Desdemona In Othello

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In Othello by William Shakespeare, Desdemona is a young woman who is the daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio. Desdemona and Othello wed, prompting disturbances between everyone and eventually causing chaos between the Othello and Desdemona. Throughout this play--despite the dramatics--Desdemona continues to be determined and meek and persistently defended herself from the ill treatment she received from men, her marriage from her proprietorial father, and her dignity from Othello’s unfathomable jealousy. The character Desdemona demonstrates Feminism and Historical perspectives by representing how women were treated in Elizabethan times, portraying the traditional gender roles, and how she tended her tainted reputation.
Desdemona, as
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In Othello, Desdemona follows most of the stereotypes, being considered meek, pure, and submissive,whilst she continuously defends herself, her marriage, and reputation. She defended her marriage from her father, stating she loves Othello, when Brabantio gains knowledge of their secret marriage. “I am hitherto your daughter/ But here’s my husband” (I .iii.185). She states how she obeys her father and also respects him but she has to respect her husband and she will continue to do, which was very uncommon in their society since women didn’t have a say in arranged marriages. Many times in the play she also defends women from men and their slandering. Desdemona recalls, “Oh, heavy ignorance! / Thou …show more content…
Although she is determined and constantly defended herself and the people she cares for, she was seen as the “weaker sex.” In the Shakespearean era, women were seen as inadequate physically and emotionally. Since women were more fragile than men, the social concept that women always need someone to take care of them and look after them seemed natural (Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England). Men were considered as leaders while women were considered as inferiors, despite if the standard woman of the Elizabethan era was smarter than the standard Elizabethan man. Desdemona was seen as a possession and housewife. “And so much duty as my mother showed / To you, preferring you before her father / So much I challenge that I may profess / Due to the Moor my lord” (I . iii . 186-189). Although she was defending herself and her marriage, she still defends Othello by avowing her obedience to him since she’s his wife. She humbly states that, even though Brabantio is her father and she once served him, she will continue to serve Othello because that is what an Elizabethan woman would commonly do for their husbands. An Elizabethan woman, regardless of their social position, typical gender roles were clear. They were supposed to serve their husbands, if they were single they were to serve their male relatives, and be a common housewife (Elizabethan Women). That is what