'Desdemona is the principal agent of Othello's downfall'



The downfall of Othello plays a central role in Shaespeare's Othello. Multiple factors in the play can be argued to be partly responsible for causing his downfall. The role of Desdemona plays a part in showing the gradual deterioraion in the relationship with her husband. It is also important to consider the part that Iago plays in this.

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  • Desdemona's complete blindness to Othello's apparent anger with her, has a significant impact on the relationsship between her and Othello
  • when they arrived in Cyprus in Act 2 scene 2, Othello showed his complete devotion to Desdemona when Shakespeare uses the stage direction 'kisses her'
  • highlights a chnage in Otehhlo's affections for her 
  • 's'trumpet'
  • 'strikes her' - she is still unaware to why he is acting as he is 
  • 'what have I dont to deserve this deed?'
  • enrages Othello
  • she does play a role in Othello's downfall, even if she many not be aware of it 
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  • other factors like Iago's mainpulation are also significant at leading to Othello's downfall 
  • Act 1 scene 1 - Iago's hatred for Othello, 'I hate the moor'
  • racist and derogatry terms used to describbe him before the audience even meets him
  • sparks Iago's manipulation 
  • othello and desdemona's relationship is affected by this when othello lies to her to get out of dinner 
  • iago's manipualtion was a contributory factor in othello's downfall as othello believes the lies that iago tells him 
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  • It is also important to consider how desdemona did not play a part in othello's downfall because of her undenying loyalty to othello 
  • act 1 scene 3 - brabantio finds out about her secret marriage to othello 
  • she declares her loyalty to her husband in front of the duke and court 
  • similar at the end of the play in act 5 scene 1 - she is still deternined to show her loyalty to him whhen she says, 'no-one, I myself'
  • desdemona's utter devotation to othello suggests that she did not play a part in his downfall
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To conclude, Desdemona is only one small factor in causing othello's downfall and it is important to consider the impact that iago's manipualtion also had on othello. However, desdemona's continued devotation to othello shows her role was not as significant as first thought. 

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