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Did Othello Truly Love Desdemona? Essay

866 words - 3 pages

Love is a universal feeling that everyone experiences at least once during his or her lifetime. According to Webster's Dictionary, love is defined as a strong, positive emotion of regard and affection. In William Shakespeare's play, Othello, there are many questions that the reader would ask about the love that Othello has for Desdemona. During many aspects of the play, Othello's love for his wife is contradictory and questionable. Throughout Shakespeare's play, Othello displays that he does not truly love Desdemona through his relationship was based on pity and not true love, the lack of trust Othello had for Desdemona raised false suspicion and Shakespeare's design to create a tragedy with miscommunication between Othello and Desdemona.First of all, the relationship between Othello and Desdemona is weak because it is merely based on pity and not true love. Othello tells the Duke of Venice about how his love for Desdemona began after he was accused of eloping and marrying her without her consent."Twas pitful,twas wonderous pitful;/She wished she had not heard it, yet she wished/That heaven had made her such a man.She thanked/me,/… She loved me for the dangers I had passed,/ And I loved her, that she did pity them."(1.3.160-167)In this passage, the Duke of Venice asked Othello why he loves Desdemona, he tells him that his love has grown as Desdemona would listen to his stories about war and pity them. By Othello saying this it provides evidence that there is no fundamental foundation binding this relationship together. Othello is basing his love on pity instead of the strong affection and feelings that is necessary to hold or keep a relationship together. This clearly lays out that the relationship between the two is not really based on much. Albert Gerard discusses how Othello 's lack in self- knowledge contributes to his poor judgments."But even Othello's love affair with Desdemona, judging by his own report, seems to have developed smoothly, without painful moral searchings of any kind . . . Beside the deficient understanding of this society into which he has made his way, the motif of the secret marriage then also suggests a definite lack of self-knowledge on Othello's part." (Gerard, Critical Essay)Albert Gerard explains that to be in love one must understand themselves first but Othello decided to rush things without any moral searching of any kind and married Desdemona. This bad judgment in rushing into a relationship without a base or moral searching was ultimately Othello's downfall. Hence, Othello's bond with his wife was not true affection but it was founded on sympathy. This leads into false...

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