Free College Essays - The Father/Daughter Conflict in Shakespeare's Othello

Free College Essays - The Father/Daughter Conflict in Shakespeare's Othello

Length: 481 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Othello: The Father/Daughter Conflict


Brabantio, father of Desdemona in William Shakespeare's "Othello," is not happy that his daughter is marrying the title character. This father/daughter conflict impacts the work significantly by foreshadowing the climax, giving antagonist Iago material for his evil plot.

Brabantio is a Venetian Senator with definite ideas on the subject of his daughter. He wants to choose a husband for her who he feels is of her caliber and who can provide her a good life, as well as raise the family's esteem in Venetian society. At that time, this was his right as Desdemona's father. Then, when life expectancy was short, Brabantio would have wanted a son of a rich house who could inherit the family wealth, and was only a couple years older than his daughter, so she would not be widowed or have to return to her father's dependence.

Desdemona acts contrary to these plans by choosing to marry Othello who is a Moor, not a Venetian, which automatically lowers his stature. He is also an army general; he does not have a lot of money, only some prestige. In addition, he is old - he could be Desdemona's father nearly; in fact, he is Brabantio's friend. Army life would keep him (and her) out of Venice, and prevent Brabantio from seeing his daughter, or future grandchildren. Consequently, Brabantio is extremely upset when he learns that they have eloped.

Brabantio's anger at Othello's "thievery" leads him to entreat the Duke and Senate to annul the marriage. It is also true that the scene involving Iago and Roderigo telling Brabantio of his daughter's eloping does much to develop the character of Iago as a meddling weasel early in the book.

The scene in which Othello and Brabantio argue their cases before the Duke is the culmination of the underlying conflict between Desdemona and Brabantio. Desdemona's direct part in the saga is less important than the effects of this conflict on Othello, who emerges an honorable and lawfully wedded man after his appearance before the Senate. However, the dubious nature of the marriage is to cause conflict later in the story, as Brabantio effectively disowns Desdemona and gives fuel to the gossip machine. Several times the fact that Othello stole Desdemona is given as proof that she can be stolen from him.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free College Essays - The Father/Daughter Conflict in Shakespeare's Othello." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Mar 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=3498>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Free College Essays - Roles of Cassio, Roderigo, and Brabantio in Shakespeare's Othello

- Roles of Cassio, Roderigo, and Brabantio in Othello    From Shakespeare's play Othello, this paper will be discussing the roles    of Cassio, Roderigo and Brabantio, and their functions.    First, Cassio. Cassio is an honourable lieutenant and a soldier, who is    very loyal and caring towards his commanding officer, Othello, as shown    in one of many places, act two scene one line 45-48 when he is concerned    about Othello's well being because he has been lost at sea and says: Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike isle, That so approve the Moor....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]

Free Essays
888 words (2.5 pages)

Free College Essays - The Setting of Venice in Shakespeare's Othello

- The Setting of Venice in Othello Othello is a fundamentally different character to all others in the play [1]. He is an outsider to Venice and therefore an outsider to the customs and society of Venice. In one way this is good for him. He is a renowned strong general who is much in demand from the Venetians. Rather than fight the war against the Turks for themselves, they hire Othello to do so, indicating that he is respected by the Venetians but not considered, as a civilized Venetian would be, above having to fight wars barbarically....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]

Free Essays
1224 words (3.5 pages)

Othello’s Desdemona: A Representation of Good Essay

- 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....   [tags: Othello Essays]

Research Papers
1142 words (3.3 pages)

Free College Essays - The Tragic and Serious Othello

- Othello   Tragic and Serious Othello, a play by William Shakespeare, takes place in Venice during the invasion of the island of Cyprus by the Turks. The protagonist of the story, Othello, is a newlywed, Moorish general with a very gullible nature. The antagonist of the story is Iago, an officer under Othello who wishes to be promoted to lieutenant, but the position was given to the young and attractive Cassio. Other major characters in the play are Desdemona, Othello's wife who is accused of having an affair with Cassio....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]

Free Essays
557 words (1.6 pages)

