Othello Women Analysis

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Othello: Through the Eyes of Two Women

Othello, by Shakespeare, involves two women; Desdemona and Emilia. These two women have a lot of things in common. Both have husbands who are full of adventure and physically powerful. Desdemona is the wife of Othello, the Moor of Venice. Emilia’s husband is Iago, is youngest of the two men, employed as a confidante to Othello. Iago is filled with so much guilt towards Othello; he wants total revenge and makes Othello’s life a living hell for him and anyone he loves. Othello doesn’t know any of this revenge and confides in Iago and trusts him with everything, because he is “the most honest” (2.3.6). While all this deceit is going on around them, both women are oblivious to it, and Emilia doesn’t
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He tells her, “Heaven truly knows that you are false as hell” (4.2.39). Desdemona wants to re-assure Othello that she is not lewd and wants to please him and ease these thoughts, and she tells him: “And have you mercy too! I never did / Offend you in my life; never loved Cassio / But with such general warranty of heaven / As I might love. I never gave him token” (5.2.58-61).
Desdemona pleads with him and tries to convince him that she would never betray him and that she has never proclaimed love, neither physically or verbally, to Cassio. No matter how much she tries to convince Othello, all fingers point to Cassio because they find the handkerchief in his possession.
Emilia also wants to please and show her loyalty to her husband, just as Desdemona did, by giving the handkerchief to him because she remembered how many times he had asked for her to get it and give it to him. “I am glad I found this napkin; / This was her first remembrance from the Moor, / My wayward husband hath a hundred times / Wooed me to steal it; but she so loves the token / (For he conjured her she should ever keep it) / That she reserves it evermore about her / To kiss and talk to. I’ll have the work ta’en out / And give it to Iago. / What he will do with it heaven knows, not I; / I nothing but to please his fantasy”

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