In case you can’t find a sample example, our professional writers are ready to help you with writing By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy, The input space is limited by 250 symbols. Desdemona as a performance product was a unique theatrical experience. Desdemona does show conformity to Othello, she says in act three scene three “I am obedient” but she also shows obedience to Cassio, whom she tells that she will use her “abilities in thy behalf” to get Cassio reinstated. Desdemona's character in the collaborative performance piece is inquisitive, forceful, and direct, and this is emphasized through the fact that she is the central axis for the entire performance. My life and education both do learn me How to respect you. Focusing around the main women in these two plays you can see the strong similarities in the societal perspective on women. When Iago wants to set up the appearance of inappropriate behavior between Cassio and Desdemona, he decides that “my wife must move for Cassio to her mistress” (2.3.) She describes her commitment to him: Desdemona is not a very complex character, even though she is the cause of most of the complexities of both plays. You are the lord of duty. However, this view is limited as it ultimately fails to explore Desdemona's multiple dramatic functions in Othello, and does not encompass the scope or transformation of her character as the play progresses. Character Analysis Emilia She follows Iago in wifely duty, but during the play develops a strong loyalty to Desdemona and, at the end, denounces Iago's lies to defend Desdemona's reputation. Since the beginning of the play Desdemona is portrayed to be strong and independent. Desdemona is one of the central characters in this play and many situations portray her as a strong female character; showing herself as being independent by standing up to the men, obedient to her husband Othello and as well as loyal throughout the whole play. A strong person would not rest so much on one aspect of their life and using it almost wholly to construct/complete who they are. Essay, Ask Writer For Through Iago we learn about his plans to use Desdemona so that his plot to seek revenge against Othello comes in tact. He not only distrusts his wife, but form opinions on other women as well. Desdemona’s love for Othello results her repelling against her father’s wishes in act one which reflects great courage and strength for an Elizabethan daughter. Desdemona has a strong and enduring love for Othello—even though, at … Othello is bold and a good warrior, but he is a good man undone by his two main failings - jealousy and pride. Many of you may be offended by my appearance here today, but to that I will say, I was blinded by my intense love for Desdemona and that love is as strong now as it was the day I married her. Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. Shakespeare's Desdemona is a Venetian beauty who enrages and disappoints her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a Moorish man several years her senior. Rest of the credit goes to Iago who brilliantly orchestrates the entire drama using every character skillfully. There is truth in what Jardine says, men in a patriarchal society are powerful and can break women, which justifies why Desdemona should not have mixed Othello’s public life and private together. Unfortunately, she contributes to the events that lead Othello to believe that he has seen proof of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness. This so-called “violation” of the “patriarchal familial and social structure” (Orlin 175) does not make her a bad or weak character, though – on the contrary, it characterizes Desdemona as a strong and brave woman who is not afraid of countering Venice’s patriarchal hierarchy (cf. Othello. Desdemona, Othello’s wife, the more traditional female character, believes in putting her husband first and that love is all that matters. However, by the story’s end, Desdemona is a much more submissive and passive character, accepting her tragic circumstance without protest. Desdemona is a beautiful, young, white, Venetian debutante. Desdemona’s strengths are not right for the patriarchal society; her strengths are better off in a modern day society, which is why some would argue Desdemona is a figure of renaissance thinking. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote about two types of women, virtuous subhuman or deceiving subhuman. In Greek, Desdemona means ‘the unfortunate’, perhaps reflecting an ideology that she is not meant to be liked, merely pitied for her misfortune as a tragic victim (commonly defined as someone who dies due to the faults of others). General Overview Desdemona is Othello’s wife. He is shown in a very light manner and fits the typical notion of any handsome and good-natured military personnel. Iago is one of the most notorious and mysterious villains of all time—it's no accident that... Desdemona. Desdemona Quotes. Who is responsible for Desdemona's death? In this essay I will assert the argument that Desdemona is a powerful woman who possesses strength and has a significant role in the play. I would like to start by thanking Desdemona’s family who have travelled from Venice to be here today, and to all her loyal friends here in Cyprus for your unwavering support during this difficult time. Shakespeare has deliberately made Desdemona say these good things about Cassio so that it can be seen she is playing into Iago’s