Aspects of Love in Othello Quotes

“She loved me for the dangers I had passed/ I loved her that she did pity them” Othello, act 1 scene 3, love as healing, or as mutual sympathy in times of despair
“And this, and this, the greatest discords be/That our hearts shall make.” Othello, act 2 scene 1, Serious irony and tempting fate, idealism, Desdemona and Othello are in harmony
“If I be left behind/A moth of peace, and he go to the war, /The rites for which I love him are bereft me” Desdemona, act 1 scene 3, Consummation of marriage, Elizabethan gender roles and female sexuality, marital sex
“We have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts” Iago, act 1 scene 3, Lust as an animal instinct separate from human intelligence, sex as a completely primitive thing
“Her name, that was as fresh/As visage, is now begrimed and black” Othello, act 3 scene 3, elizabethan fear of female sexuality, ideas about virginity and purity and then conversely corruption
“Let husbands know/Their wives have sense like them” Emilia, act 4 scene 3, female perspective on sexual desire- elizabethan ideal of outward female chastity versus the reality that women also have the capacity to desire
“I had rather adopt a child than get it” Brabantio, act 1 scene 3, familial/parental love: betrayal, ideas about bloodlines and blood relations, elizabethan patriarchy and paternal ownership of daughters
“Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away/Richer than all his tribe” Othello, act 5 scene 2, loss through disposal, ironic echo of one of Othello’s first monologues, talking of his exotic adventures seducing Desdemona- tales of far-off things are now what he uses to describe losing her
“I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to speak” Emilia, act 5 scene 2, Urge for revenge and justice; female power and avengement
“An old black ram/Is tupping your white ewe” Iago, act 1 scene 1, black/white dichotomy shown throughout the play; ideas about ‘worth’ in society and in love; livestock analogy?
“The devil will make a grandsire of you” Iago, act 1 scene 1, elizabethan racist stereotype with the devil being a black man
“You’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse” Iago, act 1 scene 1, more racism this time with interracial marriage- an idea that mingling of races is as obscene as interspecies relations
“It is silliness to live, when to live is torment: and then we have a prescription to die, when death is our physician.” Rodrigo, act 1 scene 3, as foolish, irrational young lover; echoing conceit used in love poetry
“Since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and an injury, I never found a man that knew how to love himself.” Iago, act 1 scene 3, Iago as an experienced foil to Roderigo; value of self-respect and antithesis of above self-destruction in love
“O beware, my lord, of jealousy:/It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock/The meat it feeds on.” Iago, act 3 scene 3, jealousy/envy as a deadly sin, corruptive force over humans
“Trifles light as air/Are to the jealous confirmations strong/As proofs of holy writ” Iago, act 3 scene 3, commenting on Othello’s tragic flaw and his quickness to react
“I hate the Moor /He’s done my office.” Iago, act 1 scene 3
“I know not if’t be true/Yet I, for mere suspicion in that kind, /Will do as for surety.” Irony: Iago incenses Othello into violent and morbid jealousy when being violently jealous himself
“For when my outward action doth demonstrate/The native act and figure of my heart /But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve/For daws to peck at” Iago, act 1 scene 1, duplicitous natures, division between Iago’s motivations and his outward self, links between the truth and vulnerability (contrast with Desdemona)
“What he will do with it, heaven knows, not I” Emilia, act 3 scene 3, secrets in marriage; distrust and division in Iago and Emilia’s marriage; Emilia’s innocence
“Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:/She has betrayed her father, and may thee.” Brabantio, act 1 scene 3, suspicion and loyalty, male ownership of women
“Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?” Desdemona, act 4 scene 1, Desdemona is innocent and naive to Othello’s suspicions of her, and is never told the explicit truth until her murder
“Demand me nothing; what you know, you know. /From this time forth I will never speak word.” Iago, act 5 scene 2, absence of catharsis in the play; Iago never explains himself
“If after every tempest come such calms,/May the winds blow till they have wakened death” Othello, act 2 scene 1, reunion again, love as healing. compare with Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 with love that ‘looks on tempests and is never shaken’
“When we shall meet at compt,/This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven/And fiends will s natch at it” Othello, act 5 scene 2, reunion metaphysical reunion at the Day of Judgement, a contemptuous reunion rather than a heartwarming one
“Nobody; I myself. Farewell./Commend me to my kind lord. O farewell!” Desdemona, act 5 scene 2, parting words to Emilia; lies to protect Othello even after he’s murdered her
“I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband” Desdemona, act 1 scene 3, elizabethan patriarchy and transferral of ownership in marriage, and power structures- powers of a father equal to that of a husband?
“But I do think it is their husbands’ faults/If wives do fall” Emilia, act 4 scene 3, more feminist opinion of Elizabethan marriage- arguing for respect and equal responsibility, more sympathetic view of ‘fallen’ wives
“O curse of marriage/That we can call these delicate creatures ours/And not their appetites!” Othello, act 3 scene 3, extent of male control in marriage and fantasies about male control, elizabethan fear of female sexual freedom
“If such actions have passage free,/Bondslaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.” Brabantio, act 1 scene 2, love and elizabethan law, and subsequently christianity/play’s christian context- idea that interracial marriage is distinctly un-Christian
“I would you had never seen him.” Emilia, act 4 scene 3, disapproval in the name of protection