Othello And Othello By William Shakespeare Essay

1304 WordsDec 13, 20166 Pages
Desdemona and Othello’s relationship is (at least initially) everything that ought to be desired in a marriage: mutual respect, passion, empathy and loyalty. However, while sentiments of love and compassion circulate within the happy couple’s luxurious home, their surrounding neighborhood is filled with vitriol and paranoia: “Who is this animal that has bewitched sweet Desdemona?” they ask. The differences that separate Othello and Desdemona do not perturb them, but are starkly obvious and unnerving to the judgmental citizens of Venice. While it was certainly rare in the 16th century for couples to have such disparities in age, social position and race, none of these differences diminished how Othello and Desdemona felt for each other, yet each spurred external obstacles that threatened their relationship. While Othello and Desdemona are separated by a considerable age gap, it has never hindered their blossoming romance – at least until such a gap is exploited by Iago. Desdemona’s exact age is never offered, but it can be assumed by her description as “a young maid” that a generation gap is present. During the play’s time period (likely late 16th century based on the presence of the Venetian-Turkish wars), the average age of marriage for aristocratic women was 19-21, so we can presume that Desdemona is of similar age. Such an age would be consistent with Brabantio’s characterization of his daughter as just a “girl” (I.i.161), as he references her “delicate youth” and “youth

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