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What impressions do we have of Desdemona from the first three scenes of Othello

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What impressions do we have of Desdemona from the first three scenes of Othello Before Desdemona enters the play herself, the audience are given an idea of her personality, through the conflicting and similar views of other characters in the play. At the beginning of the play, Shakespeare portrays Desdemona in a negative light. Our first impression, derives from Iago in Act 1 Scene 1. Taking into consideration, Iago's frequent use of foul language and deep hatred towards Othello, it is not surprising to hear him tell Brabantio that "an old black ram is tupping your white ewe" and "your daughter and the moor are now making the beast with two backs." Although these insulting animal images are aimed at Othello, Desdemona is also being reprimanded, because it suggests that she is corrupt and disrespectful. Roderigo's criticism is less harsh, when he says "Your daughter......hath made a gross revolt, tying her beauty, wit and fortunes in an extravagant and wheeling stranger." The reason for this could be because he thinks of Desdemona as an admired lady who is perhaps too good for Othello and the tripartite structure "beauty, wit and fortunes", emphasises her sophistication even further. ...read more.


Ironically, Desdemona is "a maiden never bold", from Brabantio's point of view, but later in the play she challenges her Father. It seems that Brantantio does not understand his daughter as well as he thinks he does, thus Desdemona probably lacks a person whom she can share her thoughts with. In Act 1 Scene 3, Othello's soliloquy, consists of alliteration "She'd come again and with a greedy ear devour up my discourse", metaphorically giving us the impression that Desdemona admires Othello's eloquent speech. It also implies that Desdemona wants to share his experiences, which indicates that she has genuine interest in him. This interest shows that she is capable of conversing and therefore has opinions of her own. When Othello tells Desdemona of his past, "She swore in faith `twas strange,`twas passing strange,`Twas pitiful, `twas wondrous pitiful." Now Desdemona seems completely the opposite to how she is generally judged by others. In her nature, she is kind, loving and compassionate. She truly loves Othello, but unfortunately she is still misunderstood by every one she knows, even the people who are nearest and dearest to her. ...read more.


Throughout her speech, Desdemona's language is succinct and quite poetic, especially when she speaks of her love for Othello: "...to his honours and his valiant parts did I my soul and fortunes consecrate..." One aspect that Othello, Iago and Desdemona all have in common, is their ability to manipulate situations in their favour, by use of powerful language. Desdemona does this excellently, and this is what makes her such a confident person. However, at certain points in the play, she is slightly over-confident, especially when she challenges her Father. She is not as na�ve and innocent as she is first shown to be. When it comes to justifying herself, she makes her opinions clear. All throughout the play, many emotions are shown by every character. Iago's jealousy springs out of the page. Othello's mind is poisoned by Iago. Brabantio quickly becomes angered as his anxiety is dramatised and Roderigo's desperation to obtain Desdemona can also be seen. In conclusion, Desdemona is depicted as emotionally being the strongest character in the play, because even after being misunderstood and accused by her father and husband she still remains composed. ...read more.

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