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 …show more content…
During this he paints a picture of Desdemona, and one of the critical words is alabaster. Therefore when he describes Desdemona as “Alabaster”, we can be sure it is his inner picture of her.
Alabaster’s beauty gives you an idea about his feelings of bodily inferiority to her. Alabaster is a naturally beautiful stone, used by ancient Egyptians and Chinese to make statues and vases. This word choice explains to the reader his feelings of inadequacy to Desdemona. At another time, he describes her as “fair as Dian’s visage”(3.3.389), Dian most likely being the god of healing in Celtic mythology. This gives the impression of a healthy glow surrounding her. Othello on the other hand is never said to be ugly, on the contrary, he is described as “far more fair than black”(1.3.291). However he must have felt some sensitivity about his physical appearance as it was mentioned to him constantly. Othello then goes on to describe her honor as “begrimed and black as mine own face”(3.3.390). Othello superimposes her clean and young white face with his own grimy old black face, making him seem a disgusting person. Othello’s choice of this simile shows his supposed racial inferiority. The fact that Othello believed Desdemona to be unfaithful with Cassio further proves his insecurity. Cassio is a clean white man with golden hair. Cassio is all of the beauty that Othello cannot be, and is therefore able to provide something that
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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
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
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.
to be weak and naÃ¯ve in the eyes of her father. We can tell this from
Desdemona is portrayed as a very inquisitive women, whom loves to explore the things and people outside of her class. She fell in love with Othello because of her curious nature and being attracted to his acts of bravado. Her intentions are sincere; however her curiosity in this act is seen as folly. She asks her cousin Lodovico about his arrival and informs him of Cassio’s dismissal. This angers Othello as she is praising another man, taking a persona of being proactive about him. For Othello this concludes that she is disobedient and has dishonored him - to put her in place, he resorts to violence:
We see Desdemona as a young beautiful white female, madly in love with a powerful black man. She is strong inside but doesn't tend to show that side of her as much as she would want to. She tends to play the peace-maker in her marriage and is always trying to understand Othello. Throughout the play she struggles to prove her loyalty and respect to her husband, no matter what it takes she tries to be a
In the play, The Tragedy of Othello, judging from the relationship between Desdemona and Othello, seems to say that marriage based on an innocent romantic love is bound to fail. There is a common thread of betrayal and deceit among many characters. Othello and Desdemona being the most vividly portrayed. The two appear to love one another romantically at first, but it soon after transforms into a secular love. This comes to pass because there is no foundation for a relationship. There is no trust, no communication, and no understanding.
In the play Othello, jealousy is shown to be very evident through the actions of the characters. Jealousy is an emotion that everyone shares, and it is ultimately responsible for the tragic ending of the play. Everyone feels jealous at certain times of their lives, and this feeling can cause people to do irrational things. This human emotion also shows people to be weak in the sense that they are never happy with what they have. Shakespeare shows through Othello, Iago, Roderigo, and Brabantio that jealousy is the most corrupt and destructive emotion.
She begins the play as a independent and thoughtful person, but she must struggle against all odds to make Othello believe that she is not too independent. Desdemona is a symbol of innocence and helplessness. However in the beginning of the play, she seems to be mature and quite insightful of events around her. Iago often tells Othello that she is unfaithful. It seems that she refuses to accept what Iago is doing. She has a tendency to be sympathetic towards other people's situations, like Cassio. This also further inspired Othello's jealousy when Iago pointed out that Cassio and Desdemona were speaking in private. She often pays attention to other people’s thoughts, yet remains distrustful if they differ from her own. She has a loyalty to her husband in all aspects of life,
It is here that the audience begins seeing a different identity of Othello. Who was once regarded as so valiant and courageous, was now beginning to show signs of severe insecurities dealing with matters, most importantly, such as his lack of experience in love and marriage causing shadows of doubt over his confidence in himself and his ability to be loved by and worthy of someone like Desdemona. Desdemona, although not intentionally, seems to be the reason for all the unrest in Othello. This is an instance in the play when irony shines it's smiling face upon Shakespeare's most tragic characters. Othello feels truly happy with the presence of Desdemona in his life (Act II.1, 181-187):
Daringly, Shakespeare opens this tragedy of love not with a direct and sympathetic portrayal of the lovers themselves, but with a scene of vicious insinuation about their marriage. The images employed by Iago to describe the coupling of Othello and Desdemona are revoltingly animalistic, sodomistic. [. . .] This degraded view reduces the marriage to one of utter
The most influential impact on Othello and Desdemona’s relationship was the differences in race. Differences in races have –and will- impact on relationships for a very long time. Desdemona was fair skinned, as was the rest of her family, and Othello was a dark-skinned Moor. Race discrimination has been an issue for thousands of years, with the common misconception, that ‘whites’ are better then ‘blacks’. Othello and Desdemona put this judgment aside, and fell in love with each other. This, of course, shocked others around them, primarily Desdemona’s father, Brabantio. Brabantio had liked and trusted Othello, before he found out that he was with his daughter. He couldn’t accept them being together, and believed that Othello had put a spell on Desdemona, as ‘black’ people were often presumed to be part takers of witchcraft. Othello also felt threatened by other ‘white’ man around Desdemona, particularly Casio, which made him jump to the conclusion of
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
In Shakespeare’s play “Othello” the main characters Othello and Desdemona suffer a tragic fate due to their actions and unforeseen circumstances. A majority of Desdemona’s suffering is down to Iago’s manipulation. However, it could also be argued that Iago is not completely to blame for the misfortune of Desdemona. We as the readers can see evidence of this at certain points in the play where Iago has planted the seeds of despair and Desdemona and Othello have fallen for his plans. In this essay, I will look at key moments in the play where Desdemona is presented as a tragic victim by the writer and justify why she is a tragic victim using quotes from the play.
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