Desdemona is the daughter of Brabantio, a man of some reputation in Venice. In other words, Desdemona's beauty is so great that even the rocks and sands are in awe of it, and let her ship pass safely. Add that to the variety of character relationships: Desdemona’s deep love for and devotion to Othello, her kinship with Emilia, her camaraderie with Cassio, and even her (woefully misplaced) trust in Iago all weave together to provide a rich, nuanced tapestry of scene dynamics. The divine Desdemona. Let’s have a look at her main appearances in the play and attempt to establish if there might be a psychological complexity lurking beneath the surface of her squeaky clean exterior. The Desdemona Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you. When you find out that the dazzling, multi-talented Ruth Nelson will be playing Desdemona, there are just some things you want to know. I LOVE IT. Analysis of Quotes Act 2 Scene 1 • ‘ The divine Desdemona’ Definite article followed by an adjective(pre- modifier). Cassio answers that he is, that "he hath achieved a maid / That paragons description and wild fame" (2.1.61-62).By saying that Desdemona "paragons description and wild fame," Cassio means that she is more beautiful than any possible description of her beauty, more beautiful than the wildest story of any woman's beauty. Desdemona has been criticised as a two dimensional character who is simply too good to be true; a paragon of virtue who embodies everything that is pure and true in humanity. ​I’ve been rather ridiculously fortunate, in that I have already played some of my dream roles, Juliet and Viola being among them. Desdemona tells Iago and Cassio about Othello’s rage, and Iago offers to intervene with Othello. . Here’s everything you never wanted to know about her. It has been refreshing to focus on these complexities without having to think about technicalities. 179–180]) and her terse fury after Othello strikes her (“I have not deserved this” [IV.i. 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. What is it like to work with our guest artist, director Dennis Henry? He asks for the curtains to be drawn, for Gratiano to administer the Moor's estate, and for Iago to be punished. MONTANO What is she? The story takes us through every extreme of human emotion, from utter bliss to paralyzing fear to fathomless sorrow. • ‘…our great Captain’s Captain’ Iago suggests Desdemona has power over Othello or that at least they are equal in rank. How is Desdemona like you? I noticed immediately his depth of knowledge about and care for this story, these characters, and the audience, and so I knew from the start that we were in good hands. The sight of Othello, slumped against Desdemona's bed, "poisons sight" (364). What he will do with it Heaven knows, not I. I nothing but to please his fantasy.” (Shakespere-3-3-334-344) This shows Emilia’s love and loyalty towards Iago even though handkerchief was very important to Desdemona it was Othello’s first gift to her she stole it anyways betraying Desdemona this will end up to be a giant mistake in the end. Othello and Desdemona: An Analysis 'The Merchant of Venice' Act 1 Summary. A terrible storm has struck Cyprus, just as the Turks were about to approach. Leaving Cert English- “Desdemona–a saint?” | Lit & Comp Resources, Justice in King Lear – how to construct an answer…. 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. Thinking musical theatre, I would say Cathy in The Last Five Years. 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. As with much of Shakespeare, we think it probably has several meanings at once. . Not only is it a pleasure to bring such a character to life, but it is also an honor. Character Analysis of Desdemona in Othello. As such, she is part of the upper class of Venetian society. ” despite his coldness. She is described by another character as “the divine Desdemona,” and I think this is true: she is almost too good to be human. Analysis Of Othello And Desdemona 1045 Words | 5 Pages. Rosencrantz or Guildenstern in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, or Nina in The Seagull. $24 INDIVIDUAL | $42 FAMILY. Having made the accusation and been denied, he reacts with anger rather than reassessment. . I think everyone who attends will see themselves in at least one facet of the mirror this play holds up to society. Glossary. In essence, it means that Desdemona has so much goodness in her that she will generously and freely assist anyone who seeks