Othello Themes – Good/Evil, Heaven/Hell, Light/Dark

“Divine Desdemona” – Cassio Desdemona is regarded as heavenly or goddess like. She is the most perfect. This could suggest that, when Othello kills her, he is not only killing a woman, but someone special, which makes him much worse. Stark contrast to Othello’s image and his eventual actions.
“Hail thee, Lady.” – Cassio also “rose-lipoed cherubin” – Othello Compared to Mary, and an angel pure and perfect figures. This makes her exploitation so much more evil, as it is a perfect thing that it’s destroyed. Her purity is vulnerable.
“and you the blacker devil”- Emilia Reference to Othello’s skin colour and his actions as this is when Emilia finds out what he has done. He is a contrast to Desdemona and the evil force in their relationship that overpowered her good and killed it. Perhaps it is not him who should be called the “devil” as it was Iago who manipulated him?
“hell and night bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light” – Iago Iago is devilish, calling upon evil to help him with his evil schemes. He is the true evil in the play and it is his evil that causes all the events. He is aware of how evil it is and suggests that he cannot do it without the backing of hell.
“Arise black vengeance, from the hollow hell!” – Othello Calling upon black (evil) vengeance to help him do what he believes he must to Desdemona. Signs of witchcraft as they are kneeling. Ironic as Othello claims to not have used witchcraft it getting Desdemona, but now he summons evil to get rid of her. Iago has manipulated him into doing this.
“not by this heavenly light, but I may as well in the dark.” – Emilia Ambiguous character and representation of evil and good. She would do evil to get her husband up in the world but she would keep it hidden and unknown to the world. She would hide her sins from “heavenly light”. Perhaps this suggests fear of God and yet a willingness to take part in evil, for the greater good.