Act 5 Scene 2 - HEnglish10-11

Act 5 Scene 2
Othello’s soliloquy:
“It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul”
He uses ‘it’ as if he cannot even name
 His speech reminds the audience that she
looks white but is also innocent: “that
whiter skin of hers than snow and smooth
as monumental alabaster”
 Othello is calling on darkness - “Put out the
light” - again, literally and metaphorically
Another euphemism he uses is “pluck’d the
rose” – he loves her, she is beautiful, fragile
 He is torn between love and hate
Desdemona repeatedly begs for her life
 But Othello smothers her, angrily calling
her “strumpet”
 Emilia still cannot persuade him of D’s
 When Iago is accused of lying all Othello
can say is “O! O! O!” (197)
When Othello finally realises what Iago
has done he tries to attack him and
wishes Iago could be punished by God:
“Are there no stones in heaven but what
serves for the thunder?”
 He feels hopeless and no longer trusts
human justice
 He is restrained and then seems too weak
to attack Iago; “I am not valiant either.”
 He is completely broken and says “Let it
go all.” Nothing matters to him any more:
bravery, honesty, honour, respect… (244)
He goes to Desdemona’s dead body.
 He now accepts her “chastity”. Notice this
line is much shorter than the standard
iambic pentameter (274)
 He calls himself a “cursed, cursed slave”.
 Othello imagines his punishment in hell:
“Whip me, ye devils…Blow me about in
winds! Roast me in sulphur!”
Again he descends into a series of painful
howls: “O Desdemon! Dead Desdemon!
Dead! O! O!”
He recovers slightly to justify his actions:
 “For naught did I in hate, but all in
He says of Iago: “that demi-devil…hath
ensnared my soul and body”
Then returns to pained exclamations “O
villain!”, “O fool, fool, fool!”
 In his final speech he reminds people that
“I have done the state some service”