How can the characters in Othello be compared to celebrities?I need to compare Desdemona, Bianca, Cassio, and Roderigo to a certain celebrity that is similiar to them. I'm completely stuck on these...

How can the characters in Othello be compared to celebrities?

I need to compare Desdemona, Bianca, Cassio, and Roderigo to a certain celebrity that is similiar to them. I'm completely stuck on these last four and would appreciate help :)

Expert Answers
durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The character with whom you could compare Desdemona - and it's a broad characterization of course as there are stark differences as well as similarities- in my opinion, is Angelina Jolie.

Angelina Jolie is the daughter of a well-known actor and was therefore exposed to influential people. Desdemona is the daughter of a renowned Venetian(Brabantio) and as such would also have been part of the upper echelons of society.  

Angelina Jolie has been known to take risks and make choices that are far from the norm - marrying Billy Bob Thornton and swapping blood with him certainly shocked many of her followers. She does not appear to care that her actions stun others. Desdemona has a similar need to find excitement outside the confines of her society:

She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd, / And I lov'd her that she did pity them (I.iii.167-168). 

Angelina Jolie's intense nature and need to be directly involved in what she does - performing many high-risk stunts etc. also compares to Desdemona who does not want to be left behind when her husband is off to explore dangerous territory and insists on accompanying Othello to Cyprus.

In comparing the two, it can also be noted that they both have the ability to deceive although it does not seem to be intentional. They both follow their impulses and it that leads to something untoward ,they will deal with it then.     

(Desdemona's)her past actions have shown her to be capable of some level of deception

For all her quirks, Angelina Jolie works tirelessly for the global community, giving back where she can and what she can. Although Desdemona appears to be very naiive and pure, upon closer analysis she is actually

a vital, courageous, and sensual woman. Significantly, it is Desdemona rather than Othello who initiates their romance and courtship. In addition, she exhibits a remarkable boldness and independence in marrying Othello in the face of her father's objections.

Both women are impulsive and hot-headed in certain circumstances.

There are control issues in Angelina Jolie's family life and she does not necessarily exercise control- oblivious it would seem to the advice of others when it comes to  her children's upbringing - seemingly unaware that there may be repercussions later. She is often criticized. Similarly Desdemona, is criticized for her relationship with Cassio, which basically seals her fate when Othello uses the handkerchief as "ocular proof" of her having been unfaithful:  

 Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men (V.ii.6).

You will need to post your questions about each different character seperately according to eNotes rules.

 

 

 

juergems eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This sounds like a pretty fun assignment! 

For the character of Roderigo, I would suggest Justin Bieber (I hope you're not a fan of his because the connection between the two isn't really a flattering one). Just like Roderigo, Bieber is pretty young, pretty stupid, and has a whole lot of money to spend. But none of that is going to get him Selena Gomez's (Desdemona's) love. 

While I don't want to give you the answer for each one, I will say that I believe it could be pretty hard to pick a celebrity counterpart for Bianca, because you might not want to be comparing women directly to a courtesan who gets treated badly by the man she loves. For Bianca, the closest connection I would make is model/actress Amber Rose, who is very open about her sexuality, was cheated on and publicly bad-mouthed by her ex-boyfriend Kanye West, and has done a lot of advocating for women who have been shamed and harassed for their sexuality—as I think Bianca would if she had the chance.