In the tragedy Othello, Shakespeare illustrates how all humans are vulnerable to destruction even if they're in a position of power. Othello marries young, white Desdemona, something not so daily in the Venetian society. All the relationships in the play are used to demonstrate the vulnerability of people when involved personally with other people. Each of the relationships in Othello portrays insecurities in each person, except Iago. All of the relationships with Iago are focused around him and his evil plan of destroying Othello. The marriages in Othello are the most important relationships in demonstrating vulnerability because they bring out the best hopes and attitudes, and the worst fears and emotions in each character.
The marriage of Othello and Desdemona display that even one who can truly love another, the need for absolute control will end in heartbreak. Othello seeks for control over Desdemona. In (3.3 267-70) 'O curse of marriage./That we can call these creatures ours,/And not their appetites!' In the line he admits that although he can call Desdemona his, he can’t control who she desires. His pride is too big to notice that Iago is just an envious friend.
Othello desires to be in control, but already fears he's lost whatever he had left. Iago helps to add fire in the pit by using Desdemona's loyalty against Othello. Iago reminds Othello how Desdemona’s defiance of her father and secret marriage with Othello her deceitfulness will turn against him: ‘She did deceive her father, marrying you,/ And when she seemed to shake, and fear your looks,/ She loved them most’ (3.3.209-11). Othello begins to despise Desdemona for all the fears that Iago is feeding him.
My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty.
To you I am bound for life and education.
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you. You are the lord of my duty,
I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband,
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.179–188)
Desdemona is speaking to her father on her and Othello’s behalf. Her father Brabantio is in disbelief after he hears of his daughters and Othello’s eloping. He hears of this shocking news in the middle of the night after he can’t find his daughter. Moments later Othello is summoned to report himself to the senate. There Desdemona is finally able to speak for herself. She explains about the divided duty she has. Although she appreciates her father for who gave her education and her life, she has a new duty to stand by her husband like her mother stood by him. Desdemona is simply standing up for her husband and their marriage.
Standing up to her father in front of the senate, Desdemona gains courage and bravery for her actions. She acknowledges the fact that he’s responsible for her life and education as she states. (line 3-4). She’s learned to respect him through her education. (line 5) However, she’s going to stick with her husband like her mother stood by her father’s side. (line 6-9) Desdemona’s new lord as she states in the last line, is her husband Othello. He’s the man whose orders she’ll take now.
In Othello, Shakespeare uses many motifs throughout the novel such as lightness vs. darkness to illustrate the evil and goodness. It is generally understood that light stands for purity, hope, and new beginnings, while darkness is often for fear, and the unknown. These associations may even be taken to the extremes