Desdemona in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

Decent Essays
Desdemona in William Shakespeare's Othello

In Act One, Scene Three when we first hear of Desdemona through her father Brabantio, the image of a small, shy and innocent young girl comes to mind. When Brabantio tells the Duke of his daughter he calls her ‘A maiden never bold; / of spirit so still and quiet’ and the only reason she married Othello is because ‘she feared to look on’ him. Brabantio seems sure that this is the daughter he knows so well and he believes that she must have been ‘wrought upon’ as he does not think it is possible that she would disobey him and marry behind his back. We see Desdemona as an innocent victim through Brabantio’s eyes, however the Desdemona that presents
…show more content…
Desdemona claims she cannot stay put as ‘a moth of peace’, the marriage has not yet been consummated and she does not want to be hidden away from the man that she loves. This strong sense of will Desdemona shows in Act One contrasts to her actions further on in the play. At this point her strong will and love she holds for Othello’s also shows how she completely commits herself to him, her ‘heart’s subdued’ to Othello. It could be argued that this results in her becoming the ‘innocent victim’ as she stops standing up for herself and instead stands up for Othello. Desdemona refuses to blame Othello for her unhappiness in Act Four, instead she declares that it is her ‘wretched fortune’.

In Act Two, Scene One, Desdemona’s strong will is further enforced, as she is able to confront Iago’s comments, which his wife Emilia would rather just set aside. Where Emilia says to Iago, ‘You shall not write my praise,’ Desdemona says to Iago, ‘What wouldst thou write of me, it thou should praise me?’ This clearly displays how Desdemona is not afraid to speak her mind. She does not shy away from others and she comes across as a strong and confident woman.

When Desdemona tries to reconcile the relationship between Othello and Cassio, she is simply doing it for Othello’s best
Get Access