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In Othello, paraphrase Othello's final speech in Act 5 Scene 2.Soft you; a word or two...

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zerandomguy | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM via web

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In Othello, paraphrase Othello's final speech in Act 5 Scene 2.

Soft you; a word or two before you go.
I have done the state some service, and they know't.
No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought
Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Their medicinal gum. Set you down this;
And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk
Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him, thus.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 30, 2012 at 2:50 PM (Answer #1)

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Othello's final speech in this play is one that influences our view of him greatly, as it records how he would like himself and his struggles and failings to be remembered. It is therefore key to analyse very carefully, as it supports certain key themes that are developed throughout the play. You could paraphrase this final speech as follows:

"Stop. Let me say a few things before you leave. I have helped Venice out a lot in the past, and this is an undeniable fact. But let's leave that for one moment. When you write about what has happened, please do me the favour of describing me just as I am. Don't be nice to me or exaggerate what I have done out of hostility. If you are going to be accurate and fair, you will have to depict me as somebody that made the mistake of loving too much but who did not love with wisdom. It took a while for me to be made jealous, but once this was achieved through manipulation, I let jealousy drive me into a frenzy. Describe me as an idiot who had a precious pearl in his hands and then threw it away, as if I were an Indian who didn't know the value of what I possessed. Think of me as somebody who was not emotional, but also somebody who did cry. Record all of this, and also say too that in Aleppo I once saw a Turk beating a Venetian, and so I grabbed this Turk by the throat and hit him in this way."

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