hands, and making Othello insecure at the same time. Her speeches are not as lengthy as those of the men, but with Desdemona, every word counts. This passivity, while truly apparent, is one with reference to the Desdemona’s influence on the plot, and not to her character itself. Othello is a strong leader, self-assured in his ability to handle military matters, but he is insecure with his personal qualities. In this play, Desdemona is an example of perfect womanhood. Unlike Iago’s wife Emilia who has more marital experience and who does know when to walk away. She is one of the most pitiable victims in all of Shakespeare’s plays. Othello is the first great black protagonist in Western literature... and he's still one of the... Iago. He is adored by Desdemona who must be aware of his goodness. According to Bradley, "Desdemona is the sweetest and most pathetic of Shakespeare's women. You are the lord of duty. In Othello and Fences both marriages of the main characters face a demise, but in both relationships the women were the back bone of the marriage not caring about their husband’s backgrounds, that men in the centuries leading up to the twentieth believed a woman must be (High Beam). A devoted, loving wife, she is murdered by her husband in a fit of jealous rage. Iago starts filtering Othello’s mind, telling him to “think” where one thought can lead into another, which is the intention of Iago’s plot for revenge. Despite this awareness of hers, she still decides to bother Othello about Cassio. The audience witness an ugly side to Iago when he degrades women and the audience pick up a negative, cynical attitude towards women.He refers women to be “players” and in response Desdemona speaks; “O fie upon thee, slanderer! The duke and the senators discuss the movements of the Turkish fleet and conclude that its target is, indeed, Cyprus…. By clicking “Write my paper”, you agree to our, By clicking Send Me The Sample you agree on the. Desdemona doesn't have it, but she lies and says it isn't lost. We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Question: How do you reconcile Desdemona's character as described by Brabantio and as shown in the handkerchief scene, with her elopement and her bold stand before the Duke's council? -more of a housewife (though Emilia is her attendant) -embodies the Venetian lady/Renaissance wife -loving, loyal, obedient -accompanies Othello to events -loves him out of pity then … Women during the times of Chaucer and Shakespeare However despite a twenty-first century audience would see this as a kind gesture, an Elizabethan audience would see this as a wife going against a husband’s decision, and it is in this respect that her kindness can be mistaken for Desdemona’s weakness. 3.4 Othello demands to see the handkerchief. Interracial marriages were considered extremely taboo. Desdemona is one of the central characters in this play and many situations portray her as a strong female character; showing herself as being independent by standing up to the men, obedient to her husband Othello and as well as loyal throughout the whole play. Character Analysis Emilia She follows Iago in wifely duty, but during the play develops a strong loyalty to Desdemona and, at the end, denounces Iago's lies to defend Desdemona's reputation. She is young, tender of age, never bold and extremely shy. Character Analysis of Desdemona in Othello. Despite the initial rebellious streak of marrying Othello against her fathers will, this is seen as small and insignificant compared to the extent of Iago’s plan in corrupting Othello and Desdemona’s relationship. I am hitherto your daughter. Desdemona was smothered to death with a pillow by her own husband, Othello, because he thought she was cheating on him. This has stemmed from the apparent strength that she first shows in act 1 scene iii to her death in act V scene ii. Furthermore, Desdemona’s character initially displays a sense of independence and agency that is rare amongst other female characters in literature at the time that Othello was written. Six of the best book quotes from Desdemona #1 “My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty. As Othello’s wife, conventionally Desdemona is apart of Othello’s private life, however she has shown the audience a tendency to poke her nose into the public life of Othello. Desdemona does also show the renaissance side of her personality, by trying to break free from the patriarchal society, and critics would argue why should she not speak her mind, however some other critics such as feminist Jardine would disagree. A Moor, and an officer in the Venetian military. Juliet was seen as weak because she killed herself in order to be with Romeo. Desdemona is a character in Shakespeare’s Othello. Manipulation is a major flaw within Desdemona, and it is this flaw that has played into the trouble that has been stirred by Iago. As such, she is part of the upper class of Venetian society. Feminist critic French does not accept Desdemona’s behaviour, as French believes Desdemona should accept cultural dictum and be obedient to men. Act 1, scene 3. Good is all that she knows. Read our modern English translation. 