Othello Quotes

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quotes and meanings

Created by georgia2201 over 3 years ago
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Othello Quotes
1 IAGO - Act 1, Scene 1: "In following him, I follow but myself," "I am not what I am"
1.1 Religious Imagery: Iago is here admitting his evil nature directly to the audience and Roderigo. In a vague biblical reference to God's declaration to Moses 'I am what I am', Iago is declaring his duplicity by stating the opposite.
2 IAGO - Act 1, Scene 3: "And [he] will be tenderly led by the nose, as asses are,"
2.1 Animal Imagery: Iago is referring to Cassio's stupidity and gullibility using the analogy 'ass' who will be easily 'led' i.e. manipulated or decieved.
3 Act 2, Sc 1 – Line 291-3 “…practising upon his [Othello’s] peace and quiet / even to madness / Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used,”
3.1 Juxtaposition: Iago is again admitting his evil duplicity through the juxtaposition of 'peace and quiet' and 'madness'.
3.2 "Knavery's plain face is never seen till used," Trickery is never seen until it's been done.
4 Act 2, Sc 1 – Line 164 “With as little web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio,”
4.1 Animal imagery: Iago is again referring to Cassio as a animal which he will ensnare or trap.
4.2 Metaphor: The use of the metaphor casts Iago as someone who is in control of the situation.
5 Act 2, Sc 3 – Line 297 (Iago to Cassio) “I protest in the sincerity of love and honest kindness,”
5.1 The lexical chain created by 'sincerity' 'love' 'honest' 'kindness' highlights Iago's lying nature as it is a strikingly arrogant and false statement.
6 Act 5, Sc 2 – Line 339-40 “Then must you speak / Of one that loved not wisely, but too well,”
6.1 Othello is recognising a fatal flaw in himself towards the end of the play - he is recognising he loved Desdemona almost too much.
6.2 This could also be seen as Othello obsessing over his reputation - even to the final minutes of his life.
7 Act 3, Sc 3 – Line 280-1 “If she be false, O then heaven mocks itself; I’ll not believe it,”
7.1 Biblical imagery: this is another example of Desdemona being correlated with heaven or perfection.
7.2 These two quotes when together show the dramatic change Othello undergoes in a very short amount of time.
8 Act 3, Sc 3 – Line 427-33 “O monstrous, monstrous …I’ll tear her all to pieces!”
8.1 The violence in Othello's words when he talks about Desdemona shows the audience he now fully believes Iago.
9 Act 3, Sc 3 – Line 167-9 “O beware, my lord, of jealousy: / It is the green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on,”
9.1 The metaphor of comparing jealousy to a monster makes evident the inevitability of Iago's plan: it adds to a sense of fate through implying that it eats up it's victims.
9.2 It is therefore foreshadowing events in the play as Iago is ironically making Othello jealous throughout this scene.
10 Act 3, Sc 4 – Lines 155-6 “[Jealousy] is a monster, begot upon itself, born on itself,”
10.1 Demonstrates the unstoppable force of jealousy once it has begun. Adds to a feeling of inevitability or fate.
11 Act 1 “Old black ram,” “Far more fair than black,” “The Moor,” “Thick lips,”
11.1 Repetition of Othello being identified by racist epithets in Act 1 and throughout the play.
12 Act 1, Sc 3 – Line 381-2 “The Moor is of a free and open nature, That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,”
12.1 Iago's bold statement proves his awareness of Othello's naivety and gullibility.
13 Repeated use of the epithets of ‘valiant’ and ‘noble’ to describe Othello.
13.1 Validates his noble status, widely respected as a noble general.

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