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What are some similarities and differences between Desdemona and Emilia in their...

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carratrix | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 22, 2009 at 11:34 AM via web

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What are some similarities and differences between Desdemona and Emilia in their attitude towards love, honesty, fidelity, and their husbands?

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santeria | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted January 23, 2009 at 11:42 PM (Answer #1)

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Well, firstly think about the ending scenes of the play. Desdemona turns from a feisty, unconventional woman into a pitiful wreck after Othello goes loopy. She submits to him and accepts he's going to kill her. To her last words she remains faithful to Othello- Act5 Scene2 lines 123 and 125-126:

  • "A guiltless death I die"
  • "Nobody, I myself. Farewell./Commend me to my kind lord. O farewell!"

However, as soon as she finds out Iago's been deceiving everyone, Emilia turns on him and shouts out for the world to hear that he's not as "honest" as everyone thinks.

Also, think about that scene in the bedchamber. Desdemona wonders how any woman anywhere could possibly be unfaithful to their husbands- and she would not do it for the world- yet Emilia has a totally different view:

  • "The world's a huge thing, it is a great price/For a small vice.

Well... there's some differences, not brilliant, but hey...

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