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In Othello's soliloquy in Act 3, Scene iii, how does he suspect that his age, lack of...

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zbarker95 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 6, 2011 at 5:19 AM via web

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In Othello's soliloquy in Act 3, Scene iii, how does he suspect that his age, lack of sophisication, and skin color have affected his situation.

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

Posted June 6, 2011 at 7:50 AM (Answer #1)

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After Iago plants seeds of doubt in Othello concerning his beloved Desdemona's faithfulness, Othello begins to reason out why she would or could possibly be unfaithful. He mentions that he is black. He also states that he does not have a softness in his conversations as gentlemen have. He feels he is getting older. All of these distinctions become reasons in his mind as to why Desdemona would be unfaithful.

No doubt, Iago has done major damage in Othello's mind and heart. Othello cannot or does not want to believe his Desdemona could have been unfaithful. There must be a good reason, thus he lists them in his soliloquy:

OTHELLO 

This fellow's of exceeding honesty, 
And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit, 
Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard, 
Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
I'ld whistle her off and let her down the wind, 
To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am black 
And have not those soft parts of conversation 
That chamberers have, or for I am declined
Into the vale of years,--yet that's not much-- 
She's gone. I am abused; and my relief 
Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage, 
That we can call these delicate creatures ours, 
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad, 
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon, 
Than keep a corner in the thing I love 
For others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones;
Prerogatived are they less than the base; 
'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:
Even then this forked plague is fated to us 
When we do quicken. Desdemona comes:

Whatever the reason, Othello is beginning to believe his Desdemona could have been unfaithful to him. In the above soliloquy, he determines that she could have been unfaithful for a number of reasons.

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