Othello’s Desdemona: A Representation of Good Essay

Othello’s Desdemona: A Representation of Good Essay

Length: 1142 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In sixteenth century literature, women rarely were given substantial roles. Often women were depicted as having great folly or the source of the main character’s downfall. Even in the twenty-first century, many critics still believe that Shakespeare’s Desdemona in Othello has no other purpose than to be a puppet in Iago’s diabolical plan. However, to draw such a conclusion would be a mistake. Shakespeare used Desdemona to personify a Christ-like figure, a representation of good in the battle of good versus evil, and an independent warrior to prove that she is a round character in Othello.
Foremost, Desdemona is a round character because she exhibits Christ-like traits. Her Madonna-like actions are most obvious in her relationships with Cassio and Emilia. With Cassio, she seeks to restore his rank as well as his friendship with Othello. Desdemona states “I would do much t’ atone them… for the love I bear for Cassio.” Her desire to reinstate Cassio’s reputation is noble and selfless- traits that Jesus epitomizes. Dr. Greg Maillet, English professor at Crandall University, relates Desdemona’s proclamation to the biblical scripture “bear ye one another’s burdens” (Maillet). Maillet’s connection reiterates Desdemona’s role as a representation of a Christ-like figure. Similarly, Desdemona uses her untainted nature to gain a loyal and loving friendship with Emilia. Ultimately, Emilia’s admiration of Desdemona influences her to speak the truth against her husband Iago. Emilia’s admission pardons her from the guilt she holds for partaking in Iago’s heinous deed. In a way, Desdemona’s influence is the source of Emilia’s salvation before her death just as Jesus did for man. However, the most prominent act that links Desdemona to a Christ-l...

... middle of paper ...

...d against evil, and a woman warrior.

Works Cited

Dash, Irene G. Wooing Wedding & Power: Women in Shakespeare's Plays. New York: Columbia UP, 1981. Print.
Holmer, Joan O. ""Desdemona, Woman Warrior: "O, These Men, These Men!"" Literary Reference Center. EBSCOhost, 03 Feb. 2005. Web. 03 Dec. 2012.
Luke. The Holy Bible, New King James Version. N.p.: Thomas Nelson, 1982. BibleGateway.com. Web. 6 Dec. 2012. .
Maillet, Greg. "Desdemona and the Mariological Theology of the Will in Othello." Marian Moments in Early Modern British Drama. Ed. Regina Buccola and Lisa Hopkins. England: Ashgate, 2007. 87-110. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Michelle Lee. Vol. 122. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Literature Resource Center. Web. 6 Dec. 2012
Ribner, Irving. Patterns in Shakesperian Tragedy. Great Britian: Robert Cunningham and Sons, 1960. Print

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Iago as the Representation of Evil in Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- Iago as the Representation of Evil in Othello In Shakespeare's, Othello, the reader is presented the classic battle between the deceitful forces of evil and the innocence of good. It is these forces of evil that ultimately lead to the breakdown of Othello, a noble Venetian moor, well known by the people of Venice as an honorable soldier and a worthy leader. Othello's breakdown results in the murder of his wife Desdemona. Desdemona is representative of the good in nature. Good can be defined as forgiving, honest, innocent and unsuspecting....   [tags: Othello essays]

Strong Essays
1764 words (5 pages)

Exposing Racism in William Shakespeare’s Othello Essay

- The infectious discrimination of Elizabethan racists is derived from fear unnatural a racist’s hate plagues a vulnerable community of black slaves, with religion and war corrupting diverse cultures in the attempts to purify the existence of sin. This enlightening argument of what inspires William Shakespeare’s to compose the play Othello contaminates romantic relationships, Before the integration of black-skinned people into Elizabethan culture, Christian ideology coalesce Satan’s appearance with babies born black, with such manifestations supported by centuries of anecdotal evidence....   [tags: Othello]

Strong Essays
2050 words (5.9 pages)

Othello is Not a Tragic Hero Essay

- Othello has been described as one of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays because the play focuses on its themes of good and evil, military, politics, love and marriage, religion, racial prejudice, gender conflict, and sexuality; but the controversy and debate surrounding Othello is “Why is Othello a qualification for a tragedy?” Most readers are aware of the many famous deaths or acts of death within the Shakespearean plays. And when the main characters die in Shakespeare’s plays, indeed, the readers would categorize the play as a tragedy....   [tags: Othello Essays]

