Othello: Compare and Contrast The Two Wives

1627 Words Dec 8th, 2013 7 Pages
Bob Mudd
Compare and contrast the two characters Desdemona and Emilia from the play Othello.

Desdemona and Emilia
Comparison and Contrast

In the play Othello the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare., there are two prominent women that grab and hold our attention. One is the wife of the play’s heroic character Othello; the other is engaged to an untrustworthy man named Iago. The women are part of, but yet serve as a small piece of what goes on in the play and which is how the conflict of the play finally comes to an agreement. These two feminine figures of the play can be compared and contrasted in more than one way.
A key to understanding the two women is to understand their husbands: Desdomana is married to Othello, a general in
…show more content…
A significant difference between Desdemona and Emilia is reflected in their morals. This is best shown in their intent to be faithful to their husbands. Desdemona has never even thought of engaging sexually with anyone other than Othello, but at some point in the play Emilia admits that she would be unfaithful to Iago in the right circumstances. It is in this part of the play that Desdemona tells her father. (Aside: Iago’s plot was to convince Desdomona’s father that Othello had in fact kidnapped her when in fact he wooed her and won her as an ideal wife.) Desdemona explains that she was in no way taken by Othello, and explains just how much she loves him. “My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty: To you I am bound for life and education; My life and education both do learn me How to respect you; you are the lord of duty; I am hitherto your daughter: but here's my husband, And so much duty as my mother show'd to you, preferring you before her father, So much I challenge that I may profess due to the Moor my lord." (I.III.28-37) . In this part of the play Iago indicates his low opinion of Emilia. “To have a foolish wife.” (III.III.32) This would speak of their bitter and untrustworthy love for each other, because they both are dishonest. By contrast, this is the exact opposite of the loving and trusting (at least initially) relationship between Desdemona and Othello.
Another dissimilarity between Desdemona and Emilia is in the level of maturity and
Open Document