seghal: jealousy trains us to look with intensity not accuracy: f. billingley The word serve implies Desdemona's inferior status. This essay will analyze her. Lisa Jardine’s “Women as Shrews” theory represents Desdemona as shrew. Othello (The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603.It is based on the story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio (a disciple of Boccaccio's), first published in 1565. Feminism tends to highlight the oppression of women and their position in a male dominant society. The denial of freedom and right to take decisions of their lives are the real causes of many tragedies in the life of woman. "i am Obedient". Match. Othello critics quotes. She describes her commitment to him: "But here’s my husband, And so much duty as my mother showed. The horror lies between the virtuous Desdemona and malevolent Iago 8 What does AC Bradley say about the character of othello “Noblest soul on earth” 9 What are F.R Leavis views on othello Some commentators suggest she is a goddess and a saint, others see her as a representative of goodness and purity, whose self-control and innocence are praiseworthy. She informs her father that she has made the decision and is unwilling to go back. Feminists believe that literature reflects masculine bias and represents an inaccurate and potentially harmful image of women. 179–180 ]) and her terse fury after Othello strikes her (“I have not deserved this” [IV.i. Write a critical analysis of the relationship of Othello and Desdemona in Shakespeare`s tragedy Othello. He uses his purse freely as if it were his won, always promising that he was spending his money to give presents to Desdemona and in course of time he would certainly enjoy her. Desdemona is one of those characters who is powerful, strong and whose exercise of her rights caused her doom. He uses his purse freely as if it were his won, always promising that he was spending his money to give presents to Desdemona and in course of time he would certainly enjoy her. Another critic, Lisa Jardine in 1987 said “Here is a women’s defining knowledge; private, domestic and sexual, requiring to be hidden from the public view in the interest of decorum and modesty.” Desdemona, as a young independent, strong determined young woman, ended up as a tragic hero because she was vulnerable to oppresion of society. Another critic, Lisa Jardine in 1987 said “Here is a women’s defining knowledge; private, domestic and sexual, requiring to be hidden from the public view in the interest of decorum and modesty.” Desdemona, as a young independent, strong determined young woman, ended up as a tragic hero because she was vulnerable to oppresion of society. Two of the key characters are Cassio, Othello's loyal captain, and Roderigo, a man who is love with Othello's wife, Desdemona. When she tried to take action against it, it resulted in her death. Pay special attention to the interracial character of this relationship and the use of racist stereotypes in the play. And eventually was killed by her sceptic husband. desdemona is killed by all those who see her humiliated + beaten in public & fail to intervene: honigmann: both are outsiders Othello as a moor, iago as a malcontent with a grudge against privilege. “there is not a sign, then, that Desdemona questions or feels a shock to her internal feelings and beliefs”. ABIGAIL ROKISON WOODALL: Let’s start with the question, who is Desdemona? Woman is not allowed to raise her v… . Shehad no qualms about going against her father to marry a Moor in a time when racial prejudice was a norm. These are some of the quotes I found most helpful to include in essays. Learn. However, her position as a woman made her vulnerable. Desdemona, of a Venetian origin, is the daughter of Brabantio (a senator) who elopes to marry a … Write. She defied her father and married Othello against his wish. The use of last sentence shows her resistance and a stubborn nature. The contrast between The Moor Othello and the gentle Desdemona in Shakespeare`s tragedy Othello is noteworthy. – Kenneth Muir, [Othello’s downfall] ‘Is composed very largely of ignorance of self as well as ignorance of her.’ – Wilson Knight, ‘[Othello] concealed the malice he bore in his heart, in such a way that he showed himself outwardly like another Hector or Achilles.’ – Cinthio, ‘He had to be led up, pushed on, excited with great difficulty before he could entertain the idea of deceit. Desdemona insists to Emilia that Othello is not a jealous man. Desdemona is one such character in Othello. Feminists’ movement began in 1960 and formed a new approach to literary criticism. Critics from the past: Thomas Rymer was one of the play’s earliest critics; he produced a commentary on the play in A Short View of Tragedy (1693). Feminists argue that women are denied rights of freedom, equality, and decision making. Without thinking rationally, he doubted her chastity, her love and care. In his madness he even killed her. But Othello is undone by his evil underling, Iago, who convinces Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him with his lieutenant, Cassio, leading Othello to murder Desdemona. It’s not only critics, but also a number of feminist playwrights who have responded to Desdemona’s character. Critic E.A.J. metin_kayikci. F.R LEAVIS. Some critics argue that she clearly has the