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How are Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca portrayed in Othello?I'm looking for other...

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papergirl | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 1, 2009 at 2:41 AM via web

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How are Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca portrayed in Othello?

I'm looking for other opinions on the portrayals of these characters so that I can make a fully rounded comparison of them. 

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 1, 2009 at 1:37 PM (Answer #1)

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Desdemona is portrayed as the innocent, devoted wife of Othello.  She is very much in love with Othello and sneaks off to marry him.  She marries Othello despite his being a Moor and despite the fact that her father disapproves of him.  She is very naive and trusting, also, which is part of the problem in the play.  She never suspects that Iago is anything other than a devoted friend to her and to Othello.  

Emilia is Desdemona's devoted handmaid.  She is also Iago's wife.  She is portrayed as outspoken, loud, and opinionated.  She is bawdy and not afraid to be flirtatious.  She is clever and crafty.  She ultimately realizes that Iago is at fault for tricking Othello into believing that Desdemona was unfaithful to him; she pays with her life, however, once she realizes Iago is guilty.  He stabs and kills her.

Bianca is the prostitute (courtesan) that Cassio sees frequently. She is in love with Cassio, but he does not return this love.  This upsets Bianca.  She is portrayed as a bit jealous and possessive and a woman who wants to win his love.

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santeria | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted January 24, 2009 at 2:49 AM (Answer #2)

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to add to this, you could say that the women in Othello are feisty and unconventional. However in the end they are portrayed as victims of men, in Desdemona and Emilia's case, victims of Iago.

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