The Secretive Nature Of The Relationship Between Othello And Desdemona

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In William Shakespeare’s Othello, turmoil within relationships drives the plot forward. Othello and Desdemona have their obvious issues which Iago creates, but less notably, Iago and Emilia face their own problems within their marriage. Throughout the play, Emilia maintains a dual loyalty between her mistress, Desdemona, and her husband, Iago. Iago’s pre-existing lack of respect for Emilia coupled with his desire to divide Othello and Desdemona creates an overall negative environment for Emilia. Because of Iago’s continued verbal abuse and distrust towards his wife, Emilia develops depression and anxiety.
Despite Emilia’s integrity during their relationship, Iago doesn’t believe that Emilia remains loyal to him. When Iago accuses Othello of
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His main intent is destroying Desdemona and Othello’s marriage, seemingly for his friend Roderigo, but mainly for the self-satisfaction he’ll receive from harming Othello. The secretive nature of his acts requires Iago to work in the dark, “at this odd-even and dull watch o’ th’ night” (Shakespeare 1.1, 75-76). However, Iago’s continuous desire to ruin Desdemona and Othello’s relationship causes him to betray his wife. When Emilia goes to their room at night, her husband isn’t there, because he’s attempting to cause distress within another relationship. Through his narrow focus on his personal gain from each move he makes, Emilia “feel like his military prowess is more important to him than I am,” as she stated in the …show more content…
While speaking to the two women, Iago calls them, “players in [their] housewifery, and housewives in [their] beds,” which offends Emilia and Desdemona (Shakespeare 2.1, 117-118). Emilia, after hearing his opinions on women, says, “You shall not write my praise,” and Iago confirms, “No, let me not.” (Shakespeare 2.1, 122-23). This exchange Emilia and Iago share after Iago’s rampage of insults, coupled with the fact that he insults Desdemona as well, clearly upsets Emilia. Emilia is a strong and independent woman whose willingness to speak her mind leads her to uncomfortable conversations. Her viewpoints are ahead of her time, and they tend to anger Iago. During a conversation with Desdemona about disloyal woman, Emilia says, “Let husbands know their wives have sense like them. They see and smell and have their palates both for sweet and sour, as husbands have,” which shows that she still refuses to succumb to the level which Iago makes of her (Shakespeare 4.3, 70-74). Despite this being the only example of verbal abuse that Emilia supplied during the therapy session, it’s highly likely that if Iago’s said these things before, he’s said them on multiple occasions. According to a journal of psychiatry, “There are many studies on intimate partner violence (IPV) and the mental problems it causes, such as depression, restlessness and anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, social

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