English – Othello: important quotes

‘I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at; I am not what I am’ – ACT 1 SCENE 1 – Roderigo & Iago talking about Desdemona & Othello. – The ever cunning Iago = revealing an important fact about himself; he’ll manipulate & act decpetively if it suits his motives. – The audience should understand that Iago isn’t to be trusted. – Also shows how naive Roderigo can be.- Roderigo doesn’t take Iago’s words to heart & then dies later in the play because of him.
‘To mourn a mischief that is past & gone is the next way to draw new mischief on’ – ACT 1 SCENE 3 – The Duke is talking to Brabantio, Desdemona & Othello. – Duke is trying to smooth things out between Brab & the young couple after Brab publicly disowned Des. – Duke is saying it’s useless to hold onto a grudge & if something happened it the past, then leave it in the past & move on.
‘T’is neither here nor there’ – ACT 4 SCENE 3 – Emilia & Des discuss marriage, husbands & fidelity. – Des asks if Emilia minds Desdemona’s crying. – Emilia’s response means that it doesn’t matter to her = they share a bond.
‘Who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch?’ – ACT 4 SCENE 3 – Emilia & Des are discussing marriage in this scene. – Em is saying that she would cheat on her husband if they had something to gain from it. – Des can’t understand this reasoning; she’s forever devoted to her husband. – This highlights the differences in moral codes between the 2 women. – Throughout the play, Des is presented as virtuous & innocent. – Scene adds to image of Des being innocent & makes her death even more tragic.
‘I kissed thee ere I killed thee, no way but this, Killing myself, to die upon a kiss’ – ACT 5 SCENE 2 – Othello speaks to his murdered wife.- He kissed her before her smothered her, he kisses her once more before he takes his own life. – Othello is speaking poetically about his relationship with Des. – His love & eventual jealousy killed Des. – If he had never loved or kissed her, she would’ve never died. – Othello kisses her again & kills himself as his personal repentance.

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