As one of Shakespeare's famous tragedies, “Othello”, is a play that not only shows the love and the humanistic ideal destroyed, but also shows the tragic fortune of women in the era of the patriarchal society. (Snow 384) This play includes several main themes of love tragedies delivered through some contrasting values and characters such as love and jealousy, trust and breach of trust etc. Desdemona, a representative of the perfect embodiment of a faithful loving wife, eventually killed by her suspecting husband. Emilia, an analytical woman that knew to obey the social norms but still carried a sense of inherent moral compass and compassion. How do the characters perceive what is proper and moral in the society they were in? This essay will explore the characters of Desdemona and Emilia, compare and contrast their personalities and different approaches to life that led to their ultimate fate.
The brightest spots in the play are the masterful creation of the individual characters in the backdrop of a patriarchal society. In the development of the plot of the story, Shakespeare showed us the complexity and versatility of character features which embodied in the conflict. The characters evolve as the play progresses; Othello from a confident leader to a jealous husband that “turned his sexual agony into an instrument of passionate blame.” (Cohen 207); Desdemona from a boundless young girl to an obedient wife; and Emilia from an unsuspecting accomplice to a voice for justice. Emilia had very few scenes in the play compared to Desdemona’s, but the stark contrast of these two characters could not be more evident.
Desdemona：From boundless to obedience
Desdemona was born a noble woman, beautiful, kind-hearted and pure in thought. She gave up her noble and comfortable life, betrayed her rich and powerful father to marry Othello. She was completely different from the conventional sense of the women of that era. She was beautiful and kind, she was very down...
Cited: Shakespeare, William. "Othello: The Moor of Venice" The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2012. 1187-1267. Print
Snow, E.A. (2008). Sexual Anxiety and the Male Order of Things in Othello. George Mason University English Literary Renaissance. Vol.10, Issue 3, pp: 384–412. 2008-06
Cohen, Derek. "Patriarchy And Jealousy In Othello And The Winter 's Tale." Modern Language Quarterly 48.3 (1987): 207. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Feb. 2014
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