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Othello's Relationship with Desdemona - A Literary Essay Example

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1980 words
Middlebury College
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Literature review
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Othello is Shakespeare's work which revolves around an innocent romantic affair. However, it begins with series of arguments between Roderigo and Lago. Shakespeare's work in Othello has brought in many themes being, love, jealousy, revenge, racial injustices, and betrayal. The romance between Othello and Desdemona begins with good moments but later faces a significant destruction. Nevertheless, in the long run, their affection still stands up to the end of the play.

Similarly, the play portrays a significant theme of domestic violence. It comes about when Othello went to the extent of despising her wife in publicly ending up slapping her even in the presence of Lodovico.

As the play starts, Othello is described as a man who was romantic and committed himself towards his affair with Desdemona. Later on, his he changed his position and became a man who was capable of killing. To some extent, He was considered to be having a mental disability. William Shakespeare's work in Othello had a theme of moral controversy where he gave the entity to the racial differences. Also William Shakespeare is giving many identities to Desdemona as to being young and beautiful. She seemed to be her father's favorite. She denies herself the opportunities of marrying other men who were a bit of higher standards. It came about from the fact that she was genuinely in love with Othello who was much older than her.

At the first instances, Othello seems to be more in love with Desdemona which later changes. However, the big reality was that Desdemona was deep in love with Othello. For instance, when he was posted for a military task in Cyprus, she intended to go and join him rather than being left behind. Also, she went to the extent of longing for the heavens to make her something similar to Othello.

Desdemona tried her best in that her father could not realize about her affair with Othello. It can be seen when her father says, "A maiden never bold; of spirit so still and quiet that her motion blushed at herself." (Shakespeare, 2016.) A reason to this was that she was not confident enough to her father with the reality that she was dating someone who was of a different racial origin. Later the secret was leaked by Brain to who intentionally did it. In response to it, he advises Brabinto to stand up and fight for himself. Desdemona's father was not pleased with her affair with Othello. "Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy." (Shakespeare, 2016.) He after that looks for Othello to explain how he stole her daughter.

From the play, one can considerably argue that Desdemona was not obedient. She did not pay attention nor seek her father's advice about the choice she had made. In the long, run this haunted her marriage by even not receiving her father's blessings. However, this changed the previous status of the two, (Brabantio and Desdemona) who loved each other so much. All the trust and hopes her father had laid on her faded away. The fact that he took much interest in molding and educating her daughter did not allow his conscious to accept her daughter to be married in such uncouth way.

Desdemona switched the mutual attachment she had towards her father to her new husband. Contrary to her expectation, her loyalty and devotion are later turned down by her husband who turns against her. Therefore, it is factual to state that, Desdemona was an independent lady and stood to herself when making the decision. The above statement can be extracted from where the lady faced considerable opposition from her close allies who thought it wise for her not getting married to a black. Nevertheless, Othello also admitted the fact that his wife loved him much even though he made up a wrong choice towards the end. "She loved me for the dangers I passed." (Rudanko, 1993.) The writer describes Othello and Desdemona to be from different racial backgrounds. Roderigo and Lago were not pleased with the relationship between Othello and Desdemona. Brabinto does not give up about Desdemona; he continually follows Othello to ask Him why he took her secretly. Frequently, Brain to invites Othello to his house to tell him more about his relationship with Desdemona.

Othello explained the trick that he used for Desdemona to love him. The things that she would like hearing were what made her fall in love. Lago and Roderigo refer to Othello as an old black ram. "An old black ram is tupping your white ewe." (Shakespeare, 2016.). Funny enough, Desdemona was a bit older than Othello, but this did not affect their affair. When Othello was sent for a work duty in Cyrus, she felt that her sexual rights could be missing hence demanding to join him. "By his dear absence. Let me go with Him."

Racism was also another factor which affected Othello's relationship. Despite these differences, both of them stood up for their relationship. Roderigo and Lago did see it okay for Othello being black and her lover being white. They argued that Othello being black could contaminate a white who in this case was Desdemona. Another theme that has been shown in Shakespeare work is jealousy. For instance when Lago did not feel happy for not being promoted by Othello. (Irwin, 1969.) Similarly, male chauvinism is also a subject matter that is seen in the play. For example, when Othello had a prejudice against her wife Desdemona where he publicly slapped her.

Desdemona was very principled and robust. Reason for this argument is because she stood up with her husband even before the Venetian council. She loved Othello so much and ran away to be together and stay with him. "That I did love the Moor to live with Him." (Potter, 2002.) In return, Othello did have the same affection towards her but felt insecure in a way. Despite all these, Desdemona did feel comfortable and felt no otherwise for her man. Also, she faced all the challenges in their marriage and did not opt to step out. "My love doth so approve him, that even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns." (Shakespeare, 2016.) Othello went to the extent of even abusing her and beating her up in public. With all these, she still considered the choice she had made of dating the man, and yet, she remains obedient to him.

