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"The crisis in Othello stems from Desdemona's marital choice." Do you agree? Give reasons.

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taaniji | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM via web

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"The crisis in Othello stems from Desdemona's marital choice." Do you agree? Give reasons.

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 13, 2013 at 4:59 PM (Answer #1)

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The word “crisis” is actually a part of the vocabulary of the “well-made play” structure as outlined by Eugene Scribe, and as such, is not the right word for Desdemona’s choice.  The marriage to Othello, of a different culture from Desdemona, could be called the “precipitating” act, or even simply part of the “exposition” (since it occurs before the play begins), but Iago’s character, and the tragic flaw in Othello (jealousy) are what cause the “action” of the play to unfold.  The “crisis” occurs when Othello believes the thin evidence of the handkerchief and lets his jealousy override his affection for her.  The "complication" comes when Othello leaves Iago in charge and Iago begins his plans to implicate her in infidelity.

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