How Does Desdemona Develop

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Throughout the course of the play Othello, Desdemona's character evolves and develops. In the beginning of the play, Desdemona was a strong woman who challenged traditional Venetian beliefs, but as the story goes on, her strength is weakened and her relationship with her husband diminishes. Desdemona starts off in a period of naïve, happy love of Othello, progresses to a phase of bitterness at his treatment of her, and ends with a final, powerful adoration for her husband that survives even through Othello’s murdering of her. Talk about unconditional love. Let us first take a look at the independent Desdemona who we see at the beginning of the play. I think it is important to be aware of the fact that a father whose daughter married without…show more content…
Othello’s outright abuse of Desdemona slowly withers her down to the point where she can’t do anything about it. Even before we start to see this relationship unfold, there are a few key signs that show us the inevitable end for Desdemona. For example, she is easily wooed and impressed by Othello’s stories of his past adventures. Desdemona’s blind love towards Othello is another telltale sign that she is naïve and weak. Once she is accused of being unfaithful, she doesn’t have the agency to defend herself. She fails to see that Othello has turned against her, and is in fact going to kill her. Even though she wasn’t unfaithful to Othello, Iago slyly tricks Othello into believing so. Eventually, Desdemona begins to understand what Othello is thinking and planning to do. As Desdemona is getting ready for bed the night she will eventually be murdered, she starts singing a song, her “willow song.” It is through this song that we see Desdemona start to let reality soak in. Willows at the edge of water are a traditional symbol of women deserted by their lovers, and can apply to Desdemona’s current situation. The song, which is fiction, fuses with Desdemona’s reality. This song foreshadows what will soon happen to poor Desdemona. Desdemona is unable to understand that appearances are, more with Othello, as important as reality. She is only worried about her real intentions and behavior and not about what her behavior may appear to be, which ultimately leads to her

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