Desdemona in William Shakespeares Othello, the Moor of Venice Essay

826 WordsMar 26, 20094 Pages
William Shakespeare’s play, Othello, the Moor of Venice, is a tragic drama about the debacle of a renowned general whom the play is named after. The drama revolves around Othello’s decay from loving and trusting his wife to planning out her very death. His wife, Desdemona, is a vital character in the story, torn between her independence and her loyalty towards her husband. In the forefront of the play, Desdemona is portrayed as a strong and independent woman, but later, her personal statements as well as her reactions toward certain events reveal a person who values loyalty and knows her place in society as a husband’s wife. Desdemona’s independence is evident even in the first act of the play. Her father, Brabantio, believed that Othello had “enchanted” her and “practiced on her with foul charm” (1271). On the other hand, though she feels “bound to [Brabantio] for life and education,” she prefers her husband over her father, just as her mother did over hers (1277). By forming a relationship with Othello under the table without Brabantio’s knowledge, she culminated the rest of her life independently without regard of his disapproval. Her independent strength is further exemplified in the first scene of Act 2, when Othello addresses her as his “fair warrior” (1288), showing that he, a soldier, sees his wife as an equal rather than a lesser human being. This gains significance because of the time period of the play, which set women as either goddesses of worship or menial daughters and wives. Othello’s greeting welcomes her on a leveled playing field, neither placing her on a high pedestal nor treating her like the scum of the earth. Although she finds strength in independence, Desdemona also shows that she extremely values loyalty, even when it seems Othello has lost all faith in her. In Act 1, Scene 3, the Duke of Venice announces that he will send Othello to

More about Desdemona in William Shakespeares Othello, the Moor of Venice Essay

Open Document