Lago had a significance in opting to change the mind of Othello about their relationship with Desdemona. The primary goal for all these was an on a revenge mission by Lago. The two had a close career relationship which always linked them together. Their friendship was so intimate that they both trusted each other. "I follow him to serve my turn upon him." (Grace, 1969) Lago, on the contrary, had planned something bad against his close friend Othello. Sad enough, Othello believed the allegations Lago had schemed against his wife to be true. Similarly, Lago felt that the relationship between Othello and Desdemona would come to part. However, it was not a good intention. "Her eyes must be fed." (Adams, 1984.) The resultant to death seemed to be a great achievement for him.

On the same note, Othello giving much trust to Lago significantly affected their marriage in the long run. It wasn't good enough for Othello not to be loyal and trustworthy to her wife whom they shared more time together than Lago. Also, he could give back the same commitments and sacrifices that her wife, in turn, gave to him. Later on, he has a divided mind about her wife's honesty. As a result of all these, he thinks of finishing her life. "Chop her into messes." (Shakespeare, 2016.) He could not endure the pain that the person he loved most was to be taken away.

Consequently, Desdemona's sexual desires were not accomplished. She died while still a virgin because there was no instance where the writer exposes any sexual activity between Othello and Desdemona. When they had planned to make love, something came about and interrupted for instance war. On the other hand, having sexual intercourse with Desdemona according to Othello could have interfered with her celibacy. Desdemona was devoted to her husband that she went to the extent of a resisting majority of the people who were around her. "My heart Subdued even to the very quality of my lord." (Shakespeare, 2016.) Sad, enough, Othello alleged her wife of having an affair with Cassio which in turn was false. "Look to his wife, observe her well with Cassio." (Potter, 2002.) The scheme of was laid by Lago who was upset by the fact that Othello selected Cassio as a lieutenant other than him.

From the previous sacrifices and devotion that Desdemona had made to her husband, she tends to believe that her husband could forgive her. Contrary, this was not the case. However, Othello was so much sure of the emotions that his wife Desdemona had towards her making him even offer his life to Desdemona's father. He told Brabantio to confirm if what he told him about his daughter was false; he could take his life. Desdemona later came and testified all that he said. From this, one can derive the fact that they both had a mutual feeling.

On the same note, the love triangle between Othello and Desdemona changed its context when they went to the Venice. Its norms and traditions regarded men to be of more rank. It, in turn, affected their relationship with by the lady turning against her father who brought all the repercussions in their marriage.

At the beginning of the play, Othello far much different with what he was towards the end. At first, he was loving and showed a perfect affection towards her dear friend Desdemona. He was also known to be a brave soldier where even he was posted to Cyrus where he was believed to be committed. Later, he switched his role to be swayed by his fake friend's ideas leading him to make a wrong choice. However, many scholars argue that Othello changed his part and ended up being hated in the whole story. "He moves from a brave, strong and loving soldier to a weak, deceitful and more hated character." (Shakespeare, 2016.) Later on in the story, Othello confesses that he loved too well but not wisely like it was to be. He ends up strangling her to death. The affair between Othello and Desdemona was true. Evidence to this comes about when he even made up a plan to kill in order not to see her heart with a different person. After strangling her, he lived a regrettable life after that. It is possible to state that Othello and Desdemona were committed to each other. For instance when they escaped starting their life together without telling Desdemona's father.

However, it reached a point where Desdemona wasn't so sure about herself that even asked Emilia if cheating on her husband was right. Othello changed his part and ended up being hated in the whole story .However, Othello's profession as a military officer gave him all the respect. A moral lesson that one can also depict from the Shakespeare's work is that it's not a must for one to have sex for a relationship to stand. The relationship between the two was a perfect one, and they were readily available for each other's company. Nevertheless, they could not withstand the obstacles brought by the people who were around them who at long last affected their relationship.


Work Cited

Adams, Michael. William Shakespeare's Othello. Woodbury, N.Y: Barron's, 1984

Grace, Irwin, and William Shakespeare. An Analysis of the Dramatic Content of the Music of Verdi's Otello. , 1969.

Lee, Melissa. Staging the actress: Dramatic character and the performance of female identity. The Ohio State University, 2014.Potter, Lois. Othello. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2002.

Rudanko, Martti J. Pragmatic Approaches to Shakespeare: Essays on...

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