1.3.208-218
Paraphrase:
Desdemona:
My dear father,
I do face a difficult challenge:
To you I am grateful for life and my education;
My life and education have helped me immensely
I do respect you; you are the one I look up to;
Of course, I am your daughter: but there is also my husband,
And just as my mother showed such devotion
To you, preferring you before her father,
It is difficult for me to say
That I do find the Moor as my leader.

As Desdemona has fallen for the somewhat outcasted Moor, she find herself debating if her loyalty stands stronger with her father or husband. She shows herself to be an intelligent, confident, and outspoken young women with which Othello has taken claim. Therefore, in her speech about her “divided duty” as a wife and a daughter, Desdemona shows herself to be poised and intelligent, as capable of loving while equally capable of being loved, and able to weigh her competing loyalties respectfully and judiciously (I.iii.180). In arguing for her right to accompany Othello to Cyprus, she insists upon the “violence” and unconventionality of her attachment to Othello (I.iii.248–249). Furthermore, it is apparent that the rhetorical stance Desdemona takes in relaying her issue to the audience, as well as Othello and her father, is one of logos. This is because she is simply explaining herself logically without complaining or ill reform. She uses persuasion by demonstration of logical proof.

2.1.199-209
Paraphrase:
Othello
I am quite curious as I am content
To see you here in front of me. I am ecstatic!
If every storms brings such a happy occurrence afterwards,
then the winds will blow until they have energized everything in their path!
And let the destructive citizen have a difficult time trying to get between us
They must go through powerful forces
From hell to heaven! If I were to die now,
I would be happiest right now; Because, I fear,
My soul is of utmost content
There isn’t another comfort that would compare to this
Which would hold the power to succeed this feeling presently.

On the shores of Cyprus, Montano watches a storm, which Cassio also witnessed, and saw that the Turks lost most of their fleet in the tempest. It was uncertain when Desdemona disembarked as to whether Othello’s ship survived the storm. Shortly, Othello arrives and praises Desdemona for being alive and meeting him at Cyprus. Furthermore, Othello uses tone as a way to persuade the audience of his uplifting reaction and affection. By the use of the words, “content”(2.1.199) and “fate”(2.1.209) there is an ability to render the position Othello and Desdemona are in of being reunited after they thought of the other as dead. Additionally, a use of the rhetorical device of hyperbolic language as Othello expresses, “May the winds blow till they have waken’d death,” plays into the argument of devotion and sincerity in all forms in order to guide the audience into the rhetorical strategy of the repetition of certain words throughout his monologue.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Othello Analysis by Hailey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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