Othello – Key quotations for Act 1 Scene 1

“hast had my purse as if the strings were thine” – Roderigo Alludes to the fact that Iago has been taking money from Roderigo, we do not yet know that this was supposed to be used to ‘woo’ Desdemona but of course it never serves this purpose, Iago essentially robs him in broad daylight.
“I know my price, I am worth no worse a place” – Iago We see Iago’s arrogance and jealousy here at the fact that Othello chose Iago for the Lieutenant role over him. We see how highly he thinks of himself.
“A fellow almost damned by a fair wife” – Iago Perhaps the first looks at Iago’s sexist language, he says that Cassio is do weak that he could be beaten or damned by a woman.
“I follow him to serve my turn upon him – Iago Iago alludes to his duplicity, essentially hinting that he is only loyal to Othello so that he can seek his revenge.
“Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul” – Iago Very deliberate use of language here, makes Brabantio question why he hasn’t noticed that Des is gone, makes it sound as if his life is over because his daughter has married Othello.
“I am not what I am” – Iago Shows Iago’s duplicity and deception, he suggests that he is not as he seems. Also from a religious POV, God says to Moses ‘I am that I am’ so in saying this, Iago is almost going against the Christian conventions expected of him.
“An old black ram is tupping your white ewe” – Iago Iago makes a racist comment about Othello. Black has connotations of evil and white of innocence, as if Othello is harming Desdemona, inflicting evil upon her. Base sexual and animalistic imagery.
“Thou art a villain” – Brabantio Brabantio is the first character who sees Iago for what he really is, he says this as he doesn’t believe what Iago is saying at this point.
“This is Venice” – Brabantio Says it as if bad things can’t happen there, hints to the social elites warped view. Also alludes to how badly things change in Cyprus.
“Though I do hate him as I hate hell pains” – Iago Possibly one of the only points in the whole play where Iago tells the truth.
“Is there not charms by which the property of youth and maidenhood may be abused?” – Brabantio Brabantio doesn’t believe that Desdemona could have married Othello of her own accord, he thinks dark magic has had something to do with it.