The Emalia-Desdemona Relationship In Othello

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The Emalia-Desdemona relationship is an interesting and complicated one. At first glance, it might seem that Emalia serves as the jaded foil to Desdemona’s innocent naivety about love. However, a closer, sympathetic look at Emalia shows she has plenty of reasons to be as hardened as she has become. The role of Iago’s wife can’t be an easy one, and he is usually too concerned with revenge to pay much attention to her. He’s arguably one of the cruelest Shakespearean villains, and Emalia is just trying to survive unscathed. Desdemona, a privileged girl from a genteel family, is used to skipping through life without a bump. Consumed with idealistic love and adventure, she does not understand how much danger she is in with the brooding Othello.…show more content…
Desdemona remains constant throughout the play, a sweet but unchanging character. However, we get to see Emalia change dynamically, which is partly what makes Othello so thrilling! She is originally eager to please Iago, though he is crude and dishonest to her. He often calls her horrible names and acts violently towards Emalia. Despite all of this, she steals Desdemona's handkerchief for him, not really understanding his dastardly intentions. Hopeful he’ll appreciate her for once; she will “And give ’t Iago. What he will do with it/Heaven knows, not I./I nothing but to please his fantasy.," (3.3.305). However, by the end of the play, she has realized Iago is a cruel villain and assists with accusing him. She goes from wanting to help Iago gain more power, saying "Who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? I should venture purgatory for 't" (4.3.85-87) to braving death just to prove his guilt and serve justice for her dead friend.…show more content…
If Desdemona had been bolder and less innocent, would she have been able to argue with Othello and prove her innocence? Desdemona’s final act is an attempt to protect and cover for her abuser. Emalia refuses to be silent and tries to prosecute hers, saying Let heaven and men and devils, let them all/All, all cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak. (5.2.230) Their differences can serve us as an example. Do we sit by when ourselves or others are wronged? Or do we work for justice at all costs, like Emalia? Throughout the course of reading Othello, I mentally compared and analyzed the two women. By the time I had finished the play, I had resolved to strive to be more like Emalia. Emalia rises from a victim to a heroine. She dies defending herself, her morals, and her friend. One could argue she becomes the only admirable person in the entire

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