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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Emilia And Desdemona In Othell - 1006 words
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Othello - English Essay The contrasting characters; Desdemona and Emilia, form an interesting and important relationship in the play Othello. Desdemona is very 'sheltered' from the ways of the world and Emilia is very 'down to earth' and 'experienced'. From this difference we see a fascinating relationship between the two of them. In the given passage, we see that Desdemona takes a very honest, romantic and loyal stance towards Othello, (this is also true of her relationship with him), where as Emilia speaks more 'sense'.. more 'realistically'.
Desdemona is melancholy but hopeful, and her defenses of true love against Emilia's more cynical view of the world is an interesting contrast. This is demonstrated when:Desdemona says 'Dost thou in conscience think/ That there be women do abuse their husbands in such gross kind?';Emilia replies ' There be some such, no question'; Through this we see a form of 'education' going on; with Emilia as the tutor and Desdemona the student. Emilia is portrayed as Desdemona's 'teacher' in the ways of the world/men. The relationship between Desdemona and Emilia is shown to be quite close, as the following quote from the play shows, Desdemona is willing to share a part of her past with Emilia; a song that one of her mothers maids (Barbary) sang to her mother, and then her mother sang to her, 'The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree, Sing all on a green willow.Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knees,sing willow, willow, willow'; It is not common for a person to share songs from their childhood/past with people whom they are not close with, so therefore Desdemona and Emilia must be quite close (albeit that there relationship is probably based purely on Emilia's work.) Throughout the play, the audience's opinion of Emilia (and her relationship with Desdemona) differs. When we see Emilia' s involvement in the stealing of the handkerchief, the audience looks down at Emilia as apparently she has no scruples about betraying her mistress about small matters. Then in Act 3 scene 3 Emilia has an opportunity to foil Iago's designs, but instead she stands mute as Othello berates and abuses Desdemona for the loss of the handkerchief--a handkerchief whose location Emilia knows all too well
She could be a savior to her mistress, but instead is only the voice of ironic humor, asking;'is he not jealous?';and receiving firm denials Desdemona, only to watch Othello display fierce jealousy. Emilia then asks dryly,'Is not this man jealous?';to which poor Desdemona can only say,'I ne'er saw him like this before'; Later in the play, the audience's view of Emilia changes, we no see her as the voice of moral outrage.. her spirited defense of her mistress ends her time as Iago's accomplice, and locates her firmly on the side of the forces of right. Indeed, hers is the first voice defending Desdemona that Othello has heard since Iago began his work in act 3, scene 3, and it is a relief for the audience to hear someone speaking truth to the unfortunate Moor. Othello is too far gone for her sensible words to work, of course--Emilia' s common sense only leads him to call his wife a 'subtle whore';a ridiculous epithet for a young woman who is neither subtle nor unfaithful. In the given passage Emilia is shown as a strong believer in equal rights, and more to the point, women's rights. This is illustrated in the given passage, by Emilia's comments such as,'Let husbands know their wives have sense like them.
They see, and smell, and have their palates both for sweet and sour'; This further develops Emilia's character to the audience, as it displays her view of men, and how she believes that females are treated unequally in the world. Emilia's view of men can be summed up in one of her very own quotes:'They are all but stomachs, and we all but food:They eat us hungerly, and when they are fullThey belch us.'; This view of men is a sharp contrast to the view held by Desdemona. Desdemona sees men as 'good' for the entirety of the play. Even when she is killed for false reason, she defends them; declaring her husband innocent in her dying breath. In the given passage, Desdemona illustrates her view of her relationship and stance against doing any wrong by Othello;'Beshrew me if I would do such a wrongFor the whole world'; The audience having knowledge of this stance, adds to the dramatic climax of the play, by having Desdemona killed not only for doing something she did not do, but for doing something she is firmly against.
The given passage illustrates just how naive Desdemona really is, when it comes to the ways of the world. When Desdemona says;'Dost thou in conscience think/ That there be women do abuse their husbands in such gross kind?/ I do not think there is any such woman.';we see just how 'inexperienced' she really is. Desdemona is completely innocent , unable to comprehend how her husband can be jealous when 'I never gave him cause!'; . The other women in the play are the cynical Emilia and Cassio's mistress, Bianca: contrasted with these two, Desdemona stands as an icon of female purity. Her love for Othello is as strong (or stronger) as his is to her--indeed, she asserts it even as she goes to her death--and plagued by none of the insecurities and vulnerabilities that lay his love open to Iago's machinations.
Unlike Othello, she bears no responsibility for the tragedy--she is the only blameless victim of the villain's work. The two characters, Desdemona and Emilia, do indeed form an important relationship, and an interesting contrast in the play Othello. Their relationship, is almost as important as their individual roles in the play as a whole as their characters add not only to the dramatic ending of the play, but to the intricate plot as well.
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