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Does Othello truly love Desdemona or are other forces at play in their marriage?

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abrams21 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 11, 2011 at 5:40 AM via web

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Does Othello truly love Desdemona or are other forces at play in their marriage?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 11, 2011 at 7:11 AM (Answer #1)

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This becomes one of the most critical questions of the drama.  I certainly think that Othello believes he is in love with Desdemona.  He obviously feels devotion to her.  It is here where I think that some level of thought and analysis is needed.  Othello's conception of love is one where there can be no doubt or insecurity.  Part of the critical element here is that there is always doubt and wonderment in love and that when a person loves another, they have to allow for this to exist.  Othello does not, as he is consistently worried about whether or not Desdemona loves him.  It is in this where I think that there is a critical analysis of whether or not Othello is capable of love.  For him, there can be no elements of questioning or irrationality in love, which makes it difficult for him to love.  I think that Othello believes he is in love, but cannot understand its implications.  It is within her where I think that there is a question worthy of examination in terms of whether Othello is capable of love and, if so, can he fully grasp the implications of love.  It is here where I think that the question of love in Othello's character can be examined.

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afrooo | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 5, 2012 at 4:31 AM (Answer #2)

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Othello is not really in love with her as he admits at the start of the play that he loved her because she had 'pity' for his hardship- his admiration for Desdemona is soley concerned with her awing over him, his reason for 'loving' her are selfishly motivated and appears not to be love but rather filling in for his insecurities over his 'vale of years', the fact he is 'black'

 

 

Afro x

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