A Comparison of Othello and the Movie O Essay

- A Comparison of Othello and the Movie O When Shakespeare composed the tragedy Othello televisions were not. Along with no televisions, life in the late 1500s had many different qualities than it does today. This time period had no war on drugs and no high school shootings. Peer pressure was not an issue. The audiences of Othello in the 1500s did not face the circumstances that we, American high school students, face today. With these significant differences in daily life, come the attempts of movie creators to help prevent our modern day tragedies....   [tags: Movie Film comparison compare contrast]

Research Papers
1551 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Othello, By William Shakespeare

- Othello, the Shakespearean tragedy which features Othello the moor as the main character, is a Shakespearean play rich for interpretation. Othello follows the story of Othello and his wife Desdemona as their story, unfortunately, ends in tragedy, murder, and suicide. Due to the fact that Othello is black, he is susceptible to the racial stereotypes that Shakspeare has built for him. Othello is originally introduced as an honorable and dignified man but throughout the play, he slowly and then rapidly deteriorates into an almost animal-like state....   [tags: Othello, William Shakespeare, Iago]

Research Papers
1481 words (4.2 pages)

Shakespeare, Popcorn and a Soda Essay

- The goal of this piece of writing is to make a comparative study of the various works of Shakespeare, but not as they are presented in their written form. Rather, I am choosing to explore and compare his works as they have been presented and adapted for contemporary audiences through the medium of film. What is lost in adaptation. What is gained. Do contemporary accoutrements lend themselves to a deeper understanding of the original works; does the "magic" of editing and special effects lend itself to a similar deeper understanding, or does it instead make the work seem too "real?" Rather than seek out various adaptations based upon their critical merits or demerits, I chose to instead...   [tags: European Literature]

Research Papers
2144 words (6.1 pages)

Free College Essays - Use of Imagery in Shakespeare's Othello

- Use of Imagery in Othello   In William Shakespeare's Othello, the use of imagery and metaphors is significant in conveying meaning as it helps to establish the dramatic atmosphere of the play and reinforce the main themes. Through this, the audience is able to grasp a better understanding of the play. Throughout Othello, images relating to poison frequently occur. These references are predominantly made by Iago. This seems appropriate for Iago who exhibits the characteristics of poison; they being fatal and deadly....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]

Free Essays
645 words (1.8 pages)

Contradictory Characterisations of Women in Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- Contradictory Characterisations of Women in Shakespeare's Othello   Othello opens with a discussion between two men concerning the fate of a very beautiful woman named Desdemona. One of the men is distraught, having tried to win her love but miserably failed, and the other agrees that she is quite a prize. A prize is not just a name for Desdemona, as her humanity is lost somewhere along the way and she ceases to be anything but a prize to be won. Both men are angry and want to seek revenge against the man who won her, slandering Desdemona’s name in the process....   [tags: Shakespeare Othello]

Research Papers
2731 words (7.8 pages)

The Beautiful Character of Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- Othello and the Beautiful Character of Desdemona         The good character of Desdemona in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello meets a wretched end because of the sinister treachery of an ancient. In this essay let us analyze the beautiful character of Desdemona.   Valerie Wayne in “Historical Differences: Misogyny and Othello” comments on the proper manner of interpreting Desdemona’s body as referred to by an irate Othello:   Desdemona’s body before her supposed adultery is  here likened to a paper-book, one of the books of blank paper that Renaissance students used for practice in writing, translation and copying....   [tags: Shakespeare, Othello]

Research Papers
2733 words (7.8 pages)

Related Searches

This casts a foul shadow over the relationship, "doomed" from the start.

The underlying causes of Brabantio's wrath were not mistaken - Iago successfully exploits them. Roderigo is fed the feeble reasons such as age and ability to satisfy and provide proof that Desdemona can be his. Othello is fed many of these same reasons by Iago to drive a wedge where, at the time of the marriage, the heavens themselves could not drive. It could be said that the conflict between Desdemona and her father Brabantio is the direct cause of the outcome of the play.
Return to 123HelpMe.com