Othello and Paradise Lost Literary Analysis

Words: 1491
Topic: Literature

Love gives me the power and strength to face anythingthe. This was probably the quote Desdemona stood by as she faced her father’s wrath, and her husband’s maltreatments, but in the end, love was also the one which led her to her demise.

Desdemona left her father, without his knowing, to marry Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army. She proclaims that in doing what she has done, she follows him freely and without force, saying that she is in love with Othello. In discovering this, Brabantio, father of Desdemona, is outraged that her daughter had deceived him and warned Othello that someday she would do the same to him.

Though Desdemona is loyal to her husband, the feeling is not being returned by Othello. He seems to fear that she would be unfaithful to him and suspicious of her passions for him. Even after being maltreated by Othello who accused her of adultery and struck her openly, she still asserted her love to him. Up until the end where Othello was suffocating her, gripping her throat, she still has the strength to defend her husband as her maid rushes into the room.

Devotion is like a train that somehow never fails to make its way back. In Desdemona’s case, the train came back far too late as one of them was already long gone. Desdemona was devoted to her husband until the end and treated him with patience even after all the mistreatment that was done to her. The unhappiness between the two and the downfall of the marriage that Brabantio had predicted came true because trust between the couple was only one-sided.

Sin in Paradise Lost was also as forgiving as Desdemona. She was ordered by God together with her sons to guard the gate of Hell anda hold the keys. When Satan approached the gate and demanded to pass, she stopped Satan and her son Death from doing battle by interceding saying she was Satan’s daughter when he was still an angel.

Though Satan had already forgotten the events of him siring Sin, she readily forgave him, even without him apologizing, and consented to help him on his plot against God. Sin opened the gate of Hell and followed Satan from a distance behind creating a bridge from Hell to Earth where evil spirits may travel to tempt man.

Sin had gladly agreed to Satan’s will probably partly because she too wanted to see God’s creation’s downfall and partly eager to please her father. She may have wanted to gain a bit of affection from her father as the most unwanted or forgotten child would. This being said, Sin has become one of Satan’s allies and servant.

How do the two characters label honor?

Desdemona is her own woman when it came to her father. She has the fortitude to deceive her father to get what she wanted and that is to marry the man she loves. She stood up in front of the Duke of Venice, his councilmen and her father and proclaimed her love to Othello and defended her choice.

Even in the midst of her unsatisfying marriage to a man who did not trust nor respected her, she has continued to love him with passion and sincerity. Though she was confused by her husband’s behavior to certain issues, beating her and calling her a whore in public, she has still asserted her love to him because she seems to believe that it was her honor to love a man such as Othello.

Sin on the other hand took pride in the fact that she is Satan’s daughter. Satan spoke less violently upon being reminded of the fact that they have relations. She is then easily persuaded into doing his bidding. She willingly and enthusiastically agreed to her father’s evil plot even helping him make a bridge for evil spirits to come and go as they please, luring unsuspecting mortals into doing wrong. She must have taken quite a pleasure in helping his father in his exploits as followed her father from far behind that led to the makings of the bridge from Hell to Earth.

To Sin, honor was about pleasing her father as well as herself. She was not loyal to God who created her father but loyal to the one whom bore her. Though she had been forgotten by him until then, she did not hold it against him. Satan is the symbol of disobedience, while Sin, the daughter of Satan, conveys that sin comes from disobedience, ingratitude and treachery towards God.

Explain how the two characters identify responsibility and how they act on their ideas of those ideals

Only after she was found that she had indeed eloped, Desdemona had finally taken full responsibility in facing her father. She had proclaimed her love to Othello and defended her decision saying it was her choice and was not forced or by the power of witchcraft. When she was being mistreated by Othello, she had taken upon herself that she would continue to be the passionate and submissive wife to her husband.

It had not dawn on her that she should try to defend herself from her husband’s abuses. She let it seem like that whatever awful things done to her cannot diminish the love she feels for Othello. Desdemona gives away much forgiveness to Othello that she does not complain nor tries to run away from her abusive and insecure spouse.

Even as Othello asked Desdemona to repent her sins before he kills her, she did not do so, because she believed she had done him no wrong, as was the truth. Denying of committing adultery and pleading for innocence, she has been a good wife to him up until the end where her loyalty to him continued to burn even as she was being murdered by his bare hands.

Sin in Paradise Lost does not seem to have conscience as to what her actions would lead to. She was too preoccupied by the thought of his father disobeying God’s will that she did not think about the consequences of what might her actions would lead to.

Like father, like daughter. Sin as the first child of disobedience, always follows her father. Having Death as her son who follows her mother leads to the conclusion that when one has committed disobedience towards God, one has committed a sin and sin leads to the death of one’s innocence and pureness of all things good.

Therefore Sin does not take responsibility of what she does. She only does what she wants and lures people to do what she does without a care. Sin lives in solitude and is constantly in suffering of what she has done, grieving and trapped in guilt and indecision; this represents the destiny of the sinner.

Make a comparison or connection between the two characters

One of the most profound similarities between both women is that they have a high tolerance of the male species, sometimes even placing them on a pedestal. Both women heeded the demands of their men and submitted to them willingly if not eagerly. They both did not fight the demands of their men but instead, follow gingerly. Even in the state where they were mistreated or forgotten, they still have the heart to forgive and forget and continue to do the men’s bidding.

In some ways, Sin is the complete opposite of Desdemona. Sin was eager enough to help Satan in his quest to pollute human kind. She even went out of her way to create a bridge that would make Satan’s plan more effective as it would allow malevolent spirit to travel back and forth Earth and Hell. In contrast to Desdemona’s innocent and sincere guise, Sin had help Satan, therefore, making her disobedient towards God too.

Desdemona, on the other hand, was only caught in the plot that logo had concocted for them. Lago had manipulated the feelings and insecurities of Othello to produce the image that Desdemona was cheating on her husband when it was far from the truth. This put Desdemona on rocky shores as all the anger, betrayal, and hurt was focused on her. She did not lie or commit adultery.

Therefore she did not commit wrong to the Ten Commandments. Unlike Sin, who willingly committed wrong, Desdemona was pure in her intentions and doings but was just place precariously in the wrong assumption of herself by others.

Although ignorance is not a sin, Desdemona should have tried to find out what was troubling her husband. Between the two women, Sin was the worse because she was conscious of what she was doing, whereas Desdemona had not done any wrong to her husband except not finding out sooner what was going on. Desdemona should not have ignored the problem. There were things that needed to be settled and resolved that she did not bother to ask around.