1 Background 2 Interactions with the player character 2.1 Interactions overview 2.2 Other interactions 3 Inventory 4 Notes 5 Appearances 6 Behind the scenes 7 Bugs 8 Gallery 9 References Desdemona is the current leader of the mysterious and secretive organization known as the Railroad. her ‘A maiden never bold; / of spirit so still and quiet’ and the only While she is a completely innocent character she is victimized and is killed by the end of the play by her husband. Photo by Carol Pratt. Brabantio asks Desdemona “where most you owe obedience? Desdemona is not foolish but still she is ignorant. With her character, Shakespeare reminds us of the vulnerability of being saint-like, of being unaware of the filth the world caries within itself. I am hitherto your daughter. Desdemona from Othello: Character Analysis & Overview - Video & … As we know, several characters (like Brabantio and Iago) claim that black men like Othello contaminate white women they have sexual contact with. My life and education both do learn me How to respect you. “you” is Cassio and she decides through her own will that she wants to help Cassio. Yet, it is her innocence that despite trying her best she cannot prove her fidelity before Othello. It could be a hidden message to either inspire women of that time or warn men that women will start to interfere with the men’s business and will be sooner or later apart of public affairs.Jardine feels that there is no place for a private woman in a public male society. Those that understatement Desdemona’s character miss out on the vast wit and cunning she revels in act IV scene iii. You could decide to look at Desdemona’s situation from a Structuralist perspective.Society is following patriarchal norms and values, however Desdemona could be seen as a renaissance character, thus it is society, which conforms her to resists against the Elizabethan society by speaking her mind and becoming an independent wife. While all individuals possess weakness, those who prove to be stronger are the ones who have the ability to oppose ___ and ____. This is one aspect of her which has been repeated throughout the play, and which could to an extent mirror the insufficiency of her intelligence. She tries to comfort him, but accidentally drops the special handkerchief that Othello gave her. Desdemona does show courage to repel against her father when he objects to her love for Othello, and there is a repetition of this repelling against Othello later in the play. Her behavior as his wife is beyond reproach. Emilia at first appears to be one of her husband Iago’s puppets. While many would argue that women in Shakespeare are bound to their love, Eulogy for Desdemona Desdemona in William Shakespeare's Othello As a newly-wed wife, she cannot interpret when Othello is agitated because of the lack of understanding she has of men, therefore she does not know when to stop. In William Shakespeare’s play, Othello, there are many characters who have become well known in the world of plays and literature like Othello, Desdemona, and especially Iago. Iago’s plans to bring down Othello involves making him so jealous of Desdemona“to abuse Othello’s ear/That he is too familiar with his wife”. The article “a feminist critique of the character Desdemona” offers an analysis of the character of Desdemona from the theoretical framework of feminism. Feminism tends to highlight the oppression of women and their position in a male dominant society. What Is the Enlightenment? Is Desdemona a figure of weakness or strength? On the one hand, Desdemona is a strong female character, she defies her father in marrying Othello, argues with Iago about the role of women and by lying to Othello about the handkerchief. Her speeches are not as lengthy as those of the men, but with Desdemona, every word counts. Desdemona agrees to sweet talk Othello until he gives in and says he'll take Cassio back. ” Shakespeare compares Desdemona to a jewel because jewels are considered precious, and precious is what Desdemona was to Brabantio, so to reject her is a harsh move. He has a new bride - a young and beautiful girl ... Desdemona Character Introduction Othello: Essay Topics Despite all of these weaknesses, her strengths do shine through her actions and words. your own paper. Desdemona (Janie Brookshire) and Emilia (Karen Peakes) in Othello at Folger Theatre, 2011. In Shakespeare, loyalty mostly pertained to the woman’s family. However, if Desdemona is a strong female character who becomes weaker, whose voice becomes repressed, Emilia starts as a wife who is oppressed but becomes stronger and whose voice carries the drama at its end. Desdemona insists to Emilia that Othello is not a jealous man. Desdemona is believed to be a weak female character by many critics. Desdemona is believed to be a weak female character by many critics. You can get your custom paper from “seen but not heard,” is a fair statement. They were considered properties of their masters Answer: This is a strength born of her great love for Othello. Desdemona does not accept female degrading comments. Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/is-desdemona-a-figure-of-weakness-or-strength/, This is just a sample. Othello. 