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In Othello, how does Othello feel at the beginning of the play?Othello is presented as...

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smokedopelose... | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 16, 2012 at 7:45 PM via web

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In Othello, how does Othello feel at the beginning of the play?

Othello is presented as an uneducated but brilliant fighter. He is well respected in the military, but as a Moor, Othello is misunderstood in Venice where he is stationed and setting up house with the beautiful and young Desdemona. Othello is one of the most important men to Venice, and yet he is still perceived as an outsider. 

How would he describe his feelings, if he were describing them to another person?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted June 17, 2012 at 12:45 AM (Answer #1)

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When Desdemona's father is coming to attack Othello for stealing or marrying his daughter, Othello seems very calm and confidant. In Act I, Scene II, Othello shares with Iago that he is not worried about Brabantio:

Let him do his worse.
My services that I have done for the signiory
Shall out-shout his complaints. It is still to know,
Which one I shall proclaim, when I know that boasting is
An honor, I earn my living and being
From men of royal battle; and my demerits
May speak publicly to as proud a fortune
As this that I have reached, because know, Iago,
Except that I love the gentle Desdemona,
I would not have my absolutely free condition
Limited and confined
For the sea's worth.

No doubt, Othello seems to be self assured that his love for Desdemona is sufficient enough. He is not worried about Brabantio. Clearly, Othello is aware that Brabantio is a member of the government, but Othello believes in himself and realizes his own self worth. He is a very important man and great military leader. He is impressive in his position and Desdemona loves him. That is sufficient for Othello. He dismisses Brabantio's presence easily enough. He does not argue with him. 

Othello declares that his soul is perfect:

Not I; I must be found;
My parts, my title, and my perfect soul
Shall show me truthfully. Is it they?

Truly, Othello waits patiently for Brabantio. When Brabantio approaches, Iago speaks of using swords. Respectfully, Othello says put away the swords. He declares that Brabantio's years of service is honorable enough for Othello. Othello will listen respectfully to Brabantio:

Put your bright swords away, because the dew will rust
Them. Good Signior, you shall order more from me with
Years than with your weapons.

Othello seems reserved and respectful. He does not appear frightened by Brabantio. 


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smokedopelosehope | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM (Answer #2)

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See, but I think you're missing an important part of what I mentioned. Someone who is obviously regarded as different isn't always able to stroll so casually into a situation, saying "I'm perfect". 

My assignment wants me to write a diary entry in the voice of Othello, but I think they want to focus more on his feelings as an outsider.

Could you maybe help me with that

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