English 366B, Section S02
: Shakespeare's Histories and Tragedies >
: The Catastrophe
Othello's "cause" (5.2.1)
"This sorrow's heavenly; / It strikes where it doth love" (21-22)
Does Desdemona ever understand what went wrong?
Is she like Cordelia, innocent in her death?
Othello understands that he is wrong: does he ever understand why?
"Cold, cold, my girl? / Even like thy chastity" (275-76)
Is he right to blame his end largely on Iago (301-2)?
His final speech
He realizes that he has thrown "a pearl away / Richer than all his tribe" (5.2.346-7)
But Desdemona as pearl is still "alabaster," cold and virginal
Is he likening himself to a "base Indian" (Quarto) or "base Judean" (Folio)?
As he destroys the "Turk" within himself is he a warrior or a lover?
Iago's final silence: why?
This page last updated on 4 March 2007. © Michael Best, 2002.