Desdemona, Counterpoint Of Mankind's Corruption

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Desdemona, Counterpoint of Mankind’s Corruption
Themes of deception and slander characterize Shakespeare's unique tragedy, Othello the Moor of Venice. Shakespeare seems to be highlighting all that is wrong with the world via Iago, a paranoid and miserably jealous character determined to pull everyone down to his gloomy state. Another character, Roderigo pathetically seeks Desdemona’s love despite her marriage while Othello unreasonably remains suspicious of his wife’s fawning fidelity. Yet, the alluring, noble Desdemona contrasts sharply against Iago and her surroundings. She represents a respected woman with compassion and loyalty for her neighbors as exhibited by her resounding reputation, persistence in pleading on Cassio’s behalf, and her inhuman reaction to Othello’s pledge to murder her,.
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This respect for her character manifests itself when she witnesses in front of the duke. He makes a point of hearing Desdemona’s testament. “What would you, Desdemona?” (I.iii. 247). Iago’s cruel claims about Othello’s “witchcraft” are invalidated by Desdemona’s testament; her word is trusted over his. During a time in which women were discouraged from advanced education and were reduced to exclusively acting as child-rearers, Desdemona’s status is the exception and not the rule. Clearly, she had earned the respect of the community much more than the average
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