“But I love the gentle Desdemona” ~First thing Othello says about Desdemona ~Iago had just critisized him by making audience believe he was evil, contrast in Iago’s description and his actual personality is immediately seen
“Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them” ~Nobility and calm behaviour shown when he is presented with the opportunity to solve a misunderstanding through anger, instead he averts imminent violence and choses to solve the issue calmly
“Let her have your voice” ~Modern mindset shows that Othello sees Desdemona as his equal which was unusual at the time~Lets his wife make decisions showing that he loves and trusts her more than anything
“If you do find me foul in her report, not only take away, but let your sentence fall upon my life” ~Peak of Othello’s love for Desdemona as he is trusting her with his life indicating that he believes that she loves him as much as he loves her~Equality and love in their relationship shows he is a supportive husband and honorable man
“If it were now to die, ’twere now to be most happy” ~Ironic moment as Othello believes if he was to die in this moment he would be happy as he is content with his life at this point as he has achieved everything he wants in life, Desdemona makes him feel complete
“Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee, and when I love thee not, chaos is come again” ~In saying this Othello explains that if he did not love Desdemona, the consequences would be catastrophic~’Perdition’ means ‘hell’, comes from Latin word ‘perder’ which means ‘to put completely to destruction’-Shakespeare uses dramatic exaggeration to tell the audience that if Othello were to fall out of love with Desdemona, his life would fall into chaotic destruction~’Excellent wretch’ is an oxymoron used to describe Desdemona, ‘wretch’ has connotations of a despicable person and from this point on he believes this to be true due to Iago’s misleading manipulations
“In following him, I follow but myself… I am not what I am” ~Hints to Roderigo that he is only doing everything for his own benefit and is not the kind of person everyone thinks he is, however Roderigo is unable to see this as he believes Iago is helping him~Sets tone for the rest of his role, shows the fact that Iago only shows the other characters what he wants them to see
“An old black ram is tupping your white ewe” ~Othello is referred to as an ‘old black ram’- colour black has connotations of darkness and evil; comparing him to an animal implies he is animalistic and dangerous; ‘old’ further adds to the unpleasantness~Desdemona referred to as a ‘white ewe’- colour white has connotations of pureness and innocence~Through contrast of black and white, Iago implies that they are opposites and don’t belong together~Iago manipulates Roderigo and Brabantio in the first scene, displaying his ability to manipulate and betray people
“Beware my lord, of jealousy, it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on” ~Othello is oblivious to the fact that ‘honest’ Iago one of his closest friends is manipulating him~He pretends to be concerned saying that jealousy grows by feeding on itself before it gets too much and takes over which is exactly what happens to Othello in the end
“No, to be once in doubt is once to be resolved…for she had eyes, and chose me” ~In the beginning Othello refuses to be silently doubtful as he believes if there was a problem he would confront his wife without hesitation rather than causing confusion and distrust~Confident in his relationship at this point, doesn’t think Desdemona would be unfaithful as it is her own choice to be with him
“I think my wife is honest and I think she is not” ~Emphasises Othello’s confusion as he doesn’t believe Desdemona is capable of hurting him but Iago’s manipulations cause him to begin to doubt her
“If more thou dost perceive, let me know more. Set on thy wife to observe.” ~The fact that Othello goes from saying that Desdemona should ‘have her voice’ before the key scene to suddenly saying she should be ‘observed’ is notable as all it takes for him to doubt her is subtle manipulation, making the audience doubt how much he actually cared about her in the first place or if he was noble as he seemed
“Tear her to pieces” ~Calm and controlled nature is disregarded, contrast in attitude before and during key scene is significant as it shows his personality was quick to change
“Farewell tranquil mind; farewell content!” ~Refers to his previous ironic statement, ‘if it were now to die, ’twere now to be most happy’ by saying ‘farewell content’~Shows Othello’s contentment did not last as he believes his wife is unfaithful, makes him feel hopeless as without Desdemona his life would fall apart, further fuels his jealousy
“Betraying more men” “Honorable murderer” ~Believes Desdemona is pure and goddess-like, he does not want to take away her purity which he thinks will be maintained by murdering her as it will stop her from committing more sins such as ‘betraying more men’ and because of this he believes he is doing the right thing
“Huge eclipse of sun and moon, and that affrighted globe should yawn in alteration” ~Realises weight of what he has done and compares this significance to an eclipse~Refers back to his previous statement, ‘When I love thee not, chaos is come again’ as the consequences of him doubting Desdemona were chaotic~Light of sun represents light and happiness Desdemona would bring, now there is only darkness without her presence to bring him joy~Darkness also symbolises Othello’s emptiness as his mind is no longer spiralling out of control and he has snapped back to reality, filled with emptiness due to suddenly realising what he has done ~Shows he did have a conscience but was blinded by jealousy
“Where should Othello go?” ~By speaking in the third person here Othello’s confusion is displayed, can no longer recognise himself, does not know what his role/place in the world is without her
“Like the base Indian, threw away a pearl richer than all of his tribe” ~Othello was blinded by his jealousy and it lead him to throw away the most important thing in his life leaving him with nothing left to live for