Shakespeare's Othello - Othello's Relationship with Desdemona - Shakespeare and Race
An examination of the relationship between Othello and Desdemona, and the racial element in Othello. In light of the above statement, Othello, is most certainly one of Shakespeare's more famous tragedies. This is largely due to the nat. May 30, In William Shakespeare's ''Othello'', the relationship between Othello and Desdemona from Othello: Character Analysis & Overview.
This is probably the most accurate way to describe Desdemona and Othello's relationship in William Shakespeare's Othello. First of all, since the relationship involved two people from different racial backgrounds, the story explores and challenges racial perceptions.
The relationship itself also changes throughout the play as Othello transitions from a loving husband to a murderous madman. Two men, Iago and Roderigo, are discussing how upset they are by the fact that Othello and Desdemona are married. Even more, they got married behind the back of Desdemona's father, Brabantio. Iago and Roderigo decide to upset Brabantio by telling him that Othello has stolen Desdemona.
Even without exploring the specific details, the fact that Desdemona and Othello have eloped says much about their commitment to each other.
At one time honored, then considered worst, later far more fair than black. In a moment more than just a Moor, but then again a devil black. These varieties are born not only by his race, but also his devotion to Desdemona, so beautiful and just as devastating. Their relationship is unstable from the start.
Relationship of Othello and Desdemona Essay Example for Free
It became possible because she betrays her father. Her character is not that deep, as others, but she is still the object of the affections of the men in the play. She is intelligible, kind hearted and faithful to the end. Racism in the play shows up early when Othello is compared with a black ram: It is unacceptable for a young white woman to be with an older black man. Barbantio claims that only witchcraft can make his daughter, a spirit so still and quiet, to fall in love of what she fear to look on.
This refers to Othello, who, is now not seen as the man who was loved by Brabantio. His love is not approved immediately, because he is not what is expected from Desdemona to be married to. On this assumption, however, the many references to his color and race throughout the play cannot well be explained. This view takes for granted that the dramatist heaps up idle words having no significance, and refuses to believe that there was a meaning in all he wrote.
It is not necessary to hold, as Professor Bradley would have us believe, that the dramatist must be credited with clear doctrines of Kulturgeschichte if we are to maintain that he made the problem of Othello at least in part a problem of race. Feelings of racial differences did not have to wait for the Germans of later times to write histories of culture.
In Shakespeare's day the discovery of new lands and new peoples must have impressed all thoughtful Europeans with the conception of their own superiority in all the arts and character of civilized life. And the play makes Othello quite as conscious as any one else of his diversity of race, though it is to other causes that he assigns his want of grace and culture.
When charged before the Senate with the abduction of Desdemona, Othello's defence consists of a frank and free admission that he had taken Brabantio's daughter, and an apologetic account of his "whole course of love. In the course of his apology, his "round unvarnished tale" becomes eloquent with a barbaric sincerity and splendor that almost enlists the sympathy of the Senate.
The story of "the battle, sieges, fortune" he had passed is almost as potent with the senators as it had been with Desdemona, who, he says, "lov'd me for the dangers I had passed, And I lov'd her, that she did pity them. He further says he is ready to abide by the decision of Desdemona, and advises the senate to call her to speak for herself. He considers the marriage to be a matter for themselves alone, and implies that the lady has a right to choose her husband without her father's consent.
There are numerous Shakespearean plays which seem to bear out the idea that the dramatist thought it to be the woman's right to choose her own husband, without meeting her father's wishes in the matter. But there are many differences, and these must be given consideration.
Shakespeare undoubtedly approves such choice when it means a larger and fuller life. Juliet disobeyed a tyrannical and hateful father to find a larger life and a true spiritual union with Romeo. In the same spirit Imogen refused the coarse and villainous Cloten, to join hands and hearts with the virtuous Posthumus.
Relationship of Othello and Desdemona Essay
The lovely Jewess, Jessica, ran away from the miserly Shylock to marry the Christian, Lorenzo, and at the same time accepted the religion of her husband. In all these cases the maidens found their true life with the men of their own choice, and the dramatist gives his verdict in making their love happy and successful, and in bringing out of their marriage a larger good to all.
There are in these and other instances, however, many differences from the case of Othello and Desdemona. It is not so much the wilful disrespect to her father that is the fault of Desdemona, though some critics make a great deal of this, but the fact that in marrying Othello she showed a wilful disregard of her own highest interests.
It can scarcely be maintained that the marriage of Othello and Desdemona was a complete spiritual union, for there were too many diverse elements that at the time seemed incompatible and in the end proved entirely irreconcilable. It is true, of course, that as in the case of Juliet the passion of love transformed Desdemona from a meek and blushing maiden into a strong and self-reliant woman. There need be no attempt to deny the reality of the love of these two, and its effect upon their development, but it was not strong enough or natural enough to overcome all its enemies, as a true and natural love like that of Romeo and Juliet can do.
Under some conditions it is possible that their love might have outlived their lives and overcome its handicaps, yet it is to miss the art of this drama not to see that the dramatist is here showing its unnaturalness by placing it in the conditions that test it to the uttermost and that reveal its weakness and bring it to defeat.
When Desdemona is brought into court to speak for herself in the matter of the marriage, she declares that she freely and lovingly takes Othello for her husband, and intimates that she is willing to take all the consequences of that act.
Othello & Desdemona's Relationship
She affirms her love for the Moor, and her desire to live with him, and requests to be permitted to accompany him to Cyprus. She says she understands fully what she is doing, recognizes Othello as a Moor, but that she accepts him as he is, or, as her words imply, she finds compensation for his color in the quality of his mind, in his honors, and in his courage: Seeing her determination and her willingness to abide by her decision, her father accepts what seems inevitable, but leaves them with the needless and cruel mark: She has deceiv'd her father, and may thee.Desdemona's love for Othello
These words let us see where Desdemona got her wilfulness, and relieve us of the necessity of grieving much over the sorrows of her father in this most unfortunate marriage.