what different types of love are explored in ‘Othello’?

‘for when my outward action doth demonstrate the native act and figure of my heart in complete extern, ’tis not long after but i will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at it’ Act 1 Scene 1Iago , Truth and deception (lines 62-6)-duplicitous natures, division between Iago’s motives and his outward self – connects with the truth and vulnerability which contrasts with Desdemona
‘but i will wear my heart upon my sleeve’ Act 1 Scene 1Iago, Truth and Deception (lines 62-6)-servants wore their master’s insignia on their sleeves. Iago is putting on a show so that it outwardly looks like his service to Othello is openly performed out of love
‘an old ram tupping your white ewe’ Act 1 Scene 1Iago, Social conventions and Taboos (lines 89-90)-black and white dichotomy shown throughout the play; ideas about ‘worth’ in society and in love.-insinuates satanic imagery of the lexis ‘ram’, he’s conforming to societal norms as devils used to be perceived as black.-it plays on Elizabethan notions that black men have an animal like, hyper sexuality.-foreshadows a cuckold (a man who’s wife is unfaithful), portraying the eponymous hero’s insecurities of Desdemona being unfaithful because of his race-his insecurities of his race lead to the downfall of his marriage and relationship with Desdemona
‘the devil will make a grandsire of you’ Act 1 Scene 1Iago, Social conventions and taboos (line 92)-Elizabethan racist stereotype with the devil being a black man.
‘you’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse, you’ll have your nephews neigh to you, you’ll have coursers for cousins, and jennets for germans’ Act 1 Scene 1Iago, Social conventions and taboos (lines 111-3)-more racism this time with interracial marriage – an idea that mingling of races is an obscene inter species reltions-‘Barbary horse’ – Iago making references that Othello is animalistic, doesn’t know how to love but only to have sex because of its hyper-sexuality-‘you’ll have coursers for cousins and jennets for germans’ – here Iago extends the metaphor of the Barbary horse. the procreation between horse and women will produce offspring who will neigh like horses
‘if such actions have passage free, bondslaves and pagans shall our statesmen be’ Act 1 Scene 2Brabantio, Approval and disapproval (lines 98-9)-love and Elizabethan law, and subsequently Christianity/ plays Christian context – idea that interracial marriage is distinctly non-christian
‘i love the gentle Desdemona’ Act 1 Scene 2 Othello, Romantic love, social conventions and taboos and marriage (lines 25)-Othello defends his love for Desdemona simply and clearly-this is the first sincere reference to love in the play, Othello’s positive view of his relationship with Desdemona is in conflict with the way it is perceived by others which later foreshadows how it has become his inner conflict which highlights their broken marriage-‘gentle’ – is a pun which means both kind hearted and of noble birth – reveals that such a ‘noble Moor’ is no able to love ‘gently’ because he was not born in an aristocratic hierarchy because of hid racial backgrounds-new historicist critics have argues that Othello’s tragedy comes about because he can never be anything expect an outsider-Othello is in an impossible position as a black man serving a white patriarchy, he is foolish to expect his adopted society to accept his marriage to a white woman causing his dislocation-this emphasises the depth of how dislocated he is when he views his own race negatively clarifying that his internal dissension with his race causing his marriage to dismantle, leading to the eponymous hero upholding societal expectations.
‘she loved me for the dangers i had passed and i loved her that she did pity them’ Act 1 Scene 3Othello, Romantic love and hero worship (lines 166-7)-love as healing or as mutual sympathy in times of despair-here, Shakespeare demonstrates how the love between Othello and Desdemona was mutually shared. in fact, it was Desdemona who began loving Othello first and Othello’s love for Desdemona was a product of this-an equilibrium of love is evident
‘i am hitherto your daughter. but here’s my husband’ Act 1 Scene 3Desdemona, Marriage (line 183)-Elizabethan patriarchy and transferal of ownership in marriage, and power structures – power of a father are equal to that of husbands.
‘i had rather adopt a child than get it’ Act 1 Scene 3 Brabantio, Love and loss, parental love (line 189)-betrayal, ideas about blood lines and blood relations, Elizabethan patriarchy and paternal ownership of daughters-Brabantio shows how distraught he is over Desdemona getting married without his knowledge. however he forgives her.
