Othello and Desdemona’s romance
These lovers have been brought together through mutual sympathy. But this perfect relationship is built on something unsettling. By his own admission, Desdemona fell in love with Othello’s bravery and for surviving many sorrows and tribulations. She pities his past. Othello, in turn, loves the fact that she admires him. From his point of view, he has a loving, obedient wife who admires his ability to endure dangers. For Desdemona, she has married an adventurous warrior, capable of defeating enemies and surviving oppression. The tragic irony kicks into play when Othello believes that his wife transfers her admirations to another soldier, and when Desdemona, in turn, ‘becomes the antagonist of her warrior-like husband. Ostensibly, this may seem romantic; but this relationship has troubles from the outset.While thinking about Shakespeare’s use of words, you may also want to do some of the following:She loved me for the dangers I had passed,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
- Read excerpts from Russ McDonald’s essay on ‘The Language of Tragedy’
- Watch this video from Folger on language
Want to keep
University of Birmingham online course,
Othello: In Performance
- How Othello and Desdemona’s actions and language at the outset of the play develop their characters in the audience’s mind but also lay out the trajectory for these two characters.
- The differences in the way Othello and Desdemona communicate and the importance of language in building each of the relationships in the play.
- For example, thinking back to Week 3 of the course, before their conversation in Act 4 Scene 3, how developed do you think the relationship between Desdemona and Emilia is?
Othello: In Performance
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