How Are Jocasta, Desdemona, Dorine, Elmire, Mariane, and Laura All Portrayed Differently?

Topics: Samuel Beckett, Marriage, Oedipus the King Pages: 3 (985 words) Published: February 27, 2012
Oedipus the King
Jocasta is Oedipus’s wife and mother, and Creon’s sister. In her first words, she attempts to make peace between Oedipus and Creon, pleading with Oedipus not to banish Creon. She is comforting to her husband and calmly tries to urge him to reject Tiresias’s terrifying prophecies as false. Jocasta solves the riddle of Oedipus’s identity before Oedipus does, and she expresses her love for her son and husband in her desire to protect him from this knowledge (Sophocles, 1999). Othello

Desdemona is young, sexual, and recently married. She is the daughter of the Venetian senator Brabanzio. Desdemona and Othello are secretly married before the play begins. While in many ways stereotypically pure and meek, Desdemona is also determined and self-possessed. She is equally capable of defending her marriage, jesting bawdily with Iago, and responding with dignity to Othello’s incomprehensible jealousy. Desdemona is at times a submissive character, most notably in her willingness to take credit for her own murder. The play, then, depicts Desdemona contradictorily as a self-effacing, faithful wife and as a bold, independent personality. This contradiction may be intentional, meant to portray the way Desdemona herself feels after defending her choice of marriage to her father in Act I, scene iii, and then almost immediately being put in the position of defending her fidelity to her husband. She begins the play as a supremely independent person, but midway through she must struggle against all odds to convince Othello that she is not too independent. The manner in which Desdemona is murdered, smothered by a pillow in a bed covered in her wedding sheets, is symbolic. She is literally suffocated beneath the demands put on her fidelity. Emilia is Iago’s wife and Desdemona’s attendant. A cynical, worldly woman, she is deeply attached to her mistress and distrustful of her husband (Shakespeare, 2005). Tartuffe

Elmire is Orgon's second wife who represents a...
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