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Othello

Othello

The Forms of Things Unknown

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For all the power of his poetry, volume of his vocabulary and sheer prolific output, Shakespeare seemed intent on telling us that we cannot know, truly know, what we most want to know, or even think we already know. We know this on several levels.

We’re frustrated enough that he left no correspondence, no diary, no memoir, no hand-written manuscripts.
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Her father loved me, oft invited me

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Her father loved me, oft invited me,
Still questioned me the story of my life
From year to year—the battles, sieges, fortunes
That I have passed.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days
To th’ very moment that he bade me tell it,
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances:
Of moving accidents by flood and field,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 149

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Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors

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Othello
Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approved good masters:
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 blessed with the soft phrase of peace;
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 91

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Spoken by:
,

Most gracious duke, To my unfolding lend your prosperous ear

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Desdemona
Most gracious duke,
To my unfolding lend your prosperous ear
And let me find a charter in your voice
T’ assist my simpleness.
Duke
What would you, Desdemona?
Desdemona
That I love the Moor to live with him
My downright violence and storm of fortunes
May trumpet to the world.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 278

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At nine i’ th’ morning here we’ll meet again

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Duke
At nine i’ th’ morning here we’ll meet again.
Othello, leave some officer behind
And he shall our commission bring to you,
With such things else of quality and respect
As doth import you.
Othello
So please your Grace, my ancient.
A man he is of honesty and trust.
To his conveyance I assign my wife,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 316

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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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He that is robb’d

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He that is robb’d, not wanting what is stol’n,
Let him not know’t, and he’s not robb’d at all.
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 3

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Themes:

Tell me, Othello. I wonder in my soul

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Desdemona
Tell me, Othello. I wonder in my soul
What you would ask me that I should deny,
Or stand so mamm’ring on? What? Michael Cassio,
That came a-wooing with you, and so many a time,
When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,
Hath ta’en your part—to have so much to do
To bring him in!
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 3
Line 76

Spoken by:
,

My lord, you know I love you

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Iago
My lord, you know I love you.
Othello
I think thou dost;
And for I know thou ‘rt full of love and honesty
And weigh’st thy words before thou giv’st them breath,
Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more.
For such things in a false, disloyal knave
Are tricks of custom;
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 3
Line 134

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Good name in man and woman

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Iago
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash. ‘Tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands.
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 3
Line 182

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Spoken by:
,

My lord, I see you’re moved

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Iago
My lord, I see you’re moved.
Othello
No, not much moved.
I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.
Iago
Long live she so! And long live you to think so!
Othello
And yet, how nature erring from itself—
Iago
Ay, there’s the point. As,
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 3
Line 263

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