Question: How do you reconcile Desdemona's character as described by Brabantio and as shown in the handkerchief scene, with her elopement and her bold stand before the Duke's council?
Answer: This is a strength born of her great love for Othello. Here the gentle, timid girl is transformed into the still gentle but firm woman. It would seem that some of Othello's
bravery has entered her own breast. Indeed, one of the
most striking points in the play seems to me to be the
notion of man's influence and man's individual influence
over the individuality, the life and mind and soul of those
Some one has suggested that Brabantio had been too
strict with Desdemona, and that here we see the natural
rebound of her nature from its bondage. But this energy is
only transient, and she sinks back into her former cowardice
if that be not too strong a word when the present pressure is removed, and is driven into the falsehood about
How to cite this article:
Ragland, Fanny. Shakespeare Examinations. Ed. William Taylor Thom, M. A. Boston: Ginn and Co., 1888. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/othello/examqo/desdemonabrabantio.html >.