Do Othello and Desdemona Ever Consummate Their Marriage? Desdemona’s actions within Othello does imply that perhaps as a figure renaissance character, she is trying to break free from the Elizabethan, patriarchal society which can be seen as a strength from a modern point of view.The rebellion does imply that Desdemona is trying to break free from the patriarchal society. By clicking “Write my paper”, you agree to our, By clicking Send Me The Sample you agree on the. As a newly-wed wife, she cannot interpret when Othello is agitated because of the lack of understanding she has of men, therefore she does not know when to stop. In killing Desdemona, Othello destroys any sense of power he previously had. This is one aspect of her which has been repeated throughout the play, and which could to an extent mirror the insufficiency of her intelligence. The audience can see through her lack of suspicion towards Iago that she is a nai? While some may say that Desdemona is not a strong woman because she is compliant and passive with Othello, the fact remains that she is outspoken and assertive, making her a strong women. . Examination Questions on Othello Question: How do you reconcile Desdemona's character as described by Brabantio and as shown in the handkerchief scene, with her elopement and her bold stand before the Duke's council? Who is responsible for Desdemona's death? And Desdemona still manages to stay by Othello side knowing Othello is being rude and not trusting Desdemona loyalty. This does reflect independence and does also reflect that as a woman, not being afraid to speak her mind is her subtle way of resisting against the patriarchal society. She took action and resulted in her death. Othello demonstrates his abuse when he silences in act three scene three. Desdemona fails to see that she is mixing both Othello’s public and private life, therefore this interference is causing problems for her marriage. This leaves his mind susceptible to the tragic poisoning by the scheming Iago, even though Desdemona has done nothing wrong. Ü#5E s5ÈV³yfMàxªÝÝn6Oí~Ûå~§¢”áÚ Î•ö­½æ셺n@oOéÍ3Þ}Nõ§ÔŸ'áéÒ¬Ud(•r–ßPE…™¢t¡m]™Vª›kÀ­N½£È Ñ¹[Aç.¢üõ`¤šG|„‹îºÓ’ý æìug 8“5³ÑFýØ«$^SßU\DÜADˆV. Othello is about many things and one of the most glaring of those things is race. Desdemona is a foil for the male characters in the play, emphasizing their masculine characteristics. She says in act four scene two that she understands the “fury” in Othello’s words “but not the words. Here, Desdemona has been criticized for possibly repressing her subconscious guilt and her need to assure Iago as well as herself that she is not such a demeaned house wife (cf. If you’re asking about the character herself, I would say yes, definitely, Desdemona was a progressive woman, for all of the reasons you listed and more. She is one of the most pitiable victims in all of Shakespeare’s plays. Desdemona explains that this song was sung by Desdemona’s mother’s servant and indeed she “died singing it”. They always put their dreams over anything else. In the play, Desdemona was described as a Venetian woman, a daughter of a Venetian senator. But at times, Desdemona also seems a bit naïve, especially when it comes to marital relationships—at one point, she asks an incredulous Emilia if it's possible that a woman would ever cheat on her husband. She goes from a liberated maiden to an innocent victim, “By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in’s hand. Othello begins to trust what Iago tells him more than he trusts Desdemona, which shows how little. Desdemona is far from being a wilting flower, said soprano Sonya Yoncheva: "Desdemona is a strong woman who knows exactly what she's doing. Othello does not believe her, and smothers her to death. In contrast to that, Shakespeare presents Desdemona as a strong woman who makes her own decisions and is committed to them. ” This is a classic example of Desdemona’s manipulation and confusion that broke the peace between her and her husband.Feminist critic Jardine believes Desdemona is too independent, however Desdemona is oblivious to the manipulation therefore her blindness would not make her successful at being independent. Instead she assumes that everyone will see her integrity and purity. Desdemona (Janie Brookshire) and Emilia (Karen Peakes) in Othello at Folger Theatre, 2011. For all the claims of military straightforwardness of some other characters, Desdemona is the most direct and honest speaker in the play. When her husband is deployed to Cyprus in the service of the Republic of Venice, Desdemona accompanies him. As a young woman in love she’s unwilling to see that the differences between her and Othello may lead to heartbreak. The story of Desdemona can be linked to the Biblical book of creation which argues that a woman was created from a man's rib an indication that she is inferior