Nobody–I myself. Farewell. Commend me to my kind lord. O, farewell!
how should she be murd’red?
heard her say herself, it was not I.
Emilia. She said
so. I must needs report the truth.
like a liar gone to burning hell! ‘Twas I that killed her.
Emilia. O, the
more angel she,
And you the
turned to folly, and she was a whore.
Emila. Thou dost
belie her, and thou art a devil.
Othello. She was
as false as water.
Emilia. Thou art
rash as fire to say
That she was
false. O, she was heavenly true!
grief and his deep love for Desdemona led to a series of actions and
dialogue located at the climax of the story. The chosen passage came
near the end of this work–just after Othello smothered Desdemona
with her pillow. Shakespeare, simply and probably tritely put, was a
genius. His artful mastery of meter, diction, imagery, and tone is
matchless and captivates interest and thought like no other.
Meter in a
literary work, just like all other components, can be a key factor in
affecting the reader’s thoughts and mood. Of course, this being
Shakespeare, meter was utilized with a definite purpose. Because this
portion of the play is dramatic and suspenseful, an erratic, loose
structure is appropriate. The author “changed things up” and
“kept the reader guessing” with regard to the structure and
meter–thus causing even more suspense than what the plot had
In this group of
dialogue, Othello loses his usual poetic eloquence. His mental and
emotional composure were compromised, thus impairing his diction.
This temporary breach in character displayed his internal conflict
and how it was affecting him as a person–for Othello’s dignified
speech, just as the way anyone speaks, was a part of him as a person.
many other works, contrasting imagery, or perhaps simply contrast in
general, is present in my excerpt from Othello. For example, Emilia
calls Desdemona an angel, while designating Othello a devil. Also,
Othello says Desdemona was “as false as water” while, in the
subsequent line Emilia accuses Othello as being “as rash as fire.”
By including these contrasts, Shakespeare heightened the intensity of
the moment as well as expressed the mood and thoughts of the
There are many
words that can describe the tone at this point in the play: chaotic,
confused, angry, impulsive. Emilia’s thought process is not so much
shared by the reader as empathized by the reader–though we know
what’s going on, we can identify with her anger and confusion.
Somehow, I was forced to feel Emilia’s emotions when I read
this–this was the tone I experienced from this bit of
dialogue(consider yourself being Emilia, shrieking this): “Desdemona
is dead! Who killed her?! You killed her?! You are so horrible!! She
was so kind and innocent!” So much emotion is wrapped up in these
lines–I think many people focus on just Othello’s anguish and
passion at this anguish and passion at this point in the story, but
Emilia is going through so much so suddenly. Othello’s emotions had
been building and building, but Emilia’s hit her like a wrecking
ball–I personally think that if she had not been killed by Iago,
she would have killed Othello, then herself. In conlusion, the tone
was very powerfully manifested in the reader/watcher–a tone
portrayed in a double-portion that heightened the climax that much
Shakespeare’s extreme talent, the reader of the play finds himself
experiencing it, perhaps, at a greater level than a watcher watching
it unfold on a stage. By reading the excerpt and the paragraphs
following it, one finds that the emotion in Othello is created and
enhanced by Shakespeare’s skillful use of meter, diction, imagery,
“The heart has
its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”
Pensees, translated by A.J. Krailsheimer
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