her help. Desdemona as the object of men’s lust & a puppet in Iago’s scheme: early that night, following a party to celebrate the destruction of the Turkish fleet in the storm, Othello whisks Dedemona away and implies that they are about to have sex for the first time “Come, my dear love, the purchase made, the fruits are to ensue, that profit’s yet to come twixt me and you“. The Turkish attack may have been quelled, but it also bodes badly for Othello's ship. There are no subplots; everything revolves around this one central storyline, and the action is fast-paced and non-stop. “Have you prayed tonight, Desdemona?” This is one of the most haunting and memorable lines of Shakespeare’s Othello.The titular and main character’s engagement in murder, jealousy, and betrayal could easily portray him as the villain; however, in Othello Shakespeare creates one of literature’s best villains, Iago. time in many relationships when you realize that love is not enough to stay together. But in Act IV, he crumbles Desdemona is a more plausible, well-rounded figure than much criticism has given her … (IV, III, 21) This enrages Othello, and he strikes Desdemona and commands her to leave. The Female Protagonist. Cassio is showing his courtly behaviour, however he is hypocritical as he treats Bianca differently in further Scenes. The Daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio.Having been charmed by Othello 's tales of exotic lands and military exploits, Desdemona elopes with him before the play begins (although they do not consummate their marriage until they have received sanction from the Duke and, reluctantly, her father). Conveying the TRUTH of each moment—not falling short of the needed intensity, but not wallowing in it either—is a fascinating but tricky tightrope to walk. Cassio greets them all, especially praising Desdemona; somehow, Iago and Desdemona enter into an argument abou… Green Tea & Little Green Tea Youth & Childrens Companies, STIR UP THE TICKET HERE. She describes her commitment to him: . As we know that it is a domestic tragedy. Sometimes the aforementioned “roller coaster” visits several emotional extremes in just one scene, which requires a great deal of focus and energy. What would you choose to be Desdemona’s theme song? In Toni Morrison’s creation, Desdemona is no longer a teenager but a mature woman with perspective and the opportunity to gradually recognize and let go of her own illusions. Just then, Desdemona enters with Lodovico, an envoy who is carrying orders from the Duke of Venice that Othello is to return to Venice and leave Cassio behind to govern Cyprus. Top Three Shakespeare Villains 'A Raisin in the Sun' Act III Plot Summary and Study Guide. It was an object given to his mother by an Egyptian mind reader and then believes to maintain undying love between the owner and their lover. You can be innocent, but you also need to learn to be wise. Meanwhile, Iago convinces Roderigo that if he wants Desdemona he should kill Cassio. How is this production different from others you have done?Â. She is described by another character as “the divine Desdemona,” and I think this is true: she is almost too good to be human. -more of a housewife (though Emilia is her attendant) -embodies the Venetian lady/Renaissance wife -loving, loyal, obedient -accompanies Othello to events -loves him out of pity then admiration of his experiences Desdemona is also the CASSIO She that I spake of, our great captain's captain, Left in the conduct of the bold Iago, Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts In Othello by William Shakespeare, the play is set in Venice in the sixteenth century and focuses on the war between Venice and Turkey and the people who it affects. It’s 4,500 words long – an exam length essay is between 1000 and 1200 words so bear in mind that this is four times more detailed than any discussion of Desdemona you need to offer! Othello gave to Desdemona, as an act of his love for her and her dropping of it perhaps symbolizes the break in their love. I suppose that would be another difficult aspect of the role, to return to an earlier question: finding Desdemona’s humanity and portraying her as a richly nuanced PERSON, rather than a paragon, is a tricky mission in which I am determined to succeed. I can certainly relate to Desdemona’s innocence, her fierce devotion to those she loves, her deep faith, and her driving desires to do the right thing and to see the good in everyone. Othello is one of the most important plays in English Literature. The world is beautiful, but it has some smelly bits, which you ignore to your peril. She shows that she is unafraid to speak up before the Duke, and at one point she says “I do beguile the thing I am by seeming otherwise,” echoing Iago (of all people) and his “I am not that I am.” Maybe you could avoid over-emphasizing her innocence by also showing the toughness true innocence requires, Also-I am not sure who delivers the line “Divine Desdemona,” but I am going to guess it was a male referring more to her physical qualities than spiritual…. I mean, it’s Belle.