Othello book summary

SparkNotes: Othello : Plot overview

As she is waiting for Emilia to fetch Iago, desdemona has a brief soliloquy. Sadly ironic, she says, tis meet fitting I should be used so, very meet and asks herself, "How have i been behaved, that he might stick / The small'st opinion on my least misuse?" (4.2.107-109). Re-enter Emilia with Iago: Though she told Emilia that she didn't want to talk about Othello's abuse, desdemona responds to iago's pretended sympathy. He asks, "What is your pleasure, madam? How is't with you?" (4.2.110), and Desdemona immediately begins to pour out her heart. She says that those who teach children do it gently, and Othello "might have chid reprimanded me.

Exit Othello: After Othello has called her writing a whore seven ways to hell, desdemona is in shock. Emilia asks, "Alas, what does this gentleman conceive? How do you, madam? How do you, my good lady?" (4.2.95-96), and Desdemona replies, faith, half asleep" (4.2.97). Sympathetically, emilia asks what's wrong with Othello, whom she refers to as "my lord." Desdemona asks who "my lord" is, and Emilia replies, "He that is yours, sweet lady" (4.2.101). Desdemona answers: I have none: do not talk to me, emilia; I cannot weep; nor answer have i none, but what should go by water. Prithee, tonight lay argumentative on my bed my wedding sheets: remember; And call thy husband hither. . (4.2.102-106) She has no lord because the man who has just been heaping abuse upon her is not the man whom she loves and calls "my lord." She doesn't want to talk about it because she can't cry, yet the only way she could answer. She wants her wedding sheets on her bed in hopes that the Othello she loves will return to her. And she wants to speak with Iago, probably because she thinks that he might be able to explain what's wrong with Othello, and what she should.

othello book summary

No fear Shakespeare: Othello - no fear, othello

What she has done stinks to high heaven, so that the moon shuts her eyes and even the wind, that blows everywhere, hides itself within the earth. He exclaims, "Impudent strumpet!" (4.2.80-81). Finally, desdemona stands up for herself, saying, "By heaven, you do me wrong" (4.2.81). This brings only sarcasm from Othello. He twice asks if she isn't a whore, she says she isn't, and he mockingly begs her pardon, saying, "I cry you mercy, then: / I took you for that cunning whore of Venice / That married with Othello" (4.2.88-90). Then, to demonstrate what she is, he shouts to Emilia to come in, and gives her money, saying, "We have done our course; there's money for your pains: / I pray you, turn the key and keep our counsel" (4.2.93-94). As he did at the beginning of this horrible sequence, othello pretends that Emilia is the madam of a whorehouse, and he now pretends that he's paying her for the services of the whore desdemona.

othello book summary

Othello, navigator: Summary of Act 4, Scene

Desdemona seems to be ready to be sorry for whatever she has done wrong, even though she doesn't know what. She asks, "Alas, what ignorant sin have i committed?" (4.2.70), but he - after weeping over her and longing for her - again hardens his heart against her. Rather than answer her, Othello denounces her. He says, "Was this fair paper, this most goodly book, / Made to write "whore" upon? His "What committed?" is a question which mocks Desdemona's question. He means "Don't ask what you have done as though you don't already know." Continuing to denounce her, he says that what she has done is so disgusting that it can't be spoken. If he spoke of it, he would writing blush so hot that he would "make very forges of my cheeks, / That would to cinders burn up modesty" (4.2.74-75).

Desdemona may not understand all of Othello's speech, but she does know that he has accused her of being false, and so she says "I hope my noble lord esteems me honest" (4.2.65). Othello answers "o, ay; as summer flies are in the shambles, / That quicken even with blowing" (4.2.66-67). A "shambles" is a slaughterhouse or butcher shop. Such a place, especially in summer, is likely to be swarming with flies, which were thought to (and still seem to) "quicken even with blowing" - come to life as soon as the flies' eggs are laid. If Desdemona is as honest as slaughterhouse flies, she's not honest at all, because the flies buzz about at random, loyal neither to one partner nor to one piece of meat. This disturbing comparison also suggests that Desdemona is less than human, and that her lack of honesty is simply a fact of her nature, as the randomness of flies is a fact of their nature. This sense of Desdemona as a wild creature is stronger in Othello's next comparison: "O thou weed, / Who art so lovely fair and smell'st so sweet / That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne'er been born!" (4.2.67-69). Though Othello is disgusted with Desdemona, he longs for her so achingly that he wishes she had never been born, so that he wouldn't know this pain.

