Act 4, Scene 3 Flashcards Preview

A Level English Literature - Othello > Act 4, Scene 3 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Act 4, Scene 3 Deck (7)
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A4, S3: Desdemona: "My mother had a maid called Barbary"

Connection to Africa - also in a servant position - inferiority


A4, S3: Desdemona: "She had a song of willow; / A old thing 'twas, but it expressed her fortune, / And she died singing it. That song tonight / Will not go from my mind"

Willow references crying, and her death is foreshadowed. This helps to evidence how Desdemona comes to know that Othello intends to kill her, but takes no evasive action, and even wants to prepare for her death the same way she wants to prepare for her wedding


A4, S3: Desdemona: "O these me, these men! / Dost thou in conscience think - tell me, Emilia - / That there be women do abuse their husbands / In such gross kind?"

Plural shows a collective female intelligence of men, but we see Desdemona's disbelief in the fact that women can cheat on their husbands - contrast


A4, S3: Emilia: "There be some such no question"

Maybe suggests that she has thought about cheating on Iago


A4, S3: Desdemona: "Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong for the whole world"

Still wouldn't cheat - pure and virtuous


A4, S3: Desdemona: "I do not think there is any such woman"

Doesn't believe Emilia as she doesn't believe a woman would behave that way


A4, S3: Emilia: "Then let them use us well; else let them know / The ills we do, their ills instruct us so"

Believes it is men's fault that women do bad things - link to Shylock's speech from Merchant of Venice (in which he says he has been taught to be evil by Christians), except it is about gender rather than religion