In this play, Desdemona has a significant role as the most dominant woman in the whole drama. Her influence in Othello’s life is explicit, and her importance to him is also easy to discern. In addition to her well-portrayed character, in terms of strengths and weaknesses, her folly in the play is evident. This folly leads to her demise as the play reaches its climax. All these aspects are well elucidated in the essay below as per every aspect.
Desdemona’s influence on Othello can be directly deduced from the play. First, Othello loves Desdemona with such a magnitude that he is willing to go against Brabantio, the father of Desdemona and a senator, who have a lot of political power that could jeopardize Othello’s life. Othello confesses to Iago, “But I love gentle Desdemona…” This influence resulting from his love for Desdemona becomes a weak point through which Iago and Roderigo use to seek their revenge on Othello. After receiving some deceitful news that his wife is cheating on him with Cassio, he immediately fires him off duties. When it becomes apparent that she is indeed becoming unfaithful after her handkerchief is found in Cassio’s room, the jealousy becomes so intense that he orders the killing of Cassio and chokes her wife to death. These instances are a clear depiction of the influence of Desdemona in Othello’s life.
Desdemona is important to Othello in several ways. First, she satisfies him by playing the role of a wife in his life. Secondly, she broke social and racial bounds to be with him. For this reason, he treasures her more than anything or anybody else in his life. This treasuring aspect explains why he becomes so jealous when he is told of her alleged unfaithfulness. He could not understand why he took too much risk for her just for another man to flirt with her. The other importance is that she was a sign of his mightiness as a Moor, which had gone to the social and racial bounds.
There are several instances in which Desdemona’s folly can be pointed out. The first instance is when she defies her biological father and secretly gets married to Othello and elopes with him. The second instance is her boldness to defy social and racial convictions by marrying a black moor. The third instance is when she falls for romantic and disastrous illusions of love.
Desdemona has her strengths and weaknesses just like any other human being. Some of her strengths are she is gentle and loving. Her gentle nature is evident from the constant references by Iago as “gentle lady”, and her love is evident from her deeds of surpassing racial and class bounds to marry a Moor. The third strength is that she is bold a strength that is evident from how she explains her love for Othello to her father without the fear of possible consequences. Her weaknesses can also be revealed through her character. Her caring nature is a weakness that reinforces the alleged unfaithfulness to Othello by begging him to reinstate Cassio. The second weakness is the slowness in discerning the change of behavior in Othello. If she were swift in discerning the sudden change of behavior, maybe she could have identified the source of the problem and hence would not have died.
Shakespeare, William, Clare Carroll, and Elizabeth Cary. William Shakespeare’s the Tragedy Of Othello, The Moor Of Venice. New York: Longman, 2003. Print.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg. Print.