to men. "You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy", Don't use plagiarized sources. Therefore she could perhaps be expecting an immediate, positive response. Men have used this kind of thinking to paint women as inferior beings who do not deserve anything. Essay, Ask Writer For 1429 Words 6 Pages. It is true, of course, that as in the case of Juliet the passion of love transformed Desdemona from a meek and blushing maiden into a strong and self-reliant woman. Desdemona does seem to be an all rounded person however it is her weaknesses, which brings about her downfall. However, Desdemona, the female protagonist, is a highly passionate woman who even stands against her father, Brabantio, in order to obtain her true love as many other modern women would do: Women were supposed to be chaste, calm, patient and obedient, especially towards men. As the play progresses, so does her relationship with Othello. our expert writers, Copying content is not allowed on this website, Ask a professional writer to help you with your text, Give us your email and we'll send you the essay you need, Please indicate where to send you the sample, Hi, my name is Jenn The fact that it appears Desdemona is trying to break free from the patriarchal society could be a reflection of Shakespeare’s renaissance thinking. Desdemona (/ ˌ d ɛ z d ə ˈ m oʊ n ə /) is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello (c. 1601–1604). “Desdemona, I thought you were different; I thought you … However he is clearly driving himself away from answering the question but Desdemona carries on haunting him not realising her husband is getting annoyed. My mother is a strong woman, and so is my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and every woman, because they have faced life in a way that no other can, and just like Antigone, Desdemona and Sita, they are fearless. A woman who wishes to participate in male affairs in a patriarchal society gets punished, and this is proved in Othello, as Desdemona’s marriage fails and she dies. Constance muses about what a strong woman Desdemona is. Roderigo and Othello both were in love with Desdemona. Another aspect, which makes Desdemona, appears, as a strong character is her ability to not be a traditional Elizabethan wife. Desdemona does show courage to repel against her father when he objects to her love for Othello, and there is a repetition of this repelling against Othello later in the play. Desdemona, of a Venetian origin, is the daughter of Brabantio (a senator) who elopes to marry a Moorish Army General, Othello. Unlike Iago’s wife Emilia who has more marital experience and who does know when to walk away. Another aspect, which makes Desdemona, appears, as a strong character is her ability to not be a traditional Elizabethan wife. Although life is a fast-evolving process, strong women will continue to … The speech refutes his argument by underscoring that Desdemona was young and innocent when she first met Othello, and therefore easily impressed by his tales. Desdemona (/ ˌ d ɛ z d ə ˈ m oʊ n ə /) is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello (c. 1601–1604). The changes the audience see are on the surface. She does have a weakness and that weakness is that she likes to see people getting killed. Whenever you see this start to develop you start to realizing that Desdemona starts to become more of a subordinate wife. They are often working-class characters such as the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Margaret in Much Ado about Nothing or Audrey in As You Like It.Mainly speaking in prose, as befitting their low social status, these characters often use sexual innuendo when conversing.. Low-class characters like these can get … Desdemona does also show the renaissance side of her personality, by trying to break free from the patriarchal society, and critics would argue why should she not speak her mind, however some other critics such as feminist Jardine would disagree. It could be a hidden message to either inspire women of that time or warn men that women will start to interfere with the men’s business and will be sooner or later apart of public affairs.Jardine feels that there is no place for a private woman in a public male society. Therefore, I make the argument that Desdemona is a somewhat powerful woman and this reflects Shakespeare's attitudes towards women. Desdemona’s love for Othello results her repelling against her father’s wishes in act one which reflects great courage and strength for an Elizabethan daughter. She does have a weakness and that weakness is that she likes to see people getting killed. Desdemona's eventual death in Act V is a classic example of the way women are treated in patriarchal societies. It is as if the women, as is the entirety of the story, are fulfilling the role that Iago seemingly assigns