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Character of Desdemona

Desdemona is a more plausible, well-rounded figure than much criticism has given her credit for. Arguments that see Desdemona as
stereotypically weak and submissive ignore the conviction and authority of her first speech ("My noble father, / I do perceive here a divided duty"
[I.iii.179­180]) and her…

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Othello sends Emilia to guard the door. Alone with Desdemona, Othello weeps and proclaims that he could have borne any affliction other than the
pollution of the "fountain" from which his future children are to flow (IV.ii.61). When Desdemona fervently denies being unfaithful, Othello
sarcastically replies that he begs her…

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Desdemona starts off in a period of naïve, happy love of Othello, progresses to a phase of bitterness at his treatment of her, and ends with a final,
powerful adoration for her husband that survives even his murdering her. Talk about unconditional love.

Because Desdemona is smothered in her own…

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Act IV Scene II
"I'll be hang'd if some eternal villain, / Some busy and insinuating rogue, / Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office, / Have not devised
this slander;"
(IV.ii. 155-158)

Othello storms out of the room in anger and leaves Desdemona feeling bewildered and unsure of…

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Constant Change

Act V scene II

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Desdemona occupies contradictory positions in Othello; she is both `half the wooer' (I.3.176) (an active female who makes her
own choices ­ to marry Othello and to defend Cassio) and the passive prey or victim. She is abused by four male characters in
the play: her father Brabantio, who misjudges…

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adultery. Ultimately the virtuous Desdemona refuses to blame Othello for her unhappiness: she declares it is her `wretched
fortune' (IV.2.129). She has learned that `men are not gods' (III.4.149) and this is a disappointment to her. But while
Desdemona submits willingly to the man she chose, she dies valiantly, fighting…

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Either from Venice, or some ... I had suborn'd the witness,
And he's indicted falsely. (3.4.139-153)

Thought: Ever-optimistic, Desdemona finds a way to excuse Othello's irrational, jealous behaviour.
How now, my lord!
I have been talking with ... in an honest face:
I prithee, call him back. (3.3.42-52)
Thought: Othello…

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I ... he was born
Drew all such humours from him. (3.4.21-29)
Thought: Ironically, Desdemona does not think of Othello as a jealous person. Here we see that not only is a person's self-image untrue when compared to reality, but so is the image his
loved ones have of him.…

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back. At one point, he suggests that he'd like to even the score with Desdemona, too, as some kind of compensation, but then he never returns to that idea. Iago seems to think that
pretty much everything is about sex.


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