Desdemona Character Analysis

Subject: Literature
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 839
Topics: Book, Othello, William Shakespeare


In “Othello”, Shakespeare depicts an extremely unusual and fascinating society. The relationship between a man and a woman is masterfully portrayed, their deepest emotions and concerns are revealed. Desdemona is undoubtedly an evolved and compassionate woman determined to realize everything she has planned, overcoming any challenges that may arise on her way.

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The strength of Desdemona’s personality and mind

In the beginning of the story, Desdemona may seem irrational because she disobeys her father, but slowly, based on her actions, this impression is changing. She understands that in order to follow her beloved husband, she has to give up everything — her comfortable life and her father. The fact that a woman dares to manage this demonstrates that she has reflected for a long time, estimated what her life will be like in both scenarios, and then, after much deliberation, chooses the closer scenario to her heart. Desdemona’s ability to reach such a complex decision testifies to her strength of character. She was able to explore her emotions, to look deep inside herself to figure out what she indeed desires and what she will lose in one case or the other.

Representing an independent individual, Desdemona realizes that ultimately it is her will that is important, and she confides in herself in her choices. Her self-trust and awareness of her own feelings are the features of an intelligent person who pays attention to the potential outcomes and then takes the best action based on rational consideration. When she conveys her emotions to her father Brabantio to persuade him of her love, the woman manages to make him understand. The manner in which she speaks to her father shows that she is an intelligent woman who knows what language, tone and expressions to employ. Desdemona also understands herself and knows how to articulate her desires in an approachable way. The way Desdemona speaks indicates that she is absolutely clear about what she desires to say and articulates intelligently.

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When Desdemona goes with Othello, she completely dedicates herself to her husband and their relationship. Othello must go to war, and she is prepared to go with him without any doubts. Such a committed act, aware of the difficulties and environment of the war and the surrounding area, reveals her strong personality. Her resolve is immense and despite everything, she remains faithful to her own feelings, trusting that her heart will direct her to the right direction. Another instance of Desdemona’s cleverness is when she decides to help Cassio regain his job. The particular fact that she prefers to achieve this, to assist another person, is a mark of her deep compassion and regard for others. Not everyone has the power to affect other people, and it requires so much intelligence and understanding of the issue at hand.

How the environment influenced Desdemona’s personality

To a certain moment of the play, Desdemona presented herself to the reader as a strong-willed woman who is aware of her surroundings and the circumstances in which she may appear. Regrettably, the situation takes a turn for the worse towards the end of the play. All the rumors and tricks that are going on behind the woman’s back are obviously unfamiliar to her. Desdemona is unable to figure out why Othello behaves so cruelly towards her. This emotional distress and dread grip her and reduce her habitual determination and sharp thinking. The woman could have turned the tide if she had clarified to Othello that she had lost his handkerchief before her husband let jealousy take over. The outcome of this terrible conflict could have been completely different. She had a moment, an option to discover ways to justify herself, to clarify her actions and the actions of the people surrounding her.

Desdemona was expecting that her love and innocence would recover her until the final point. She starts to discuss her death and puts her final effort to make sense of the situation and the environment. Her genuine innocence is evident when she wonders if it is possible to cheat on a man at all. However, even in this desperate time she still displays signs of her wisdom. Desdemona comprehends what has happened. Her husband is so caught up in his jealousy and distrust that he will never confide in her. This is one of the explanations why she speaks of death, knowing sorrowfully that perhaps this is how it will all finish. With her concluding words, she confirms her innocence to Othello, and another act of dedication is that she justifies him in her mind and accepts the guilt. This can merely be performed by a self-respecting and honorable individual.


Desdemona is the personification of kindness and love in the play. During the entire story she remains faithful to her convictions and moral values. The moment, when she is entangled in the throes of suffering, does not affect who she indeed is. This play reveals how often people are misunderstood and misconstrued, but one thing always remains the same — self-respect and regard for others.

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