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 reveals 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 such as ignorance and courage, it is their perception of life that makes them react in different ways. However, there is the undeniable fact that Desdemona is the one to be least aware of what is happening the whole time.
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.
... middle of paper ...
...hat all of that is happening is all his fault and part of an apparent plan.
Despite being obviously different one from another, many would agree that after all the things they go through the greatest similarity between Desdemona and Emilia is that they meet their death at the hands of their husbands and their biggest downfall is their lack of awareness of the kind of person that Iago really is. Growing up in a good family, Desdemona had never been exposed to the real world and how mean people can be, resulting in her being the biggest victim in the story. Unlike Emilia who is slightly older than her mistress and was raised in a lower class level, very likely affecting the way she sees the world. 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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