My mother had a maid call’d Barbara:

She was in love, and he she loved proved mad

And did forsake her: she had a song of ‘willow;’

An old thing ’twas, but it express’d her fortune,

And she died singing it: that song to-night

Will not go from my mind; I have much to do,

But to go hang my head all at one side,

And sing it like poor Barbara. Prithee, dispatch.


My mother’s maid barbra went crazy loving a man who screwed her over. She cried all day and it killed her in the end. I can’t just sit here and pity myself like she did.


Desdemona is basically saying that she can not sit around all day and cry over the things that have happened. She needs to get up and do something about it because not doing anything is very unproductive. Don’t cry over spilled milk, instead go out and do something.




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, I do have obligations to both of you. I owe you my life and education and that’s why I have so much respect for you. I am indebted to you as my father but there is also my husband. My mother showed me well and she chose you over her father. So I need to choose him over you now.


She is saying that people are not going to be in debt to their fathers once they get married. She is saying that once she is married her agencies lies to her husband. She says that he shouldn’t be mad at her for this because her mother did the same thing. The mother is the one who taught her and she looked at them.

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