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Iago

Othello

Iago and Ulysses on Order and Degree

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Ulysses and Iago express similar themes about order and degree. Iago speaks more specifically about seniority versus affections and recommendations.
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Keeping Adultery Hidden

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Whether in comedy or tragedy, Shakespeare’s characters advise the prudence of spouses, whether husbands or wives, of keeping their dalliances hidden. Luciana advises the man she thinks is her brother-in-law in Comedy of Errors to tell his wife, Luciano’s sister, nothing. Iago’s observation about the adulteries of Venetian women in Othello, is similar.
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Why, there’s no remedy

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Iago
Why, there’s no remedy. ‘Tis the curse of service.
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to th’ first. Now, sir, be judge yourself
Whether I in any just term am affined
To love the Moor.
Roderigo
I would not follow him, then.
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Zounds,  sir, you’re robbed

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Iago
Zounds,  sir, you’re robbed. For shame, put on your gown!
Your heart is burst. You have lost half your soul.
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.
Arise, I say!
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 94

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I will incontinently drown myself

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Roderigo
I will incontinently drown myself.
Iago
If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why,
thou silly gentleman!
Roderigo
It is silliness to live, when to live is torment,
and then have we a prescription to die when death is
our physician.
Iago
O, villainous!
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 347

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Thus do I ever make my fool my purse

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Thus do I ever make my fool my purse.
For I mine own gained knowledge should profane
If I would time expend with such a snipe
But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor,
And it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets
‘Has done my office. I know not if ‘t be true,
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 426

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What wouldst write of me if thou shouldst praise me?

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Desdemona
What wouldst write of me if thou shouldst praise me?
Iago
O, gentle lady, do not put me to ‘t,
For I am nothing if not critical.
Desdemona
Come on, assay.—There’s one gone to the harbor?
Iago
Ay, madam.
Desdemona, aside
I am not merry,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 131

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O, my fair warrior!

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Othello
O, my fair warrior!
Desdemona
My dear Othello!
Othello
It gives me wonder great as my content
To see you here before me. O my soul’s joy!
If after every tempest come such calms,
May the winds blow till they have wakened death,
And let the laboring bark climb hills of seas
Olympus high,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 197

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Come hither.  If thou be’st valiant

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Iago
Come hither. If
thou be’st valiant—as they say base men being in
love have then a nobility in their natures more than
is native to them—list me. The Lieutenant tonight
watches on the court of guard. First, I must tell thee
this: Desdemona is directly in love with him.
Roderigo
With him?
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 235

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That Cassio loves her, I do well believe ‘t

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That Cassio loves her, I do well believe ‘t.
That she loves him, ’tis apt and of great credit.
The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,
Is of a constant, loving, noble nature,
And I dare think he’ll prove to Desdemona
A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too,
Not out of absolute lust (though peradventure
I stand accountant for as great a sin)
But partly led to diet my revenge
For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
Hath leaped into my seat—the thought whereof
Doth,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 308

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Though other things grow fair against the sun

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Though other things grow fair against the sun,
Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 3

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Themes:

What wound did ever heal but by degrees?

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What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 3

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