She has always belonged to someone, but not in the sweet way, the way romantic books mean when they talk about tender lovers locked in embrace. No, she has been chattel, property, the belonging of her father. As she grew, she realized he did not have the capacity to love without possessing. For him, care was control, and affection was suffocation. She began to plot how quickly she could escape his grasp.
The Moor offered freedom. He was from faraway, with tales sometimes sad, other times filled with laughter. He promised a life far from her gilded cage and the inescapable, heavy hand of her father. She took his hand instead, running from her chains without looking back.
Old habits die hard. She thought her world would grow, but it shrank, smaller and smaller. Too soon, she realized how much her husband resembled her father, how unable he was to love without crushing the object of his affection.
The symbolic suffocation of a father became the literal press of a lover's hands. Desdemona knew, with her final breath, that escape had never been possible on this side of the grave.