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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 #7

Come, let us to the castle.—
News, friends! Our wars are done. The Turks are
How does my old acquaintance of this isle?—
Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus,
I have found great love amongst them. O, my sweet,
I prattle out of fashion, and I dote
In mine own comforts.—I prithee, good Iago,
Go to the bay and disembark my coffers.
Bring thou the master to the citadel.
He is a good one, and his worthiness
Does challenge much respect.—Come, Desdemona.
Once more, well met at Cyprus. (2.1.221-233)

After a storm destroys the Turks' ships and the big war is cancelled, Othello is overjoyed to see his "fair warrior," Desdemona. He "prattle[s]" on (rather sweetly) until he catches himself and quickly returns to business.

Quote #8

All's well now,
Come away to bed.  To Montano.  Sir, for your hurts,
Myself will be your surgeon.—Lead him off.
                                                           Montano is led off.
Iago, look with care about the town
And silence those whom this vile brawl
Come, Desdemona. 'Tis the soldiers' life
To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife. (2.3.269-277)

Once again, Othello's lovemaking has been interrupted by fighting (after Iago gets Cassio drunk and Cassio gets into a brawl, Othello is called upon to settle the matter). At this point, Othello seems resigned to the fact that such interruptions are par for the course when one is a military general.

Quote #9

Behold, I have a weapon.
A better never did itself sustain
Upon a soldier's thigh. I have seen the day
That, with this little arm and this good sword
I have made my way through more impediments
Than twenty times your stop. But—O vain boast!— (5.2.310-315)

After Othello strangles Desdemona (for her alleged adultery) on the bed the couple shares, Othello's reference to his "weapon," which rests upon his "soldier's thigh," seems blatantly phallic, don't you think? Othello's words forge a disturbing relationship between sex and death.

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