"Put the money in thy purse"Hello felows, Im Valeria, from Argentina. Let me just tell you that I`m not a Shakespeare specialist, at all. I`m a sudent of music. I have to read Otello, in order to...

"Put the money in thy purse"

Hello felows, Im Valeria, from Argentina.

Let me just tell you that I`m not a Shakespeare specialist, at all. I`m a sudent of music. I have to read Otello, in order to make a comparison with the opera.

Anyway, I found out something funny, while reading Iago`s dialog, on the first Scene (first act).

He tells Rodrigo to "put money in thy purse" (or "put the money on your pocket). I might be crazy, but It occurred to me that this particular phrase has some sort of hidden significance, think about this: put "Desdemona" on your pocket. My point is that "Desdemona" and "the money" sound similar. And I also thought about the possibility that there could be like a small name "demona" taken from "desdemona", in which case we would have "put demona (the money) on your pocket". Let me tell you that my mother tounge is spanish, so I just translated the phrase into english, I don`t have access to the original text, so i wanted to have a native`s opinion. Hope you can give one. I`m I crazy, or there is a small chance that what I say is logicall?

I`ll wait for you answer.

 

3 Answers | Add Yours

susan3smith's profile pic

susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

I like this connection very much.  Throughout the play Desdemona is equated with money and jewels.  Iago tells Brabantio that his house is robbed, a metaphor to explain Desdemona's elopement.  Othello even refers to Desdemona as a prize to be won.  At the end of the play, Othello equates Desdemona to the "dearest pearl" that was cast away.  So, I think your idea is worth exploring.

ajmchugh's profile pic

ajmchugh | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

In all the different editions of Shakespeare's Othello that I've read, the phrase "put money in thy purse" is defined, in the footnotes, as meaning one of two things:  either "make money" (in this case, Iago is telling Roderigo to sell his land so he can make the trip to Cyprus to win Desdemona's love), or "you can count on it."  (If we plug in the latter explanation, it would seem that Iago is using a common phrase from the time period to assure Roderigo that, if he follows Iago's advice, he can count on getting Desdemona's love.) 

Your ideas, though, are very interesting! 

johnmccleary's profile pic

johnmccleary | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

"Put the money in thy purse"

Hello felows, Im Valeria, from Argentina.

Let me just tell you that I`m not a Shakespeare specialist, at all. I`m a sudent of music. I have to read Otello, in order to make a comparison with the opera.

Anyway, I found out something funny, while reading Iago`s dialog, on the first Scene (first act).

He tells Rodrigo to "put money in thy purse" (or "put the money on your pocket). I might be crazy, but It occurred to me that this particular phrase has some sort of hidden significance, think about this: put "Desdemona" on your pocket. My point is that "Desdemona" and "the money" sound similar. And I also thought about the possibility that there could be like a small name "demona" taken from "desdemona", in which case we would have "put demona (the money) on your pocket". Let me tell you that my mother tounge is spanish, so I just translated the phrase into english, I don`t have access to the original text, so i wanted to have a native`s opinion. Hope you can give one. I`m I crazy, or there is a small chance that what I say is logicall?

I`ll wait for you answer.

 

 

Hello Valeria,  

Your suggestion is interesting.  I am not sure about it.  Iago's expression is very puzzling.  Roderigo is rich because he has a lot of property ("lands") and he has been very generous to Iago, to whom he has been giving money presumably to help him woo Desdemona - and Iago has probably been keeping the money for himself.  At the very beginning of the play (Act I, Scene i), which may not be in Verdi's opera, Roderigo mentions this, so perhaps Iago wants him to raise lots more cash by selling land and then to give it to Iago.  I can't find any help from the various editions of Othello that I have looked at, but I will go on looking.  I don't think Desdemona would be more impressed by knowing that Roderigo had cash in his purse than by knowing that he had lots of valuable property. 

Good luck with your music studies,

Best wishes,

John McCleary

PS  I am particularly interested in Shakespeare because my son Mark (16) has acted in several of his plays, including Macbeth and King Lear.  This year he is going to act the part of Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

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