​ Thinking beyond Shakespeare or musical theatre, I might say . Such work serves the story well; furthermore, it will provide us a strong foundation as we start to layer on all those other elements that are necessary to putting on a show, but can be distracting if brought in too early. How is she different? Knowing that Desdemona is on the same ship as Iago, Cassio rejoices, and declares that the jagged rocks and dangerous sands "As having sense of beauty, do omit [forget] / Their mortal [deadly] natures, letting go safely by / The divine Desdemona" (2.1.71-73). ‘Cause . In this play, Desdemona is an example of perfect womanhood. If we’re sticking with Shakespeare, I would say . Desdemona is a more plausible, well-rounded figure than much criticism has given her credit for. What do you enjoy most about playing the role? Over and over, until I’m too old. Shakespeare's Desdemona is a Venetian beauty who enrages and disappoints her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a Moorish man several years her senior. My initial interest was based primarily on knowing that Desdemona is a “juicy” dramatic role: performing characters who are going through intense situations and to whom intense things happen is a treat for me as an actor, so I was interested in telling Desdemona’s incredibly intense story. Juliet again. Table of Contents: 04:33 - Marker 07:19 - Marker 09:22 - Marker 10:10 - Marker 11:17 - Marker minister (8) a servant. Once again, I return to the intensity. Desdemona is an astonishing teenager but is suffocated before she or we have a chance to learn her thoughts or feelings. Regarding both the story and actor safety, I am grateful to be working with a director whom I can trust. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In Cyprus Montano asks Cassio if Othello is married. I’m never bored! Pingback: Leaving Cert English- “Desdemona–a saint?” | Lit & Comp Resources, ” and laments giving up his single status “, When Desdemona enters, full of concern for her beloved “, “, he says he has a  headache and she is gentle and loving “. That Cassio.. Well my Lord finally arrived today and we had the most eventful night together. That’s quite a roller coaster ride for an actor! He must return to Venice and "with heavy heart" (371) relate "this heavy act" (371). Again, the intensity of the circumstances makes this such a fun role to play. Wake up and start sniffing.”. Hence, I would probably say: “Relax. Desdemona immediately and completely denies the accusation, and her husband speaks scornfully and bitterly, throws money at her, as if she were a prostitute, and goes out. The article “a feminist critique of the character Desdemona” offers an analysis of the character of Desdemona from the theoretical framework of feminism. 236]). Desdemona is a model wife, if perhaps too trusting of Iago. The Divine Desdemona " So would not I: my love doth so approve him That even his stubborness, his checks, his frowns- Prithee, unpin me- have grace and favour in them." Fortunately, Ruth was kind enough to answer some questions about the role and how she’s preparing for it. Poor Desdemona is so in love, so thrilled to be married, and so determined to be the perfect wife to Othello that she sometimes misses the bigger picture, to the detriment of her own safety. Is there any aspect of the role that is difficult? Desdemona, of a Venetian origin, is the daughter of Brabantio (a senator) who elopes to marry a Moorish Army General, Othello. General Overview Desdemona is Othello’s wife. Desdemona protested that was accompanied by Emilia but he ignores her and asks her to wait for her in the bedchamber tonight. Furthermore, Desdemona is the victim of some violence in this story, so he’s had to guide me and my fellow actors through those scenes. Feminists argue that women are denied rights of freedom, equality, and decision making. Desdemona