Essay PreviewMore ↓
Othello and Desdemona
In the play, The Tragedy of Othello, Shakespeare really tests our conception as to what love is, and where it can or can't exist. Judging from the relationship between Desdemona and Othello, the play seems to say that marriage based on an innocent romantic love or profane love is bound to fail. Shakespeare is pessimistic about the existence and survival of a true type of love. There is a common thread of betrayal and deceit among his female characters, especially. Othello and Desdemona, as portrayed in the play, are the two greatest innocents there ever were. The two appear to love one another romantically at first, but this romantic love becomes more of a profane love, or more likely was truly a profane love all along. This comes to pass because there is no foundation for a relationship here. There is no trust, no communication, and no understanding. Othello has spent most of his life in battle, which makes him good at some things-- namely, battle. Othello says "Rude am I in my speech,/ and little bless'd with the soft phrase of peace;/ for since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,/ Till now some nine moons wasted, they have us'd/ Their dearest action in the tented field;/ And little of this great world can I speak/ More than pertains to feats of broils and battle" (1113). Desdemona is little more that a girl, inexperienced in the ways of the world. She is taken in by Othello's war stories. Desdemona takes one look at the hunk of burning love that is Othello, his virility and manliness, and she is swept off her feet. But is this a true love? She speaks so fondly of him, yet hardly knows him. As she defends her newly born love for Othello, Desdemona says (among other things), "My downright violence, and storm of fortunes,/ May trumpet to the world. My heart's subdu'd/ Even to the very quality of my lord./ I saw Othello's visage in his mind,/ And to his honors and his valiant parts/ Did I my soul and fortune consecrate." (1118). I can say from experience that in the "Magic Time", the first part of the relationship, some things are said that maybe affected by Love's blindness. Put these two together, and you have the equivalent of a couple of kids playing doctor. The two big clumsy babies "fumbling towards ecstasy" might have actually made it if they were free from outside forces.
How to Cite this Page
"Shakespeare's Othello - Othello and Desdemona." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Aug 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Desdemona in Othello 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.... [tags: Othello essays]
1775 words (5.1 pages)
- Othello and Desdemona In the play, The Tragedy of Othello, Shakespeare really tests our conception as to what love is, and where it can or can't exist. Judging from the relationship between Desdemona and Othello, the play seems to say that marriage based on an innocent romantic love or profane love is bound to fail. Shakespeare is pessimistic about the existence and survival of a true type of love. There is a common thread of betrayal and deceit among his female characters, especially. Othello and Desdemona, as portrayed in the play, are the two greatest innocents there ever were.... [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]
1464 words (4.2 pages)
- Truth is a very powerful thing that can change anything and also keep the people content with themselves. Truth is what every person wants whenever they are in a difficult situation and the truth is the only thing that can help them solve their problems. However, sometimes the truth can be manipulated to change how the situation is viewed by others. In situation such as this, the real truth is being hidden which may cause problems to whom the truth is needed. Some may be blind to the truth while some may be blinded by the truth, or both of the outcomes may occur.... [tags: Othello, William Shakespeare, Iago, Tragedy]
974 words (2.8 pages)
- Othello: Desdemona the Wonderful The innocent and charming personality of the wife of the general in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello can hardly be rivaled – and yet she died the victim of a horrible murder. Let’s consider her case in this essay. Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar in “The Engaging Qualities of Othello” comment on the virtue within the innocent wife of the Moor, and how pain came into her life: Desdemona is warmhearted, tender, faithful, and much in love with her husband.... [tags: Othello essays]
2434 words (7 pages)
- Othello and Pitied Desdemona William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello sees the destruction of two very beautiful people because of a sinister intervention by a third. The most beautiful of all is the lovely and irreproachable Desdemona. Let us in this essay consider her character. In her book, Everybody’s Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies, Maynard Mack comments on the heroine’s final song: Desdemona, preparing for bed on the night that will be her last, remembers her mother’s maid “called Barbary”: She was in love, and he she loved proved mad And did forsake her.... [tags: Othello essays]
1941 words (5.5 pages)
- Loving Desdemona William Shakespeare, in his tragic drama Othello, creates a most exquisite character in the person of Desdemona. Her many virtues clearly require that she be given detailed consideration by every Christian member of the audience. David Bevington in William Shakespeare: Four Tragedies describes the depth of virtue within this tragic heroine: We believe her [Desdemona] when she says that she does not even know what it means to be unfaithful; the word “whore” is not in her vocabulary.... [tags: Othello essays]
2010 words (5.7 pages)
- Desdemona, the Heroine in Othello In William Shakespeare’s Othello Michael Cassio’s praises of the richly blessed Desdemona, as he awaits her arrival on Cyprus, are well deserved. This essay will amply support this statement. Blanche Coles in Shakespeare’s Four Giants interprets the protagonist’s very meaningful four-word greeting to Desdemona which he utters upon disembarking in Cyprus: Othello’s four words, “O, my soul’s joy,” tell us that this beautiful Venetian girl has brought great joy, felicity, bliss to the very depths of his soul.... [tags: Othello essays]
1884 words (5.4 pages)
- Desdemona the Ideal What wife can compare to the ideal wife which the Bard of Avon has painted for us in his tragedy Othello. She is appreciated by everyone except the villain. Angela Pitt in “Women in Shakespeare’s Tragedies” comments on Desdemona as the ideal wife: Handbooks of the period explain in some detail what is required of the ideal wife, and Desdemona seems to fulfill even the most conservative expectation. She is beautiful and also humble: A maiden never bold Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion Blushed at herself.... [tags: Othello essays]
