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Who is responsible for Desdemona's death?

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Introduction

Who is responsible for Desdemona's death? The responsibility of Desdemona's death falls on many different individuals throughout the play. Othello feels that it is entirely his fault and commits suicide while Cassio, Rodrigo, Emilia, and Brabantio all contribute to Iago's plot and Desdemona failed to save her own life. However, one character, Iago, manipulated all of them. Othello was driven to his decision to murder his wife at no fault of his own. Instead it is Iago's ability to persuade the other characters and manipulate them by using their weaknesses that makes him responsible for Desdemona's death. To start off with, Othello himself is the most to blame since he was the one who physically strangled his wife. He admits this when he says "Twas I that killed her" to Emilia at the end of the play. I feel that Othello is more responsible than Iago perhaps because even though it was Iago that had planned this all along, it was actually Othello who did the deed. ...read more.

Middle

He subtly starts off by asking seemingly innocent questions such as "Did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady [Desdemona], know of your love?" and in doing this, he knew that Othello would pursue with further questions. His evil planning is shown when he says "Myself the while to draw the Moor apart, and bring him jump when he may Cassio find soliciting his wife". He is therefore also holds some "responsibility" since he was the one who drove Othello to murdering Desdemona. Without him trying to ruin things, their relationship would have most likely worked and they would have lived happily. In being responsible for Desdemona's death, Iago is also responsible for other's downfall, such as Cassio. He doesn't care how many people he effects and ruins as long as he gets his way "And I will turn her virtue into pitch and out of her goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all". He didn't really justify his reasons for all his doing very well at all. ...read more.

Conclusion

Because Cassio is a true Venetian gentleman, he acts very familiar with women, without intending harm but this has been interpreted by Iago and used as more evil "proof" for Othello to see that Desdemona is unfaithful. Emilia plays a small but noticeable part in Desdemona's death for if she had not picked up her mistress' hanker chief, then Iago would have had his main proof. In deceiving her Desdemona to try and please her husband, she has unwillingly also been a pawn in Iago's wicked scheme. "My wayward husband hath a hundred times Wooed me to steal it, but she so loves the token". Emilia doesn't know what she is doing the moment she picked up the hanker chief but she did know that she would be deceiving Desdemona, however, she was too anxious to please Iago: "I nothing but to please his fancy." And so in conclusion, many different characters contributed towards the undeserving death of Desdemona, mainly Iago, but in the end, only Othello can be help solely responsible. English/ English Literature Othello Coursework ...read more.

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