Othello Act IV

4.1 How does Iago go about providing the visual proof of Desdemona’s infidelity that Othello had earlier asked for? Iago tells Othello to hide while Iago gets Cassio to talk crudely about Bianca; Othello believes Cassio is talking about Desdemona. Bianca comes by and givies Desdemona’s handkerchief back to Cassio, confirm all of Othello’s suspicions.
4.1 What does Othello do that surprises Lodovico? Slaps Desdemona
4.2 What does Iago promise Roderigo will have by the next night? Desdemona’s company
4.2 Who has just been made governor? Cassio
4.2 What should Iago and Roderigo do to keep Othello from taking Desdemona either to Mauritania or Venice? Kill Cassio so that Othello has to stay governor
4.3 As Emilia prepares her mistress’s wedding bed, Desdemona talks of her mother’s servant Barbary who was forsaken by a mad lover, 4.3.25; then she and Emilia talk about whether they would be unfaithful to their husbands or not (4.3.60*). What is the significance of this conversation? Desdemona says she would never be unfaithful to her husband: “Beshrew [curse] me, if I would do such a wrong / For the whole world.”
4.3 What are Emilia’s thoughts on infidelity? How do they contrast with Desdemona? Emilia says, “who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? I should venture purgatory for’t.” In other words, she would betray her husband if it meant raising their position/making him a king. She also says that women have the same desires and weaknesses as men, “And have we not affections, / Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?” Desdemona, in contrast, would not be unfaithful to her husband “for the whole world.”

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