By close analysis of the language in this extract, discuss Shakespeare’s portrayal of the love between Desdemona and Othello Essay

This extract is an important part of the play as it gives the first impressions of Desdemona and Othello’s love. Just before this extract Desdemona acknowledges her gratitude and love for her father but then she admits that her husband is foremost in her affections. Brabantio is deflated by her words, and immediately disowns her and offers her to Othello. The Duke reveals his plan to dispatch Othello to Cyprus to defend the island against the Turks.

In spite of the fact he is only just married he accepts the wishes of the Duke dutifully and with much relish. Desdemona uses powerful imagery as she beseeches the Duke to allow her to travel with Othello on his expedition to Cyprus. She uses passionate language when describing the love she feels for Othello. ” My heart subdu’d, even to the very quality of my lord. ” She argues, from the tales he has told about himself as a man of action and so she would like to see him realising the role that initially won her heart.

The rites for why I love him are bereft me. This suggests that the love is not as true and deep as it is made out to be because she only loved him for the dangers that he had passed. However she seems to have dedicated herself to his life style and is willing to cope with its consequences. “I saw Othello’s visage in my mind. ” This shows that she is devoted and committed to him. She uses the metaphor of herself being a “moth of peace”, who would flap around aimlessly if she was ever left without Othello. Desdemona is clearly quite dependant on him.

Othello supports Desdemona’s plea and reassures the Duke that he will not neglect his duties to the state, suggesting that his relationship with Desdemona has a depth that is more then just sexual gratification. “. But to be free and bounteous to her mind. ” This statement is also dramatically important as it challenges the audience’s views of black men. In Shakespeare’s time black men would have been considered as ruff, dirty sexual characters. This therefore emphasises his love for Desdemona as it contradicts his stereotype.

Othello is again linked with heaven, portraying him and his attitude as pure, honest and virtuous. “Vouch with me, heaven. ” He calls upon heaven just as Iago refers to hell and hate. This contrast helps to emphasis Othello’s excellent image. It also reveals his love to be true and absolute. Othello uses a metaphor to show that his love for Desdemona will not make him blind and useless. ” No, when light-winged toys of feathered cupid seel… ” He refers to the god of love, and a hawking metaphor: the young hawks eyes “seeled” by sewing them up.

Othello intends to remain observant and efficient and not to become blinded by love. Although he loves Desdemona, he is not prepared to loose his respect and reputation for it. Both Desdemona and Othello have diplomatic qualities in their characters. They are able to be respectful, grateful and polite. Othello suggests that if his personal life affects his duties he would accept his downfall and the loss of his reputation. He uses a metaphor to convey this. “Let housewives make a skillet of my helm. He says that housewives can use his helmet as a saucepan if Desdemona affects his judgement. He uses the image of the transformation of military to domestic, and shows that he has confidence and control in his love. At the same time he is being dutiful to the Duke.

Othello is shown to be a level headed, fair and reasonable character. The Duke resects Othello and tells Brabantio so. He talks in rhyming couplets, which is his attempt to break the tension between the couple and Brabantio. ” Your son-in-law is far more fair than black. The alliteration and structuralism helps to impress that in the Dukes eyes Othello has a fair, character. This extract ends with Brabantio introducing a suggestion of Desdemona’s deceiving nature. “Look at her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see: she has deceived her father, and may thee. ” This is an important statement as its effect recurs later in the play. It is in rhyming couplets, which emphasises it. It kindles a foreboding threat on the lovers. However Othello has complete confidence in his wife and trusts her on his life. “My life upon her faith! “


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