Othello Quotes Act 2

“The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds The wind-shakes surge, with high and monstrous mane” Act 2 Scene 1 2 Gentlemen: Shakespeare immediately establishes a chaotic and turbulent setting foreshadowing the following events to come. In the original story by Giraldi Cinthio from which Shakespeare took his ideas for Othello, there was no storm. Yet at the beginning of Act 2 Scene 1, there is a whole dialogue dedicated to this treacherous tempest. Presumably Shakespeare though that a storm would have dramatic and thematic use as it certainly echoes the ominous mood established by Iago’s couplet at the end of Act 1 “Hell and night Must bring this monstrous birth to light”.
“Worthy governor” “Warlike Othello” Act 2 Scene 1 Montano: Although Othello is replacing Montano in the position he previously held, there is no bitterness or jealousy within him but merely admiration. This heightens even more Iago’s unjustified and motiveless jealousy that causes so much destruction. These quotes also once again remind the readers the extent that Othello is respected in Venetian society, as many high ranking men view him in high esteem.
“The divine Desdemona” “Our great captain’s captain” “Our general’s wife is now the general” Act 2 Scene 1 Cassio: Use of alliteration emphasizes the extent that Cassio is willing to complement and act in a friendly manner towards Desdemona with the hope of becoming closer to Othello and acquiring his respect. Although these remarks among friends are merely innocent, Iago is able to manipulate and twist the meanings for his own advantage. It is these convictions that ultimately lead to the downfall of Cassio.
“Valiant Cassio” Act 2 Scene 1 Desdemona: Extremely ironic epithet when viewing it in hindsight. Up to this point only Othello has had the respect and admiration to be called “Valiant”, thus adding greater fuel to engineer Iago’s malevolent plan.
“Sir would she give you so much of her lips as of her tongue that she oft bestows upon me You would have enough” “you rise to play and go to sleep to work” Act 2 Scene 1 Iago: These are very sexist and derogatory remarks about women, but they not only highlight the tragic unequal society that labelled men as more superior to women, it also highlights the vulnerability that Desdemona is in. Cyprus if infinitely more barbarous than Venice, it is a bastion of male power where Desdemona alone and isolated from her Venetian support system, is vulnerable to the machinations of a highly skilled manipulator like Iago.
“With as little web as this I will ensnare a great fly as Cassio” Act 2 Scene 1 Iago: The audience are gaining first hand insight into how Iago is conducting his manipulative strategy. The fact that Cassio is unwillingly adding fuel to the fire that Iago is going to light increases tension in the audience, provoking feelings of distress as the victims allows contribute more to their downfall. Iago uses a dramatic devise called an “aside” Speaking in such a way that the audience can hear him but the other characters on stage cannot. Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights used asides to share a characters thoughts of intentions without revealing the secrets to the other characters. This in turn, further develops the audiences profile of Iago as the villain of the play, continuing to enact deceitful behaviour. As spiders weave an inescapable web for flies, Iago plans to construct a web of lies to similarly trap Cassio, and frame him for adultery. Linguistically, this destructive language creates a claustrophobic effect for the victims from the perspective of the audience, as their inevitable tragic downfall slowly begins to appear inevitable.
“O my fair warrior!” -O “O my dear Othello!” – D “It gives me wonder as great as my content to see you here before me” – O “The heavens forbid but that our loves and comforts do increase” – D “I cannot speak enough of this content” – O Act 2 Scene 1 Othello & Desdemona: This dialogue which is placed at the end of this scene highlights the love that these two lovers have for one another, they are absolutely besotted with one another. These honest interjections of more humble, pure and honest love contrast greatly to Iago’s deceitful behavior, the extent that Iago causes the tragedy between Othello & Desdemona can be shown here.
“Begin to heave the gorge, disrelish and abhor the Moor” “What delight will she have to look upon the devil?” Act 2 Scene 1 Iago: Vivid imagery is used to create this idea that Desdemona need to repel herself from Othello, In this image, Iago suggests gagging and retching, which in turn creats negative imagery for the audience themselves. The prose used here allows Iago to produce a persuasive outpouring and release repetitious piles of images designed to bury Roderigo’s weak objections.
“Now I do love her too… But partly led to diet my revenge” “Till I am evened with him, wife for wife” Act 2 Scene 1: Iago’s second soliloquy of the play, highlighting the roots of his jealousy. The prose presented in the rest of the scene regarding his speech contrasts greatly to this precise and concise speech, perhaps revealing his precise if delusional reasoning. This would be performed erratically as Iago is portrayed to be caught up in his emotions.
“Noble and valiant general” “our noble general Othello!” Act 2 Scene 2 Herald: Almost an entire scene is dedicated to reveal the extent of the people’s love and respect for Othello as the words “Noble” and “valiant” have been repeatedly and continuously used throughout the play up to this point. The audience now commonly associate Othello with these descriptions, this increasing the height from which he will fall later on in the play.
“If I can fasten but just one cup on him, he’ll be as full of quarrel as of offence” Act 2 Scene 3 Iago: The audience are well aware of Iago’s calculating nature, and here he is fully putting his plan in place as revealed in his third soliloquy. Although Cassio has denied Iago’s offers to drink, he quickly succumbs to Iago’s desires thereafter. This shows his power and talent to manipulate people to his own advantage, gaining Cassio’s trust by speaking to him in prose, the type of language that soldiers would be likely to use to address one another professionally as friends compared to his use of Iambic Pentameter before, which imitates heartbeat and a loving/open friendship. Through Iago in this scene, Shakespeare explores the power of language itself, which in reality brings about “The net that shall enmesh them all”.
“Evermore prologue to his sleep” Act 2 Scene 3 Iago: Iago’s comment to Montano regarding alcohol is both comic and dangerous, we see how easily Iago is able to manipulate those around him and they clearly believe what he says despite the audience knowing the contrary. It id tragic that Cassio falls at the weakness of his drink, particularly due to his strong convictions against drinking at the beginning of this scene.
“Now by heaven, my blood begins my safer guide to rule” Act 2 Scene 3 Othello: This could be interpreted as a racist remark by Shakespeare stating how his blacks blood is beginning to control his moral judgement, raising awareness to the fact that Othello is extremely raged. Here we begin to see glimpses of the hubris that will soon become his hamartia, as his pride has been tainted by the fact that Montano, the governor of the Island, has been injured on his watch by non other than his very of second.
“I had rather have this tongue cur from my mouth than it should do offence to Michael Cassio” “I know Iago Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter” Act 2 Scene 3 Iago and Othello: Iago continues to develop his persona and fa├žade of honesty, easily fooling his fellow counterparts.
“Reputation, reputation, reputation! O I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of me and what remains is bestial” “My reputation Iago, my reputation!” Act 2 Scene 3 Cassio: Cassio’s reputation is his lifeline. His career in the military and as an aspiring politician depends totally upon his good name. He relies on those in power perceiving him as capable, responsible, and just.To lose this credit with his superior is, for Cassio, like losing himself. All that remains is low and animalistic. He is, in this respect, morally bankrupt, and he will do anything to return to Othello’s good graces.
“And what’s he then that says I play the villain, when this advice is free I give and honest” Act 2 Scene 3 Iago’s fourth soliloquy: Iago’s soliloquoy is a perfect example of how Iago manipulates every situation. He begins with a rhetorical question which almost allows the exploitation of the virtues and weaknesses of his so-called friends. Iago justifies himself and ironically, having given Cassio ‘good’ advice as to how to win his position and favor back with Othello, knows he can poison Othello’s mind sufficiently to misinterpret Cassio’s and Desdemona’s pleas.
“She’s frames as fruitful, free as the elements” Act 2 Scene 3 Iago: In this direct comparison, he equates Desdemona’s generous spirit to the abundance existent in nature. What exists in nature is freely available to those who want it. In essence, it means that Desdemona has so much goodness in her that she will generously and freely assist anyone who seeks her help. The alliteration (the use of the same sound, usually a consonant, in successive words), also accentuates Desdemona’s good qualities. The repetition of the f-sound is used for emphasis in this regard. These words illustrate one of Iago’s most typical ploys. He sees goodness as a weakness and goes out to exploit a character’s good nature to further his evil purpose.
“Divinity of hell!” Act 2 Scene 3 Iago: The diabolical nature of Iago’s character is captured in his imagery. This phrase clearly demonstrates where his worship lies, as the oxymoron suggests that he sees divine in the work of the devil, further associating him with the role of the vice. The “divinity of hell” reinforces the spiritual element of the play and Iago’s role as the devil. It entrenches the concept of appearance versus reality and is paradoxical as there should be no reference to divinity when speaking about hell, There are several references throughout to heaven, hell , the divine, evil powers and damnation. Act II itself opens with a storm, preparing the audience for what may follow.
“I’ll poor this pestilence in his ear” Act 2 Scene 3 Iago: Iago explains how he will turn the pureness and virtuousness into disgust, undoing all the characteristics that Othello loves about her. By using the word “pestilence” which has connotations to disease and viruses, it reveals the effect that Iago intends his lies to have on Othello. Presenting evil as something tangible that can be poured into someone’s ear heightens Iago’s role as the villain.
“the net that shall enmesh them all” Act 2 Scene 3 Iago: The powerful soliloquy ends on an even more powerful note, as this destructive language reveals the extent of his villainy. Iago’s malice is remorseless and unbridled. He will stop at nothing to get his revenge. He wishes to use Desdemona’s good intentions to draw them all into his trap and thus destroy them.