I cannot sleep, I cannot eat, she is all I can think about
What if she is with him now?
What about Cassio's job?
What happened to you?
It is all going to plan...
The Handkerchief! Damn it!
Desdemona is forced to pick between the two main men in her life, her father and her secret husband. She picks Othello, her husband.
Desdemona had a hard decision to make, but she defied the stereotypes of her time by standing up to her father. Therefore, this shows Desdemona's problem of person vs. society. The setting of the play Othello is in a century when women were looked down upon as they were supposed to obey the man in their family. Women had three specific stages that they were expected to go through throughout their lives; two of these stages were being an unmarried virgin and being married. When a woman was an unmarried virgin, she would have to obey her father, the male head of the family, just as Desdemona would have had to obey Brabantio. (This is shown when in the quote below when Desdemona says to Brabantio, “You’re the one I have to obey”). Not only is this a person vs. society conflict, but, it is also a external conflict as Desdemona has to decide between two important men in her life: her father and the love of her life. Consequences would come with either decision she would make. She chose Othello and her father told her not to speak with him. If she chose her father, her marriage with Othello may have been ruined.
Othello is consumed by his jealousy and he is unable to perform normal, daily activities.
Othello had been consumed by the green-eyed monster, jealousy. This is an internal conflict as it affects his personal thoughts and his ability to pursue regular actions. Othello portrays this on page 159 when Othello states, “You’ve tortured me with these thoughts...I had no idea she was cheating on me. I never saw it or suspected it, so it never hurt me. I slept well, ate well, and was happy. I never saw Cassio’s kisses on her lips.” This shows how the internal conflict of conflict vs. self affected Othello as his life flipped once he found about Desdemona’ alleged affair. Othello describes that before jealousy over took him, he was able to eat, he was able to sleep, and he was able to look at Desdemona without seeing her lies of Cassio. This implies that after he was consumed by the green, he is unable to think straight as he can only think about Desdemona and Cassio together. This is further shown when Othello constantly thinks that Cassio has his handkerchief that Othello gave to Desdemona. (This is shown in the quote below)
Iago manipulated Othello to cause him to repeatedly argue with Desdemona about Cassio and her. In addition to hid 'proof': the handkerchief.
Othello started to be excessively controlled by jealousy once Iago put the idea of Desdemona cheating in his mind. It was all part of Iago’s plot. This ‘new’ Othello’s jealousy causes him to do multiple rude actions. As shown in the scene, Othello constantly argues with Desdemona to try and make her admit her alleged wrongdoing. In this way, this is an external person vs. person conflict as it causes him to continuously argue with Desdemona and even slap her! “Desdemona: Why, sweet Othello- Othello: (striking her) You devil! Desdemona: I haven’t done anything to deserve this!” This shows an external conflict as Iago’s evil plot created problems/conflicts for multiple characters in the play. It also portrays the conflict person vs. person as Iago’s plan that made Othello upset and scream at Desdemona. This caused a problem for Desdemona as well because she feels as if she did something wrong to make her beloved husband upset (in addition to her getting physically hurt).
“Desdemona: Father, this ain’t easy for me. I’m torn. I owe you respect because you gave me life and education. You’re the one I have to obey. I’m your daughter. But this man here is my husband now, and I owe him as much as my mother owed to you, just as she referred you to her own father. So I have to give my obedience to the Moor, my husband.”
"Othello: God, I wish I could forget about the handkerchief! What you told me it haunts me like a nightmare-he's got my handkerchief!
"Othello: Then bring it here. Let me see it. Desdemona: I could, sir. But I don’t want to now. This is just a trick to take my mind off what I’m asking you for. Please hire Cassio again. Othello: Bring me the handkerchief—My mind is full of doubt."