Marriage in Othello

Marriage is a part of life that most people look forward to. Once people get married their whole life is devoted to each other. Married couples are supposed to work through their problems and support each other. In William Shakespeare’s play Othello, he suggests otherwise. Both Desdemona and Emilia were killed by their husbands. The only girl left at the end of the play is Bianca, a prostitute. Marriage, while generally a positive concept, is fatal and dangerous in William Shakespeare’s play Othello. Both Desdemona and Othello were happy with their marriage until Iago purposely sabotaged it.
He convinced Othello that Desdemona was cuckolding him. When Othello believed Iago’s lies and decided to kill Desdemona it showed how he had immediately lost all trust in Desdemona and that Iago must be right. Othello and Desdemona’s love was based on trust, which made their marriage successful in the beginning. The marriage started to fall apart once Othello stopped trusting Desdemona. Desdemona did nothing wrong and trusted Othello when he did not trust her. Shakespeare is suggesting that even if you do nothing wrong in a marriage that it will eventually fall apart. Iago
She did deceive her father, marrying you; […] Othello And so she did. (3. 3. 18) When Iago is trying to convince Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful, he suggests that if a woman will disobey her father then she is likely to cheat on her husband. Othello agrees with him when in reality Desdemona’s decision to go against her father and marry Othello shows loyalty to Othello. She never talks badly about him, even when he is abusing and accusing her of not being loyal to him. Shakespeare suggests that if jealousy enters your marriage it will completely take over any trust the relationship once had.

Jealousy was powerful enough to break apart a strong marriage, like Desdemona and Othello’s. Iago and Emilia’s marriage consists of Emilia being blinded by her love, ultimately leading to her murder. Emilia trusted Iago because she loved him so much even though he was using her and lying to her. She was too oblivious to see the reality that her husband was the one sabotaging Othello. Iago used his own wife to get the handkerchief for him. When Iago asked her to get it for him, she did not even know the purpose for it, but got it for him anyway.
Emilia could not stand to face the fact that her own husband was dishonest. I am glad I have found this napkin. This was her first remembrance from the Moor. My wayward husband hath a hundred times Wooed me to steal it, but she so loves the token, (3. 3. 334) This quotation shows how Emilia is not suspicious that Iago is using her and sabotaging Othello and Desdemona’s marriage. She refers to the hankercheif as a “napkin,” which shows how unimportant it seems to her. When she finally steals it she does not do it for her benefit, she does it so Iago will be happy.
She is so blinded by love that she even says how Desdemona loves it, but she does not care as long as she pleases Iago. After she was a good wife, he betrays her and kills her for talking too much. Emilia was happy with her marriage, knew someone was lying to Othello, but did not know that it was her own husband. Shakespeare is suggesting that if you have a marriage that you think is perfect then it might not actually be as perfect as you thought. At the end of the play, only one woman stays alive, Bianca, the prostitute. She has sexual relations with Cassio, but is not married to him.
Shakespeare is inferring that Bianca not having a husband is what kept her safe. Cassio gave Bianca the handkerchief and it makes her feel important to him even though it is just a small present that he found. O Cassio, whence came this? This is some token from a newer friend: To the felt absence now I feel a cause: Isn’t come to this? Well, well. (3. 4. 205) This quotation proves that they are not married and it does not seem like they will get married for the future. Bianca is shocked when Cassio gives her the handkerchief.
Also, Cassio does not know anything about the handkerchief, so he just sees something belonging to a woman around his house and decides to give it to her to be kind. Shakespeare thought oppositely compared to most of our society today. For most people now marriage is a very exciting part of life that many people look forward to and celevbrate. To Shakespeare, marriage was dark and dangerous, not a happy event. Shakespeare didn’t think that love was strong enough to over come a man’s jealousy, greediness, and a woman’s ignorance.

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