Othello Essay | In What Ways Does Desdemona Exemplify and Challenge the Ideal Embodiment of Women in "Othello"?

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In What Ways Does Desdemona Exemplify and Challenge the Ideal Embodiment of Women in "Othello"?

Summary: In Shakespeare's "Othello," Desdemona is portrayed as a multifaceted character who both exemplifies and challenges the ideal embodiment of women. First described as the perfect, ideal woman by her father, Desdemona quickly changes that portrayal by running away with Othello and becoming his husband. While she remains obedient, polite, and respectful, Desdemona is also strong-willed and unafraid to stand up for what she wants.
Desdemona is portrayed as two very different women in Othello. Desdemona is only introduced into the scene in Act 1 Scene 3 and so the image of her is made up and defined by the male characters. It is they who define her as the `ideal woman'. Her character is firstly defined by her father who views Desdemona as that of a typical Elizabethan woman whose first duty is towards her father. He believes Desdemona to posses the qualities of a virtuous and innocent young lady which is shown through the lines " a maiden never bold ; of spirit so still and quiet that her motion blushed at herself." He expects Desdemona to be obedient and submissive towards him and so is clearly shocked when he finds out from Iago that " an old black ram ( Othello )is tupping...

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This section contains 632 words
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