Desdemona and Othello
Though her world was fall apart with Iago creating false images of an affair between her and Cassio to Othello, Desdemona strangely remains kind, innocent, and willing to grant grace. When Cassio approaches her for help, she quickly agrees to help her old friend. While she discusses relationships with Emilia, she rejects all thoughts of infidelity. She had every reason to fight Othello when Othello carries out her murder, yet she resist only a little, She responses, “The Lord have mercy on me…[and] mercy on you too” to Othello’s “Thou diest” (Othello 5.2.50; 71-74). When she is briefly revived and quested by Emilia as to who her murderer is, Desdemona only replies, “I myself” (Othello 5.2.152).
Othello is different visually from the other characters of his own play, in that he is a Moor (African) among Italians. In a time frame where Africans were not seen as equals to those of Caucasian descent and when black could be seen as evil, Othello had to work harder than most to gain a positive reputation. As he recounts how he wooed Desdemona, he recalls, “These arms of mine had seven years’ pith…They have used their action in the tented field…more than pertains of feasts of broil and battle” (Othello 1.3.98-103).
As if by reward, the Duke for nice remarks that Othello is “far more fair than black” (Othello 1.3.331). It isn’t surprising that, after hearing that his wife is (allegedly) having an affair with one of his officers, that Othello becomes upset. He had long years of building up a relationship, only to have his lover have an affair with someone else.
It could be argued that Othello tries, at first, to push his wrath aside and allow Desdemona time to confess her ‘deeds’, but with Iago taunting him with...
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