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Discuss the following quote with specific references to the play. The deterioration of...

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rajuthan | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted February 23, 2007 at 6:04 AM via web

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Discuss the following quote with specific references to the play.

The deterioration of Othello's nobility can be traced through the imagery found in his speeches which range between exotic, nearly magical beauty early on in the play and a monstrous, almost inarticulate ugliness later on.

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 25, 2007 at 4:59 AM (Answer #2)

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Fascinating question! Here are the quotes I found. They are in order, from Act I through V:

"And heaven defend your good souls that you think
I will your serious and great busines scant
When she is with me. No, when light-winged toys
Of feathered Cupid seel with wanton dullness
My speculative and officed instruments,
That my disports corrupt and taint my business,
Let huswives make a skillet of my helm,
And all indign and base adversities
Make head against my estimation!" (I, iii)

"I cannot speak enough of this content.
It stops me here; it is too much of joy.
And this, and this, the greatest discords be
That e'er our hearts shall make!" (II, i)

"Lie with her? Lie on her? We say 'lie on her'
when they belie her. Lie with her? Zounds, that's ful-
some.--Handkerchief--confessions--handkerchief!--
To confess and be hanged for his labor--first to be
hanged and then to confess.--I tremble at it. Nature
would not invest herself in such shadowing passion
without some instruction." (IV, i)

"Yes, 'tis Emilia.--By and by.--She's dead.
'Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio's death.--
The noise was here. Ha! No more moving?
Still as the grave." (V, ii)

The madness and loss of nobility is evident in the later short outbursts and incomplete sentences, as well as the change from verse to prose. Very sad character and play!

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