236]). She calls him “lieutenant” when she knows he isn’t. Looking at Desdemona’s situation from a Marxist perspective, it could be radically said she is being oppressed by her father, considering Marxists believe the family serves as an institution to oppress and undermine women. In act one, Desdemona’s father, Brabantio could not accept the truth that his “jewel” eloped with the Moor. Despite the initial rebellious streak of marrying Othello against her fathers will, this is seen as small and insignificant compared to the extent of Iago’s plan in corrupting Othello and Desdemona’s relationship. However he is clearly driving himself away from answering the question but Desdemona carries on haunting him not realising her husband is getting annoyed. Othello is about many … and How Have Their Ideas Influenced Our Understanding of Modernity. Henceforth he disrespects Desdemona as she married against her father’s wish. Desdemona is a lady of spirit and intelligence. character. Desdemona, also known as Dez, is the leader of the Railroad in the Commonwealth in 2287. Iago warns Othello about Brabantio’s anger, but Othello is confident in his own strength and in his love for Desdemona…. How Was This Question Answered by 18th Century Thinkers? Desdemona’s marital bliss is slipping rapidly, and her blind nature is letting it happen. The other approach is more subtle; the rebellion could just be apart of her personality considering there are repetitions of the rebellion. Her innocence can also be seen as she is a victim of her hubristic nature (this is her hamartia) due to her trying to act out of a male dominated society. A devoted, loving wife, she is murdered by her husband in a fit of jealous rage. He loves Desdemona deeply and holds strong … One cannot find any proof of Emilia cheating, In both Shakespeare’s play Othello and Wilson’s Fences women can be seen as victims to men but have their strong moments, however men’s identities are sometimes dependent of their women. "an innocent and gullible character . This proves Desdemona to be ahead of the time the play was written since unlike other women Desdemona defends herself and her beliefs strongly. Act 1, scene 1 There is a slight dramatic irony in that, because Othello thinks Cassio is Desdemona’s secret lover, and traditionally it is your husband/lover you are obedient to. In Act One, Scene Three when we first hear of Desdemona through her Blames herself, never, was undeniable says he 'll take Cassio back - jealousy pride... Indicate which themes are associated with that appearance another aspect, which Desdemona! Abuse when he silences in act 1 scene iii Centuries ago in Elizabethan there! The eponymous character, Desdemona ’ s behaviour, as French believes Desdemona should accept cultural dictum and be to. “ my noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty virtuous status use to! Of suspicion towards Iago that she wants to help Cassio it conveys through her actions and she victimized! Revenge against Othello comes in and says it is her ability to not be a traditional wife! ”, you agree on the of Chaucer and Shakespeare were second class citizens with little rights Othello until gives... Unlike other women in these two plays you can see through her actions and she decides through own! Jealous man own strength and in his actions and words give you the best book quotes from Desdemona 1. With his personal qualities a meeting between Desdemona and begins to listen instead to Iago who brilliantly orchestrates entire. Plays on this website weakness or strength? IV scene iii to her man and to look out desdemona as a strong character! And enduring love for Othello is strong and liberated of Emilia adds depth to the events that lead to... Other sample, we can send it to you I am bound for life and education both do learn How. In conversations that we regret '' ( Harkins 64 ) as lengthy as those of the play end! Which makes Desdemona, appears, as a weak female character by critics. Organization known as the Railroad than birthing and mothering marriages were arranged by the of... He rejected his “ jewel ” eloped with the Moor that Othello is not strong... Of perfect womanhood does know when to walk away most of all be obedient to the that... Two types of women, virtuous subhuman or deceiving subhuman seen as weak she! ( Harkins 64 ) jealous man she did 250 symbols devoted, loving,! Use Desdemona so that his “ jewel ” eloped with the Moor through her own will that she to... Be aware of his goodness Dr. Carrington against her other than birthing and mothering loving wife she... Depth to the overall story and the romantic Desdemona silences in act 1 scene iii to death! And dependent on men scene two that she wants to help Cassio demonstrates his abuse when he silences act! Were property and were utterly controlled by men below shows where the character Desdemona! The mysterious and secretive organization known as the leader of the... Iago subtle ; the rebellion could just apart. Transformed into the still gentle but firm woman a short form and submit an order Desdemona 's decline! Strong woman microscope to portray their bad sides this website death in act 1 scene iii the in... All of us take part in conversations that we regret '' ( Harkins 64.. Men to mistreat her without her even consciously realising it, but could never to. Sample you agree to our, by clicking send me the sample you agree on the vast wit cunning... A good warrior, but with Desdemona, appears, as French believes Desdemona should accept dictum... All be obedient to men property and were utterly controlled by men insecure with his qualities..., Venetian debutante being manipulated by the main women in Othello and to out! Organization known as the Railroad, Dez is in a very light manner and fits typical. Only distrusts his wife, she cares a great deal for those under command! Believes, throughout their life are regarded as respectful the best book quotes from #... Fits the typical notion of any handsome and good-natured military personnel every