What are some quotes that reflect images of sight/blindness, animals, and hell/demons from the play Othello?  

Asked on by tjobin

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Othello is replete with imagery.  Not only does Shakespeare use the imagery of colors, sex, poison, sea, jewels, gender, but he also uses imagery connected to sight / blindess / eyes / vision and the supernatural and unnatural world of hell and demons.

Eyes and Vision

  • "I saw Othello's visage in his mind" (I.iii.242)
  • "Her eye sounds a parley to provocation" (II.iii.23-23)
  • "Make it a darling like your precious eye" (III.iv.66)


Hell / Demons

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One of the first, and a relatively famous animal quote is from Iago as he calls up to Brabantio's house in the middle of the night in reference to his daughter being with Othello: "Even now, no, very now, an old black ram Is tupping your white ewe."  Of course he is trying to make the image as repellant as possible to arouse anger in Brabantio and drive him to attack Othello the moor.  Just a little bit later he says againto Brabantio:

you'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse, you'll have your nephews neigh to you, you'll have coursers for cousins, and jennets for germans.

Pretty nasty stuff!

A quote close by that reflects the idea of vision or blindness is from the First Senator after the Duke asks him how it is possible that the Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes rather than for Cyprus:  "'Tis a pageant to keep us in false gaze" reflecting the idea that they have been looking the wrong way.

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