Explain this quotation from 'Othello'.
Note that this is the modern text.
Desdemona: accept his apologies, for, if he is not one who is truly devoted to you, whose error arose from poor
judgment and not from an intention to do wrong I am unable to judge an honest face.
The quotation is from Act III scene iii, where Iago is poisoning Othello’s thoughts against Desdemona and Cassio. Concurrent to this scheme, Iago has persuaded Desdemona to appeal to Othello to reinstate Cassio. Both plans intensify Othello’s paranoia and jealousy regarding his wife.
Desdemona is innocent of any wrongdoing, and is convinced that Cassio truly has respect and admiration for Othello, and his devastated the his poor behaviour which shamed his lord-
Good my lord,
If I have any grace or power to move you,
His present reconciliation take;
For if he be not one that truly loves you,
That errs in ignorance and not in cunning,
I have no judgement in an honest face:
I prithee, call him back.
Desdemona here admits that she is not a good judge, and wishes Othello to make up his own mind. Sadly, this attitude plays into the hands of Iago as it appears that Desdemona may not be able to ascertain the dire intentions of another – such as Cassio.