Shakespeare's Othello - Desdemona in Othello Essay

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Desdemona in Othello

In William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello, the wife of the protagonist is Desdemona. She is a lovely, intelligent, wholesome and pious person. This essay will analyze her.

In Act 1 Scene1, Iago persuades the rejected suitor of Desdemona, Roderigo, to accompany him to the home of Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, in the middle of the night. Once there the two awaken him with loud shouts about his daughter’s elopement with Othello. In response to Iago’s vulgar descriptions of Desdemona’s involvement with the general, Brabantio arises from bed and, with Roderigo’s help, gathers a search party to go and find Desdemona and bring her home. The father’s attitude is that life without his Desdemona
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Thus it would seem that Desdemona has been living her life with a father who is primarily interested in self and less in Desdemona. And yet she has emerged unscarred psychologically, and capable of deep love for Othello.

Entrusted to the ancient’s care and that of his Emilia, Desdemona arrives at the seaport of Cyprus. While waiting there for Othello’s ship, she grows tired of Iago’s derogatory comments directed at his wife, and she quite matter-of-factly states her mind: “O, fie upon thee, slanderer!” and even directs Iago’s focus off of Emilia and onto her ownself: “What wouldst thou write of me, if thou shouldst praise me?” Her total forthrightness and courage show her to be the daughter of a senator! She continues to critique the ancient’s answers to her questions: “These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i' the alehouse” and “O heavy ignorance! thou praisest the worst best.” She is not fearful or reticent in the least.

Once that her husband has safely arrived on the island and disembarked, she greets him publicly, and later responds before the crowd to his loving address to herself:

The heavens forbid

But that our loves and comforts should increase,

Even as our days do grow! (2.1)

She is showing herself to be a most wise and feeling wife. It is this tenderness that Cassio appeals to after Iago has entangled him in
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