Othello: Is Desdemona A Victim?

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To what extent could Desdemona be viewed as a victim or a loyal wife in the play "Othello"? Desdemona is the most complex female character in the play and she has many attributes. Context is especially important when it comes to understand Desdemona because she is a woman living in a patriarchal society. In the context of today’s society, she .It is definitely accurate to describe Desdemona as a victim, she is almost faultless, morally speaking, throughout the play and is mostly considered blameless for her death, although there are some critics who believe she is partly to blame. However, many of her other character traits, such as bravery and autonomy, do not easily align with the archetypal idea of victimhood. Desdemona is also undeniably a loyal wife, in that she…show more content…
Many aspects of her character strongly clash with the typical image of a female victim from this time, as in Jacobean tragedies like “Othello”, it is very common for female victims to be characters with limited power who are punished for their sexuality. This is quite an unconvincing description of Desdemona partly because she proves herself to be strong and powerful incredibly early on in the play, through the exposition and in Act 1 Scene 3. The exposition shows that she has power because not only is she brave and self-assured enough to defy her father and choose her own husband, who she knows her father and much of society would disapprove of because he is a “Moor” and many people at that time would have viewed Othello the way Iago does, as less than human and deserving of racial slurs like “thicklips”. Not only is Desdemona brave enough to risk her social status, losing her family and potentially her safety when she again defies convention by eloquently asking permission to be allowed to “go with him” to Cyprus, which was definitely not considered normal or even often permitted in this

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