Othello Quotes

Translation: I’m serving under him to take advantage of him.Iago is saying this to Rodrigo because he asked why he is working for the Moor if he hates him, and Iago is reassuring him he is only doing it for his benefit, getting back at Othello. Act 1 Scene 1 Line #44Iago- “I follow him to serve my turn upon him.”
Translation: I’m just serving him to get what I want.Iago is saying this to Rodrigo to convince him he is just serving him for his own evil purposes. We see his true intentions. Act 1 Scene 1 Line #60Iago- “In following him, I follow but myself.”
Translation: I’m not who I appear to be.Iago to Rodrigo saying that he is faking is outward appearance and is not wearing his heart on his sleeve. Act 1 Scene 1 Line #67Iago- “I am not what I am.”
Translation: Your heart’s going to break. It’s like half your soul’s been ripped out. At this very minute an old black ram is having sex with your little white lamb.Iago is saying this to Brabantio talking about Desdemona and Othello. Act 1 Scene 1 Line #90-91Iago- “Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul.Even now, now, very now, an old black ramIs tupping your white ewe.”
Translation: I don’t know if you know or approve of this, but in the wee hours of the morning your daughter left your houseRoderigo is saying this to Brabantio talking about Desdemona leaving the house secretly to meet with Othello. Act 1 Scene 1 Line #119-120Roderigo- “If’t be your pleasure and most wise consent(As partly I find it is) that your fair daughter”
Translation: Are there magic spells that can lead young virgins astray? Have you ever heard of anything like that, Roderigo?Brabantio is asking Roderigo about spells put on Desdemona because he is in shock learning about the secret marriage. Act 1 Scene 1 Line #172-174Brabantio- “By which the property of youth and maidhood May be abused? Have you not read, Roderigo, Of some such thing?”
Translation: I don’t like to brag, but I come from a royal family, and I’m as noble as the woman I’ve married.Othello is saying this to Iago and attendants to convince it isn’t bad as it seems because he comes from a royal background like Desdemona. Act 1 Scene 2 Line #21-22Othello- “I shall promulgate. I fetch my life and beingFrom men of royal siege, and my demerits.”
Translation: Tonight he boarded a treasure ship. If he can keep it, he’ll be set forever.Iago is saying this to Cassio, describing Desdemona as a treasure ship, but Iago has not yet told Cassio that the treasure ship is Desdemona. Act 1 Scene 2 Line #50-51Iago- “Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack.If it prove lawful prize, he’s made for ever.”
Translation: You evil thief, where have you hidden my daughter? You devil, you’ve put a spell on her!Brabantio is saying this to Othello after confronting him with weapons. He thinks Desdemona could never fall for Othello unless she was put under a spell. Act 1 Scene 2 Line #64-66Brabantio- “O thou foul thief, where hast thou stowed my daughter? Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her!”
Translation:DUKE: Why, what’s the matter?BRABANTIO: It’s my daughter! FIRST SENATOR: Is she dead?BRABANTIO: She’s dead to me. Brabantio is saying this to The Duke of Venice when he first walks in, saying that his daughter is dead to him, later claiming that Desdemona had to be drugged to marry Othello. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #61-63DUKE: Why, what’s the matter?BRABANTIO: Oh, my daughter!ALL: Dead?BRABANTIO: Ay, to me.
Translation: It’s true that I’ve taken this man’s daughter from him and married her. But that’s my only offense. There’s nothing more. I’m awkward in my speech and I’m not a smooth talker.Othello is saying this to the Duke and Barbantio saying the only offense he has done was marry Desdemona, he did not trick or drug her. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #81-84Othello- “That I have ta’en away this old man’s daughter, It is most true. True, I have married her. The very head and front of my offending Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech.”
Translation: She said she loved me for the dangers I’d survived, and I loved her for feeling such strong emotions about me. Othello is saying this to the Duke and Brabantio about Desdemona, describing the reason they fell in love. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #172-173Othello- “She loved me for the dangers I had passed,And I loved her that she did pity them.This only is the witchcraft I have used.”
Translation: I owe you respect because you gave me life and education. You’re the one I have to obey.Desdemona is saying this to her father telling him that she respects him for all that she’s done, showing him that she still cares about him. Later she says she has to give her obedience to Othello, her husband. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #184-189Desdemona- “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.”
Translation: I saw Othello’s true face when I saw his mind. I gave my whole life to him because of his honor and bravery.Desdemona is saying this to the Duke when he asks her what she wants to do, and she said she will give her whole life to him because of his honor and bravery. She later says she would be miserable without Othello if he went off to war. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #248-250Desdemona- “I saw Othello’s visage in his mind, And to his honors and his valiant parts Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate. So that, dear lords, if I be left behind.”
Translation: Please allow her to do this. I’m not asking to have her near me for sex I’m too old for that, and my sexual urges are dead. I want this because she wants it.Othello is saying this to the duke to convince him that he doesn’t want Desdemona to be there for sex, he loves her for her mind. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #255-259Othello- “Let her have your voice. Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it not To please the palate of my appetite, Nor to comply with heat the young affects In my defunct and proper satisfaction,”
Translation: I’m leaving my dear Desdemona with you. Have your wife attend to her, and bring them along as soon as you can.Othello is saying this to Iago because he is leaving for war and wants Iago to bring Desdemona with Iago’s wife back to Cyprus. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #293-294Othello- “My Desdemona must I leave to thee. I prithee, let thy wife attend on her, And bring them after in the best advantage.”
Translation: The rift between her husband and you. I’d bet that my lucky stars your problem will be forgotten, and your relationship will be stronger than everIago is saying this to Cassio trying to convince him going and pleading his case will be the best option. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #306Iago- “This broken joint between you and her husband and treat her to splinter and my fortunes against any lay worth naming.”
Translation:Iago- I’m helping you because I like and respect youCassio- I believe it completely. Early in the morning I’ll go visit Desdemona and plead my case. After talking about pleading his case to Othello and Desdemona, Iago is reassuring Cassio he has good intentions and Cassio is convinced. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #309-310Iago- “I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.”Cassio- “I think if freely, and begins in the morning I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me.”
Translation:RODERIGO: I’ve changed my mind about that.IAGO: Go then, goodbye. Put a lot of cash togetherRoderigo before was talking about killing himself and Iago was saying he was going to help him get revenge on Othello because they both hate him, and Roderigo said he changed his mind about killing himself after hearing that. Iago said to get money to help him get revenge. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #317-318RODERIGO: I am changed.IAGO: Go to, farewell. Put money enough in your purse.
Translation: Virtue? Rubbish! What we can do, how we are, is up to ourselves. Our bodies are our gardens and our wills are gardeners. If we plant nettles or sow lettuce, whether we cultivate hyssop or weed out thyme, plant all one kind of herb or dilute it with many kinds, let it become sterile or fertilise it with hard work, all this depends on what we want to do. If the balance of our lives didn’t have a weight of reason to set against those weights of sensuality, the blood and natural bad that we have in our natures would take us to the most preposterous depths. But we do have reason to cool our raging emotions, our carnal desires and our unbridled lusts, which I take this – that you call love – to be.Iago is talking to the audience about using Cassio and putting him in a position to make Othello jealous. Act 1 Scene 3 Line #329-331Iago- “tue! a fig! ’tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners: so that if we will plant nettles, or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs, or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry, why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions: but we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion.”
Translation: Cassio: Look, the precious Desdemona has arrived on shore. We should all kneel before her, men of Cyprus! Greetings, my lady, and may God always be with you.Desdemona: Thank you, brave Cassio. Is there any news about my husband?Cassio greets Desdemona by announcing her when she arrives at Cyprus, Desdemona wants to know where Othello is. Act 2 Scene 1 Line #89-93Cassio: “You men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.Hail to thee, lady, and the grace of heaven,Before, behind thee, and on every hand,Enwheel thee round!”Desdemona- “I thank you, valiant Cassio.What tidings can you tell me of my lord?”
Translation:Iago- Come on, come on. You women are all the same. You’re as pretty as pictures when you’re out in public, but in your own houses you’re as noisy as jangling bells. In your own kitchens you act like wildcats. You make yourselves sound like saints when you’re complaining about something, but you act like devils when someone offends you. You don’t take your jobs as housewives seriously, and you’re shameless hussies in bed.Desdemona- Shame on you, you slanderer!Iago- No, it’s true, or if it’s not, I’m a villain. You wake up to have fun, and you start work when you go to bed.Iago is saying this about his wife Emilia and is generalizing women, Desdemona is not happy about it. Act 2 Scene 1 Line #118-121Iago- “Come on, come on. You are pictures out of door, bells in your parlors, wild-cats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries, devils being offended, players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds.”Desdemona- “Oh, fie upon thee, slanderer!”Iago- “Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk.You rise to play and go to bed to work.”
Translation: No matter how ugly or stupid the woman is, she plays the same dirty tricks that the smart and pretty ones do.Iago says this to Desdemona when she asked him, “What horrible thing do you have to say about a woman who’s both ugly and stupid?” Act 2 Scene 1 Line #145Iago- “There’s none so foul and foolish thereunto,But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.”
Translation:Iago- I learned it in England, where they have a talent for drinking. The Danes, the Germans, and the Dutch—come on, drink, drink!—are nothing compared to the English.Cassio- Are Englishmen really such heavy drinkers?Iago is trying to get Cassio drunk, so he can trick Cassio to do something he wouldn’t do when he is sober. Fight. Act 2 Scene 3 Line #56-57Iago- “I learned it in England where indeed they are most potent in potting. Your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander—Drink, ho!—are nothing to your English.”Cassio- “Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?”
Translation:Othello- Stop right now!Iago- Stop! Lieutenant—sir, Montano—gentlemen! Have you forgotten your duty and your sense of decorum? Stop! Othello is trying to stop Montano from killing Cassio who just recently stabbed Montano. Iago is trying to act helpful by shaming Montano and Cassio for their violent acts, which wouldn’t have started if Iago didn’t get Cassio drunk. Act 2 Scene 3 Line #129-130Othello- “Hold, for your lives!”Iago- “Hold, ho! Lieutenant—sir, Montano—gentlemen,Have you forgot all place of sense and duty?”
Translation: Have we all become as savage as the Turks, treating each other as badly as they would have treated us? For heaven’s sake, stop this savage brawl!Othello is furious with Montano and Cassio fighting because they were supposed to be celebrating their victory against the turkish but now his own soilders were acting like the “savage” turkish. Act 2 Scene 3 Line #134-135Othello- “Are we turned Turks? And to ourselves do thatWhich heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl.”
Translation:Iago- I’m sure the guy who ran away must have offended Cassio in some terrible way, and Cassio couldn’t let it pass.Othello- Iago, I know you’re fond of Cassio and are downplaying this for his benefit. Cassio, I love you, but you’re never again going to be one of my officers.Iago is making it look like the brawl between Cassio and Montano worse than it seemed by acting like Cassio had to have a good reason to do what he did. Othello then believes he is down playing the situation for the sake of Cassio. Act 2 Scene 3 Line #208-211Iago- “Yet surely Cassio, I believe, receivedFrom him that fled some strange indignityWhich patience could not pass.”Othello- “I know, Iago,Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love theeBut never more be officer of mine.”
Translation:Iago- You seem all right now. How did you get better?Cassio- My drunkenness went away when anger took over. One weakness led to another, to make me hate myself.Iago- Come on, you’re being too hard on yourself. I wish none of this had happened, given the situation here, and your rank. But since this has happened, you should fix it for your own good.Iago is talking to Cassio about how Cassio hates himself for what he had done and Iago said he can fix. He later suggests by asking the moor and then even Desdemona. Act 2 Scene 3 Line #233-236Iago- “Why, but you are now well enough. How came you thus recovered?”Cassio- “It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place to the devil wrath. One unperfectness shows me another, to make me frankly despise myself.”Iago- “Come, you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen. But since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.
Translation: It’s easy to get Desdemona on your side. She’s full of good intentions. And the Moor loves her so much he would renounce his Christianity to keep her happy. He’s so enslaved by love that she can make him do whatever she wants. Iago is talking to the audience about his plan to have Cassio convince Desdemona to be on his side to help him get his job back, making it seem like Desdemona has a thing for Cassio. He says Desdemona’s good intentions will make her help Cassio and the moor would want her to be happy. Act 2 Scene 3 Line #250-254Iago- “In any honest suit. She’s framed as fruitfulAs the free elements. And then for herTo win the Moor, were to renounce his baptism,All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,His soul is so unfettered to her love,”
Translation: And I need to take the Moor aside right at the moment when Cassio’s talking to Desdemona, so he’ll see them together. Yes, that’s the way I’ll do it. Let’s not ruin a brilliant plan by being slow to act.Iago is talking to the audience about his plan. Act 2 Scene 3 Line #290-291Iago- “Soliciting his wife. Ay, that’s the way.Dull not device by coldness and delay.”
Translation:Iago- I’ll poison the Moor’s ear against her, hinting that’s she’s taking Cassio’s side because of her lust for him. The more she tries to help Cassio, the more she’ll shake Othello’s confidence in her.Iago is talking to the audience of how he will use Cassio. Act 2 Scene 3 Line #336-339Iago- “I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear: that she repeals him for her body’s lust. And by how much she strives to do him good she shall undo her credit with the Moor.

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