‘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’ Act 1 Scene 3Desdemona, Love and sex, marital love (lines 251-3)-consummation of marriage, Elizabethan gender roles and female sexuality, marital sex-‘if i be left behind, a moth of peace’ – the use of the lexis ‘moth’ is particularly effective, indicating Desdemona will be blind and discontent should Othello leave, trying desperately to fly towards the light, the light being Othello-she longs to be with her husband for the rites of marriage, sexual intimacy, wants to be a faithful wife
‘look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see: she has betrayed her father, and may thee’ Act 1 Scene 3Brabantio, Truth and deception (lines 287-8)-suspicion and loyalty, male ownership of women-foreshadows the alleged deception of Desdemona being unfaithful to Othello
‘it is silliness to live, when to live is torment: and then we have a prescription to die, when death is our physician’ Act 1 Scene 3Roderigo, Young love/maturing love (lines 304-5)-Roderigo as foolish, irrational young lover; echoing conceit used in love poetry-foreshadowing Roderigo’s demise and a metaphor showing Iago is the physician, prescribing Rodergio’s actions
‘since i could distinguish betwixt a benefit and an injury, i never found a man that knew how to love himself’ Act 1 Scene 3Iago, Young love/maturing love (lines 307-8)-Iago as an experienced foil to Roderigo; value of self respect and antithesis of above self destruction in love and selfishness
‘we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal strings, our unbitted lusts’ Act 1 Scene 3Iago, Love and sex (lines 321-3)-lust as an animal instinct separate from human intelligence, sex as a completely primitive thing-‘carnal strings’ – means physical urge – feelings of lust, like a thorn that stings
‘i hate the Moor; and it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets he’s done my office’ Act 1 Scene 3Iago, Jealousy and guilt (lines 368-70)-Iago suspects that Othello has slept with his wife and ponders if it is true or not. Iago seems to have trust issues, even though he is deceitful all the time.
‘i know not if’t be true yet i, for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as for surety’ Act 1 Scene 3Iago, Jealousy and guilt (lines 370-2)-irony: Iago incenses Othello into violent and morbid jealousy when being violently jealous himself
‘if after every tempest come such calms , may the winds blow till they have awakened death’ Act 2 Scene 1Othello, Partings and reunions (lines 177-8)-delighted to see Desdemona after battle, Othello means that he would be willing to fight against the worst be possible odds if it meant that he’d always be rewarded in accordance with the stripe he faced.-love is healing – compare with Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 with love that ‘looks on tempests and is never shaken’
‘and this, and this, the greatest discords be that e’er our hearts shall make’ Act 2 Scene 1Othello, Romantic love (lines 190-1)-serious irony and tempting fate and idealism
‘o beware, my lord, of jealousy: it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on’ Act 3 Scene 3Iago, Jealousy and guilt, race and marriage (lines 166-9)-jealousy/envy as a deadly sin, corruptive force over humans-it can be argues that ‘sweet Desdemona’ is the ‘green eyed monster’ through the exploitation from the Machiavellian Iago.-symbolism of the colour ‘green’ in literature represents feelings of jealousy and sickness-Desdemona is causing Othello’s ‘sickness’, because of their extraordinary marriage and her conjectured infidelity, clarifying she is the personification of jealousy-the colour ‘green’ is corresponding with Demetra the Goddess of fertility and fruitfulness on earth, thus Othello is ‘feeding’ on the ‘meat’ of Desdemona causing him to become intoxicated with jealousy-Demetra is a reflection of women, she is the only Goddess who protects marriage. this insinuates that Desdemona is a reflection of Demtra, she wants no harm to come to Othello because she is deeply in love with him and views his origins positively despite Renaissance expectations
‘o curse of marriage that we can call these delicate creatures ours and not their appetites!’ Act 3 Scene 3Othello, Marriage (lines 270-3)-extent of male control in marriage and fantasies about male control-Elizabethan fear of female sexual freedom-animalistic imagery ‘delicate creature’ – women are being patronised and dehumanised into a stereotype of how the patriarchal society viewed them-only used them for pleasure and for bearing children
‘what he will do with it, heaven knows, not i’ Act 3 Scene 3 Emilia, Truth and deception (line 300)-secrets in marriage-distrust and division in Iago and Emilia’s marriage-Emilia’s innocence
‘trifles light as air to the jealous confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ’ Act 3 Scene 3Iago, Jealousy and guilt (lines 322-4)-commenting on Othello’s tragic flaw and his quickness to react
‘her name, that was as fresh as Dian’s visage, is now begrimed and black as mine own face’ Act 3 Scene 3Othello, Love and sex, race (lines 387-9)-Elizabethan fear of female sexuality, ideas about virginity and purity and conversely corruption-Diane, Goddess of pale moon and chastity-Othello’s internalising racial ideologies-views his own race negatively-symbolism – allusion-Desdemona, who Othello says resembled Diana, has now seemingly had her purity stained and blackened-before we saw that Othello was proud of his race ‘for she had eyes and choose me’ but now he is insulting his race, mirroring and conforming to the language of Iago and the majority of Elizabethan society
