1.3.208-218

Dad, I am very torn. You gave me life and an education and I answer to you. I am your daughter but he is my husband now. As mother was so loyal to you and chose you over her father, I must also be loyal and answer to my husband.

The Duke is not happy with his daughter Desdemona being married to Othello. Barbanzio asks Desdemona to who she is more loyal to. In these lines she says that ultimately her loyalty now resides with her husband rather than her father just as her mother did when she married her dad. Desdemona has a very valid point with what she is saying because during this time all of your loyalty now goes to your husband. Her stance is towards her father that she is thankful for everything her dad has done, like her “life and education both” but now that she is married she does not answer to her father, instead she answers to her husband. I believe it is meant to be a relatable passage for other women, their new husbands, and fathers.

 

4.3.81-87

Actually, I think I would undo it once it was done. I wouldn’t marry for the ring, or money, or clothes. For the whole world who would not cheat on their husband to make them a king. I would die for it.

Emilia and Desdemona are talking about how they think Desdemona has cheated on othello. In this time, this type of thing was mostly unheard of so if it were to happen it was a huge deal. They are talking back and forth about if they would ever cheat on their husband and Desdemona does not think Emilia would. Emilia then responds with this, saying she would and who wouldn’t if it meant they were bettering their husband. Emilia’s stance goes against what most people of the time would agree with because the men had all of the power. She is essentially saying that she would cheat on her husband, but only if it were to better his position, which makes sense in the context of the time era.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Othello Close Reading by Ceceli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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