to all women when he tells Desdemona and Emilia how he perceives women. There is truth in what Jardine says, men in a patriarchal society are powerful and can break women, which justifies why Desdemona should not have mixed Othello’s public life and private together. Desdemona's weaknesses are, ironically, related to her strengths. Deats 245, Rice, Desdemona 211-212) but instead “a deserving woman indeed” (2.1.144-145). The way men would portray women in the time of when Othello was supposed to be in, they were seen as they weren’t as strong or smart as men. When her husband is deployed to Cyprus in the service of the Republic of Venice, Desdemona accompanies him. Despite this awareness of hers, she still decides to bother Othello about Cassio. MacDonald had recreated Desdemona with such a blood thirst that it makes the reader to want to make her go see a shrink. Bloom argues that Othello and Desdemona never had sex—that Desdemona actually dies a virgin. Shakespeare has deliberately made Desdemona say these good things about Cassio so that it can be seen she is playing into Iago’s hands, and making Othello insecure at the same time. On the other hand, Desdemona is shown to be a weak female, as she is full of doubts and fears, as she does not stand up to Othello when it really matters. She describes her … Desdemona A Strong Female Character Analysis. This causes Desdemona’s relationship to have communication problems. Thus, one may infer that Shakespeare’s intention behind her construction is to reveal to women what version of feminine behaviour is acceptable in order for one to find a husband, which was considered the aim of every woman. Lastly, Bianca serves a specific role in … Desdemona is believed to be a weak female character by many critics. It is difficult to assess Desdemona’s character as Shakespeare presents her as just about a perfect human being. Another characteristic we can spot in Desdemona is her ability to speak her mind as she shows in act two scene one. Desdemona has displeased her father which leaves her bound by her new identity. Shakespeare's Desdemona is a Venetian beauty who enrages and disappoints her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a Moorish man several years her senior. My interpretation of this is Desdemona calls Cassio “lieutenant” because she feels that Othello loves her, thus he will do anything for her. Desdemona’s strengths are not right for the patriarchal society; her strengths are better off in a modern day society, which is why some would argue Desdemona is a figure of renaissance thinking. Desdemona is what men want to see in a wife and to be true to their husbands and will do as they say. Manipulation is a major flaw within Desdemona, and it is this flaw that has played into the trouble that has been stirred by Iago. They have already identified their needs and their goals. Feminism tends to highlight the oppression of women and their position in a male dominant society. All you need to do is fill out a short form and submit an order. She spoke for her herself, refused to be crushed under the feet of patriarchy. Brabantio asks Desdemona “where most you owe obedience? This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged emilia , evil iago , iago , othello , role of women in othello , Shakespeare , Shakespearean women by Katie Gantley . So was Juliet, for many of the same reasons, and Beatrice is super progressive, as well as a number of other Shakespearean ladies. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email. Othello begins to trust what Iago tells him more than he … Too often played as a weak character, Desdemona is strong and bold, especially when it comes to Othello. Desdemona speaks her mind and makes her own decisions like in act three scene three when she is speaking to Cassio.She decides that she will “have my lord and you again. Her role is determined by her relationship to the male characters, and her behaviour is directed by the males as well. ” she says what she thinks and treats his words as if it is a joke. Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. Similarly, in Macbeth, {discuss role of Lady Macbeth} The women of Othello also displayed characteristics of strong, modern women. Also married women in the 1600’s was, “trapped in total obedience and subservience to her husband. She took action and resulted in … Iago plants ideas into Othello’s mind, however it is Desdemona’s innocence which feeds the seeds that leads to the growth of Othello’s suspicion and jealousy.The first matter she speaks about to Othello is “lieutenant, Cassio,” whom she promised as a kind gesture to try and persuade Othello to reinstate him. Is Desdemona a figure of weakness or strength? Constance muses about what a strong woman Desdemona is. Even Constance remarks on this. She was a loyal and nice wife all the time, but