In William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello, the wife of the protagonist is Desdemona. She is a lovely, intelligent, wholesome and pious person. This essay will analyze her.
In Act 1 Scene1, Iago persuades the rejected suitor of Desdemona, Roderigo, to accompany him to the home of Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, in the middle of the night. Once there the two awaken him with loud shouts about his daughter’s elopement with Othello. In response to Iago’s vulgar descriptions of Desdemona’s involvement with the general, Brabantio arises from bed and, with Roderigo’s help, gathers a search party to go and find Desdemona and bring her home. The father’s attitude is that life without his Desdemona will be much worse than before:
It is too true an evil: gone she is;
And what's to come of my despised time
Is nought but bitterness. (1.1)
So obviously the senator has great respect for his daughter, or at least for the comforts which she has afforded him up the beginning of the play. This respect is shared by her new husband Othello, who says to Iago
that I love the gentle Desdemona,
I would not my unhoused free condition
Put into circumscription and confine
For the sea's worth. (1.2)
Once that Brabantio has located Othello, the father presses charges publicly in order to have Desdemona returned:
To prison, till fit time
Of law and course of direct session
Call thee to answer. (1.2)
The proceedings which take place before the Duke of Venice cause the father to permanently lose his daughter, mostly due to Desdemona’s own fluent presentation of her point of view in the city...
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...he was heavenly true!” And upon the arrival of Iago, she publicly accuses him of lying:
You told a lie, an odious, damned lie;
Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie.
She false with Cassio! (5.2)
Then she accuses him of causing murder: “And your reports have set the murder on.” Emilia’s stunning interrogation and conviction of her own husband as the evil mastermind behind the murder results in Iago’s murder of her. Gullible Othello, grief-stricken by remorse for the tragic mistake he has made, stabs himself and dies on the bed next to his wife, his sorrow being as deep as his love for Desdemona prior to Iago’s machinations.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. http://www.eiu.edu/~multilit/studyabroad/othello/othello_all.html No line nos.
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