Desdemona appears to be the perfect woman and is destroyed by the supposedly perfect man, Othello. Desdemona is the depicted perfect woman; she is subservient and loyal to her husband and she is from a sheltered and refined background. Othello, her husband, is the proffered example of masculine male perfection. Othello is man of motion, a strong warrior who acts in concurrence with his convictions and honor. Shakespeare proves that Othello is fallible too, destroyed for believing hearsay over his wife. Shakespeare in this play chooses to manipulate the ideals of a society and their striving towards perfection. Othello shows through morbid humor what can result from blind faith of believing in something as abstract as perfection. Therefore, perfection is impossible and destroys itself because it is an unnatural state.
Desdemona is depicted as female perfection throughout the opening scenes of the play. This is done through showing her strong and loyal characteristics and her love to Othello. Desdemona is shown as a woman who is independent and intelligent, willing to do anything for the sake of her love. In act one this includes standing before the Duke, her father, and the male senate of her patriarchal society and demanding to be listened to.
I do perceive here a divided duty.
To [my father] I am bound for life and education…
You are the lord of duty,
I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband,
And so much duty as my mother showed
Othello and Desdemona vs. Romeo and Juliet Othello and Desdemona are similar and different from Romeo and Juliet in several ways, both as couples, and as individuals. The circumstances they face and the nature of their characters share similarities, and so do the choices they make, but the other characters in the respective plays, and the key differences in Othello and Romeo's dispositions cause ...
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord (Othello, 1.3.180-189).
Desdemona shares a lot of her value system and ideals in this passage. She shows her loyalty and love for her father and her understanding of her duty to him as his daughter in the first four lines. Underlying, her portrayal as dutiful daughter is the diametrical evidence that she did not honor her father by running away to marry Othello in secret. She persists in her speech forcing the ideal of her needing to be more loyal to her husband than her father, mentioning her mother as a past model in relation to her father. Desdemona continues, going so far as to say, “I challenge” to her father and the patriarchs of her society demanding their concurrence about whom she owes greater loyalty.
Desdemona is simplistic and clear in her expressions of love. This is a character strength because it shares the honesty and strength without overpowering false sentiment that can never be backed up with reality. Othello is stuck in the trap of powerful romantic love that can’t be proven or believed because of its extremity, “It gives me wonder great as my content / To see you here before me. O my soul’s joy…let the labouring barque climb hills of seas / Olympus-high, and duck again as low / As hell’s from heaven. If it were now to die / ‘Twere now to be most happy (2.1.181-187)”. Desdemona counters with her faithful expression of devoted love and the timeless nature of it, “our loves and comforts should increase/ Even as our days do grow (2.1.190-191)”. This honest and simplistic love is more real and believable to the reader; the sentiment behind the words is as honest and simple as the phrase, unlike Othello’s idealistic but superfluous words.
Othello is the image of perfection in a male dominated society. Othello is the heroic warrior. He has a magical heritage, foreign and as shadowy as his complexion in the Anglo-Saxon English community. Othello suffered innumerable obstacles growing up in the violent world of slavery and triumphing. He has led great armies in defending England. Othello is greater than man; he is half man and half myth. He can do no wrong in the eyes of his society. Unfortunately, this proves to be false and Othello falls from his pedestal into the pits of hell.
Love is a universal feeling that everyone experiences at least once during his or her lifetime. According to Webster’s Dictionary, love is defined as a strong, positive emotion of regard and affection. In William Shakespeare’s play, Othello, there are many questions that the reader would ask about the love that Othello has for Desdemona. During many aspects of the play, Othello’s ...
Othello is so insecure in his emotions and the sheer power of them, that when Iago feeds him a load of garbage regarding Desdemona’s unfaithfulness he believes it with very flimsy evidence. Othello never impartially studies the situation or discusses his fears with his wife. He automatically assumes the worst scenario is true and develops a plan of action he sees as appropriate punishment for the crime. This leads to Othello’s taking Desdemona’s life, “Presently [I’ll kill you] / Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin, / For to deny…Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception / That I do groan withal (Shakespeare, 5.2.57-61).” Othello at this point is beyond listening to reason or considering her denials and promises of innocence and loyalty. Othello proves his own limitations in his warrior code by using poor military strategy. The great general trusts a spy that is not worthy of that honor and this fatal flaw destroys Othello’s own opinion of himself. He can no longer trust his own judgement, or believe in the justness of his actions. He destroys the object of his love, trying now only to create the perfect murder.
Desdemona is equally trapped in the role of her perfection gone awry. She is unable to accept the idea that Othello could ever believe such lies about her when she obviously worships the ground he walks on. This creates the setting for her death, never screaming or drawing attention to their short violent battle that leaves Othello a murderer and Desdemona a martyred victim. Even the murder is flawed though; Othello wanted to be able to escape criminal involvement, yet Iago’s wife finds him over Desdemona’s dying body and the murder is as sardonically imperfect as the rest of the play. Othello and Desdemona’s lives are now merely gilded memories fractured by imperfections.
Desdemona and Othello’s perfection is flawed, because complete perfection is a myth. Perfection is scientifically impossible. The Bell curve is a great example which illustrates this characteristic. There is a potential total area of 100% underneath the curve, there are two extreme limits of zero and infinity. The two extremes are mathematically impossible to ever reach. Consequently, to reach either complete perfection or complete imperfection is not possible. Therefore, the goal of ever achieving perfection is destroyed. Despite this people continue to tantalize themselves with their ability to be perfect. Perfection is a deceitful concept and a useless waste of energy. If one allows oneself to be convinced of their ability to attain perfection, than one is setting oneself up for failure. It destroys the very ideal that they were trying to reach, and often themselves in the process. This is the case involving Desdemona and Othello.
^OTHELLO: ACT I Shakespeare's story of jealousy, betrayal, and murder begins on a street in Venice in the middle of the night. Roderigo has just learned that Desdemona, the woman he loves, has eloped with Othello, a Moorish general hired to lead the Venetian army against the Turks. Roderigo is angry at Iago, the young Venetian he's been paying to play "matchmaker-" for him and Desdemona. But Iago ...
Statistics show that a bell curve can never allow anything to reach perfection on the scale in mathematics. It is scientifically impossible; the natural world does not allow it. Shakespeare succeeds at revealing the flaws of such concepts of peoples’ perceptions in Othello. While on the surface perfection seems to exist and be present in this couple Shakespeare reveals the treachery and cynicism underneath brutally tearing perfection apart before his audience’s eyes. The play carries the message of the ridiculousness of such perception, suggesting to the audience the hypocrisy of viewing other members of society as perfect. Everyone is somewhere under the curve neither perfect nor imperfect, just a combination of qualities and everyone is living the best way they know how, that is what one should take away from Othello.