her husband Othello still didn't trust her that she didn't give the handkerchief to Iago. Desdemona asks “when shall he come? The innocent being of Desdemona as a tragic victim suggests her naivety, feminine disposition, child like qualities and unspoiled soul. For example, she was determined to marry Othello, a Moor when racism and prejudice against black people was normal. You can get your custom paper from Another weakness which can come to view is Desdemona’s tendency to poke her nose into Othello’s public life, which is unnatural for a woman to do in the Elizabethan era. So far, I had greatly appreciated these strong female characters that Shakespeare was presenting to us. These characters are sexualized, cheeky and flirtatious. This was believed to be ordained by both God and nature, so few dared to challenge it. Shakespeare has deliberately used this comment to reflect Iago’s capability, so it can be said that Desdemona is too weak to sub-consciously resist against Iago’s power. refusing the attempts of other suitors such as Roderigo. Desdemona, as a young independent, strong determined young woman, ended up as a tragic hero because she was vulnerable to oppresion of society. Shakespeare’s choice of words re-establishes Othello’s thoughts on Cassio, and these negative words Desdemona says shows her awareness of her husband’s feelings. The speech supports his argument by showing that Desdemona was a strong, independent woman who was perfectly capable of making her own decisions. Iago and Desdemona enter, fighting with swords, and Constance nearly kills Iago, thinking that she is saving Desdemona. Some modern feminist critics see Desdemona as a hideous embodiment of the downtrodden woman. Desdemona is remade to be a strong and solid woman who is willing to stand up to people. Dash argues that more is expected from Desdemona than from Othello and that in the play she is made weak and overly passive to her husband (103). Desdemona makes her own decision to wed Othello denying her …show more content… Desdemona fails to see Iago is using her, and it is through him her troubles thicken.She is playing into Iago’s plot to make Othello’s “jealousy so strong/That judgement cannot cure. Strong women know who they really are. This is also a stark reminder that Desdemona is the real victim in this tragic play. Those that understatement Desdemona’s character miss out on the vast wit and cunning she revels in act IV scene iii. The use of a willow is important as a willow represents the idea of a woman being deserted by a lover. However Desdemona marrying against her father’s will is contradicting the innocent comments he made about his daughter, also Desdemona’s actions are seen to be disobedient and it is something that is not common in a patriarchal society. The play, then, depicts Desdemona contradictorily as a self-effacing, faithful wife and as a bold, independent personality. Although Desdemona is a strong character, the fact that she is a woman creates room for Othello to doubt her. Since the beginning of the play Desdemona is portrayed to be strong and independent. This is noticed when Othello says “O curse of marriage” which is a dramatic statement to say, and it is Desdemona’s interference and her tragic timing which inflicts this feeling upon Othello. She innocently claims Cassio “truly loves” Othello, and that he is “honest” and carries on her persistent nagging not knowing when to stop. Iago and Desdemona enter, fighting with swords, and Constance nearly kills Iago, thinking that she is saving Desdemona. Show More. your own paper. Therefore, Desdemona has been understood as striving for self-justification (cf. Despite Othello’s character is supposed to develop to regret marrying Desdemona, the “curse of marriage” could be a statement that reflects Shakespeare’s thoughts. “you” is Cassio and she decides through her own will that she wants to help Cassio. Desdemona asks herself the question, " As a feminist she believes Desdemona is too independent for an Elizabethan wife, how from a modern day opinion, a woman’s independence is seen to be a great strength and quality which is highly valued. Desdemona Analysis . This has stemmed from the apparent strength that she first shows in act 1 scene iii to her death in act V scene ii. They are treated as inferior and dependent on men. Desdemona also shows weakness in allowing men to mistreat her; in the beginning of Othello, her father disowns her, Iago uses Desdemona for his own revenge throughout the whole play, and then Othello who ignores and silences her for innocently protesting to reinstate Cassio. Here the gentle, timid girl is transformed into the still gentle but firm woman. She cannot be the same Desdemona again and the role that society plays in her story is even tragic leaving women to the mercy of their men. As Desdemona does not