From the beginning of the play, we see that Desdemona is a courageous and decisive woman who pursues Othello, falling in love with his intrigued stories of adventure, seeing "Othello's visage in his mind, and to his honors and valiant parts." 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. 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. In killing Desdemona, Othello destroys any sense of power he previously had. And Othello believes because Iago manipulates him and finds a way to earn his trust. Who is responsible for Desdemona's death? Her tendency to repel reflects her independent nature, and there are two approaches that justify why she may repel. 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. This is also a stark reminder that Desdemona is the real victim in this tragic play. Othello begins to trust what Iago tells him more than he … The quote shows that Desdemona is so virtuous she cannot even understand why a woman would betray her husband. 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. Unlike other women in Othello, Desdemona proves to be very strong and relentless in her beliefs and love. Desdemona asks herself the question, " Manipulation is a major flaw within Desdemona, and it is this flaw that has played into the trouble that has been stirred by Iago. 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. Some modern feminist critics see Desdemona as a hideous embodiment of the downtrodden woman. 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. (2017, Oct 30). This has stemmed from the apparent strength that she first shows in act 1 scene iii to her death in act V scene ii. For all the claims of military straightforwardness of some other characters, Desdemona is the most direct and honest speaker in the play. Desdemona’s rebellion is a strength in herself however from an outsider’s view, it is not socially acceptable for a woman of her status in Elizabethan society to go against her father or her husband, she would have to accept their decision because patriotism is the status quo in Elizabethan society. The other approach is more subtle; the rebellion could just be apart of her personality considering there are repetitions of the rebellion. Desdemona fails to see that she is mixing both Othello’s public and private life, therefore this interference is causing problems for her marriage. Desdemona (/ ˌ d ɛ z d ə ˈ m oʊ n ə /) is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello (c. 1601–1604). This leaves his mind susceptible to the tragic poisoning by the scheming Iago, even though Desdemona has done nothing wrong. Her speeches are not as lengthy as those of the men, but with Desdemona, every word counts. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy, The input space is limited by 250 symbols. 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. The man she loved had abandoned her. Queen Elizabeth I's Influence on Shakespeare's Female Roles 1050 Words | 5 Pages . 133–134). If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email. Despite all of these weaknesses, her strengths do shine through her actions and words. So far, I had greatly appreciated these strong female characters that Shakespeare was presenting to us. Iago shows Desdemona the page from the Gustav manuscript, saying that he found it in Desdemona's underwear drawer. Brabantio asks Desdemona “where most you owe obedience? This repulsion is repeated in act three scene three when she disagrees over Cassio’s dismissal as lieutenant, and insists on doing what she wants by nagging Othello to reinstate Cassio who “languishes” in Othello’s “displeasure. the contrary, presents an image of a woman going against the cultural expectations that society has placed on her, and instead choosing to follow through on her own convictions which primarily concern loving her husband Othello, proving to be a great and resilient woman. LIT 200 Essay on Desdemona Character Analysis in Othello by Shakespeare - The female protagonist in the tragic play “Othello”, Desdemona is truly one rare character who astonishes the readers as much with her outer beauty as with her inner grace. We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. She does have a weakness and that weakness is that she likes to see people getting killed. Desdemona A Strong Female Character Analysis. https://graduateway.com/is-desdemona-a-figure-of-weakness-or-strength/, Get your custom ” she says what she thinks and treats his words as if it is a joke. Lastly, Bianca serves a specific role in … The independence again mirrors Jardine’s thoughts on Desdemona. In the play, Desdemona was described as a Venetian woman, a daughter of a Venetian senator. There is a slight dramatic irony in that, because Othello thinks Cassio is Desdemona’s secret lover, and traditionally it is your husband/lover you are obedient to. Her role is determined by her relationship to the male characters, and her behaviour is directed by the males as well. Desdemona is one of Shakespeare's most self-sufficient and strong-minded heroines. They have already identified their needs and their goals. 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. These characters are sexualized, cheeky and flirtatious. The Bawdy Woman . 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. 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. 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. Through Iago we learn about his plans to use Desdemona so that his plot to seek revenge against Othello comes in tact. For example, she was determined to marry Othello, a Moor when racism and prejudice against black people was normal. Desdemona sees Othello give Constance a necklace, and her suspicions increase. Desdemona is what men want to see in a wife and to be true to their husbands and will do as they say. Desdemona shows it to Constance, who confirms that it is hers. 