Desdemona

1.3.208-218

1 My noble father,

2 I do perceive here a divided duty:

3 To you I am bound for life and education;

4 My life and education both do learn me

5How to respect you; you are the lord of duty;

6 I am hitherto your daughter: but here’s my husband,

7 And so much duty as my mother show’d

8 To you, preferring you before her father,

9 So much I challenge that I may profess

10 Due to the Moor my lord.

Paraphrase:

  1. Dad,
  2. I have a split responsibility:
  3. I owe you a lot because you raised me and gave me education;
  4. These two things have taught me greatly
  5. I have learned how to respect you and that you are my superior;
  6. I am your daughter: but I love this man,
  7. Mom did the same thing
  8. To you when she chose you over her father,
  9. I am going against you so much
  10. That I am due to the moore.
  1. At this moment in the play, Desdemona, is talking to her father about marrying Othello. She tells him that even though he has raised her and given her so much, she loves Othello too much and wants to marry him. She backs this up by reminding her father that her mother did the same thing for him.
  2. I think that Desdemona is in the right in this situation. She loves Othello and her father should not be able to hold her back from that especially because her mother did the same thing for him. He is overreacting and Othello is a noble man.

Othello

2.1.199-209

1 It gives me wonder great as my content

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

3 If after every tempest come such calms,

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

5 And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas

6 Olympus-high and duck again as low

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

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

9 My soul hath her content so absolute

10 That not another comfort like to this

11 Succeeds in unknown fate.

Paraphrase:

  1. It gives me equal content and wonder
  2. To see you here. My soul is full of joy!
  3. If you come after every bad event,
  4. Let the bad events keep coming!
  5. And let waves as big as mountains crash down
  6. Very high and then go as low
  7. As hell! If I died now,
  8. I would be happy because
  9. My soul is so happy
  10. That I dont think Ill ever be this content again.
  1. In this quote Othello is talking to Desdemona and is embracing her greatly in public. He professes to her that he is so content with her at the moment that he could die happy and would never be as happy as he was then.
  2. This shows Othello’s love and affection towards Desdemona earlier in the play. Just being with her makes him the happiest he’s ever been. This is a good reference to see how much Othello’s love towards her changes throughout the play. This also shows that Othello only uses his feelings in extremes. He either loves her too much or hates her too much.
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CC BY-SA 4.0 Othello Close Readings by Shane is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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