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What is being said in this quote and why is it significant? What is important in this...

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katarinazichy | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM via web

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What is being said in this quote and why is it significant? What is important in this quote?

OTHELLO

    Why, why is this?
Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy,
To follow still the changes of the moon
With fresh suspicions? No! To be once in doubt
Is to be resolved. Exchange me for a goat
When I shall turn the business of my soul
To such exsufflicate and blowed surmises,
Matching thy inference. 'Tis not to make me jealous
To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances.
Where virtue is, these are more virtuous.
Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt,
For she had eyes and chose me. No, Iago,
I’ll see before I doubt, when I doubt, prove,
And on the proof there is no more but this:
Away at once with love or jealousy!

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scottydrama | Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted November 5, 2013 at 7:26 PM (Answer #1)

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In this speech, Othello is vowing not to be tormented by ongoing jealousy and insecurity.  He knows that suspicions are not enough to make Desdemona guilty; he needs some indication of her infidelity.  He is going to base his opinions on some kind of proof, and insists that it will not simply be his own weakness of character that will convince him that she has been unfaithful.  He's also promising not to be tormented by her if she is cheating on him.  As he points out near the end of the speech, she made the choice to be with him.  Once he knows if she is guilty, his love for her will end.

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