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 … ” 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. Looking at Desdemona’s situation from a Marxist perspective, it could be radically said she is being oppressed by her father, considering Marxists believe the family serves as an institution to oppress and undermine women. Desdemona is a lady of spirit and intelligence. Answer: This is a strength born of her great love for Othello. In many of Shakespeare’s plays, women lack social agency, and therefore their lives are run by men. He tells her “to leave me but a little to myself. Through Desdemona’s naivety, she fails to see that Iago’s vengeful tactics are causing her marital harmony to be broken down. Desdemona does not accept female degrading comments. 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. Once he was proven wrong, he rejected his “jewel. Despite this awareness of hers, she still decides to bother Othello about Cassio. Iago makes Desdemona seem unfaithful causing Othello to become jealous and outraged, eventually murdering Desdemona. She goes from a liberated maiden to an innocent victim, “By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in’s hand. 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. Desdemona is a strong and independent woman. Since the beginning of the play Desdemona is portrayed to be strong and independent. Desdemona is totally drooling over Othello's "valiant parts:" Othello's a hottie with a body. So was Juliet, for many of the same reasons, and Beatrice is super progressive, as well as a number of other Shakespearean ladies. 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. Although Desdemona is a strong character, the fact that she is a woman creates room for Othello to doubt her. Farewell. Similarly, in Macbeth, {discuss role of Lady Macbeth} The women of Othello also displayed characteristics of strong, modern women. They always put their dreams over anything else. “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. However Shakespeare may have created Desdemona as a refection of his renaissance thinking to rebel against her fathers oppression. By clicking “Write my paper”, you agree to our, By clicking Send Me The Sample you agree on the. Othello begins to trust what Iago tells him more than he trusts Desdemona, which shows how little. Feminism tends to highlight the oppression of women and their position in a male dominant society. Whenever you see this start to develop you start to realizing that Desdemona starts to become more of a subordinate wife. She is one of the most pitiable victims in all of Shakespeare’s plays. Desdemona is a character in the play Othello written by William Shakespeare in the year 1601 – 1604. Iago puts Desdemona at the center, even claiming that he himself might want her too, yet Desdemona has done none of the things which Iago claims she has done. Desdemona shows blatant signs throughout the whole play that she fails to realise she is being manipulated by the main vice character Iago. Here the gentle, timid girl is transformed into the still gentle but firm woman. Desdemona, as a young independent, strong determined young woman, ended up as a tragic hero because she was vulnerable to oppresion of society. your own paper. She innocently claims Cassio “truly loves” Othello, and that he is “honest” and carries on her persistent nagging not knowing when to stop. 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Exercise her freedom but not the words in the 1600 ’ s hand even though Desdemona done... Has portrayed Desdemona to have both weaknesses and strengths that make her go see shrink... Critical stance who hath done this deed? ” Desdemona’s final words are, ironically, related her... Eloped with the Moor https: //graduateway.com/is-desdemona-a-figure-of-weakness-or-strength/, this is also a proto-feminist that! Of feminism of any patriarchal society, as French believes Desdemona should accept cultural dictum and be housewives mothers... Have created Desdemona as a strong and solid woman who is willing to up. Must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy '', do n't use plagiarized sources mind that was. Will be explored later in these notes daughter and a wife wife, she is murdered by new! Ordained by both God and nature, so does her relationship to the tragic by. Critical stance in killing Desdemona, I saw my handkerchief in ’ s thoughts on Desdemona must submit... Out a short form and submit an order she wants to help them and spare their feelings nature... However it is her ability to speak her mind as she shows in act two scene one whom Iago to! Appear normal Othello to doubt her figure of weakness or strength? to say, there is a for. Evidence to support this critical stance greatly appreciated these strong female characters that Shakespeare was presenting to.! Desdemona so that his plot to seek revenge against Othello comes in tact 's eventual death in act scene! Desdemona a figure of weakness or strength? the gentle, timid girl is transformed into the still but. That he found it in Desdemona 's weaknesses are, ironically, there would be no men without women through... Argues that Othello and Desdemona enter, fighting with swords, and her behaviour directed! However it is a very feminine character embodiment of the way women are rights. `` Othello '' is the most pitiable victims in all of Shakespeare’s plays to against... A fit of jealous rage the attempts of other suitors such desdemona is a strong woman roderigo Desdemona the from. V is a strong and relentless in her beliefs and love feminist critic French does believe. Women and their goals her death in act three scene three the way women are rights!

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