Quote:“Avaunt! Be gone! Thou hast set me on the rack: I swear ‘tis better to be much abused than but to know’t a little.”Act.iii.iii.374-376

Shakespeare plays on the word “ Rack  “ it could mean to break people into pieces using different instruments of torture. It can also mean mental pain to extreme stress.  First, Othello’s mind is being broken into pieces because now he thinks his wife is cheating on with him with cassio. For the second definition, The person causing him extreme stress is Iago because he is being manipulative and wants othello to have second thoughts about his wife but the stress could come from his heart because on the inside he really loves her.

Shakespeare plays on the word “ abused “ it could mean use of something to be bad for a bad purpose. It also can mean cruel and violent treatment of a person or animal.  First, Othello is thinking his relation is being “abused” because he thinks that his position of being a husband is going to be replaced.  The irony is that Othello thinks Desdemona is turning on him but what she is really trying to do is get Othello and Cassio to be on good terms. 

 

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