A Level English Lang and Lit Othello - Page 14

Shakespeare presents Desdemona as a headstrong female in the early scenes of the play. As Othello’s character becomes increasingly altered by Othello, her character is damaged as a result. In this exchange with her husband in the final scene of the play, it is made clear to the reader that any hope for a reconciliation will be lost and her character has been reduced to a submissive and fearful individual.

This extract portrays how fearful Desdemona is of Othello. Her continued use of sentences with exclamatory moods reflect this fear, especially in her pleading line, 'have mercy on me.' The audience are aware that Othello is so wrought with jealousy that he will not have mercy on her; her exclamatories will remain unheard. Her fear is further reflected in the line, 'And yet I fear you; for you are fatal' This line begins with the conjunction, 'and,' for greater emphasis and the alliteration of 'fear' and 'fatal' create soft sounds that portray her sheer subdued terror at the current situation. The adjective 'fatal' to describe Othello encompasses his status as a tragic hero and foreshadows for the audience, Desdemona's impending death.

Desdemona maintains her morality throughout the play and this is particularly evident in this exchange. When she declares that she ‘never did/Offend [him] in [her] life; never loved Cassio,’ Shakespeare communicates to the audience, through the careful use of caesura in her speech that she is being cautious of what she says; not wishing to prompt Othello into aggression but also denying all wrongdoing. Her morality is further displayed in her use of interrogatives such as, 'Talk you of killing?' This particular question creates a clear impression of innocence for the audience as she has lacked knowledge throughout the play, of the cause of Othello’s increasing anger. Now that it has turned into violence, she is even less clear about his feelings and motivations due to her innocence.

Desdemona is presented by Shakespeare as being loyal despite her lack of connection to Othello towards the end of the play. Even in the face of Othello's accusations, she is still respectful. The continued repetition of, 'my lord' demonstrates the respectful loyalty she still feels towards her husband. This indicates to the audience that loyalty is an inherent