• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why Desdemona falls in love with Othello and marries him secretly

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Othello essays

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    he makes Othello feel that Iago is a friend who is trying to help him. Although it shows us as an audience how Iago's plans to destroy Othello's marriage are developing early on in the play. Iago's manipulations are driven by a basic desire to get back at those who

  2. Comparing the use of jealousy in Shakespeare's, Othello, and Elizabeth Cary's The Tragedy of ...

    (The Tragedy Of Mariam, 3.2.53-58). This blatantly shows that Salome is primarily planning that jealousy will be the end of Mariam. The part that makes Salome so evil is the fact that she knows how much Herod loves Mariam; so she is aware that to make him hate her, she cannot use a common error, but must make Mariam look especially horrid to Herod.

  1. hakespeares tragic heros dying words: loved not wisely, but too well, reflects the downfall ...

    Desdemona initially makes the assumption that Othello is angry and impatient, and as a result she fears this and lies: "It is not lost", this shows how Desdemona lies about the whereabouts of the handkerchief. One can imply that she avoids telling Othello because she does not wish to hurt his feelings, as the handkerchief might yet turn up.

  2. Oral Commentary Response to 'Othello' 1.1.34-72

    not clear whether this distrust was prompted by Cassio's promotion or whether this merely added to a previously held conviction. Iago also talks at length about the duty of servants and how in reality the outward image of service hides inner selfish desires of self preservation, whatever the master may think.

  1. How Desdemona is presented as acharacter and perceived by others in Othello.

    In response Desdemona stands up for herself and rather than being submissive she shows an assertive side in denying his opinion and proving him wrong. 'O fie upon thee, slanderer!' 'These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh I'th'alehouse.

  2. Iago In Othello - Critical Analysis.

    Iago's character became a focal point of discussion for many critics as they argued weather Iago was pure evil or just a complex amoral villain. The famous phrase, "The motive-hunting of motiveless Malignity," occurs in a note Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in his copy of Shakespeare, as he was preparing a series of lectures delivered in the winter of 1818-1819.

  1. Why did the marriage of Othello and Desdemona end in tragedy?

    Othello loves or thinks he loves Desdemona for many reasons, not least because he thinks she is like him. He thinks it will be a good relationship because she seems to be in his eyes just like a soldier as seen in Act 1 scene 3.

  2. Each reading of Othello establishes certain values. How have such values been explored in ...

    He differs from many of the male characters of Othello, in that he does not hate women; he just views them as inferior property, incapable of making their own decisions. Important to this reading is also the involvement of Emilia, a stark contrast to Desdemona and her sexual purity, innocence

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work