What are some metaphors in Othello?

Some metaphors in Othello include Desdemona being described a symbol of purity through light imagery and the self being compared to a garden cultivated through one's wishes and relationships.

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Iago's use of metaphor is particularly colorful and varied. He describes Othello's relationship with Desdemona to her father in the coarsest of animal metaphors, appealing to both his prejudice and his sense that he is the owner of his daughter:

Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is topping your white ewe.

Having described Othello to Brabantio as a ram, he later describes jealousy to Othello as a monster in one of the play's most famous images, which has become proverbial:

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.

One of Iago's most detailed metaphors is wasted on the foolish Roderigo:

Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners: so that if we will plant nettles, or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs, or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry, why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills.


(The entire section contains 3 answers and 879 words.)

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