Othello - tragedy of Passion

othello book summary

The history of William Shakespeare

Perhaps he is turning away, or wants Desdemona to turn away, so she won't see his tears. But Desdemona, word even after all of the abuse she has received from him, wants to stand by her man. She asks why he is crying, and then offers her loyalty, telling him that "If haply by chance you my father do suspect / An instrument of this your calling back from Cyprus to venice, / lay not your blame on me: If you have. If Othello hears her, he doesn't respond. He now seems lost in his own emotional turmoil, and expresses the depth of his pain in a speech which is essentially a soliloquy. He says that if heaven had tested him with disease, poverty, captivity, "I should have found in some place of my soul / A drop of patience" (4.2.52-53), but biography what has happened to him is much harder to bear. He has become "A fixed figure for the time of scorn / to point his slow unmoving finger at!" (4.2.54-55).

(The metaphor is a little confusing, but Othello seems to envision himself as one whom people will scorn as a man who had everything except a faithful wife. Indeed, we do have such fixed figures of scorn; Nero will probably always be thought of as the emperor who fiddled while rome burned, and Bill Clinton will probably always be thought of as the president who couldn't keep his pants zipped.) even that, Othello. Desdemona is that life-giving fountain; feeling that he has been discarded from her love makes Othello feel dead, but he can't keep her with him. If he keeps her, she would no longer be a fountain, but a tank where ugly toads have ugly sex, "a cistern for foul toads / to knot and gender in!" (4.2.61-62). His anger again mounting, Othello calls upon the angel of patience to see what he sees and become angry too: "Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd cherubin,- / ay, there, look grim as hell!" (4.2.63-64).

She means that she doesn't know why she is being treated as a whore, not that she doesn't understand the significance of what Othello has just said. Sarcastically, othello answers her with "Why? What art thou?" (4.2.34). He means that because she is whore she ought to know perfectly well what he means. She replies that she is "Your wife, my lord; your true / And loyal wife" (4.2.34-35). He then demands that she swear it, so that she will be doubly damned, both for being a whore and for lying.


Desdemona again says that she is true, and Othello tells her that she is false. She asks, "To whom, my lord? How am I false?" (4.2.40). This is a question that Othello can't answer, no matter how much we wish he would be open with her, so that the truth could come out. He can't make a direct accusation because if she is innocent she will deny everything, and if she is guilty she will deny everything. There is no way to get at the truth, and so it is emotionally safer for Othello to demonize her. It's a thing that humans have always done; when we go to war we demonize those we want to kill, calling them "huns "japs or "slopes." Othello is being a total jerk because he is planning to kill Desdemona, and if he can persuade himself. But Othello is also a noble man who cannot manage to kill all of his love for his wife, so when Desdemona asks her question, he weeps and says, "Ah Desdemon!

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"Procreants" are people who are having sex, and a person's "mystery" is her special trade or profession. In Othello's view, it's Emilia's trade to stand guard outside the door while people have sex. In short, he is speaking to Emilia as though she is the madam of a whorehouse in which Desdemona is a whore. And when Emilia hesitates, he tells her to "dispatch hurry. As desk Emilia leaves, desdemona falls on her knees and says "Upon my knees, what doth your speech import? i understand a fury in your words. But not the words" (4.2.31-33).