capacity for duplicity. Suffice it to say, there is a large body of evidence to support this critical stance. Garner (1976) finds that just as the other characters in the play see Desdemona as either pure and perfect or as Venice's “cunning whore,” so do many modern critics. To you, preferring you before her father, So much I challenge that I may profess. Some of the critics before Professor Bradley have more truly seen the character of the love of Othello and Desdemona. From the play’s earliest performances, audiences responded sympathetically to Desdemona’s plight. The Jardine herself says, “In Elizabethan age the domineering wife brought shame and humiliation upon her husband” (Jardine, 1987). She is thought of responsible for performing her duties only. She is determined to “serve Othello, forsaking her father”. The negativity by which Shakespeare's depicted Gertrude in Hamlet, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Desdemona in Othello and... Love and Age in Othello. Lashing out at Desdemona he strikes her calling ‘O devil, devil!/ If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears,/ Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile/ Out of my sight!’ (IV.i.2686’2689). 236 ]). Apart from that Desdemona was frequently treated by Othello as a inferior. She is not allowed to raise her voices or demand her rights. You don’t have to remember them all, just ones that cover a range of potential arguments that you may make. Shakespeare on the other hand has portrayed women as both object and subject. – Kenneth Muir, That Othello in such circumstances refers to his services to Venice has been regarded as a sign of egotism. experimental basis of gender role. Carol Thomas. Some modern feminist critics see Desdemona as a hideous embodiment of the downtrodden woman. She defied to be enchained in those bondages. "8 Certainly no one would wish to deny the fact of Desdemona's innocence and virtue, and Bradley extols her sweet-ness, submission, and pathosY Yet Draper and Bonnard are undoubtedly right They are treated as inferior and dependent on men. [on Iago’s monologues about his motives], ‘An honest man who undertakes to tell you that your wife nad dearest friend have played you false makes a clean breast of it.’ – Stoll, Othello’s relationship with Desdemona as a re-enactment of the Oedipus complex: the General’s notion of his bride as the perfect woman – the pre-Oedipal mother figure – is contaminated by Iago’s insinuation that Desdemona is a sexual being – the whore who ‘betrays’ her child. Desdemona rejects this reasoning, promising ‘Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend’ (4.4.100). The feminist approach is based on finding and exposing suggestions of misogyny (the negative attitudes towards women) in literature. Spell. Desdemona’s conversation with Brabantio suggests that she is a strong woman. It has also been said that Desdemona, "despite the critics' praise of her inno-cence, falls through this very innocence. The horror lies between the virtuous Desdemona and malevolent Iago 8 What does AC Bradley say about the character of othello “Noblest soul on earth” 9 What are F.R Leavis views on othello He conceived of a monster, whose wickedness should lie far deeper than anything that could be explained by a motive.’ – Lytton Strachey, ‘Pain is the unmistakable proof of [Iago’s] own power over his victim.’ – A.C. Bradley, ‘Shakespeare put a good deal of himself into Iago.’ – A. C. Bradley, ‘Many acts of cruelty which evidently do not spring chiefly from ill-will and which therefore puzzle and sometimes horrify us most.’ – A. C. Bradley, ‘Iago is Shakespeare’s most extraordinary example of a “surrogate dramatist”’ – Graham Bradshaw, ‘Iago is successful in manipulating Othello because he takes advantage of real, male, social concerns.’ – Traub, ‘Iago is not acting from personal jealousy of Cassio and Othello, but from a much more general stance of simple hatred for what is good.’ – R. A. Foakes, It is possible to identify Iago as a projected image of forces present in Othello. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Wuhan in central park, nication desdemona on essay critical. Othello seems to possess the elements of patriarchy or male dominance. Desdemona Character Analysis in Othello | SparkNotes. Gravity. Feminism object to seeing woman as an “object” and insist on seeing and representing women as “subject” by accepting their active role in the society and giving them agency. Feminism tends to highlight the oppression of women and their position in a male dominant society. Desdemona is a young, innocent girl who has had a privileged and protected upbringing as the governor’s daughter. – David Bell, Man can endure earthquake, epidemic, dreadful disease, every form of spiritual torment; but the most dreadful tragedy that can befall him is, and will remain, the tragedy of the bedroom. Discusses difficulties in interpreting the true nature of Desdemona, a character in English dramatist William Shakespeare's play 'Othello.' As she nears death in the play’s final moments, she exonerates Othello by claiming no one has murdered her except herself. Desdemona has received a good deal of critical attention during this century. She was treated as a property presented through the marriage. – Kenneth Muir, Othello’s previous experience as a soldier has left him singularly ignorant of women, especially of women of a different race, and his own awareness of this makes it difficult for him to argue rationally with Iago. Due to the Moor my lord." With a generous spirit and full of vitality, although socially sophisticated she is essentially innocent. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / She makes a playful reference to Othello’s origins, suggesting that the sun in his native land made him impervious to jealousy, and therefore he is an exception to the typical Venetian tendency to be suspicious of women’s behavior. Desdemona, of a Venetian origin, is the daughter of Brabantio (a senator) who elopes to marry a … ‘Desdemona becomes a stereotype of female passivity.’ – Lisa Jardine ‘A whore’s death for all her innocences.’ – Jarvis ‘Desdemona is killed by all those who see her humiliated and beaten in public and fail to intervene.’ – R. Vanita Critics from the past: Thomas Rymer was one of the play’s earliest critics; he produced a commentary on the play in A Short View of Tragedy (1693). "let nobody blame him, his scorn i approve". 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. The truly jealous man is not like that.’ – Dostoevsky [on Othello’s jealousy], ‘Othello’s tragedy is that he lives according to a set of stories through which eh interprets the world…He is living the life of a chivalric warrior in a world run by money and self-interest.’ – Sean McEvoy, ‘Othello is thus no ordinary man, but in his own eyes – and hers – something of a hero of legend…for it is one of his failings to exaggerate and to dramatise himself and his own actions.’, ‘Othello’s ha bit of self-approving and self pride is insane and self-deceiving.’ – F. R. Leavis, ‘Othello’s isolation is emphasised casually and continually.’ – Richard Lees, ‘He is a stranger, a man of alien race.’ – Helen Gardner, ‘Othello and Iago…[participate] in the age-long warfare of Good and Evil.’ – S. L. Bethell, ‘…it is a struggle between equals.’ – Bob Peck, ‘It is Othello’s adventures, so unlike the civilian life she knows, which captivate her rather than Othello as a person.’ – W. H. Auden, ‘All three women endanger their lives, and two of them lose it, for daring to break silence.” – Marian Cox, “The perfection of women is to be characterless…everyone wishes a Desdemona for a wife.” – Coleridge, ‘Desdemona becomes a stereotype of female passivity.’ – Lisa Jardine, ‘A whore’s death for all her innocences.’ – Jarvis, ‘Desdemona is killed by all those who see her humiliated and beaten in public and fail to intervene.’ – R. Vanita, [Desdemona] ‘accepts her cultures dictum that she must be obedient to males and is self-denying in the extreme when she dies.’, [Female] ‘characters divide into virgins and saints or whores and devils’ – Marian Cox, ‘A white woman flouts the established social hierarchies’ – Ania Loomba, ‘She sees the image of her ideal warrior, is liable to experience moments of revulsion from the strange passionate creature she as yet knows so little.’ – Maud Bodkin, ‘Desdemona, as she appears in relation to Othello, is not so much individual woman as the Divinity of Love.’ – Maud Bodkin, ‘There is something very lovable about Cassio…we trust him absolutely to never pervert the truth.’ – A. C. Bradley, ‘Cassio in the end seems to represent the better man, the higher sophisticate.’ – V. Walker, ‘Cassio seems to represent the impishness of youth and the eye-catching gallantry that attracts lady folk to military men.’ – V. Walker, [Bianca] ‘shatters the pleasant illusion that sexual relations will conform to the norm of female subordination and faithfulness’ – Wiltenberg 1992, ‘Emilia is prey to the dominant ideology of wifely virtue.’ – Carole Thomas Neely, ‘[Emilia] accepts her social role. They did not start well; their marriage was controversial because of their race and Othello’s failure to follow proper etiquette while he was courting her. In spite of her assertiveness in choosing her own husband, French suggests Desdemona ‘accepts her culture’s dictum that she must be obedient to males’ and is ‘self-denying in the extreme’ when she dies. Woman is not allowed to raise her voice. Change ). - High royalties for the sales Honigmann states that as a character, she is widely misunderstood, by her father, Bratantio, who calls her a maiden never bold, by Iago, who thinks she must have change, i.e, she must soon realise her folly in marrying Othello, by Rodrigo, who thinks that she can be bought with presents, and by Casio, who thinks she is … Many critics have commented on her commitment to love and loving. F.R Leavis argues Othello’s love is ‘composed very largely of ignorance’ F.R Leavis argues Othello is guilty of ‘insane and self-deceiving passion’ F.R Leavis argues that Iago’s role of … Flashcards. - Every paper finds readers. Opinion on the character of Desdemona has been sharply divided. both stand apart from their fellow men both want to be accepted. However these issues could have been overcome with time. Some critics argue that she clearly has the capacity for duplicity. Critics on “Othello” “Rather may we ask here what unnatural crime Desdemona or her Parents had committed, to bring this Judgment down upon her: to Wed a Black-amoor, and innocent to be thus cruelly murder’d by him...I If this be our end, what boots it to be Virtuous?” Thomas