How Shakespeare Presents Desdemona in Acts One through Four
Throughout the first four acts, Desdemona grows as a character. As the play opens, the audience only hear of her and the suspense is built. As an audience member, she does not appear to be of such importance at the beginning, but as the play proceeds, we find out more about her and her part in the twisting storyline. Desdemona’s character certainly changes through all four acts, making the audience continually question her and her true self.
When Act One, scene one first opens we are introduced with two characters, Iago and Roderigo, arguing over a woman. They say that she has left her house to ‘make the beast with two backs’ with
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When Othello is questioned about Desdemona is scene two, he bravely declares his love for her in the line ‘that I love the gentle Desdemona’. Barbantio is really concerned and lets his true feelings out, hinting a racist side of him in the line ‘sooty bosom’. When Desdemona enters in scene three, this is very first actual encounter with her. In her first speech, she declares that even though she loves her father and respects him and all what he has done for her, she is now married to Othello. This shows that this is a strong woman, who does not back down from what she wants. Many thanks have to be put on Othello for telling the Duke of his love for Desdemona, as the Duke is impressed and gives his blessings for the marriage. We see Desdemona’s true love for Othello when he is called away for battle ‘if I be left behind, and he go to war, the rites for which for which I love him are bereft me’. She is determined to not be left behind, she pleads to go with him. This is another clever scene from Shakespeare, as it shows Desdemona is not afraid, even in a battle, to follow her man. In this scene, we find out what some other characters feel about Desdemona. We find out that Roderigo is in love with her, and Iago is using him as a source of funds. Not only does this show us some key characteristics of Iago