What is a signficant quote in Act 1 of Othello? Explain its importance. Explain what it reveals about character development, plot progression and thematic concerns or anything else significant about it.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Othello in answering the concerns of the duke says:

That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her:
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little bless'd with the soft phrase of peace:
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field,
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broil and battle,

Othello's admission that his nature is warlike and not much given to the phrases and speech of peace is a vital part of the foreshadowing of the difficulty he will face when the possibility of war is removed following the Turkish fleet's disaster.

At this point his confidence is very high, given that he goes off to war, something he knows well and gives him purpose.  But once that purpose is lost, his mind is easily beset by the jealousy that Iago weaves into it so skillfully.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial