Desdemona's Love In Othello

1073 Words 5 Pages
A major subplot of “Othello” is the romance between Othello and Desdemona: a relationship that Iago admits to being jealous of as he is enamored with Desdemona. Iago entirely discredits Othello’s love for Desdemona, saying “[i]t is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the / will. Come, be a man” (1.3.325-326). Given that up until this moment, Othello has acted in a noble manner, his rash behaviour with Desdemona contradicts his whole verse-speaking mannerism. Sneaking out with her tarnishes her reputation – everyone, even her father assumes the worst, so Iago chalks the relationship between the two to lust. Iago even goes as far as speaking poorly about Desdemona, saying “when she is sated with / his body, she will find the error …show more content…
Women who came from families of high statuses came with large dowries and inheritances. The man who married the woman would have instant access to anything she inherited from her family – money, land, and other commodities. Othello’s marriage to Desdemona was not traditional, but it was a property transaction none-the-less. Othello may act like he loves Desdemona, the person with agency, but in reality he loves Desdemona – the key to high society and wealth. Similarly, Iago loves the idea of possessing Desdemona. Othello has the job and the girl that everyone envies and wants for themselves. Iago, the way he perceives himself, is a lowly nobleman with a subpar wife. Desdemona is a symbol of status and wealth. He who possess the beauty is at the top of the hierarchy. Othello’s possession of Desdemona makes her a target, which is why, when Iago has convinced Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful, he is the one to turn Othello’s murderous thoughts onto her. When Othello suggests murdering Cassio, Iago says “did you see the handkerchief / […} she gave it him / […] [s]he’s the worse for all this / […] [s]trangle her in her bed” …show more content…
Othello does not know about Iago’s anger at him because Iago does not tell anyone but Roderigo, who he eventually kills regardless. Even Iago’s wife Emilia did not expect her husband to be responsible for the direct and indirect deaths of five people – not including himself. Emilia knew he was hiding something from her, but his behaviour kept her at a distance. When Othello first discovers that Iago led him astray, he chases after him. In this moment, the power dynamic shifts, because Emilia, before Iago so brutally murdered her, revealed Iago’s plot with the handkerchief, and everything falls apart. Iago, knowing this, fled, because he had no doubt that if caught, he would not survive. Once caught, Othello says to Iago “I look down towards his feet, but that is a fable. / If thou beest a devil, I cannot kill thee” (5.2.279-280). When it comes down to brute strength and the ability to command others, Othello beats Iago. Iago is like a mouse. He tests everything before he commits because he knows that should he be wrong, he will be caught and killed. Hence, Iago’s tactic is manipulation. Unfortunately for him, manipulation, though enough to relinquish Othello of his most prized possession (Desdemona), is not enough to keep him alive. Othello always held all the power; he just wasn’t smart enough to realize it until it was too

Related Documents