1.2Desdemona's father argues that her love for Othello is unnatural, since, according to him, Desdemona would never fall for a black man who she "fear'd to look on." Of course, Brabantio couldn't be more wrong about his daughter – Desdemona is in love Othello. It seems that Iago has played Brabantio perfectly. Iago knew that Brabantio was racist and, as previous passages demonstrate, he used Brabantio's attitude toward the idea of a mixed marriage in order to rile the man against Othello. Brabantio repeatedly insists that Othello must have "enchanted" Desdemona with "foul charms" and magic spells. Otherwise, he insists, Desdemona never would never have run "to the sooty bosom" of Othello . 1.3The duke is persuaded by Othello’s tale, dismissing Brabantio’s claim by remarking that the story probably would win his own daughter. Desdemona enters, and Brabantio asks her to tell those present to whom she owes the most obedience. Brabantio clearly expects her to say her father. Desdemona, however, confirms that she married Othello of her own free will and that, like her own mother before her, she must shift her primary loyalty from father to husband. Brabantio reluctantly resigns himself to her decision and allows the court to return to state affairs. 1.4Well, Othello was a bit of an outsider. He was not originally from Venice, he did not come from a well-known or important or rich family, and his skin was a funny colour. Although he might be a fine fellow in his own right, he is not the kind of person that a Venetian aristocrat like Brabantio would pick as a husband for his daughter. What is more, he did not ask Brabantio first before discussing marriage with Desdemona. 2 When Desdemona finally enters and speaks for herself, she does indeed seem outspoken and assertive, as well as generous and devoted. In her speech about her “divided duty” as a wife and a daughter, Desdemona shows herself to be poised and intelligent, as capable of loving as of being loved, and...
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