdemona can be seen in these lines: “But that I love the gentle Desdemona, I would not my unhoused free condition, Put into circumscription and confine” (Othello 561;lines 25-28). Othello and Desdemona shows a healthy and genuine love for each other. Othello shows his affection for Desdemona despite their racial differences. Throughout the play Othello reassures us about their love and no one else’s thought can break it.