Adultery In Othello Analysis

884 Words 4 Pages
In 1603, William Shakespeare published one of his many tragedies, Othello. This tragedy is driven by love, betrayal, death, and jealousy. Shakespeare portrays this through two main female characters Emilia and Desdemona. Similarly, both characters have been accused of committing adultery. In contrast, Desdemona is naïve and cannot believe women would ever think of being unfaithful to their husbands. Emilia is worldly and would commit adultery if what she got in return was profitable. To begin, Emilia and Desdemona are very opposing when it comes to their morality on the perspective of adultery. Emilia believes adultery is acceptable and that “the ills we do, their ills instruct us so (4.3.103).” She states that women should be able to cheat …show more content…
Whereas, Emilia transitions from being quiet and obeying to outspoken and opposing Iago’s orders. In the beginning of the play, Desdemona goes against her father and marries the Moor. This is symbolic of Desdemona’s rare outspokenness and was portrayed as an immoral act to the townsmen and women. The most prominent corruption viewed in their marriage was the fact that Othello was dark-skinned and she was not. Also, Desdemona was very demanding when Cassio was demoted. She requested Othello multiple times to talk to Cassio and submit him a second chance. This sparked Othello’s anger and distrust in Desdemona and was the beginning of her transition to tranquility and fulfillment of all of Othello’s demands. On the other hand, Emilia begins by being obedient and carrying out all of Iago’s orders. “I’ll have the work ta’en out, and give’t Iago: what he will do with it Heaven knows, not I; I nothing but to please his fantasy (3.3.296-299).” This statement is made by Emilia earlier in the play exemplifying her loyalty to Iago. Emilia even helped Iago carry out his devious plan by stealing Desdemona’s handkerchief because she knew her husband had always desired it. However, as the play comes to an end, Emilia transitions to being direct and plain-spoken about her husband’s wickedness. She finally concluded that Iago had been leading everyone on to believing …show more content…
Desdemona would not have rebelled against her father had she not been supportive of Othello’s power. Many believed he did not deserve the power he had achieved because of his race. Emilia, although she was unaware of Iago’s trickery, was loyal to her husband and followed through with every command. This is exemplified when she retrieves the handkerchief and when she agrees to be Desdemona’s caretaker. Emilia and Desdemona were both compliant wives. In conclusion, both Desdemona and Emilia have many similarities and differences. They are both innocent and obedient. However, both differ in transitions through the play and their faithfulness to their husbands. These characters contribute to the overall meaning of the play by bringing out each other’s attributes and providing props for many themes in the

Related Documents