Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) Questions and Answers
by Ann-Marie Macdonald

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Swordplay is used in both Othello and Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). Discuss how this device is used to different ends in each play.

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Shakespeare in general did not have a high opinion of the kind of sword-fighting that breaks out on in Act II, scene 3 of Othello. In this scene, and in Shakespeare's hands, sword-fighting is not a form of empowerment. Iago manipulates events to discredit Cassio by getting him to fight, and Cassio falls right into the trap.

Cassio gets more drunk than he already was when Iago's compatriots egg him on. He then goes out of control, stabbing Monsanto. Here, Shakespeare shows how silly and destructive this kind of swordplay is, and he does the same in Romeo and Juliet.

In Goodnight Desdemona, on the other hand, Constance sees sword-fighting as form of empowerment for a woman. She feels like a wimp in contrast to the bold, sword-wielding Desdemona. When Constance does hold a sword in her hand, she feels an adrenalin rush and a sense of "power."

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When Constance enters the story of Othello , she messes with the narrative. Trying to help, she ends up at risk when Desdemona begins to suspect Constance is...

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