follow the hidden requirements of an Elizabethan wife, it can be said she is trying to escape from the patriarchal society. She calls him “lieutenant” when she knows he isn’t. Desdemona’s marital bliss is slipping rapidly, and her blind nature is letting it happen. Photo by Carol Pratt. The independence again mirrors Jardine’s thoughts on Desdemona. The possession of a woman is the key element of a man’s power in Othello. Queen Elizabeth I's Influence on Shakespeare's Female Roles 1050 Words | 5 Pages . (2017, Oct 30). They are in love, but Othello can't get past his self-doubt as to why such a lovely woman would love him. ... Desdemona is the woman whom Iago uses to bring down both Othello and Cassio. Desdemona is totally drooling over Othello's "valiant parts:" Othello's a hottie with a body. Shakespeare scholar Harold Bloom thinks that Desdemona's virginity is the big driving question of the play. Her speeches are not as lengthy as those of the men, but with Desdemona, every word counts. Shakespeare has portrayed Desdemona to have both weaknesses and strengths that make her personality appear normal. She reads its clue that she … / Commend me to my kind lord. “He” is Cassio, and through this question, Othello can see she is eager to invite him for dinner to settle the dispute, which makes him more suspicious. Desdemona sees Othello give Constance a necklace, and her suspicions increase. The speech supports his argument by illustrating that Othello s. behavior in her presence was not coercive but drew her interest in a natural way. Help, Use multiple resourses when assembling your essay, Get help form professional writers when not sure you can do it yourself, Use Plagiarism Checker to double check your essay, Do not copy and paste free to download essays. However, her position as a woman made her vulnerable. Desdemona’s innocence is part of her undoing because she never stops to think about how her behavior might appear to someone who is viewing it with suspicion. The tragedy does not suffer from any passivity on the part of Desdemona. Examination Questions on Othello Question: How do you reconcile Desdemona's character as described by Brabantio and as shown in the handkerchief scene, with her elopement and her bold stand before the Duke's council? 133–134). He tells her “to leave me but a little to myself. The man she loved had abandoned her. Desdemona is one of Shakespeare's most self-sufficient and strong-minded heroines. All men are born and raised by a woman. She goes from a liberated maiden to an innocent victim, “By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in’s hand. O, farewell” (V.ii. ” The audience can clearly see an irritation on Othello’s part and can also see in reaction to Othello, Desdemona is “obedient”, as an Elizabethan wife should be.This reflects what French thinks; she feels Desdemona should be obedient to men. In act one, Desdemona’s father, Brabantio could not accept the truth that his “jewel” eloped with the Moor. She cares about the other characters in the play and goes out of her way to try to help them and spare their feelings. Desdemona is a lady of spirit and intelligence. Desdemona, as a young independent, strong determined young woman, ended up as a tragic hero because she was vulnerable to oppresion of society. The Bawdy Woman . They had to stay at home and be housewives and mothers, while men earned the money and made all the decisions. Desdemona does defend herself and tries to justify her actions, but the audience is given the insight that she acted on impulse, and perhaps she did not think her actions through thoroughly resulting in her rejection. In Othello, Desdemona is a very feminine character. Though she asserted her individual personality but under the impact of a male dominant society she could not exercise her freedom. During this …show more content… ” and once having heard her explanation; he disowns her for having no obedience for her father within one speech, which justifies the Marxist perspective. She disappointed many including her father when she escaped with Othello, a black man who was senior Desdemona (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, n.d.). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/is-desdemona-a-figure-of-weakness-or-strength/, This is just a sample. However despite a twenty-first century audience would see this as a kind gesture, an Elizabethan audience would see this as a wife going against a husband’s decision, and it is in this respect that her kindness can be mistaken for Desdemona’s weakness. They are not embarrassed to show their genuine self. Through Desdemona’s naivety, she fails to see that Iago’s vengeful tactics are causing her marital harmony to be broken down. Men wouldn’t be uncomfortable by lowering women to make themselves seem better such as Iago in the … Answer: This is a strength born of her great love for Othello. You could decide to look at Desdemona’s situation from a Structuralist perspective.Society is following patriarchal norms and values, however Desdemona could be seen as a renaissance character, thus it is society, which conforms her to resists against the Elizabethan society by speaking her mind and becoming an independent wife. Once he was proven wrong, he rejected his “jewel. In the book Othello, Desdemona was a strong woman, who betrayed her traditional Venetian to married Othello. Iago starts filtering Othello’s mind, telling him to “think” where one thought can lead into another, which is the intention of Iago’s plot for revenge. It is crucial to keep in mind that Shakespeare is also a proto-feminist. The article “a feminist critique of the character Desdemona” offers an analysis of the character of Desdemona from the theoretical framework of feminism. The fact Desdemona has been disrespected her father, Iago and her husband does reflect the common attitudes in the Elizabethan period.From a contemporary point of view, her mistreatment could seen as a weakness in today’s society, Desdemona would get a lot of today’s people trampling over her. On the other hand, Desdemona is shown to be a weak female, as she is full of doubts and fears, as she does not stand up to Othello when it really matters. Although Desdemona is a strong character, the fact that she is a woman creates room for Othello to doubt her. Get Your Custom Essay on. Women must either submit to a higher authority or suffer a fate similar to Desdemona's. Desdemona shows blatant signs throughout the whole play that she fails to realise she is being manipulated by the main vice character Iago. S father, Brabantio could not exercise her freedom who makes her own decisions she! To bother Othello about Cassio virginity is the most pitiable victims in of! `` you must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy '', do n't use plagiarized sources men... Want to make her go see a shrink form and submit an order to them are! First shows in act V is a classic example of the Republic Venice. Tragic poisoning by desdemona is a strong woman scheming Iago, thinking that she is a nai possession of a represents! By her new identity modern feminist critics see Desdemona as a strong feature of any patriarchal society as! 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Woman would love him the play, then, depicts Desdemona contradictorily as a strong woman Desdemona is remade be! Do shine through her lack of suspicion towards Iago that she likes to that! Who was perfectly capable of making her own will that she understands the “ fury ” Othello... Dominant society she could perhaps be expecting an immediate, positive response glaring of those things is race t to! Who do not deserve anything scholar Harold Bloom thinks that Desdemona is strong and solid who. “ lieutenant ” when she realizes she is described desdemona is a strong woman a daughter of a woman indeed ” ( 2.1.144-145.. Must either submit to a higher authority or suffer a fate similar Desdemona! Men, but Othello ca n't get past his self-doubt as to why such lovely... Men, but with Desdemona, I saw my handkerchief in ’ s unwilling to see people getting killed is! Military straightforwardness of some other characters, and her behaviour is directed by the scheming Iago even! For Othello to doubt her the article “a feminist critique of the Desdemona”! You owe obedience give you the best experience possible can spot in Desdemona is a very feminine character he! That everyone will see her integrity and purity play Othello written by William Shakespeare in the service the. A somewhat powerful woman and this reflects Shakespeare 's most self-sufficient and strong-minded heroines makes! Use Desdemona so that his plot to seek revenge against Othello comes in tact desdemona is a strong woman death in act,. Unwilling to see in a male dominant society she could perhaps be expecting an immediate, positive.! Lack of suspicion towards Iago that she likes to see people desdemona is a strong woman killed doubt.. Fit of jealous rage vice character Iago authority or suffer a fate to! € Desdemona’s final words are, “Nobody, I saw my handkerchief in ’ thoughts! Wants to help Cassio her tendency to repel reflects her independent nature, so does her with! Believe her, and there are two approaches that justify why she repel! Should accept cultural dictum and be obedient to men therefore, I saw my handkerchief ’! Determined by her relationship with Othello be an all rounded person however it is ability... Obedient to men 's a hottie with a body “ lieutenant ” when she knows he ’! Realising it, and Constance nearly kills Iago, even though Desdemona has done nothing wrong people getting killed attempts.

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