Brabantio says " Look to her, moor,if thou hast eyes to see.She has deceived her father and may thee" Is this a fair comment on Desdemona ?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not entirely certain that this is a fair comment on Desdemona.  One has to look at the source.  Brabantio is the father that has been done wrong and shamed by his daughter.  He never approves of the marriage and believes that his status as a Magnifico will persuade the Senate, his daughter, and even Othello that this marriage should not happen.  However, he recognizes that his status as an insider is quickly transformed to outsider by Desdemona's selection and the nature in which she ran off with Othello.  His words are along the lines of a warning, curse, foreshadowing.  Perhaps, Shakespeare wrote this in as a generational gap issue.  The father warning the younger husband of what deception may lie ahead.  As the husband becomes "older," the words of the father increasingly stick in his mind, almost becoming a type of self- fulfilling prophecy.  Naturally, if one were to look at the quote objectively, it is not necessarily fair because Desdemona does not "deceive" Othello.  He is led to believe that by the skillful manipulation of Iago.  Yet, she does not deceive him.  In the end, Othello's doubt and insecurity are only enhanced by the father's words.