1: 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, we have a dilemma. You are the one who has given me all I have, including my life and my education. Each has brought me to respect you, and I am your daughter. But on the other hand there is my husband. My mother has shown her loyalty to you over her father. So I think I’m bound to my husband.


At this point in the play, Desdemona is watching the nobles as well as her father worry for her wellbeing as there is a rumor spread that Othello has been disrespectful to her. Throughout these lines, she tells her father how, as much as she loves him, she knows her husband has done nothing wrong to her and that her loyalty is with him. Literary devices used in this passage include the point where she mentions she has a divided duty; this is symbolism, because the reader/listener could perceive this to be connected to a job or a tangible responsibility when really it is about her relationships with her father and with her husband.


2: Iago


I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin,

And let him find it. Trifles light as air

Are to the jealous confirmations strong

As proofs of holy writ: this may do something.

The Moor already changes with my poison:

Dangerous conceits are, in their natures, poisons.

Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,

But with a little act upon the blood.

Burn like the mines of Sulphur. I did say so:

Look, where he comes!


I will leave the napkin Cassio’s bedroom for him to find. He will be excited as he doesn’t know the repercussions of his finding this. I can convince Othello of anything now, even this lie. This will destroy Othello. Here he comes!


This is the point in the play where Iago carries out his plan of truly convincing Othello his wife is cheating on him. He does this by planting Othello’s handkerchief in Cassio’s bedroom for him to find and for Othello to witness. There is a literary device used in the second line when Iago describes the motion Cassio is in when he finds the napkin as “light as air”. This is a simile, because Shakespeare compares the lightness of the air to the way Cassio moves.

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