2 Close readings


Othello line 26 Act 5 Scene 2: “Have you pray’d tonight, Desdemona?”

Even though this line is very short it has a big meaning and even multiple meanings. When Shakespeare wrote down these words and combined them into the sentence above it doesn’t just say a question to Desdemona but it also show foreshadowing as of Othello is about to kill Desdemona. She doesn’t see the foreshadowing as the audience do because Desdemona does not know what’s going on in Othello mind. But the sentence that Othello say to her “have you pray’d tonight Desdemona?” Give her a hint on what’s going through with his emotions. The word “pray” carry a lot of meanings it could mean as if someone is praying for help, peace, or in this case Othello will believe that Desdemona is going to pray to be okay with god and have her soul prepared to go up to heaven. Othello shows that the Evil (black vengeance) has (arisen) from below when he asked Desdemona the question of pray. If shows how Othello has changed from a form of peace and humbled some will say it’s the (black magic) that has wore off or he has run out of and now his real side is showing. This all goes back to the theme reality vs appearance, in reality, Desdemona don’t need to pray she didn’t do anything wrong and she was honest throughout the play but the appearance to Othello is that Desdemona has been cheating and being foul next to him and not honest, appearance can play a big illusion and make reality seem the opposite of what it really is.


Lines 511 Act 3 Scene 3: In the book, Othello Shakespeare put in a sentence “even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace, shall ne’er look back, ne’er ebb to humble love, till that a capable and wide revenge swallow them up. Now, by yond marble heaven, in the due reverence of a sacred vow, I here engage my words.” The word sentence “I here engaged my words” could mean the seriousness of how he is feeling at this point of his life. The word “engaged” could mean he is not switching his mind (Othello) and the faith of his enemies is bound and set already. And this could represent Othello inner “black vengeance” that is being called up. “even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace, shall ne’er look back, ne’er ebb to humble love.” Shakespeare used these words to show Othello anger and “black vengeance” that have been called upon and that can never be calm again. “Even so my bloody thoughts” can represent the pain he is going through and feeling and it can also show his anger and what’s on his mind, and from that sentence it shows that Othello is having no remorse toward anyone and he is planning on killing .”shall ne’er look back,ne’er ebb humble love.” Othello will never look back on the good times or even the times that was humble to him, love kept Othello humble and calm but now that his love has been snatched away from him he will not be humble noir look back on the times that he was.


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