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Hussah's Blog 501

Adapting Othello Blog Post

October 15th, 2018 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The article “How Desdemona Learned to Die: Failed Resistance in Paula Vogel’s Desdemona” by Dr. Jennifer Flaherty of Georgia College and State University I think perfectly describes this week’s blog post promotes in terms of how in this play, despite the male figures not appearing within the play, they are still mentioned and hold a strong impact on how the women proceed with their lives. In this article, to brief how Flaherty describes this dark comedy, it is a play where the main storyline of Othello does continue, but in the perspective of the women with different situations occurring but still leading to the same result of the Shakespearean play and has the women wanting to resist the patriarchy that they are inferior to, so in this play, Desdemona does cheat on Othello and still has the same ending where she is murdered in her sleep by her husband.

The quite in this article that I would like to focus on that helps explain how men affect women’s lives in this play is found on page 39 of the article:

Feeling frustrated by her life, her marriage, and her position in society, Desdemona rebels in the only way that she can—through her body. She feels liberated by her sexual adventures, as though she can achieve her dreams of travel and adventure through sex with men who have traveled and fought. In an attempt to explain this feeling to Emilia, Desdemona describes it as a way to satisfy her “desire to know the world” (Vogel 20).

This quote itself explains how women can express their voice in Vogel’s  Desdemona,  which to the character Desdemona the ideal way to experience the world is to have sexual relations with different men, thus travel and know the world. If Desdemona did not have these sexual relations she would not have experienced the world, and the stories that she is telling Emilia and the rest of the characters present in the play would not occur, since, without these men, Desdemona would not have stories about her adventures to share. These men are not present, but they have a big effect on how Desdemona presents herself among the women. Without them, she would not be able to tell these stories or share her sexual knowledge with the rest of the women. In fact further int he article, Flaherty explains that Desdemona married Othello because of his color and how marrying his color means traveling more of the world and experiencing the world. Without these men, Desdemona would not know what the world is, which is why despite this being a play from the female’s perspective, it is still heavily impacted by the unpresent males. (447)

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