Desdemona's Invisible Presence In Othello

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Each character present in a book serves an important purpose whether the reader likes them or not. Toni Morrison, author of the Desdemona wanted to remove Iago’s presence in her play because “He’s there [in the play Othello], eating up everything.” However, He cannot completely disappear since he played a major role,probably the most important one, in Othello that led to everyone else’s deaths. Although his name is barely mentioned in Desdemona, he is still alluded to because of his influence over Othello much like Barbary’s invisible presence that influences Desdemona in Othello. Because Othello and Desdemona are easily guided, Iago and Barbary’s invisible presence drives the stories. In Desdemona, Desdemona discusses her family life and…show more content…
Iago is not mentioned as often as one would expect the antagonist of Othello would be. He is mentioned in an argument between Desdemona and Othello in Desdemona but not much after that. “My husband knew Iago was lying, manipulating, sabotaging? So why did he act on obvious deceit? Brotherhood. The quiet approval beamed from one male to another” (Morrison 37). Desdemona believes that Othello knew what Iago had been planning and he just went along with it because they had a connection of brotherhood. Othello agrees with the sentiment when he tells his tale of violence with Iago. He only says the word “we” not “I” which shows their teamwork and effort. Desdemona is a little disgusted by what she’s hearing and Othello says “you don’t understand. Shame, yes, but worse. There was pleasure too. The look between us was not to acknowledge shame, but mutual pleasure” (Morrison 38). Othello admits that him and Iago have an understanding and similar mindsets that other people, like Desdemona wouldn’t understand. This relates back to Desdemona saying Othello knowing what Iago wanted and going along with that to please the person who understands him best. Iago’s presence gives Othello the courage he needs to do the actions he shouldn’t, for example murder his wife. Iago’s lack of presence in Desdemona is what allows the couple to forgive each other. Knowing of Iago’s presence but that his influence over Othello is absent gives Desdemona the power to forgive Othello because he most likely won’t commit the same wrongs if no one is encouraging him with mutual looks of
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