othello book summary

At this point it's not clear whether he's speaking of Emilia or Desdemona, but in either case, the fact that he has seen the woman pray doesn't change his belief that she is a whore who keeps a secret storeroom closet of dirty secrets. In short, what he sees doesn't have a chance against what he thinks he knows. In this frame of mind, Othello summons Desdemona (who has just entered with Emilia saying "Pray you, chuck, come hither" (4.2.24). "Chuck" is a term of endearment, probably derived from "chick but not usually used in the scornful way that Americans now use the word "chick." we would probably say "honey" or "baby." However, Othello's tone frightens Desdemona. When he says, "Let me see your eyes; / look in my face she asks, "What horrible fancy's this?" (4.2.25-26). A "fancy" is something that is imagined; Desdemona immediately senses that something is very wrong, that Othello is being sarcastic with the word "chuck" and that there's a nasty something in his head about her. Indirectly, othello answers Desdemona's question about his "horrible fancy." he gives Emilia an order: "Some of your function, mistress; / leave procreants alone and shut the door; / cough, or cry "hem if anybody come: / your mystery, your mystery: nay, dispatch" (4.2.27-30).

that whoever has put these ideas into Othello's head deserves the same curse. Of course she has no idea that the wretch who made Othello jealous is her husband, iago. Still defending Desdemona, emilia declares that "if she be not honest, chaste, and true, / There's no man happy" (4.2.17-18). However, none of this sways Othello. He tells Emilia to fetch Desdemona, and says to himself, "She says enough; yet she's a simple bawd / That cannot say as much" (4.2.20-21). In other words, Emilia has said enough to convince someone that Desdemona is innocent, but it would be a "simple" (stupid) "bawd" (pimp, male or female) who would not say such things, so she can't be believed. Enter, desdemona: As Othello is waiting for Emilia to fetch Desdemona, we see how much he has been blinded by his jealousy. He says "This is a subtle whore, / A closet lock and key of villainous secrets / And yet she'll kneel and pray; I have seen her do't" (4.2.21-23).

Roderigo complains to iago that he has gotten nothing from all his efforts, and threatens to quit his pursuit of Desdemona, but Iago persuades him that he will bed Desdemona within two nights if he murders Cassio. Enter, othello and Emilia: even after he has decided that he will kill Desdemona that night, Othello seems to need more proof of her guilt. As the scene opens, he is questioning Emilia about Desdemona and Cassio. He asks, "you have seen nothing then?" (4.2.1), and Emilia answers that not only has she seen nothing, she has never suspected anything. Othello, however, review continues to question her, asking if she's seen Cassio and Desdemona whisper, or if Desdemona ever sent Emilia away when Cassio was there. Emilia not only says that nothing of the sort ever happened, she stands up for Desdemona, telling Othello that she would wager her soul on Desdemona's honesty. Emilia also intuits the truth about the root of the problem.

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Page Index: Enter Othello using and Emilia. Othello tries to get evidence of Desdemona's guilt from Emilia. Othello treats Desdemona as though she were a whore. Desdemona is traumatized by Othello's treatment of her, and Emilia is outraged. Re-enter Emilia with Iago. Emilia thinks that some villain has been pouring poison in Othello's ear, but Iago assures Desdemona that Othello is only upset by some problem with affairs of state. Exeunt Desdemona and Emilia.


othello book summary
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From Shakespearean Tragedy. London: MacMillan and., 1919. There is practically no doubt that.

4 Comment

  1. My father had just passed away and a friend thought this book would be helpful. Why he thought so, i will never know. Othello, play construction and the suffering and.

  2. Detailed Summary of Othello, act 4, Scene 2 Page Index: Enter. Othello tries to get evidence of Desdemona's guilt from Emilia. Othello treats Desdemona as though she were a whore. Othello when I was just seventeen.

  3. Othello 's wife, desdemona, for himself. No fear Shakespeare by SparkNotes features the complete edition. Othello side-by-side with an accessible, plain English translation.

  4. Othello (The Tragedy of, othello, the moor of Venice) is a tragedy by william Shakespeare, believed to have been written in is based on the story Un Capitano moro ( a moorish Captain ) by cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The story revolves around its two central characters: Othello, a moorish general. Shakespeare's tragic tale of jealousy and deceit opens in Venice, where the villainous Iago plots against. Iago teams up with Roderigo, a young Venetian who wants.

  5. Othello (SparkNotes Literature guide series). A short summary of William Shakespeare's, othello. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points.

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