Desdemona's Downfall Analysis

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Desdemona’s Downfall in Othello The Christian Bible tells us that “pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18 KJV). For Desdemona in William Shakespeare’s Othello, this is certainly true. Although Desdemona is innocent of the sins of which she is accused, she still bears responsibility for her own downfall. If not for Desdemona’s pride, she could have lived a long and happy life with Othello. From a psychological standpoint, Desdemona is ultimately responsible for her own demise because of her prideful nature. Although Desdemona is a prideful woman, Othello falls in love with her and loves her jealously. Desdemona, daughter of a Venetian senator, lives in her father’s household. Her father, Brabantio,…show more content…
Desdemona insists she cannot say the word, as though she is physically incapable of doing so. Her pride is so wounded by the use of the word that she refuses to use it in even the most clinical of manners, preventing her from conveying the oddly erratic nature of her husband’s behavior towards her. Although she ultimately says the word, Desdemona protests more the use of the word which is an affront to her vanity and pride, than she questions the claims made by her husband. Unfortunately, Desdemona is a prideful woman, and that pride leads to her destruction.
In fact, Desdemona holds herself in such high regard that she almost seems incapable of believing that anyone else may not. Luckily for her, Othello similarly holds her in high regard, at least until Iago begins to manipulate him. Even before Othello, Desdemona’s own father, Brabantio, thought highly of her. When she elopes with Othello, he never believes that she ran away from home willingly. He believes that Othello had enchanted her until she herself says otherwise. Upon this realization, Brabantio, warns Othello against Desdemona, telling him:
Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:
She has deceived her father, and may thee.
…show more content…
These lines are the first hint given that Desdemona may not have always been completely captivated by her husband. These words, not denied by Othello, sit in contrast to his own. Upon hearing her words, Othello seems a changed man, depressed and submissive, his new attitude brought on by “Desdemona’s own honest account of her original feelings for Othello and the role Cassio played in Othello’s winning of her” (Macaulay 269). With just a little concern for Othello’s own pride, Desdemona have chosen to withhold some words or soften their blow. Instead, her own pride continues to lead her headlong onto a destructive
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