Emilia

4.2.159-169

A halter pardon him! and hell gnaw his bones!

Why should he call her whore? who keeps her company?

What place? what time? what form? what likelihood?

The Moor’s abused by some most villainous knave,

Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.

O heaven, that such companions thou’ldst unfold,

And put in every honest hand a whip

To lash the rascals naked through the world

Even from the east to the west!

 

Paraphrase

Pardon him from halter, and let demons in hell gnaw on his bones!

Why should Othello call Desdemona a whore? Who’s been with her?

Where? When? How? What’s the possibility?

The Moor is being tricked by some villainous knave,

Some base, well-known rogue, some vile people.

Oh God, if only you would reveal the the evil ones in the world,

And give every honest person a whip

To lash the rascals as they run naked around the world

Even from the east side to the west side!

 

Analysis

This scene happens when Emilia, Desdemona and Iago are discussing Desdemona’s situation. Shakespeare used rhetorical question in these lines in order to stress how Emilia trust Desdemona and Emilia thinks there is no way Desdemona will betray Othello. Also, Shakespeare used metaphor to show Othello was being tricked by someone.

 

Desdemona

4.2.175-186

O good Iago,

What shall I do to win my lord again?

Good friend, go to him; for, by this light of heaven,

I know not how I lost him. Here I kneel:

If e’er my will did trespass ‘gainst his love,

Either in discourse of thought or actual deed,

Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense,

Delighted them in any other form;

Or that I do not yet, and ever did.

And ever will–though he do shake me off

To beggarly divorcement–love him dearly,

Comfort forswear me!

 

Paraphrase

Oh God, Iago,

What can I do to win my husband back again?

Good friend, please go to him.

I have no idea how I lost him. Here I’m kneeling:

I swear that if I ever did anything to destroy his love,

either by thoughts or actions,

Or in my eyes, my ears, or any sense,

took pleasure in anyone else in any other form;

Or that I haven’t do yet, and ever did.

And never will – even though he tries to shake me off

Want to divorce with me – I still love him,

Then may i lost my comforts!

 

Analysis

This scene happened when Desdemona ask Iago for help. Shakespeare used symbolism to emphasize Desdemona’s honesty.

Photo by ErgSap

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

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