Desdemona's death is tragic not just because she dies, but because it's her husband, Othello, who kills her. Desdemona is first in this situation because of her friendship with Cassio, and talking to Iago as a friend is another cause of her downfall, thus making her a tragic victim. Her speeches are not as lengthy as those of the men, but with Desdemona, every word counts. The tragedy of Othello. Othello does bear the brunt for the responsibility of Desdemona’s death- after all, it was he himself who committed the murderous deed! 14, no. on Othello is that of the responsibility for Desdemona's death, some critics ascribing it to Othello, others to Iago, others to both, and yet others to Desdemona herself.2 Emilia's death has not, until very recently, received comparable attention, and it is agreed that Iago is solely responsible for her death. Modern interpretations of Desdemona may find fault with her resignation, but here she is a tool of tragedy. I’d say that she’s partly responsible for what happened to her.she loved and trusted others too much. Do you agree? Othello gives it on his marriage to her. Her character holds her purity and her love for Othello until the very end of the play. Does Othello Meet the Standards of a Tragic Hero? The contrast between The Moor Othello and the gentle Desdemona in Shakespeare`s tragedy Othello is noteworthy. Sure, Iago has a large part in Othello’s actions, but normal people are not so rushed in their attempts to kill their newlywed wife. And so, by lying about the fact that the handkerchief is lost, Desdemona adds to Othello's suspicion (since he will, in a later scene, see the handkerchief returned to Cassio by Bianca) and ultimately to her own demise. G. Wilson Knight suggests that Desdemona is somewhat accountable for her own death as she was entering "the unknown seas of marriage with the mystery of man." But in speaking out, she is silenced by Iago as he stabs her to death. Work Cited Shakespeare, William, and Alvin, Kernan. Shakespeare wrote many comedies such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, and The Taming of the Shrew. 2.p-134]. Othello feels that it is entirely his fault and commits suicide while Cassio, Rodrigo, Emilia, and Brabantio all contribute to Iago’s plot and Desdemona failed to save her own life. However, it could also be argued that Iago is not completely to blame for the misfortune of. Overall Othello is responsible for his own fate as he allowed himself to be manipulated and didn’t stick to his morals and values, like a true soldier should. Othello's reaction upon Desdemona's death is a mixture of shock, hysterics, and anger. The last time we see Desdemona before she awakens to find Othello standing over her with murder in his eyes, she sings a song she learned from her … Othello has responsibility for Desdemona’s murder since he did kill her because he allowed his jealousy and insecurities to control him into abusing and actually killing his wife. She is far too trusting and thus herself partly responsible for her fate. Desdemona shows her devotion to Othello, she admits that even the worst of his actions could not undo her love for him. Desdemona is too innocent and gullible a character to be believable. Signet Classics, 1998. Apparently, she has many suitors vying for her … 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 not brave like Emilia. Othello is portrayed as a man that shows greatness; as a general from Venice who received high respect from his townspeople. Log in here. Othello is responsible for murdering Desdemona; Iago is responsible for Othello’s behavior but Emilia is responsible the person who takes the handkerchief and causes these events to take took place therefore she unwittingly is responsible for Desdemona’s death. Tragedy is a drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw. She states, “O banish me, my lord, but kill me not”. Desdemona herself must be held at least partly responsible for her death. If anyone is really responsible for her death, it is Iago. 1 Scene 3). The plot of the play results in her tragic and sudden death. “, even though she is a married woman. The article “a feminist critique of the character Desdemona” offers an analysis of the character of Desdemona from the theoretical framework of feminism. Two of his most vivid flaws include his jealousy and his reason versus passion. Iago knew Othello loved her so much he would do anything for her, and if he could destroy that love in some way his plan would work. If not for Desdemona’s pride, she could have lived a long and happy life with Othello. Desdemona in Othello is a Venetian beauty with resolute individuality, while Hermione in The Winter’s Tale is more mysterious. This action shows us that Othello is to blame for his tragedy. ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The most symbolic part of the end scene is after being killed, Desdemona wakes briefly, protecting her husband even as he strangled her saying voying ‘Nobody, I myself’ when asked who killed her. Das Werk handelt vom dunkelhäutigen Feldherren Othello, der aus übertriebener und durch den Intriganten Iago beförderter Eifersucht seine geliebte Ehefrau Desdemona und daraufhin sich selbst tötet. My argument is that Desdemona and Emilia die similar deaths for similar reasons. She is not afraid of a man likes Desdemona. It could therefore be argued that Desdemona is a strong character and even a feminist. So, if any character has died the most undeserved death in the drama apart from Emilia (Iago’s wife), then it is Desdemona. Othello trusted Desdemona implicitly “my life upon her faith”- showing the audience the extent to which her faithfulness rules his life and his trust. Desdemona is responsible for her own death as a result of her innocence and her inability to ask the right questions. Feminism tends to highlight the oppression of women and their position in a male dominant society. Othello was brought down by a fatal fault jealousy in his character. Desdemona plays at least one interesting part in the events that enrage Othello to the point of committing murder. Top subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences. Or, Is Desdemona responsible for the tragedy of her life? While Desdemona does seem to accept her fate she does not do so without questioning. Desdemona is a pure and innocent wife, but she is also naïve. Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. She is enraptured by the mystery of Othello and makes a … This action shows us that Othello is to blame for his tragedy. As Desdemona begs for her life and her innocence, Othello is only fuelled more by anger and jealousy. Once she has learned of Othello’s murder of Desdemona and Iago’s role in this tragedy, she speaks: “I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to speak” (5.2.217). Or, Why does Desdemona suffer? What reason does Iago give for his hatred of Othello? Desdemona’s strength lies in her faith in love with does not shake with the opinion of the society and does not fade away with minor ruptures in her marriage. His personality flaws ultimately lead him to killing his wife, making it an important factor in the play. Desdemona, the daughter of Venetian senator Brabantio, is captivated by Othello’s fables of bravery as a warrior and she falls in love with him. When first introduced to the play, Othello, I had been told that Othello was a tragic hero driven insane by a villain. Some might argue that Desdemona also shows a possibility of deceitful behaviour when she elopes in the opening of the play with Othello. Already a member? The tragedy of Othello. However, when reading the play Othello, I did not feel he was a victim at all. Or, Why does Desdemona suffer? She is inevitably a victim of her times – times in which regardless of her courage and independent spirit, she is destroyed by the men around her. 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