Can we question the power of Othello's love for Desdemona? 

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shakespeareguru eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course you can question it.  This is a work of fiction, and, on top of that, it's a play.  Any play worth its salt can bear different interpretations of its characters.  There have been as many ideas about the true nature of Othello's character and love as there have been actors who have played the part.  So, certainly, the power of Othello's love for Desdemona can be questioned, and should be, by the actor who is playing the role.

Theoretically speaking, just in looking at the text, I would also say that power of his love must be questioned.  The key is defining what "love" is.  Is love a madness that allows one to be vulnerable to angry and vengeful thoughts of jealousy?  Jealously itself comes from a vulnerability in the one who experiences this emotion, it has nothing to do with the other parties involved.

And love -- love is meant to be a freely given feeling of goodness and generosity, not a feeling dependent upon the person who is loved behaving in any certain way to "earn" this feeling.  Certainly, this is an ideal definition of love, but, if one can accept it, than it would have to be said that, in fact, Othello does not actually "love" Desdemona at all, but desires her in more base ways only.

So, if one is defining love in its most pure and ideal forms, than it is certainly possible to question the power of Othello's love for Desdemona.  For more ideas about the love between Othello and Desdemona, please follow the links below.