Author: Mary

https://www.youthvoices.live/2018/04/20/othello-close-read-7/

Othello Close Read

Desdemona

1.3.208-218

Rewrite:

My good father,

I know there is a dilemma here

I must be faithful to you for life

You have given me life and education.

How to respect you,

I am your daughter, but he is my husband

And like mom was faithful to you

Putting you before her father.

So I must do the same

For Othello, Father.

 

Analysis: Desdemona is talking to her Father, Brabantio, about her husband Othello. She knows that she has a duty to her father and Othello when she says, “I do perceive here a divided duty” (1.3.209). Since he raised and gave her a wonderful life and because at that time marriages were often arranged by the fathers, Brabantio is angry at her for eloping and cannot understand why she would choose Othello over her own father . She ultimately chooses Othello over Brabantio because that is what her mother did with her father.

 

Iago

3.3.368-378

 

Rewrite:

I will pretend to lose this handkerchief in Cassio’s house

And let him find it.

This small trouble seems massive to a jealous person.

This will work and lead to problems

Othello is already becoming jealous.

Selfish ideas are dangerous in nature

They start harmless

But with the smallest act

They destroy the mind

Look, here he comes.

 

Analysis: Iago is planning on how to make Othello turn against Desdemona and Cassio by thinking they are having an affair. He will put Desdemona’s handkerchief in Cassio’s house and leave it for Othello to find. This contrived situation will seem like the end of the world to a jealous person, which Othello clearly by the sentence, “The Moor already changes with my poison” because he will fall for Iago’s plan easily (3.3.372). Iago says that bad ideas are dangerous in nature. They start small and trivial, but with the tiniest spark they can take over and destroy the mind of rational thinking.