Essay on Othello, By William Shakespeare

1014 Words Sep 6th, 2015 5 Pages
The forces of good are powerfully embodied by Desdemona in the play Othello (1603) written by William Shakespeare, however evil ultimately prevails leading to her death and the tragic downfall of Othello. The virtue of goodness is evident in the characterisation of Desdemona, foregrounding her inherent morality, and strength, but more prominently evinced in her dying proclamation of her wholehearted commitment to Othello. However, the opposing, destructive forces of evil, evident in the character of Iago, finally triumph through his skilful deceit and manipulation. Evil, which seeps into Othello’s heart through Iago, overpowers his love for Desdemona and turns it into a jealous rage causing his transformation from an honourable hero to a disgraced murderer.

Clear examples of goodness can be seen through Desdemona’s virtues of love, patience and forgiveness, which are portrayed by her unparalleled devotion to her husband. From the very onset of the play Desdemona’s virtue and strength of character are evident in the lines, “That I did love the Moor to live with him,” blatantly proclaiming her love for Othello. This soliloquy is a compelling assertion of her commitment and loyalty to her husband, highlighting her innate goodness and courage in speaking against her father. Desdemona’s defiance was uncharacteristic of women during the Jacobean period due to the misogynistic values perpetuated at the time, which demanded female subservience, further reiterating her selfless…

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