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Othello and Desdemona’s Relationship, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 927

Essay

Desdemona is a beautiful Venetian woman who appears to disappoint her father, a senior Venetian senator. She runs away with Othello, a man who is older than her by many years. We see her accompanying Othello to Cyprus When the government deploys him there in is service as a military officer. At Cyprus, We see Othello accepting the largo to manipulate him into believing that Desdemona is an adulterous woman. In the end, we see Othello murdering his spouse, Desdemona.

The relationship between Othello and Desdemona comes out as one with a number of challenges. Initially, the newlyweds think that love exists within their relationship, which we see by the, way Desdemona makes the vows that she is ready to love and stay with Othello for better or for worse. The two started this relationship on a precisely shaky ground, because we can clearly see that they did not give each other adequate time to understand and learn each other sufficiently. Because of this, and many other factors, Othello and Desdemona encounter a number of challenges, which in the end leads to the failure of the marriage. It is true that the fact that these newly went to Cyprus immediately after their wedding, it largely contributed to the problems in their marriage (Snyder, Shakespeare: a wayward journey).

First, we clearly see that Desdemona did not consider the opinion of her father on whether to marry Othello or not. By doing this, Desdemona brings out her behavior of self-centeredness, as she attempts to do what she thinks is right for her, not considering the wishes of other people, especially his father. It is quite clear that individuals cannot be always right in the decisions we make. Therefore, disregarding the opinions of other people closer to us may turn to be fatal in one way or another. In fact, the father goes ahead to make allegations that Othello has charmed his daughter. We can see this in the words the father uses.

“She is abused, stolen from me, and corrupted

By the spells, and medicines, bought of mountebanks;

For nature, so preposterously to err,

(Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense)

Sans witch-craft could not” (p75)

(http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/othello/othelloessay4.html)

 

We see Desdemona in court publicly claiming that she loves Othello exceedingly much and that she willingly accepts him as her husband. She goes ahead to ascertain that she is prepared for any problems that may come because of her decision. We see her making a request accompany Othello to Cyprus, because she understands what she is doing (Lee). She also claims that she fully knows who Othello is, and that is why she accepts him the way he is.

Another cause for the failure of the relationship between Desdemona and Othello is the difference in their color. We know that Desdemona and Othello had different skin colors. Initially, Desdemona claimed that she fully believed that their skin color difference could not affect their relationship. According to her, she found compensation for Othello’s color difference in his intelligence, his honorary stature and in his courage. Desdemona says,

“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 fortunes consecrate” (p 278)

As much as Desdemona’s father would have wished otherwise, the determination towards the marriage, and her willingness to abide by her decision made Desdemona’s father let the marriage happen (Snyder, Shakespeare: a wayward journey).

Despite this, he leaves them with the following remark;

“Look to her (Moor) if thou hast eyes to see:

She has deceiv’d her father, and may thee.” (p 323)

The father ironically refers to her daughter as a moor because she is getting married to Othello, who is a moor.

Othello had been a faithful officer in the military for long. However, this marriage with Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio, changes the way most prominent people in the society view him. We see Othello rising to an important position over largo from his making love with Desdemona. This makes him the greatest enemy of his faithful officer. He has also taken Desdemona from her father, secretly marrying her. This also makes him an enemy with Brabantio, who had been one of Othello’s greatest admirers in the senate. He is in a collision as he attempts to balance his new life as a senior state official, and his love life in a civilized state (Paster).

It is therefore, clear that the fact that Othello is a moor affects his life and his marriage as well. The society views moors as half-civilized people. Therefore, it is hard for Othello to adapt to life in the civilized and cultured Venice (Vaughan).

It is evident that the increase in the number of enemies of Othello, because of his marriage to Desdemona, largely affected his social life as a husband. We see that even when he goes to court, he frankly and freely admits his actions in an unusually unapologetic manner. He says willing to go abide by the decision of Desdemona, and requests that she speak for herself, claiming that she has a right to choose her husband.

All these cases are a clear sign that this marriage between Othello and Desdemona lacked adequate time to prepare themselves for marital challenges, which led to its failure.

 

Works cited

Lee, Michelle. Shakespearean criticism. Michigan: Gale Research Co, 2004.

Paster, Gail Kern. Humoring the body: emotions and the Shakespearean stage. Chicago:

University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Snyder, Susan. Othello: critical essays. New York: Garland, 1988.

—. Shakespeare: A Wayward Journey. New York: University of Delaware Press, 2002.

Vaughan, Margaret Lael Mikesell and Virginia Mason. Othello, an annotated bibliography. New

York: Garland, 1990.

http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/othello/othelloessay4.html

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