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Othello - Essay Example

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Most critics contend that in Shakespeare’s play Othello, Desdemona is the ultimate victim of an inevitable tragedy as women frequently fall victim to men’s offenses and it is always the men who determine social structures. The emphasis on the patriarchal society in this…
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Download file to see previous pages ful reevaluation of the play points to the fact that the ultimate victim in this classic play by Shakespeare is not Desdemona but Brabantio – Desdemona’s father.
Brabantio, a Venetian Senator, awoke one night from a commotion brought about by Iago and Roderigo as they notify him that Desdemona has absconded with the "black ram" or "Barbary horse," or Othello. The two men tells the senator that the "lascivious Moor" has taken Desdemona and she has "made a gross revolt,/ Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes/ In an extravagant and wheeling stranger/ Of here and every where (1.1.126-137)." When sense that his daughter is not in her bed, he ensues to place the culpability on his daughter and likewise blames Othello. Most critics would argue that Brabantio should have blamed himself more that anyone else (Hageman 67). On the other hand, Brabantio is deceived by the two, eloping without his consent. Brabantio’s sensibilities are injured by this act as first, he is a respected senator in Venice, and second, he is the father of a girl who ran away with a person he considered friend. Embarrassed and furious, Brabantio anxiously cries out to Roderigo, "O unhappy girl!--/ With the Moor, sayst thou?--Who would be a father!--/ How didst thou know twas she?---O, she deceives me/ Past thought!......O treason of the blood!/ Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters minds/ By what you see them act (1.1.163-171)."
Brabantio’s initial reaction demonstrates fury as he suffers betrayal from Desdemona, the daughter he adores. The words "treason of the blood" are particularly significant as they propose not only an act of unjustifiable trickery but also a profundity of fervor for his daughter – which in effect, a trickery he fails to grasp. Eventually, he illustrates Desdemonas temperament as "A maiden, never bold;/ Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion/ Blushd at herself (1.3.94-96)." Brabantio asks himself how the two are able to deceive him.
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