Desdemona

1.3.208-218

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.

 

paraphrase :

Dear father,

I am very conflicted

I owe you my life and education

Both of which have been good to me.

I respect you because you are my father

And I am your daughter, but this is my husband

And I must have as much respect and duty to him as my mother had for you

Choosing you above her own father

I know that I have duty now to the moor.

Although Desdemona feels torn between her duty to her father and her husband, she ultimately professes her loyalty to her husband. Here, we can see that Desdemona is tactful, respectful, and also pretty independent.

 

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 a

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.

 

Paraphrase:

I think I shouldve and then undo it when I did it.

I wouldn’t do this for a nice ring, or fine clothes,

or for dresses, or petticoats, or hats.

But for the whole world?

Who wouldn’t cheat on their husband to make

them a king. I would risk my soul for it.

I will be in hell for this.

 

Emilia is trying to make an excuse as to why she cheated, she is trying to convince her husband that it wasn’t as bad as it seems and she was doing all this for him. Her husband doesn’t agree. He is very mad to the point where he wants to kill her. She may have been using an ironic tone in all throughout the scene.

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