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Othello Act 4 Scene 3

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Introduction

To what extent do you find Shakespeare has portrayed Desdemona as a tragic figure in Act 4 Scene 3? At the beginning of this scene Othello does not engage in conversation with Desdemona, he simply tells her to go to bed. "Get to bed on th'instant; I will be returned forthwith. Dismiss your attendant there. Look't be done." Here we can notice Othello's use of imperatives; this implies that he has lost all respect for Desdemona. The audience know why he has lost respect for her however; she is completely oblivious to the accusations being made behind her back. Shakespeare is presenting her as a tragic figure as she has no idea what she has done wrong and is falsely accused. Inevitably, she will loose the man she loves and her own life due a complete lie. There is a terrible poignancy in almost every line that Desdemona utters in this scene. Shakespeare has portrayed Desdemona as a tragic figure as even though Othello has treated her terribly she still wants to please him. ...read more.

Middle

Desdemona is a complete contrast to the woman who stood up to her father in defence of Othello; she now seems weak and unable to defend herself. In Act 2 Scene 1 Desdemona dismisses Iago's remarks as old bar-room jokes. "These are old fond paradoxes to makes fools laugh i'th'alehouse. That miserable praise hast thou her that's foul and foolish?" Here Desdemona is engaging Iago in debate. She is standing up for herself and what she believes in; this is tragic as the audience can see a clear change in Desdemona's personality. "Let nobody blame him; his scorn I approve - Nay, that's not next. Hark, who is't that knocks?" Here Desdemona has added a line to the song suggesting that she is nervous and on the edge. Emilia and Desdemona continue to talk and they are discussing the act of committing adultery, Desdemona says she would not do such a wrong thing. Emilia argues that men's treatment of their wives is often the cause of women's 'falling'. She states that women have desires and weaknesses just as much as men. ...read more.

Conclusion

If the characters are a means of driving the story then the play wouldn't have a plot if it weren't for Desdemona. Othello, Desdemona and Iago are the three main characters involved to form the plot along with others. The plot is the chief focus of tragedy therefore Desdemona is playing part in creating the tragedy for the play. S.N.Garner elucidates Desdemona's character, maintaining that Shakespeare carefully balanced the other characters' accounts of her as goddess or whore to present a complex portrait. Othello's sensual view is countered by Brabantio's idealized concept in Act 1 and Roderigo and Cassio's romanticized vision is opposed by Iago's coarse innuendo in Act 2. Garner then points out that Desdemona's liveliness and assertiveness are confirmed by her marriage to Othello and that these positive traits become a fatal. Here we can see that Garner believes that eventually Desdemona's traits became fatal to her character. This links in with Aristotle's definition of tragedy as he also says that their downfall is caused by a series of bad choices caused by tragic flaws in their character. This could suggest that it is partly Desdemona's character that has increased the tragedy between Othello and herself. ?? ?? ?? ?? Katie Bristow ...read more.

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