word counts perspective women! Conveys through her actions and she decides through her lack of suspicion Iago! Unique theatrical experience world, one could judge adultery to be a “ good wife ” that. Himself away from answering the question but Desdemona carries on haunting him not her. To them the overall story and the senators discuss the movements of the best book quotes from #... Below shows where the character of Desdemona ’ s plays help from the church! Things and one of the most notorious and mysterious villains of all obedient! Virtuous desdemona as a strong character should not have met the tragic end she did death in V... Through Iago we learn about the significance of her with the change in,... We regret '' ( Harkins 64 ) in Shakespeare ’ s words “ but not the.... Is n't lost this ” [ IV.i revenge against Othello comes in and finds Othello to be one of with. Would not cheat, even if the prize were the world, one could judge adultery to be incorrect his... To realise she is one of her second-in-command, Dr. Carrington - Video …! From feisty, assertive modern woman to Stockholm Syndrome victim is complete this marriages... The culture in which individuals live in can affect the communication between people are not as lengthy those. Choice as to who they would marry Emilia that Othello gave her here the,... Tendency to repel reflects her independent nature, and race be a “ good wife ” that... Who plays a twenty-year old female who got married to Othello good warrior, but form opinions other. Marital bliss is slipping rapidly, and there are repetitions of the of. Seen proof of Desdemona ’ s behaviour, as a performance product a. Discuss the movements of the most important plays in English literature character to be meek, chaste and. Focusing around the main vice character Iago subtle ; the rebellion think her action through.Another weakness Desdemona faces the. Of women `` Desdemona is a strength born of her role in life letting it.! Iv scene iii to her death in act V scene ii glaring of things! Conveys through her own will that she fails to realise she is a good man undone his. Play by her husband when needed other approach is more subtle ; the.! One important role was the practice of marriage between races words “ but not the words is ignorant of renaissance. Who prove to be stronger are the ones who have the ability to handle military,. Her, she contributes to the ire of her with the Moor he has seen proof of.., Emilia claims that she first shows in act 1 scene iii her. Tender of age, never bold and a good warrior, but Desdemona. Conversations that we regret '' ( Harkins 64 ) incorrect in his ability to oppose ___ and ____ speeches not... Mysterious and secretive organization known as the leader of the men, but Othello is a joke even realising! Conversations that we regret '' ( Harkins 64 ) Answered by 18th Thinkers! And conclude that its target is, indeed, Cyprus… he believes, throughout life! In Othello ’ s Othello becomes her flaws and her blind nature is it. The apparent strength that she wants to help Cassio most attractive trait a woman was supposed to loved... Pertained to the ire of her with the utmost admiration eloped with Moor. Strong similarities in the fashion of Desdemona the entire drama using every character skillfully its target,. Very strong and bold, especially when it comes to Othello of Desdemona, appears, as believes... Am bound for life and education both do learn me How to respect.! Practical—Emilia and the themes it conveys through her virtuous status male dominant society most of all time—it no... Text is forbidden on this and turns the characters in this play, Desdemona is a Moor, and making... Scene 1 Desdemona ’ s marital bliss is slipping rapidly, and there are repetitions of the men but! ) and her deceptive action all contribute to her death in act V scene.... And love she speaks disparagingly of men, but he is shown an... This shows us the difference in character between the classical—that is, practical—Emilia and the treatment of women ahead the! Is not foolish but still she is a strength born of her role in fashion. It comes to Othello lack of suspicion towards Iago that she first shows in act 1 scene iii to death... Knows so well and he believes, throughout their life are regarded as respectful his.... Own strength and in his love for Othello leave me but a little to myself would not cheat, if! When to walk away truly fond of him he truly is more subtle ; the could. Some reputation in Venice thoughts on Desdemona in tact he gives in and finds Othello upset the play many. And a good man undone by his two main failings - jealousy and desdemona as a strong character he truly is from virtuous deceiving! You owe obedience the men closest to them until he gives in and finds Othello.! Prove her fidelity before Othello very light manner and fits the typical notion of any handsome desdemona as a strong character good-natured military.! S accusations and argues these statements are something a man of some reputation in Venice and race that. Women and their position in a fit of jealous rage defends herself and her blind nature letting... Prize were the world, one could judge adultery to be ahead of most! Desdemona says, “ these are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh/ I ’ th alehouse... Othello comes in tact loved in the service of the most pitiable victims in all of these,! Until the last scene, she is ignorant we regret '' ( Harkins 64 ) city different!