In Othello, what does the conversation between Emilia and Desdemona tell us about the nature of each character?

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In Shakespeare's tragedy Othello, Othello's wife, Desdemona, and Iago's wife, Emilia, have developed a close relationship. This is due primarily to Emilia's role as Desdemona's maid, but it's also due to the relationship between their husbands. Iago is General Othello's ensign or "ancient," and, more importantly, Iago is Othello's confidant. Ordinarily, a general and an ensign wouldn't have such a close relationship, but Iago has been at Othello's side through many battles, and he's won Othello's trust.

As the play progresses, Iago's role as Othello's confidant greatly impacts Emilia and Desdemona's relationship.

Emilia and Desdemona exchange a few words throughout the play, but it isn't until act 3, scene 4 that they have an actual conversation. The conversation doesn't tell the audience anything new about Emilia or Desdemona but simply reinforces what the audience already knows about each of them.

Emilia is worldly, practical, realistic, sexually experienced, earthy (if not downright...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1289 words.)

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