Desdemona 1.3.208-218: This paragraph is about Desdemona professing her love and obedience to her father, but telling her father that she must love her husband as well. “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.” As in King Lear, Lear renounces his daughter, Cordelia, for “being ungrateful” to him by loving her husband. However, it is a cultural tradition at this time to only have true love for one man, so one must love her husband by somewhat leaving her father. This shows Desdemona’s love for her husband. She really did love him and pronounced her love for him by telling her father the truth. These lines also show the cultural traditions of that time and how women were viewed. They were to be meek and humble ladies that only were to love one person and only to be faithful to one person. However, later in the play, Othello finds her and Cassio to be having an affair, making her unfaithful, something that is a heinous act from a woman in those days.
Othello 2.1.199-209: This is a statement by Othello proclaiming his happiness and contentedness in his relationship with his wife. However this is right before Iago is to come and tell Othello of her affairs with Cassio. He compares their relationship to a storm and to violent seas. He compares their frustrations and fights to the storm and to the crashing waves, but he compares their love to the calm after the storm and the ducking of the waves under the sea. “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.” This line specifically is a great foreshadowing of what he is about to find out from Iago. He says he fears that his actions of love could not match his overflow of love on the inside, which could be enough for her to maybe find someone who is better at loving her.Tags: Desdemona Othello Shakespeare Analysis