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
Shakespeare mocks society’s extreme measures by suggesting death as the sole option for Othello when he fails to understand that Desdemona may not fit female stereotypes. Without the ability to label her, Othello fails to “assert Desdemona’s chastity and corruptibility simultaneously” and “murders Desdemona to redeem her from degradation” (Neely). The characters, like many people, struggle to alter views that have been so firmly pressed into their minds. In this way, Shakespeare negatively comments on humans’ inabilities to see beyond what society tells them and to comprehend truths unique to a specific person rather than his gender roles. Shakespeare uses the characters Desdemona and Othello to display how people become accustomed to the gender identities that society defines for them. Therefore, both characters, as depicted by their deaths, fail to understand each other personally as individuals instead of as the stereotypical man or woman that is being presented.
He searches for answers, clues, or anything else to prove her unfaithfulness. Feminist criticism focuses on the behaviors and power shown between male and female. Othello represents this because he changes the way he acts around Desdemona once he has heard of her wrongdoing. He is harsh, he doesn’t look at her, and he barely gives her conversation. In this day in age any man or boy would have acted this way because they are rarely the ones to get cheated on. The relationship between him and Desdemona changed his entire character of a man who trusted his wife with everything to a man who know doubted everything he knew about
Othello insults and strikes Desdemona in public and Desdemona being horrified by these actions says that “I have not deserved this” (4.1.241). Desdemona finds Othello to be incorrect in his actions and she expresses her feelings to Othello. This proves Desdemona to be ahead of the time the play was written since unlike other women Desdemona defends herself and her beliefs strongly. Therefore, Desdemona is shown as an all-around powerful woman.
The society in which Othello takes place is a patriarchal one, where men had complete control over women. They were seen as possessions rather than being just as equally human and capable of duties performed by men. All women of the Elizabethan were to obey all men, fathers, brothers, husbands, etc. Which leads me to the most reliable and trustworthy character of Desdemona, whom goes through many trials just to satisfy her love. Shakespeare brings the thought of Desdemona into the play by Barbantio, her father, “It is too true an evil. Gone she is.\...Oh, she deceives me\ Past thought! …” (1.1.163)(1.1.168-169), whom has just found she has taken off with Othello and firstly suspects they have been hitched. Shakespeare gives reader the
Love is complicated due to the fact that there is a difference of opinion and perception and it is complicated because people see stuff in different ways and interpret things differently as well. In the 3 texts dissatisfaction or complication is shown. Firstly in Othello love is presented as ephemeral and transient while atonement love is presented as unrequited and finally in cat on a hot tin roof love is presented as painful and troublesome due to unreciprocated feelings.
Role of Women in Shakespeare’s Othello In Shakespeare’s Othello, the role of women is greatly emphasized. The important characters of the play, Othello, Iago, and Cassio, each have a women that stands behind him. These women each have an obligation to remain loyal and respect their husband's wishes, especially Desdemona and
Desdemona was the daughter of a senator, a well regarded, upper class man. Othello was a General in the Venetian Military, and while that was a highly classed job, it was considered below Desdemona’s class. In the late sixteenth century, the man was generally from a higher class then the woman, hence why Desdemona and Othello’s relationship was objected to. Social position was an influence in Othello’s belief of Desdemona’s betrayal, as he thought that he wasn’t good enough for her.
William Shakespeare’s 16th century play Othello is a duplicitous and fraudulent tale set alternatingly between Venice in act 1, and the island of Cyprus thereafter. The play follows the scandalous marriage between protagonist Othello, a Christian moore and the general of the army of Venice, and Desdemona, a respected and intelligent woman who also happens to be the daughter of the Venetian Senator Brabantio. Shakespeare undoubtedly positions the marriage to be viewed as heroic and noble, despite Othello’s hamartia and subsequent downfall that inevitably occurs. Their marriage is then sabotaged by the jealous Iago, Othello’s ensign and villain of the play. While Iago’s ostensible justification for instigating Othello’s demise was his failure to acquire Othello’s position as lieutenant, Iago’s motives are rarely directly articulated and seem to derive from an obsessive, almost aesthetic pleasure in manipulation and destruction. Through the genre of the play, being a Shakespearean tragedy, and the structural devices employed by Shakespeare such as plot development, exposition, foreshadowing, dénouement, dramatic excitement, and catharsis, the key ideas of jealousy, appearance vs. reality and pride are developed and explored.
Desdemona is the lead female character in Othello, which is a title she earns. Well spoken, intelligent, yet beautiful and loyal she is a perfect mixture of the male ideal of what a woman and wife should be. However, throughout the play we see her speak for herself and her
Desdemona is shown as the most pure and proper of the women in Othello and is put into the center of all the drama. The men of the play manipulate her image of a naive lover to being a “ ...strumpet!” (V.ii.94). Desdemona is oblivious to what is going on around her and stays loyal to her morals but Iago’s rumours lure Othello to thinking otherwise. Desdemona’s true morals is her absolute devotion to her husband. She stayed loyal to her lover throughout the entire play and in the end it did her no good. “Nobody; I myself. Farewell! Commend me to my kind lord. O, farewell!” Desdemona on her deathbed, still defends her Lord’s actions. She does not fight back nor call for help, Desdemona begs for her life asking to “Kill me (Desdemona) tomorrow; let me live tonight!” (V.ii.97). She is not as strong-willed like the other ladies and is Shakespeare’s example of the archetype of the innocence and has the bases of a flat character. After the
When Desdemona and Othello got married they loved each other. Othello's love for Desdemona did not begin to fade until he started believing every lie Iago whispered in his ear. Towards the end of the play Iago's lies corrupted Othello's trust completely. Which led Othello to kill Desdemona which obviously shows Othello no longer loved his sweet Desdemona.
Looking at the play, all along Desdemona is a very feminine character. She most likely acts like a wife and daughter. So full of cares, Desdemona at a point of the play even neglected her house quarrels and goes out to spare fellings with Cassio to try to help with his situations with Othello. So faithful she was, even when she and Othello were not on the best terms, she was still trying to fixed everything even she knows that she was not cheating, which she explains, " Yes, faith, so humbled that he hath left parts of his grief with me to suffer with him. Good love call him
Firstly, the patriarchal representation of women and sexuality throughout “Othello” effectively demonstrates the movement of cultural values through historical contexts. Desdemona and Emilia are character foils of weak and strong, and Desdemona is often subject to objectification. Desdemona’s husband, Othello, stated, “I won his [Brabantio’s] daughter” (1.2.94), which metaphorically objectifies Desdemona as an object to be “won”. Bianca, a Venetian mistress, is also degraded through her speech. She is often regarded as a “whore”, with no consequence for the men who say it. For the entire play, Bianca speaks in prose whereby there is an absence of iambic pentameter, separating her from the nobility who speak in verse. Bianca and Desdemona effectively reflect female isolation and dismissal within society simply because of their gender, thus emphasising the state of women in 16th century society.
Valerie Wayne in “Historical Differences: Misogyny and Othello” comments on the proper manner of interpreting Desdemona’s body as referred to by an irate Othello: