Othello Quotes Act 1 Flashcard Example #57995

“Forsooth a great arithmetician… A fellow damned in a fair wife; That never set a squadron in the field”
Act 1 Scene 1 spoken by Iago. Insulting and patronising Cassio who ironically is in a higher position than he. Already establishes his misogyny and sexism which we will later see in the play.
“I follow him to serve my time upon him”
“I follow but myself”
Act 1 Scene 1 spoken b Iago. With our knowledge of the rest of the play we know he is suggesting betrayal and revenge. This quote is infused with a semantic field of duplicity and deception. His long tirade that this quote is embedded in highlights the power he has.
“I am not what I am”
Act 1 Scene 1 spoken by Iago. Shakespeare immediately once again established a sense of danger and mystery in the character.
“Rouse him”
“Proclaim him”
Act 1 Scene 1 Iago. By using many imperatives and instruction, Iago asserts his dominance and control, almost abusing the power and hold he has of Rodrigo.
“An old black ram is tipping your white ewe”
Act 1 Scene 1 Iago. Animalistic and crude language establishing his Machiavellian qualities.
“Have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you’ll have your nephews neigh to you; you’ll have coursers for cousins and gennets for Germans”
Act 1 Scene 1 Iago. Do not have to remember quote entirely, another example of racism by Iago emphasizing his later lies even more.
“Thou art villain”
Act 1 Scene 1 Brabantio. Ironically, Brabantio is speaking the truth at this point in the play, yet the quote underpins the entire text. It is Iago’s villainy which fuels the entire plot and the audience, albeit ironically, are alerted early in the play.
“Though I do hate him as I do hell-pains”
Act 1 Scene 1 Iago. His simile expresses the depths of his hatred towards Othello.
“Is there not charms by which the property of youth and maidhood may be abused”
Act 1 Scene 1 Brabantio. Brabantio optimistically suggests that Desdemona has simply being charmed by Othello, therefore reinforcing the contemporary idea that foreigners, especially black foreigners, used witchcraft fro gain.
I lack iniquity sometimes to do me service”
Act 1 Scene 2 Iago. Here, Iago is describing his previous encounter with Brabantio however not accurately. Using this quote right at the beginning of this scene Shakespeare develops a sense of duplicity around Iago and his two-faced nature. Quote is extremely ironic.
“Tis better as it is”
Act 1 Scene 2 Othello. Most important quote Othello ever says, also his first. Immediately establishes Othello as an authorative figure, however also relatively calm and passive. It does not give the audience the same impressions that Brabantio suggested. As a sentence, it is a declarative, immensely controlling and powerful, but still allusive.
“My parts, my title, and my perfect soul”
Act 1 Scene 2 Othello. This quote reveals a total belief in himself and what he has become, however it does reveal some negative aspects in Othello’s character. The fact that he repeats “my” reinforces the fact that he is extremely arrogant and self-obsessed. Can link to his tragic fall/hamartia. Othello commands the stage and perhaps the audience’s admiration.
“By Janus I think so”
Act 1 scene 2 Iago. Ironic mention of the two faced God “Janus”, perfectly represents himself as a person.
“A maid so tender, fair and happy”
Act 1 Scene 2 Brabantio. Quote describes Desdemona as the epitome of purity, innocence and beauty. This depiction of her changes quickly in both the eyes of Brabantio and Othello.
“Abused her delicate soul with drugs or minerals”
Act 1 Scene 2 Brabantio. Further argues that she has been manipulated against her will – good quote to use to demonstrate the racist contemporary ideas of the 17th century.
Beginning of Act 1 Scene 3. “The importance of Cyprus to the Turks”
Duke, Senator, Sailor, Officer. Descriptions of the war, games of illusion and appearance already playing a serious role in politics and was. Foreshadows what is to come in the war of love and jealousy.
“Valiant Othello”
Act 1 Scene 3 The Duke. Shakespeare uses the senators to counteract Iago’s attempts to defame Othello, by having them refer to the general as ‘valiant’ (reminding us of his exploits in the field). The Duke has more interest to employ Othello against the general enemy Ottoman than listen to Brabantio’s claims of sorcery
“She is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted by spells and medicines bought of mountebanks”
Act 1 Scene 3 Brabantio. Further evidence of the racist language deployed towards Othello, nevertheless his self-assured characteristics suggests that perhaps Othello is not affected by this prejudice. Also includes the personal proposition “from” suggesting ownership.
“Most potent, grave, and reverence signiors, Mt very noble and approved good masters”
“Rude I am in speech And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace”
Act 1 Scene 3. Othello. Othello is presented as gentlemanly and honorable, true contrast to how Iago and Brabantio have been depicting him previously in the play. This behavior serves in his favor as his respectful and humble response differs to Brabantio’s own behavior.
“A maiden never bold, Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion Blushed at herself”
Act 1 Scene 3. Brabantio. Desdemona is presented as the epitome of the virginal woman: timid, quiet and pure. He has very false impressions of her and this contrast of description does slightly present Desdemona’s a duplicitous character.
“I do beseech you, Send for the lady to the Sagittary And let her speak of me before her father”
Act 1 Scene 3. Othello. This quote emphasises the trust they have for one another, and the amount of faith he places on Desdemona (what she says contextually could ruin his career and everything he has worked for). Again, underlines some of his ego and self assurance come through. Furthermore, highlights the eroding of trust that is to come, at this point he is very willing to let her have freedom and freedom of speech.
“The battles, sieges, fortunes That I have passed”
“She’s come again and with a greedy ear”
Act 1 Scene 3. Othello. Describes the battles and experiences he has been through, very emotive language used. Good quote to suggest that Desdemona fell in love with him for his stories that he told/language he uses. Once his language breaks down, so does their love for one another.
“She loved me for the battles I had passed, And I loved her that she did pity them, This is the only witchcraft I have used”
Act 1 Scene 3. Othello. Othello does explicitly assert that story telling has seductive power, suggests there is no true foundation underlying there love.
“I think this tale would woo over my daughter too”
Act 1 Scene 3. The Duke. Significant because of the fact he is a highly respected figure that truly supports Othello despite Brabantio’s racist claims.
“Who most you owe obedience?”
Act 1 Scene 3. Brabantio. Women in this society were always meant to be obedient to some man, therefore it is extremely rebellious that she assert her independence from her father without his consent.
“I may profess due to the Moor my lord”
Act 1 Scene 3. Desdemona. Desdemona is publicly making an announcement in front of a forum of men, bold move. Use of the two pronouns in this sections shows her transition from her father to Othello.
“So please your grace, my ancient: A man he is of honesty and trust”
Act 1 Scene 3. Othello. This is where the irony is being built up from the perspective of the audience, how wrong Othello is of judging Iago’s true nature.
“Your son-in-law is far more fair than black”
Act 1 Scene 3. The Duke. Not everyone in Venice share Brabantio’s views on Othello. The Duke and Senators obviously hold him in high regard.
“Look to her, Moor, if though hast eyes to see: She has deceived her father and may thee”
Act 1 Scene 3. Brabantio. The seed has been placed in Othello’s mind as Brabantio defines Desdemona’s independence as disloyalty among men.
“Honest Iago”
Act 1 Scene 3. Othello. First of many uses of this phrase, Shakespeare quickly establishes Iago’s deceptiveness as he is already playing an influence to Othello’s mind. Extremely and almost painfully ironic.
“Our bodys are our gardens to which our wills are our gardeners”
Act 1 Scene 3. Iago. Iago emphasizes his belief that you can portray yourself as whomever you wish to desire, highlighting his incredible skill at being able to adapt himself to different situations/characteristics. Also shows his ability to direct everyone around him as Roderigo is easily swayed into his way of thinking despite having being in contrast to this belief earlier.
“Put money in thy purse”
Act 1 Scene 3. Iago. Iago is an absolute materialist, and—so that he may continue to line his own pockets—he frames Roderigo’s prospects in material terms: there’s no love that money can’t buy. It means that you can have what you desire…just be ready to pay and pay and pay…for it. Roderigo desires Desdemona.”He;s Iago sees this as a way to undermine Othello, as he knows Roderigo has the means to supply Iago’s diabolical plan with the fiscal wearwithall to see it through.
“He’s done my office”
Act 1 Scene 3. Iago. A reason as to why he is carrying out this diabolical plan, although his reasons change as the play progresses this is one of his original motivation. Suggests that as his plan become more out of proportion, he needs to justify his actions more. Evidence that Iago is an opportunistic villain. SOLILOQUIY
“How? How? Lets see.”
Act 1 Scene 3. Iago. Iago lays out his pan to deceive others, enjoying the fact that he is the director of a play within a play. Not only deceiving the characters but the audience themselves. Could be portrayed in two ways on stage: Perhaps he is calculating, questioning the audience or implies that he is asking the question to himself, therefore coming up with an extremely quick resolution. SOLILOQUIY
“The Moor is of a free and open nature That thinks me honest that but seem to be so And will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are”
Act 1 scene 3. Iago. Here, he is suggesting that Othello’s weakness is that he doesn’t understand that appearances can hide reality. Extremely sadistic and cynical perception of good nature, highlights Iago as a MACHIAVELLAIN villain. SOLILOQUIY

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