Rymer 1693 The story of a Moorish general (Othello) and the soldier (Iago) who plots to usurp him, the play features a small cast of characters who are manipulated and pitted against each other as part of Iago's deceitful plan. (Marsh, 1998). The traditional feminist view of Shakespeare’s female character is that they have determined, powerful personalities that have been oppressed by culture and male dominance. Feminists argue that women are denied rights of freedom, equality, and decision making. This tenacity of Desdemona is partly what serves as her downfall; she continues to champion Cassio’s cause even when she knows this may create problems for her. Cassio on the flip side is a slave of passion. According to a critic, “Women are constructed as biologically weak and socially inferior. – Kenneth Muir, There is much to suggest that Othello is childlike, gentle and pure in heart. – Vaughn, [Iago is] ‘a kind of Mephistopheles’ – Wilson Knight, ‘[He] plots the ruin of his friends as an exercise for his ingenuity, and stabs men in the dark to prevent ennui.’ – William Hazlitt, ‘An amateur of tragedy in real life; and instead of employing his invention on imaginary characters or long-forgotten incidents…casts the principal parts among his nearest friends.’ – William Hazlitt, ‘Iago should appear to be what all bu the audience believe he is.’ – Booth, ‘[Shakespeare] determined that Iago should have no motive at all. She was doubted, beaten and not trusted. When she (wrongly) believes him to be dead, she openly weeps for him as she clearly sets out she has nothing to be ashamed of: “I never did / Offend you in my life, never loved Cassio,” ( Act Five, Scene Two ). – Tolstoy, The Moor, like Troilus, is made to believe that he has been betrayed by the woman he loves, and the supposed betrayal destroys for him the very meaning of existence. "A guiltless death I die!" Her naivete and docility in the scene is a result of 'confusion and fear'. In the Elizabethan age women were expected to run their household and so had to be competent in that regard. She spoke for her herself, refused to be crushed under the feet of patriarchy. Emilia famously speaks to Desdemona about the infectious infidelity of husbands, saying: Then let them use us well: else let them know, The ills we do, their ills instruct us so. She transgressed the traditional boundaries made around women to imprison them. The rites for which i love him are bereft me. Yet initially it looks like […] She does not rely on her own wit. Woman is expected to follow the norms and fulfil the expectation of the society. This shows that she is extremely intellectual and asserts her feminine existence on the very face of oppression. He is against her marrying Othello but she loves him and wishes to to war with him. They are treated as inferior and dependent on men. Even though Desdemona, considered by many critics and readers to be a intellectually capable and strong woman, the stereotype and the fact that … Key Concepts: Terms in this set (27) A manifestation of his love for himself. The very beginning of the play, we see that lago uses Roderigo as his tool. Even though Desdemona, considered by many critics and readers to be a intellectually capable and strong woman, the stereotype and the fact that … She retained her respect for her father by complementing him and his duties. She can be considered to be a victim of violence since Othello does not fulfil his duties as husband and hits her in public. (Marsh, 1998), It is also evident in the following lines. But she does not identify with it.’ – Eileen Abrahams, [Roderigo] ‘activates poisonous impulses in Iago.’ – Honingmann, [the final scene with the bodies on the bed]‘The monstrous equivalent of a sexual consummation.’ – Bristol, Milton, after Satan has slipped into paradise unrecognised by the angelic sentry, that “Hypocrisy is the only evil that walks/Invisible, except to God alone.’, ‘Ideologies…only work because they are not entirely external to us.’ – Ania Loomba, ‘Venice’s openness could also be viewed as dangerous by a society itself fairly suspicious of outsiders.’ – Ania Loomba. The Melbourne Festival production of Desdemona, written by Toni Morrison and with music by Malian songstress Rokia Traore, puts the women of Shakespeare's Othello centre stage. PLAY. The female protagonist in the tragic play “Othello”, Desdemona is truly one rare character who astonishes the readers as much with her outer beauty as with her inner grace. To you I am bound for life and education, How to respect you, you are the lord of duty, I am hitherto your daughter. "Your wife my lord, your true and loyal wife". both stand apart from their fellow men both want to be accepted. Women are not given an equal status as that of man. What methods have changed over the course of events, it is likely most concerned with trying to guess what the other character. Feminist Critique of the Character Desdemona in Othello. She is liable to serve her husband though she was bold enough to deny her father. For to Othello, Desdemona has deviated from her patriarchal role. Though she was a woman of strength but could not escape the male dominance. The character of Desdemona being so opposite to to the norm, created much controversy. To persuade his father and without offending anyone. Test. As she nears death in the play’s final moments, she exonerates Othello by claiming no one has murdered her except herself. Desdemona falls under this category because she stands up to her father. A.C. Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy c) Desdemona has been false to the purity and delicacy of her sex and condition when she married (Othello) While compassionating her melancholy fate, we cannot forget the vice of her character. Her speeches are not as lengthy as those of the men, but with Desdemona, every word counts. Roderigo is a fool and is easily duped by lago. seghal: jealousy trains us to look with intensity not accuracy: f. billingley As she is definite in her language, using short sentences at the end of her speeches and has a direct purpose in what she says. She suggests that the stage world of Jacobean drama is wholly masculine and argues that … Some modern feminist critics see Desdemona as a hideous embodiment of the downtrodden woman. She is a lovely, intelligent, wholesome and pious person. Her spirit doesn't desert her completely in later half of the play. Key Quotes. Instead of asking politely, she ordered him.she is determined to persuade anyone to get her own way. Shakespeare has highlighted both the norms and expectations of the society and the behaviour and attitude of women towards these norms. 179–180 ]) and her terse fury after Othello strikes her (“I have not … An analysis of Desdemona's character in Othello from a feminist perspective. It occurs through the verbal comments. If she raises her voice, it is then silenced by the society. Shakespeare populates his plays with various defiant daughters, who also prove to be devoted wives. Carol Thomas. Carol Thomas. In Shakespeare’s time women did not have the freedom that is taken for granted today. – Maud Bodkin, ‘Motive-hunting – Coleridge. Desdemona’s flirtatious ‘devour[ing] up [of Othello’s] discourse’ and her ‘serious incl[ing]’ (1.3.146–50) towards his autobiographical stories are reflective of Shakespeare’s Venice at large; a society eager for the most colourful version of events and with no … Through this foolish tool, he tries to spoil the marriage bliss of Desdemona and Othello. According to Neeley (1984) the focus of Othello is love, which drives Desdemona but is “tempered by her wit and realism”. This suggests that she is powerful female because of the decision she makes in the play. Otherwise she is frowned and called a transgressor. Though he felt repentant but it was of no use. However in the capacity of a woman, she was oppressed by Othello. She describes shrew as a classical disruptive woman, an alert and emancipated woman. A.C. Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy c) Desdemona has been false to the purity and delicacy of her sex and condition when she married (Othello) While compassionating her melancholy fate, we cannot forget the vice of her character. ( Log Out / But openly confident women were frowned upon.. Professor Dowden has observed that "In the love of each there was a romantic element; and romance is not the highest form of the service which imagination renders to love. Roderigo is a fool and is easily duped by lago. Feminist theory is usually sympathetic to women’s plight, often blaming men: “Traditional critics would believe that the plays show life’s struggle for the individual, whereas feminist critics believe it was entirely based around female subordination” (Thacker, 2008). Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Don’t forget that it’s just as important to argue against your critic quote as it is to include it in your essay. David Bell attributes Iago’s sociopathy to his repressed homosexual feelings for Othello. Critics seem to agree that it's one of the productions of the year - and that Ejiofor is one of the best Othellos in recent times. They are depicted as emotional being and cannot act wise in situations that demand urgency. Suffice it to say, there is a large body of evidence to support this critical stance. 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. Desdemona is a more plausible, well-rounded figure than much criticism has given her credit for. Some commentators suggest she is a goddess and a saint, others see her as a representative of goodness and purity, whose self-control and innocence are praiseworthy. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello and Desdemona’s marriage was doomed from the start. Though she asserted her individual personality but under the impact of a male dominant society she could not exercise her freedom. While some would argue that his murder of Desdemona is anything but self-controlled, the attack on his wife is an extremely calculated and planned one, as Othello seeks to rationalize his decision, slanting the proposition in the form of an execution of a strumpet, instead of the murder of an innocent. : Terms in this set ( 27 ) a manifestation of his love for.... Household and so much I challenge that I may profess bliss of Desdemona being so opposite to to norm! For Desdemona and corrects Desdemona 's occasional naivete ' with the problems arising table for as long the! Life as she nears death in the distress she feels, she exonerates Othello by claiming no has... In 1960 and formed a new approach to literary criticism she does not fulfil his as! 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