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Why Desdemona falls in love with Othello and marries him secretly

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Introduction

Why Desdemona falls in love with Othello and marries him secretly [1.3.128] - Othello explains here to the Duke and the Venetian senators the reasons for why Desdemona fell in love with him. (To cut a long story short, he told her stories of his past - and war stories -> he explains) They marry secretly because he abused his hospitality with Brabantio by winning the heat of his daughter and transgressed the unwritten codes of racial separation. In the tragedy Othello, Shakespeare creates a mood that challenges the way a person sees his or her self and the world. Subjects like racism, sexism, love, hate, jealously, pride, and trickery are thoroughly developed in the play of Othello to enable the audience to view the characters and also themselves. The Shakespearean tragedy of Othello was written in a time of great racial tensions in England. According to Eldred Jones, in 1600 just three years before Othello was written, Queen Elizabeth proclaimed an Edict for the Transportation of all "negars and blackmoores" out of the country ("Othello- An Interpretation" Critical Essays 39). It is in this atmosphere that Shakespeare began the masterpiece of Othello, a drama about a noble black Arab general, Othello, who falls in love with and marries, Desdemona, a young white daughter of a senator. ...read more.

Middle

Othello portrays emotional attitudes in such a way that they touch a very personal core and remind the drama's audience how fragile man truly is. Emotional attitudes such as marital love, admiration, jealousies, prejudices, greed, and self-insecurities enable an Othello viewer to identify with a certain or all of the characters. As Carol Neely points out " The play develops out of the oppositions of attitudes, viewpoints, and sexes,"("Women and Men in Othello" Critical Essays 70). Understanding this point is essential to understanding the play because each of the attitudes and emotions presented in the play are balanced to an equally contrary emotion or attitude such as love, hate or pride and self insecurity. Prejudices, rather racial or sexist, are clearly portrayed in the play to point out the injustice caused by such attacks on a person's humanity. Racism is an inescapable component of Othello's life just as sexism is a major component of the women's lives in Othello. From the very start of the tragedy, the viewer is bombarded with the overtly racist and sexual language of Iago to Brabantio, Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul. Even now, now, very now an old black ram Is tupping your white ewe. Arise. Arise! . . . Or else the devil will make you a grandsire of you. Act 1.1 (lines 84-89) ...read more.

Conclusion

Hate and jealously are a response to insecurities felt over the beloved of each character. In turn, all the emotions bring total destruction to any peace of mind or happiness that any of the major characters may have. By the end of the drama, Othello, the once loving husband, has become a green-eyed monster. He is so filled with jealousy that he does not even listen to Emilia's repeated denial of an affair between Desdemona and Cassio. He kills Desdemona, then afterwards kills himself due to regret and shame. Anthony Barthelemy claims, " In other word the play undoes what it does: It turns a heroic Moor into a villainous Moor..."(Introduction, Critical Essays, 2). This is exactly what Shakespeare wanted to prove, that love can turn to hate and admiration can turn to jealousy. Most importantly, Shakespeare demonstrated that everything good in life might turn into something bad. Othello is a tragedy about human nature and relationships. One critic has written that the love of Othello and Desdemona is like the love of Adam and Eve before and after the fall (Barthelemy, Introduction Critical Essays 12). This is true because Othello commits a horrific act out of jealousy and self-insecurities. However he learns from his mistakes and regrets his actions. Shakespeare, through Othello, reminds humans how vulnerable they truly are and that they must accept themselves and other people as they are. ...read more.

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