Othello

2.1.199-209

It gives me wonder great as my content

To see you here before me. O my soul’s joy!

If after every tempest come such calms,

May the winds blow till they have waken’d death!

And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas

Olympus-high and duck again as low

As hell’s from heaven! If it were now to die,

‘Twere now to be most happy; for, I fear,

My soul hath her content so absolute

That not another comfort like to this

Succeeds in unknown fate.

Paraphrase

It gives me wonder and joy

To see you here. I’m overjoyed!

If after every violent wind comes calmness,

May the wind blow until death!

And let the sea climb as high as the hills

Of Olympus and drop low

As far as Hell is from Heaven! If I were to die now,

This would be my happiest moment; I fear

That my soul will never be happy like it is now.

 

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, Iago,

What can I do to win Othello again?

My good friend, please go to him; I do not know what I have done. I kneel to you:

If I ever ruined his love for me,

Either by my thoughts or actions,

Or my ears, ears or other senses,

Delighted by other people in any form;

Or that I have never and will not do.

Though he tries to get rid of me, I love him dearly,

Comfort leaves me!

 

In Act 2 scene 1, Othello and his ship were still coming into the dock in a storm. Desdemona, Iago, two Gentlemen, and Cassio were waiting for the ship to come in. They were all worried that their ship will not make it through the storm. But they finally see the ship come into the dock and Othello and Desdemona talk to each other. Then when meet, Othello has sained these lines (199-209). The only audience Othello was speaking to was Desdemona. He was saying how happy he was to see her and he has never so happy in his life because they are together. He uses a rhetorical strategy of pathos. He is trying to appeal his love to her using emotion. For example, when he said, “If it were now to die, ‘Twere now to be most happy;…” (Lines 205-206) He says that in his life, he has never been so happy than what he was feeling at that moment, being with her. Also in his lines, he gives her an imaginary about his feeling at the moment. He says, “If after every tempest come such calms, may the winds blow till they have waken’d death! And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas Olympus-high and duck again as low as hell’s from heaven!” (Lines 201-205) He describes the love he feels is like a “calm before the storm” and he doesn’t care about if he dies now, like I mentioned before.

Before Desdemona talks to Iago, she has been accused by Othello about cheating. First Othello talks to Emilia about her mistress and her behavior. Then he finds Desdemona to talk about the issue. After talking with Othello, she calls for Iago for advice. That is when she speaks about not doing anything to make him angry. She tries to use the rhetorical strategy of attitude. She is trying to think about what she has done in the past (her behavior) that could make Othello angry at her. When she says, “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.” (Lines 180-184). She does not want to hurt Othello in any way, but she doesn’t know what she has done to hurt him.

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

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