Learn about Othello's wife Desdemona in this video from Shakespeare Uncovered. Using video, text and graphic organizers, students will analyze Desdemona's point of view and how she changed throughout the course of the play.
Students use the Desdemona and and Emilia Act 4.3 handout to examine (and complete a close read) of Act 4.3 when Desdemona and Emilia talk about infidelity. Then, ask a few students to volunteer to read and act out the passage.
Tell student to select one of the following writing prompts (be sure they use evidence from the play to support their answer):
Why does Desdemona speak up to her father to get what she wants—but not to her husband? Examine the text from Act 1.3 (when Desdemona speaks to the senate) and Act 4.2 (when Desdemona responds to Othello’s accusation of infidelity)
Why can Desdemona and Emilia talk openly but Desdemona and Othello cannot? (Act 4.3)
Why does she stay? Why does Desdemona tolerate Othello’s jealousy? Do you think Desdemona knows how serious her situation is? Does she suspect that Othello plans to kill her or does she think this is merely a misunderstanding that will blow over?