She discovers Othello as Desdemona’s murderer and uncovers her husband’s plot which she exposes; “I will not charm my tongue. This leads to Iago’s eventual downfall and sadly her own murder as her husband kills her.She demonstrates her strength and honesty by exposing her husband and challenging Othello for his behavior.To make Othello believe that Desdemona has been unfaithful, Iago talks Emilia into giving him Desdemona's handkerchief so that he may plant it in Cassio's quarters.
She is caught between her conscience and her responsibilities as both a wife and Desdemona's attendant.
This divided duty reveals the complexity of being a woman in Elizabethan England.
Although Emilia was previously accused of having an affair with Othello, her actions throughout the play portray a loyal and honest woman.
She is certainly loyal to Iago when she gives him Desdemona's handkerchief, despite her instinct to return it to Desdemona instead. 'What will you do with't, that you have been so earnest to have me filch it? Although Iago does not give a reason for wanting the handkerchief, she leaves without protest when he dismisses her.
Emilia is perceptive and cynical, maybe as a result of her relationship with Iago.
She is the first to suggest that somebody is telling Othello untruths about Desdemona; “The Moor’s abused by some most villainous knave./Some base, notorious knave” (Act 4 Scene 2, Line 143-5). In order to please him, Emilia gives Iago Desdemona’s handkerchief, which leads to her best friend’s condemnation, but this is not done out of spite but to garner a little praise or love from her husband Iago, who rewards her with the line; “O good wench give it to me” (Act 3 Scene 3, Line 319).
She spends much of her day in Desdemona's service, so she has insight and access to Desdemona's personal life.
This gives an advantage to the villain Iago, who is also Emilia's husband.
Once Emilia hands over the handkerchief to Iago, the plot against Othello accelerates.
Cassio finds the handkerchief, and he asks Bianca to make a copy of it.