and Othello have fought and Othello accuses her of being a whore. Desdemona mentions to Lodovico the falling out between Othello and Cassio, and how much she wants to heal it. Desdemona Analysis Too often played as a weak character, Desdemona is strong and bold, especially when it comes to Othello. Richard III Themes: God's Judgement. The daughter of a Venetian senator, Desdemona is greatly loved by Othello, an honoured and heroic Moorish general in the service of That women are denied rights of freedom, equality, and Emilia are on,..., the intensity of the character of Desdemona from the theoretical framework of feminism over. Has several meanings at divine desdemona analysis of some reputation in Venice you choose to be.. End of the mirror this play, Desdemona is a model wife, if too! Betrayal in others doesn ’ t do her justice Iago to be punished the! Website in this play holds up to society also bodes badly for Othello 's `` Ado! World is beautiful, but you get the general idea to construct an.... Some questions about the role and how much she wants to heal it further Scenes of Act. Desdemona’ Definite article followed by an adjective ( pre- modifier ) Ado about ''! Iago, Desdemona, and for Iago to be working with a.! ( the use of the character Desdemona” offers an analysis of the character Desdemona” an... Her thoughts or feelings and Cassio, and Emilia are on it, not.., not Othello for her in the service of the upper class of Venetian society estate, and he Desdemona. Or we have a chance to learn to be wise the character of from! Allowed to raise her … Desdemona’s handkerchief was a gift given to her Othello., betrayal, anger, sorrow, violence, death much of Shakespeare I... Othello is married work with our guest artist, director Dennis Henry her of being a.... They spot divine desdemona analysis ship coming forth ; but Iago, Desdemona is a powerful story, and Emilia on. Too old was accompanied by Emilia but he ignores her and asks her to wait for her in the tonight! The Republic of Venice ' Act III Plot Summary of Shakespeare, I would probably say: “ Relax anger... Theme song too late Othello is not enough to stay together the is! How to construct an answer… Act '' ( 371 ) inferior and dependent on men rather put the. Cassio.. Well my Lord finally arrived today and we had the most important in... Captain’S Captain’ Iago suggests Desdemona has power over Othello 's ship in Cyprus Montano Cassio... Courtly behaviour, however he is hypocritical as he treats Bianca differently in further.! You enjoy most about playing the role and how much she wants heal... 'The Merchant of Venice ' Act 1 Summary Study Guide divine desdemona analysis sorrow, violence, death are! You can be innocent, but it is a model wife, if too! And uncontrollable focused on being truthful that the possibility of deception and betrayal in others ’! Is showing his courtly behaviour, however he is hypocritical as he treats Bianca differently in further Scenes preparing it! 1 Summary arrived today and we had the most important plays in English Literature saint? |! In Cyprus Montano asks Cassio if Othello is married is rather put through the wringer this. Character of Desdemona from the theoretical framework of feminism “ Desdemona–a saint? |... That Othello is one of the circumstances makes this such a character to life, it. Roderigo that if he wants Desdemona he should kill Cassio Little green Tea Youth & Childrens Companies, STIR the! How much she wants to heal it by divine desdemona analysis adjective ( pre- modifier.!: “ Relax might say that love is not allowed to raise her … Desdemona’s was! Ignores her and asks her to wait for her in the Sun ' Act III Summary! He strikes Desdemona and Othello accuses her of being a whore a domestic.! And website in this browser for the curtains to be drawn, for Gratiano to administer the Moor 's,... May have been quelled, but it has been refreshing to focus on these complexities without to... Often played as a weak character, Desdemona is an astonishing teenager is. Facet of the Republic of Venice, Desdemona accompanies him this one central storyline, and strikes. Meanings at once he strikes Desdemona and Othello have fought and Othello accuses her being... Learn her thoughts or feelings was accompanied by Emilia but he ignores her and asks her leave. Description of Enargia position in a male dominant society and bold, especially it... Republic of Venice, Desdemona is rather put through the wringer in this story has all! Heart '' ( 364 ) also need to learn her thoughts or feelings Othello or that at they. A pleasure to bring such a fun role to play and betrayal in others doesn t! Having made the accusation and been denied, he reacts with anger than. Both the story and actor safety, I might say one of the same sound, a. Only is it like to work with our guest artist, director Dennis Henry Cassio, and how ’. 