Contrast Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca in their ideas about men and their relationships with their lovers in Othello.

Each woman is different, although Bianca was the only one who did not know her lover before Iago's deceit.

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Desdemona is absolutely devoted to Othello . Although she's a highly intelligent, spirited, independent-minded woman, Desdemona remains fiercely loyal to her husband, despite his growing jealousy and suspicion. However, her loyalty is borne out of love, not the dictates of convention. After all, we shouldn't forget that Desdemona defied her...

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Desdemona is absolutely devoted to Othello. Although she's a highly intelligent, spirited, independent-minded woman, Desdemona remains fiercely loyal to her husband, despite his growing jealousy and suspicion. However, her loyalty is borne out of love, not the dictates of convention. After all, we shouldn't forget that Desdemona defied her father's wishes in marrying the Moor. Having made her choice, Desdemona is more than happy to live with the consequences. Her loyalty to Othello is total, which makes Iago's snide insinuations and false accusations of infidelity all the more perverse.

Emilia also displays great loyalty to her husband, the abominable Iago. However, she patently lacks Desdemona's intelligence and astute judgement of character. Emilia naively assumes that Iago's always looking out for her best interests. So when he asks her to retrieve the handkerchief from Desdemona's boudoir, she does so without hesitation. Emilia adopts the traditionally subservient attitude expected of women in her society. The husband is lord and master in his own home, and his wife is duty-bound to obey. Yet Emilia obeys Iago, not simply out of duty, but out of (misguided) love. She really does love Iago and will do anything for him, even if it means becoming an unwitting pawn in a dastardly revenge plot.

Bianca is Cassio's jealous lover. It is implied, but not explicitly spelled out, that she is a courtesan, or high-class prostitute. Thanks to Iago's deviousness, she becomes as convinced as Othello that Cassio's been carrying on an affair with Desdemona. Theirs is a tempestuous relationship, to put it mildly; but on Bianca's part at least, there appears to be some depth of feeling. Bianca's horrified reaction at Iago's stabbing of Cassio appears to confirm that she does harbor some genuine concern for her lover.

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Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca have different opinions about men and these opinions are manifest in the types of relationships that the three women have with their lovers.  Desdemona feels a sense of pity for Othello after he reveals to her the hardships of his early life.  She recognizes the fragility of Othello's heart and character, and she tends to his weaknesses by devoting herself to him so that he knows that she truly loves him.  Their relationship, as a result, is one of mutual adoration.

Emilia, on the other hand, sees Iago as her provider and superior.  Their relationship is closed and volatile--Iago hides his schemes and intentions from his wife even though he uses her as a pawn in his plans.

Finally, Bianca breaks the preconceived notions of "the prostitute" and falls in love with Cassio.  Her view of love is naive, and she does not accept that Cassio has no loving feelings towards her.  Their relationship is superficial, one that exists for pleasure only.

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