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Othello Warfare Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #4

That I did love the Moor to live with him
My downright violence and storm of fortunes
May trumpet to the world. My heart's subdued
Even to the very quality of my lord.
I saw Othello's visage in his mind,
And to his honor and his valiant parts
Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.
So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
The rites for which I love him are bereft me
And I a heavy interim shall support
By his dear absence. Let me go with him. (1.3.283-294)

Desdemona doesn't want to remain behind while her new husband runs off to Cyprus to fight against the Turks. For one thing, she loves Othello and simply wants to be with him. But, it's also important to note that Desdemona seems drawn to the action and adventure of warfare, which is a realm that's only available to men. Check out "Quotes" for gender if you want to know about Desdemona's desire to be a warrior.

Quote #5

Let her have your voice.
Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it not
To please the palate of my appetite,
Nor to comply with heat (the young affects
In me defunct) and proper satisfaction,
But to be free and bounteous to her mind.
And heaven defend your good souls that you think
I will your serious and great business scant
For she is with me. No, when light-winged toys
Of feathered Cupid seal with wanton dullness
My speculative and officed instruments,
That my disports corrupt and taint my business,
Let housewives make a skillet of my helm,
And all indign and base adversities
Make head against my estimation. (1.3.295-309)

Othello is concerned that people will think him unprofessional or distracted by love. He assures everybody that love will not get in the way of war, as he has his priorities straight.

Quote #6

Come, Desdemona, I have but an hour
Of love, of worldly matters, and direction,
To spend with thee. We must obey the time. (1.3.340-342)

Because Othello is called off to war soon after he elopes with Desdemona, the couple must cram their "honeymoon" into one hour.

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