Compare and contrast Desdemona and Emilia in Othello by Shakespeare.

Desdemona is Othello's wife, a well-educated and demure noblewoman. Emilia is, by contrast, a middle-class woman who has not received as much education. She is also very outspoken. Both women are devoted to their husbands, almost to a fault, but are trapped in marriages that are not as loving as they once hoped. They are oppressed under the social constraints for women present in their time.

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Desdemona, Othello's wife, and Emilia, Iago's wife, are the two main female characters of the play. There are several differences between the two. However there are also some similarities which ultimately showcase how women were treated and how they were expected to behave in the era in which they lived in. Shakespeare describes Desdemona as loyal, kind and gentle. She is romantic, assertive and somewhat naive, and hasn’t had much experience with love or life. As a noblewoman, she is educated and opinionated. She tends to keep quiet the majority of the time, especially after her marriage with Othello.

Emilia, on the other hand, is quite outspoken and has much more experience in love and life. She is deeply loyal to her husband. However, she will not hesitate to betray him or cheat on him under the right circumstances. She comes from a middle-class family and she is not as educated or as well-spoken as Desdemona. She makes up for that by being less naïve and inexperienced than...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1038 words.)

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