2127 words (6.1 pages)
- 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]
2733 words (7.8 pages)
- Othello and the Heroine, Desdemona In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello we see a very exceptional woman in the person of Desdemona, wife of the general. She, as Cassio says, is a “paragon” of virtues, unlike the other female characters in the drama. H. S. Wilson in his book of literary criticism, On the Design of Shakespearean Tragedy, discusses Desdemona’s entry into the Moor’s life: But Othello had not known Desdemona long; he had little knowledge of women in any case; his military life had left scant time for cultivating their society or studying them, before he met Desdemona; and there was a bitter modesty in the man, who thought it quite possible that, for... [tags: Othello essays]
1862 words (5.3 pages)
- Free Essays - A Farewell to Arms as Historical Romance
- Destruction of Dreams, Failure of Dreamers in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
- Use of Symbols and Symbolism in The Great Gatsby
- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Nick Carraway as Narrator
- F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby as Criticism of American Society
- Biblical Allusions in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
In this case, that little hobgoblin of a force is Iago, whom I have come to view as symbolic of everything evil. It is said in the book that "Iago" means two-faced, and isn't that the truth. Iago, full of jealousy and spite for the moor sets out to sabotage his love from page one. And did we ever think it could turn out any other way? Of course, as the reader, we know all the behind-the-scenes information that makes anyone who believes and trusts in Iago look like a first rate jackass. But, be honest: can you blame them? Iago seems sincere enough, and he makes a concerted effort to ensure that he remains aces in everyone's book. So when Iago begins to plant the seeds of doubt into Othello's mind, has Othello any cause to doubt him? Yes, dammit! Desdemona is his wife, the woman that he supposedly loves with all his gargantuan heart. Yet, see how quickly he is dissuaded, and how he disparages her. "Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damn'd tonight, for she shall not live. No, me heart is turn'd to stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand…I will chop her into messes. Cuckold me!" (1167). But Othello, with that little peanut rolling around in his big old head, never thinks to disbelieve Iago. Why should he? Iago is an honest man. Iago is wise. Iago is only trying to help. So our hero, in all his studly stupidity, doesn't even stop to think that maybe he should talk this over with the little wife before he launches himself into a tizzy. If he truly loved her, would he think this way? Othello is not hurt because of a failing love, but because of how it affects him. How it makes him look. How it hurts his pride. He is a vain and jealous man. This is when things get ugly. Othello puts more trust in Iago than in his own wife. This is due, in part, to Iago's manipulatory skills, but mostly to Othello's lack of experience in dealing with women, or people in general for that matter (at least living ones, anyway). It is also due to the fact that he and his wife do not even truly know one another outside of their profane love. Desdemona, the dolt she is, lets the condition escalate, and her self-blaming attitude only perpetuates Othello's misgiven notion that she has been false. After Othello strikes her in front of the whole dinner party, and orders her around like some sort of dog, the best Desdemona can do for herself in the way of defense is this: "Alas the heavy day! Why do you weep?/ Am I the motive of these tears, my lord?…I hope my noble lord esteems me honest…Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?" (1172)
Othello's mounting injury and fury isn't due to the idea that the romance has slipped out of his marriage. It is, in truth, due to Othello's huge and cumbersome ego and pride. God knows how he even gets his big head through a door. All Othello wants is vengeance, and he even says as much himself: "O that the slave had forty thousand lives!/ One is too poor, too weak for my revenge./ Now do I see 'tis true. Look here, I ago/ All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven/ 'Tis gone./ Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell!/ Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne/ To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught, For 'tis of aspics tongues!"(1156) The ultimate death of Desdemona is totally baseless, other than to think that Othello MIGHT have saved some face, IF Desdemona had been untrue to him. The really sad part is that if the two had just talked, none of this would ever have happened. And that poor naïve woman, accused so harshly by a man she is nothing but obedient to. Even in her last moments, Desdemona can only insist how truly she loves him. Her sins: "They are the loves I bear to you". She adds, "And have you mercy too! I never did/ offend you in my life; never lov'd Cassio/But with such general warranty of heaven/ As I might love. I never gave him token". And with her dying breath states "O, falsely, falsely murdered…a guiltless death I die"(1185) and exonerates Othello of any blame. I suppose that's what makes it a tragedy. It may have been that the pair really did believe they loved one another, but not with a love that would stand the test of time. Perhaps in the embrace of death, they found solace with one another.
I believe that the only love between a couple (in marriage or not) that will last encompasses the properties of all four types. There must be Agape, the brotherly love, to ensure that the two will be truthful and comfortable with one another. Your partner should be your best friend (it's a cliché, but I believe it o.k.?). There must be Sacred love, because there should be just a bit of worship for your mate. If you find them holy, you would never dishonor them. There needs to be, of course, Romantic love. I always want to feel just a little twinge of excitement when I think of my companion, and a hint of that goofy smile on my face. And last, but certainly not least, Profane love must be present -everybody needs a little loving now and then.
The point is not to have more of one than another, or that one lasts or another does not. The point is that they must all be present and equal. There has to be a balance. There has to be trust. There has to be communication. Othello and Desdemona didn't have a snowball's chance in hell. And, unfortunately, neither do the majority of people who start on a road together before fully realizing that, one day, they might find that their paths diverge.