Desdemona As A Complex Character In William Shakespeare's Othello

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William Shakespeare is known as a master playwright, creating characters such as Romeo and Juliet to Hamlet and Ophelia, but Shakespeare’s Desdemona is usually viewed as one-dimensional. Shakespeare’s Othello is riddled with complex characters, of which Desdemona most definitely falls in the category. Desdemona is viewed as virginal and naive, but in truth is manipulative and power hungry. It is also unknown if she truly loves Othello, as her love stems from pity. The most convincing reason Desdemona is a complex character is her growth through the play. Desdemona is a complex character, contrary to popular belief, Shakespeare demonstrates her complexity through her character growth, ambiguity of her love for Othello,and her search for power.
Before Desdemona’s marriage to Othello, she is seen as the innocent, virginal, and naive girl that her father believes her to be. Brabantio referres to her as, “A maiden never bold; / Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion / Blush’d at herself” (I iii 112-114). Brabantio believes Desdemona would never be so bold as to
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Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other time.
DESDEMONA. But shall’t be to-night at supper?
OTHELLO. No, Not to-night
DESDEMONA. To-morrow dinner then? (III iii 60-65)
Desdemona will not back down from a fight that she wants to win. Othello knows that in an argument against Desdemona that he will lose, “Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this, / To leave me but a little to myself” (III iii 94-95), Othello is asking for her permission because he knows that she wears the pants in their marriage. Desdemona is an extremely complex character. She is originally seen as the virginal daughter of Brabantio, but under the surface she is much more. She is a power hungry woman, who may not truly love Othello. The fact that makes her a complex character is not only these descriptions, but the arc that her character takes is what truly defines her. Against common belief Desdemona is a highly complex

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