Identify the first revelation into Othello's character at the beginning of this section in Shakespeare's Othello:"This fellow’s of exceeding honesty, And knows all (qualities) with a learned...

Identify the first revelation into Othello's character at the beginning of this section in Shakespeare's Othello:

"This fellow’s of exceeding honesty, And knows all (qualities) with a learned spirit of human dealings."

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Othello's soliloquy beginning with "This fellow's of exceeding honesty," occurs in Act 3, scene 3.  This scene is commonly referred to as the "Temptation Scene," for it is in this scene that we see Iago persuading Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him.  In this speech, we see many of the reasons why Othello is vulnerable to Iago's persuasion.  The first reason is perhaps in the first line of the speech.  Othello expresses complete trust in Iago's honesty and experience.  As a military man, Othello is more inclined to believe the men under his command than the new wife he has just married.

Also, in this speech, we see the first signs of insecurity in Othello.  He begins to list all the reasons why Desdemona might possibly turn from him:

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--

Here we see that Othello believes that his race, age, and lack of eloquence are reasons that Desdemona would fall out of love with him.  And of course, these characteristics find their opposites in Cassio, who is white, young, and eloquent.

Not only is Othello insecure about himself, but he, as most of the men in the play, is quick to underestimate women.  He groups them into one category, believing that these "delicate creatures" have sexual appetites that cannot be controlled, and that women are destined to make their husbands cuckolds.  He believes that being a cuckold is a "destiny unshunnable," fated to great men when they are in the womb.

Thus, in this speech, we see Othello's faith and trust in Iago; his insecurities about his race, age, and background; his chauvinistic ideas about women.

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