‘alas, what ignorant sin have i committed ?’ Act 4 Scene 1Desdemona, Truth and deception (line 69)-Desdemona is innocent and naive to Othello’s suspicions of her, and is never told the explicit truth until her murder
‘the fountain from the which my current runs or else dries up – to be discarded thence or keep it as a cistern for foul toads to knot and gender in!’ Act 4 Scene 2Othello, Love and sex (lines 58-61)-sex as procreation, perhaps a dehumanising view of Desdemona – ‘fountain’ reduces her to her womb and capacity to have children and adultery corrupts and ruins her from the inside out-repulsive bestial imagery, which is often used by Iago-this shows Iago’s negative influence on Othello through his deterioration in language as he is less eloquent more aggressive and has similalr speech patterns as Iago
‘i would you had never seen him’ Act 4 Scene 3Emilia, Approval and disapproval (line 17)-disapproval in the name of protection
‘but i do think it is the husbands’ fault if wives do fall’ Act 4 Scene 4Emilia, marriage (lines 82-3)-a more feminist opinion of Elizabethan marriage – arguing for respect and equal responsibility-a more sympathetic view of ‘fallen’ wives-husbands are to blame for women’s pain and struggles
‘let husbands now their wives have sense like them’ Act 4 Scene 3Emilia, Love and sec (lines 89-90)-female perspective on sexual desire-Elizabethan ideal of outward female chastity versus the reality that women also have the capacity to desire-Emilia is talking about the fact that men and women are equal because they see smell and can taste the same sweet and sour just like men can – modern view early feminim
‘had all his hairs been lives my great revenge had stomach for them all’ Act 5 Scene 1 Othello, Jealous and guilt (lines 75-6)-revenge and violence -continued ideas of stomachs and eating being linked to power and dominance in the food chain
‘nobody; i myself. farewell. commend me to my kind lord’ Act 5 Scene 2 Desdemona, Partings and reunions and romantic love (lines 125-6)-parting words with Emilia lies to protect Othello even after he’s murdered her-Desdemona’s dying words place no blame on Othello and instead on herself. this reinforces the image of Venice as a patriarchal society where women were seen as property of their husband or father. this also demonstrated in the first act, when Brabantio says of his daughter Desdemona ‘she is abused, stol’n from me’-feminist critics have noted how female characters in Jacobean tragedies are victims who have limited power. Marilyn French explored the masculine value system and says in spite of Desdemona’s assertiveness in choosing her own husband, French suggests she ‘accepts her culture’s dictum that she must be obedient to males’ and its self denying in the extreme’ when she dies.
‘i will not charm my tongue; i am bound to speak; my mistress lies murdered in her bed’ Act 5 Scene 2Emilia, Love and loss (lines 183-4)-urge for revenge and justice; female power and avengement-Emilia refuses to be silenced by her husband, which is unheard of in a patriarchal society such as this , and admirably speaks out strongly against the injustice of Desdemona’s murder. Desdemona herself, by contrast refuses to speak against her husband and is subjugated to him
‘when we shall meet at compt, this look of thine will hurt my soul from heaven and fiends will snatch at it’ Act 5 Scene 2Othello, Partings and reunions (lines 271-3)-reunion; metaphysical reunion on the Day of Judgement , a contemptuous reunion rather than a heart warming one
‘demand me nothing;what you know, you know. from this time forth i will never speak a word’ Act 5 Scene 2Iago, Truth and deception (lines 300-1)-absence of catharsis in the play; Iago never explains himself-Iago’s last speech sees him maintain control of the situation. by not studying anything he ensures the root causes of his malevolence will never be known-his calculating nature allow him to remove himself from the situation revealing his level of manipulation
‘like the base Indian threw a pearl away richer than all his tribe’ Act 5 Scene 2Othello, Love and loss (lines 343-4)-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-this line refers to Othello’s neglect of the wonderful thing he had in Desdemona. the base Indian refers to the Indians who didn’t know they had objects of precious value, such as a pearl. in other versions of Shakespeare’s work, the work here is ‘Judean’ in place of ‘Indian’. Judean refers to Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus and this too correlates with Othello and Desdemona. Othello kisses Desdemona just as Judas kisses Jesus pretending they love the individual but knowing that they will die.
‘o spartan dog, more fell than anguish hunger or the sea look upon the tragic loading of this bed’ Act 5 Scene 2Lodovico, Love and loss (lines 357-9)-the critics quote ‘there is no metaphorical creation of a surrounding universe’ is true up until Desdemona and Othello die; suddenly the focus widens to a global scale and diverts from the domestic scale of small drama within claustrophobic setting-this is another great meta line in Shakespeare. by inviting Iago to look at the ‘tragic loading’ of the bed Lodovico turns our attention there too and we see the bodies of Othello and Desdemona as well as Emilia, no doubt strewn across the bed in a tragically beautiful tableau-the line ‘this is thy work’ functions on several levels. the first is that this is Iago’s work or doing. he has assigned himself the task of ruining Othello and this is the result of his work to that end-the second is that this tableau of death resembles a piece of artwork one that Iago has been the master of.-and the third is that the work of art is the play itself; the entire tragedy of Othello has been Iago’s work without him no tragedy would occur