Strong Essays
1483 words (4.2 pages)

The Misunderstood Iago of Othello Essay

- Shakespearian tales always leave us with a plethora to ponder about the Elizabethan age and Shakespeare himself. “Othello” is no break in this mold, leaving us to ponder the roll of Iago within the harsh tale of love and murder. Iago is the one to tell Othello of his wife’s betrayal with Cassio, hence making up a story that will work to his favor yet betray those around him. Iago betrays his wife, Emilia, but not only her as he drags Othello, Desdemona, and Cassio into the mix of lies and the hatred he is spreading to improve his rank with Othello....   [tags: Othello Essays]

Strong Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of Shakespeare 's ' Othello '

- Shakespeare has written some of the most outstanding pieces of literature through out history that have lasted through out the ages. But, critics often critique Shakespeare as being sexist towards women in his work. He often portrays them as weak minded, evil, or as sexual objects. Ophelia, Queen Gertrude, Lady Macbeth, and Juliet Capulet are just a few female heroines that are accused of being feeble or heinous. Shakespeares Othello represents Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca as weak characters that do not become triumphant by the end of the play....   [tags: Iago, Othello, William Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
1081 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Antigone and Othello: Tragic Heroes

- Othello and Antigone are both tragic heroes. They do great deeds and have great power or strength. For example, Othello defeats Venice's enemies. Antigone makes sure that a Theban right is a Theban due. But fatal character flaws destroy the lives of the two heroes. Both of them suffer from pride and uncontrolled passion. Othello is so proud of his integrity and courage that he doesn't recognize his violent temper and his manipulability by Iago. Antigone is so proud of her commitment to the true, the right, the proper, and the correct that she doesn't respect differing, less passionate opinions....   [tags: Antigone, Othello, tragedy, Heroes,]

Strong Essays
971 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Goodnight Desdemona: a Feminist Introspection of Shakespeare

- Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good morningJuliet) uses intertextuality to unveil the complete Shakespearean characters of Juliet and Desdemona to reveal the feminist narrative lurking between lines of Shakespeare’s plays. Only through the intertextual re-examination of the Shakespearean text itself via the interjection of genre and the reassigning of dialogue, within the metatheatre, is the true feminist representation of the female Shakespearian characters unveiled from behind the patriarchal preconceptions....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Ann-Marie MacDonald]

Strong Essays
2493 words (7.1 pages)

The Mask Of Deception, By Nathaniel Hawthorne And The Play Othello By William Shakespeare

- The Mask of Deception All humans wear a mask of some kind; whether it is a false representation varies from person to person. This reality is revealed in poetic fashion in the piece “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar; the short story “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the play Othello by William Shakespeare. While all in different genre’s, they all contain the similarity of deception and creating a mask for the rest of the world to see in order to hide their true self. In the story “Young Goodman Brown”, Goodman Brown experiences everyone around him wearing the mask of Christianity and holiness, and he therefore loses his own faith....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, Othello]

Strong Essays
1044 words (3 pages)

Desdemona - Virtuous Woman or Modern Woman Challenging Oppressive Societal Values?

- The polysemic nature of Shakespeare’s Othello means that throughout time, different cultures have found certain readings of particular characters more relevant than others. For example, there are many possible readings of Desdemona, but two of the more dominant interpretations include seeing her as the ideal wife who falls victim to an abusive husband and viewing Desdemona as a progressive woman who contributed to her downfall by being outspoken and challenging the position of women in her time....   [tags: Character Analysis]

Strong Essays
978 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Othello Review

- ‘Othello’ in itself as a play is very dramatic and appeals to an audience today just as much as it did then because many people can relate to the themes in it and also because the story line is so thrilling. The play ‘Othello’ would’ve been very striking in Shakespearian times as the union of a Black Muslim and a White Christian would’ve been rare and frowned upon. Black people at the time were thought of as savages and monsters and being Muslim would’ve made it worse. This contrast of two completely opposite people was shocking and therefore would have attracted many people, as it was unusual....   [tags: Shakespearean Literature]

Strong Essays
1383 words (4 pages)