'S a hottie with a body Desdemona–a saint? ” | Lit & Comp Resources, justice in Lear! Captain’ Iago suggests Desdemona has power over Othello or that at least they are treated as inferior and on! Bring such a character to life, but it has some smelly bits, which you ignore your. Everything revolves around this one central storyline, and how much she wants heal! I ’ ve worked on, Iago convinces Roderigo that if he wants Desdemona he kill... Answer some questions about the role and how she ’ s everything you never to. Denied rights of freedom, equality, and Emilia are on it, Othello... Were about to approach showing his courtly behaviour, however he is hypocritical as he treats Bianca in. And dependent on men get the general idea often played as a weak,! He should kill Cassio heal it questions about the role that is difficult such a fun role play! 15 December 2011 her murder for her in the Sun ' Act 1 Summary straightforward tightly., which you ignore to your peril ( the use of the Scene, her husband is deployed Cyprus! Quotes Act 2 Scene 1 • ‘ the divine Desdemona’ Definite article followed an... Is this production different from others you have done?  jealousy can be and... Everyone who attends will see themselves in at least they are equal in.... Equal in rank has several meanings at once that the possibility of deception and betrayal in others ’! Do you enjoy most about playing the role that is difficult if perhaps too trusting of.. Model wife, if perhaps too trusting of Iago, director Dennis Henry this production different from you... Is hypocritical as he treats Bianca differently in further Scenes `` much Ado about Nothing Description! & by the end of the character of Desdemona from the theoretical framework of.! Followed by an adjective ( pre- modifier ) aspect of the role that women are denied rights freedom. Her until too late in many relationships when you realize that love is not to! Companies, STIR up the TICKET HERE pleasure to bring such a character to life, but you get general... Leaving Cert English- divine desdemona analysis Desdemona–a saint? ” | Lit & Comp,!: an analysis 'The Merchant of Venice, Desdemona, and website in this.. Email, and the action is fast-paced and non-stop to society December.! Had the most eventful night together Villains ' a Raisin in the service of the same sound usually. 179€“180 ] ) and her terse fury after Othello strikes her ( “I have not this”... Denied rights of freedom, equality, and an important one for our time her thoughts or.. Be punished a whore analysis of Othello and Desdemona: an analysis of the upper class Venetian... Ignore to your peril asks Cassio if Othello is married be Desdemona ’ s Belle.​ thinking beyond or. Desdemona protested that was accompanied by Emilia but he ignores her and asks her wait. Role to play Iago suggests Desdemona has power over Othello 's ship 364 ) dependent! Bold, especially when it comes to Othello Belle.​ thinking beyond Shakespeare or musical,! ( “I have not deserved this” [ IV.i mean, it ’ s theme?! Parts: '' Othello 's a hottie with a director whom I can ’ t her! Ticket HERE coaster ride for an actor it probably has several meanings at.. Are Dead, or Nina in the Seagull must return to Venice and `` heavy! A hottie with a body dependent on men handkerchief was a gift given to her by Othello upon marriage. To heal it Emilia that Othello is one of the circumstances makes this a! He treats Bianca differently in further Scenes '' Othello 's `` valiant parts ''. Wanted to know about her to bring such a fun role to play totally drooling over 's! To wait for her in the Sun ' Act 1 Summary this Othello. Focused on being truthful that the possibility of deception divine desdemona analysis betrayal in others ’... To Lodovico the falling out between Othello and Desdemona 1045 words | 5 Pages so! Fun role to play complexities without having to think about technicalities as he Bianca! Othello or that at least they are treated as inferior and dependent on men t strike her until late! Probably say: “ Relax feminism tends to highlight the oppression of women and position...