My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty:
To you I am bound for life and education;
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you; you are the lord of duty;
I am hitherto your daughter: but here’s my husband,
And so much duty as my mother show’d
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord.
My dearest Father,
I do understand that I may have two duties
that I am bound for this life.
In your eyes I must live life and learn
How to be respectful to you; understanding that you are my caretaker.
I know I will always be your daughter; but I also have a husband.
My mother was so devoted to you,
She always chose to protect and love you over her own father,
I confess I have doubts,
but I must be loyal as she
Analysis: In this point of the playwright, Othello, Desdemona is asked by her Father where her loyalty lies: him or Othello. Desdemona is conflicted because she has multiple reasons to show her devotion to both the men in her life, but explains that her obligation is to Othello. She confesses that she must give her loyalty to her husband Othello, once she states, “I am hitherto your daughter: but here’s my husband, and so much duty as my mother show’d to you…so much I challenge that I may profess due to the Moor my lord,” (1.3.13-18). Although Desdemona respects her father and hesitates to answer him, she explains that she must follow her mother’s footsteps and the lessons her father has taught her, and that is why she chooses Othello. Her tone remains respectful during her explanation, but she is committed to living a life with Othello. Although her relationship with Othello was very frowned upon by many due to conflicts among their economic status, race, and beliefs.
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 ‘against 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!
Will you help me find a way to make my husband love me once more?
Your a good man, and can speak to him. I promise you that
I have no reasoning in this situation. I beg on my knees
If I caused anything to ruin the love he once had for me,
Either by what I said or did,
Or if he ever thought I might have been unfaithful,
With my mind or body,
Or if he believes I don’t have love for him, or never did,
Or never will- yet he still is blind to my love
And does not accept my affections-
Then I wish to suffer without rest.
Analysis: In this moment of the play, Desdemona is asking Iago advice about why her husband, Othello, does not seem to love her any longer and why it seems he has suspicions of her cheating on him. There are accusations known to be made by a villain character to tear apart relationships, but Iago tries comforting Desdemona and blames Othello’s coldness by his work induced stress. Still Desdemona is still distraught that Othello potentially thinks of her as an unfaithful spouse, and repeats any way she may have harmed Othello unintentionally to doom herself to a life of sorrow. Even though Desdemona’s intentions seem to be loyal, Othello never believes her truly, which is why her life ends tragically. It is clear that Shakespeare could not bear to write a story
Tags: Othello Shakespeare