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Examination Questions on Othello

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 around him.

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 the handkerchief.

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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) < >.

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