Desdemona And Emilia Are Two Of The Main Characters Of William Shakespeare 's Othello

Desdemona And Emilia Are Two Of The Main Characters Of William Shakespeare 's Othello

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Desdemona and Emilia are two of the main characters in William Shakespeare’s Othello. While one of them is the overly virtuous wife of the play’s protagonist and tragic hero, the other one is wife to one of the most clever and maquiavelic everlasting villains.
Throughout the play, the sweet and old-fashioned Desdemona shows to be a satisfying wife and a great friend, and she also denotes unquestionable ignorance to her surroundings. On the other hand, the open minded and slightly cynical Emilia supplies a huge contrast to her mistresses’ persona; a feminist way ahead of her time. Despite coming from different social backgrounds and having different personalities, both women find the same faith by dying at the hands of their own husbands. But still, even when they do share a handful of similarities, it is their perception of life that makes them react in different ways. However, Desdemona is the one that is least aware of what is happening due to her undoubtedly naiveness.

Even with Desdemona and Emilia both manifesting a certain level of ignorance of what is happening, having different perception is what makes distinguishable one from another. The naive Desdemona unconsciously follows along Iago’s Masterplan when she concedes herself to be spotted with Cassio in Act III, sc iii confirming Iago’s statement to Othello of Desdemona’s disloyalty. She is unaware of honest Iago’s true personality as she says, “I never knew/ A Florentine more kind and honest”. The same way Othello thinks of Iago as an honourable and honest man, Desdemona has that perspective of her husband’s ensign, and would never suspect of his multiple malicious traps.

Furthermore, when Othello, after being fed with lies by Iago, asks Desdemona where is the handke...


... middle of paper ...


...lled by her own husband. And while Emilia is more open minded than her mistress, she still ends up being a victim in Iago’s plan when he takes away her life after she confesses that all of that is happening is Iago’s fault and part of an apparent plan.

Many would agree that after all the greatest similarity between Desdemona and Emilia is that they die at the hands of their husbands and their biggest downfall is their lack of awareness of the kind of person that Iago really is. Even when they can be so different in many ways, the face the same reality and faith in the end. Desdemona starts as brave and defiant, Emilia is first shown as passive, they would later develop into what the other started as of. In the end, it is their biggest qualities, Desdemona’s unselfishness and Emilia’s desire for justice, that transform in their downfall and mark an end to their lives.

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