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Flashcards in Act 1 quotations Deck (36)
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"Tush, never tell me....."

“Tush, never tell me, I take it much unkindly That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse,” – Roderigo

Scene 1, first line of the play

Roderigo is referring to the money he has given Iago to help win over Desdemona. We later discover Iago to be taking advantage of Roderigo. Shakespeare opens the play with deceit, effective as it is a key theme.


"I know my...."

“I know my price” -Iago

Scene 1

Iago claims he knows his own worth, feels as though he deserved the promotion. Iago also feels as though he can judge the worth of others throughout the play.


"Stuffed with...."

“stuffed with epithets of war”- Iago

Scene 1

Iago is mocking Othello’s hyperbolic language


“mere prattle......"

“mere prattle without practice” – Iago

Scene 1

Iago claims Cassio does not have practical experience in the military


“Other grounds....."

“Other grounds Christian and heathen”- Iago

Scene 1

Iago is referring to previous battles, heathens are any non-christians --- religious semantics


“visages of....."

“visages of duty ” - Iago

Scene 1

First appearance of 'visages', the word ‘visages’ is used repeatedly, linking with the theme of false appearances


“not I for...."

“not I for love and duty.” - Iago

Scene 1

Iago rejects love and duty, this can be contrasted with Desdemona’s beliefs.


“I am not....."

“I am not what I am” - Iago

Scene 1

Iago is key in the theme of false appearances and deceit


“the thick...."

“the thick-lips owe”- Roderigo

Scene 1

Roderigo is using racial stereotypes to mock Othello, is this a sign of racism or of jealousy over Desdemona?


“plague him...."

“plague him with flies” – Iago

Scene 1

foreshadowing the Iago’s psychological torture of Othello, as well being a biblical reference to the plague of locusts in Exodus.


“An old black ram....."

“An old black ram is tupping your white ewe.”- Iago

Scene 1

Animalistic imagery depersonalises Othello, as well as being another racial reference.


“The devil will..."

“The devil will make a grandsire of you”- Iago

Scene 1

more biblical imagery, was believed that witches would have sex with the devil, implicitly condemning Desdemona in his attempt to condemn Othello. Foreshadows how the effect he has on Othello causes Desdemona’s death.


“being full of...."

“being full of supper and distempering draughts”
- Brabantio

Brabantio’s criticism of Roderigo foreshadows the drunken fight in Cyprus outside the brothel that ends in Roderigo’s death.


“Making the beast....."

“Barbary horse,” and “Making the beast with two backs”- Iago

Scene 1

more racism and animalistic imagery


“another of his..."

“another of his fathom”- Iago

Scene 1

fathom is the naval measurement for depth of sea, Iago is admitting that Othello has superior depth of knowledge when in comes to the military.


“Is there not charms by which...."

“Is there not charms by which the property of youth and maidhood may be abused?” – Brabantio

Scene 1

Brabantio believes Othello bewitched Desdemona in to agreeing to marry him.


“Nine or ten times...."

“Nine or ten times I had thought to yerked him here under the ribs”- Iago

Scene 2

previously to the quotation, Iago is claiming to find murder immoral, here Shakespeare is using dramatic irony, foreshadowing the deaths caused by Iago’s plan. The quotation is showing Iago’s duplicity as he claims to be angered by Brabantio’s criticism of Othello.


“that the magnifico is..."

“that the magnifico is much beloved”- Iago

Scene 2

Here Iago is denoting Brabantio’s status by calling him ‘magnifico’.


“When I know that...."

“When I know that boasting…” - Othello

Scene 2

Othello is being modest whilst also admitting he is of royal blood.


“My demerits/May...."

“My demerits/May speak unbonneted” - Othello

Scene 2

Othello claims his natural skills are on equal terms with the status he has achieved.


“By...(name of roman god)..."

“By Janus”- Iago

Scene 2

Iago is swearing by the roman god of beginnings, who was depicted with two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. There is dramatic irony in the way Iago swears by a deity with two faces, when he himself is a figure of duality.


“but that I love the gentle...."

“but that I love the gentle Desdemona…for the sea’s worth.” – Othello

Othello declaring the deep love he has for Desdemona


“Faith, he tonight hath...."

“Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack” - Iago

Scene 2

Iago is referring to Othello’s marriage, land carrack has sexual connotations.


“You Roderigo?......"

“You Roderigo? Come, sir, I am for you.” – Iago

Scene 2

Another example of Iago’s duplicity as he pretends that Roderigo is an enemy and offers to fight him in defence of his master, Othello.


“Damned as thou art....."

“Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her,” – Brabantio

Scene 2

Brabantio here voices the opinion of many that Othello could only have attracted Desdemona by witchcraft. He also insults Othello concerning his skin colour and his social position.


“Bond-slaves and...."

“Bond-slaves and pagans shall our statesmen be” – Brabantio

Scene 2

It would be unnatural in Brabantio’s culture to be governed by those excluded by polite society – slaves and non-Christians.


“she is abused...."

“she is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted/by spells and medicines”-Brabantio

Scene 3

Again Brabantio accuses Othello of bewitching Desdemona


“You are the lord of all my duty, ...

“You are the lord of all my duty, ... but here is my husband…Due to the Moor my lord.” - Desdemona

Scene 3

here Desdemona is showing the traditional transfer of allegiance from her father to her husband when she marries. The Bible makes it clear that children were to obey their parents in the Ten Commandments, but also instructed wives to treat their husbands as their head, to whom they should submit.


“Teach me tyranny, .. To...."

“Teach me tyranny, .. To hang clogs on ’em.” – Brabantio

Scene 3

Brabantio portrays an unpleasant possessiveness towards his daughter, demonstrating how fathers expected complete obedience in Shakespeare’s era.


“When remedies .....".

“When remedies .. through the ear.” – The Duke

Scene 3

The Duke's rhyming couplets sum up his proverbial wisdom – which Brabantio’s use of the form shows up as hollow advice.