Othello Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Othello book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How do Othello and Desdemona win each other’s affections?

Othello won Desdemona's affections through the stories he told her about "the dangers he had passed," as is revealed when both of them appears before the Duke of Venice and the council of Senators. Othello also reveals that he loves Desdemona for her mind and her sympathy, not just her beauty.

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,093 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

After Iago causes an uproar with Brabantio, Desdemona and Othello explain to the Venetian council in act 3, scene 1 that they eloped because they are in love and describe the nature of that love. Desdemona has more to say than Othello. She explains that, contrary to what has been implied, Othello has not kidnapped her against her will. She says she fell in love with him because of the stories he told her about his adventures as a military man. She loves him for his "qualities," such as courage and honor. She states: "I saw Othello’s visage in his mind." In other words, the visage or face she loves is not his outer form but what she has seen on the inside of him: the man of character he is.

Othello, in turn, states that he has not married Desdemona simply "to please the palate of my appetite"—in other words, for lust—but because she showed "pity" for his stories. He says, too, that he loves her for her mind, just as she loves him for his character. However, much later, as he is about...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1,074 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Alberts, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Kent State University

bookM.A. from West Virginia State University

bookPh.D. from Bowling Green State University


calendarEducator since 2019

write800 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science




















check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Dolly Doyle eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseLibrarian


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,275 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write787 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial