1.3.208-218 Desdemona

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.

Father,

Iam aware of this divided decision:

For you Iam grateful eternally and education;

I have been able to grow thanks to you

I respect you; you hold great responsibility;

Iam your daughter forever; but Othello is my husband,

I have seen mother be loyal to you

I will always choose you

So now I have to choose him too

And show him my loyalty.

First Close Reading Analysis:

In the phrase Desdemona is talking to Brabantio, with the Duke and Iago listening in the background. Brabantio had asked Desdemona of who she obeys(Father and Othello). Desdemona responded with the phrase from 1.3.208-218. Desdemona is telling her father about her secret, that Desdemona and Othello have engaged with marriage. Desdemona follows up with statements that let her father know that she will eternally love him and stay loyal to him. He then ask for her to admit who she most obeys between the two most important men in her life. In 1.3.214-217 Desdemona states “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” and uses the metaphor of as mother was loyal to you, I can be as loyal to you and Othello.

Emilia 4.3.81-87

In troth, I think I should; and undo’t when I had

Done. Marry, I would not do such a thing for

Joint-ring, nor for measures of lawn, nor for

Gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty

Exhibition; but for the whole world,–why, who would

Not make her husband a cuckold to make him a

Monarch? I should venture purgatory for’t

Iam loyal and will not do that

I did not marry just because i wanted

The great things that come with it

Including gowns, petticoats, or caps

She would not cheat for the whole world

Why shouldnt a cheater be loyalty

I should adre punish for it

Second close reading analysis:

In this phrase we see Desdemona and Emilia mocking and joking about how men can get away with cheating. The two are wondering if it should be okay for women to do the same on men, what men do to women(cheating). Leading up to this Desdemona makes it clear that she would never cheat on Othello for the “whole world”, what I made sense of this Emilia would cheat on Iago. In lines 4.3.85-87, Emilia states “but for the whole world,–why, who would Not make her husband a cuckold to make him a Monarch? I should venture purgatory for’t”. She uses the metaphor of cheating for the “whole world” which Emilia cannot give Iago.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Othellos close read by Ethan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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