Desdemona

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Key Information
FPa38.jpg
Play: Othello


Desdemona is a character in Othello. She is the daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio who elopes with the Moorish general Othello. Her death by smothering is the culmination of Iago's ostensibly aimless manipulation of her husband.

Famous stage and movie portrayals

Cultural references

A season one episode of the television series Fame features the song Desdemona, which traces the escalation of Othello's jealously in musical form.

Until the 16th century, female roles on the English stage were performed by young men. The film Stage Beauty examines the transition from boy players to female portrayals of female characters, with Desdemona as the pivotal performance.

Other media

The Folger collection includes an array of visual depictions of Desdemona.