OTHELLO QUOTE BANK

‘Trifles light as air/ Are to the jealous confirmations strong/ As proofs of holy writ’ Shakespeare’s view of jealousyDestructive + irrational ‘trifles light as air’ – meaninglessProof doesn’t need to be substantialEmilia says this Comparison to religious truths
‘Thou hast set me on the rack!’ Othello to IagoImagery of torture + pain – extent of sufferingBlames Iago for suffering but doesn’t know the full extent of his involvement – ironic
‘I think my wife be honest and I think she not’ Othello Duplicity of women – shows how torn he is as he sees her faithfulness but could see her being unfaithful like all Venetian women portrayed by Iago’honest’ repeated throughout – highlights characters misreadings of each otherAntithesis- contradiction in one sentence
‘I’ll tear her all to pieces!”O blood, blood, blood!’ Deeply violent – diabolical – out of control violence This breakdown of his speech reflects the way Iago speaks Repetition of gory image – more sounds of pain + less articulation
‘fair devil’ Othello about Desdemona Oxymoron – her pure/ innocent exterior but corrupt inside
‘Pish! Noses, ears, and lips. Is’t possible? Confess! Handkerchief! O devil!’ Othello before he collapses to the ground Fractured + disjointed language + structure – disjointed mind Exclamatory punctuation Focusing on sexuality + physical body parts – physical nature of his jealousyObsession with handkerchief
‘Was this fair paper, this most goodly book/ Made to write ‘wh*re’ upon?’ This is Iago’s misogynistic world view of women – debased language Imagining her as the bible – reading + misreading linked to jealousy
‘Dost thou in conscience think- tell me- Emilia-/ that there be women do abuse their husbands/ In such gross kind?’ Desdeomona – Emilia after Othello has accused her + his behaviour becomes more abusive towards herPathos – deep sense of sympathy for Desdemona Shows complete lack of comprehension of women cheating on men Her dependenace on Emilia to teach her Gross + abused – emotive language
‘he hath a daily beauty in his life/ That makes me ugly’ Iago to CassioShows Iagos world view Reductive powers of jealousyVoicing how the goodness in people is something he can’t deal with Paradoxical language of beauty + ugly
‘This sorrows heavenly/ It strikes where it doth love’ Othello before he murders DesdemonaSeeing the opposition within Othello + his conflicted feelings’sorrows heavenly’ – paradoxical language
‘That’s he that was Othello’ Othello about himself in act 5 – after discovering her innocence and murdering herPast tense – lost himself 3rd person – distancing himself from himselfSense of disgust and horror at what he’s doneCould be seen as over-dramatisation – distance himself from crime he’s done – Leavis interpretation
‘Like the base Indian threw a pearl away/ richer than all his tribe’ Othello in relation to DesdemonaImagery of value + treasure in relation to Desdemonafocusing more on her loss than her death- objectifying heradmittance of genuine remorse
‘whip me ye devils…Blow me about in winds, roast me in sulphur/Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire’ Othello about himselfUse of diabolic language + imagery – often used by Iago now taken on by Othello – infection from IagoImagery of torture + hell paints the image of his remorseImperatives – sense of most hideous of punishments Un-realistic punishments sense of over-dramatic scale again
‘he was great of heart’ Final lines of the play – Cassio about OthelloCassio is still loyal to him Contextually still great due to military rank but killed his wifeNaivety of Cassio and poor judgement of characters
‘ I do perceive here a divided duty’ Audience – first direct view of DesdemonaContradicts earlier impression of her being naiveShows self awarenessShows rationality compared to OthelloThings were disrupted before Iago
‘It is merely a lust of the blood and permission of the will’ Iago to RoderigoHis description of love – no differentiating between love + lustLove is physical function Something that is a choiceEmotionally he isn’t oevrwhelemed
‘I am not what I am’ Highlights Iagos duplicityIagos prose – direct + straightforwardDirect/ ironic bible reference – warped religionStructure riddle-like – deceptive to the ear
‘I hate the moor/ And it is thought abroad that ‘twixt’ my sheets/ He’s done my office’ Iago from his soliloquyThematic think of jealousy- destructive + not confined to Othello suggests he’s susceptible to sexual envy’Moor’ = racial slur + disrespect’thought’ = jealousy doesn’t need substantial proof’he’s done my office’ = baseness of language’and’ = isn’t a justification of his hatred – just extension for it
‘The thought of/ Doth like a poisonous mineral gnaw my innards’ Thematically important- imagery connected to jealousyJealousy personified – ‘gnawing’ gruesome + animalistic – idea jealousy is corrupt + corrosive Poison imagery – used to show damaging affect
‘O my souls joy’ Othello to Desdemona Shakespeare emphasis on the overwhelming nature of their loveDepends on Desdemona for happiness = dangerous
‘Iago is most honest’ ‘honest Iago’ Deep dramatic irony – epithetRepeated throughout play – reminded how many people are manipulated by IagoStated by multiple characters
‘I will turn her into pitch/ And out of her own goodness make the net/ That shall enmesh them all’ Iago about DesdemonaRelationship with audience – awareness of his motivesCorruption of goodnessLight + darknessScale of his victims = all the characters in the playPredatory imagery – purposeful + skilled
‘When I love thee not/ Chaos is come again’ Othello to DesdemonaExcessive love – warned of desperate state of mind Othello will soon have
‘O beware my lord, of jealousy! It is the green- eyed monster which doth mock/ The meat it feeds on’ Irrational + destructive nature of jealousySense of familiarity of Iago with jealousyPersonifies jealousyIt reduces characters of the play
‘She had eyes and chose me’ Conscious of his raceEchos self-assurance + trust that he had in Desdemona
‘O curse of marriage!’ Quickly alters state of mind, influenced by IagoOxymoron – illustrating conflict within him

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