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The Personality of Othello

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The Personality of Othello

Othello’s speech to Brabantio and the Duke in Act 1, Scene 3 is of major importance in describing Othello’s personality. This long speech, found in lines 149 to 196, shows Othello for the first time as a person with depth and less as a soldier. This speech is important to the book as a whole because it is a testimony to the strength of the love between Othello and Desdemona, which will later play a major role in the plot. It is also one of the first times that we see Othello trying to influence his audience with his words. The speech given by Othello is intended to convince Brabantio that Desdemona is with him willfully, and not by “spells and medicines bought of montebanks” (line 74).

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,

Of hairbreadth 'scapes i' th' imminent deadly breach

Of being taken by the insolent foe

And portance in my traveler's history,

Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,

Rough quarries, rocks, (and) hills whose (heads) touch heaven,

It was my hint to speak–such was my process–

And of the cannibals that each (other) eat,

The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads

(Do grow) beneath their shoulders. These things to hear

Would Desdemona seriously incline.

But still the house affairs would draw her (thence,)

Which ever as she could with haste dispatch

She'd come again, and with a greedty ear

Devour up my discourse. Which I, observing,

Took once a pliant hour, and found good means

T...

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...hakespeare’s Othello. Ed. Anthony G. Barthelemy Pub. Macmillan New York, NY 1994.

Bartels, Emily C. "Strategies of submission: Desdemona, the Duchess, and the assertion of desire" Studies of English Literature Spring 1996: (Online) accessed. April 27 1999 http://www. Galileo pechnet.edu

Bloom, Harold. "Introduction" Modern Critical Interpretations, Othello Ed. Harold Bloom, Pub. Chelsea House New Haven CT 1987.

Jones, Eldred. "Othello- An Interpretation" Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s Othello. Ed. Anthony G. Barthelemy Pub. Macmillan New York, NY 1994.

Neely, Carol. "Women and Men in Othello" Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s Othello. Ed. Anthony G. Barthelemy Pub. Macmillan New York, NY 1994.

Snyder, Susan. "Beyond the Comedy: Othello" Modern Critical Interpretations, Othello Ed. Harold Bloom, Pub. Chelsea House New Haven CT 1987.
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