Monologue in Othello’s Act

EMILIA : “I am satisfied I have found this napkin:This was her first remembrance from the Moor:My wayward husband hath a hundred times Woo’d me to steal it; however she so loves the token, For he conjured her she should ever keep it, That she reserves it evermore about her To kiss and talk to. I’ll have the work ta’en out, And give’t Iago: what he will do with it Heaven knows, no longer I;I nothing but to please his fantasy.”
Prose paraphrase of the passage
Emilia Picks up and handkerchief and begins to talk by using herself saying that she is happy because she has determined the handkerchief. She says that it is the first gift that Moor gave Desdemona. She refers to his husband stubborn saying that her husband has asked her to steal for him the handkerchief more than hundred times. However she notes that Desdemona loves the handkerchief so much because it is the first gift that she got from Othello and that Othello has always directed her to keep it for herself. Emilia says that she will copy embroidery pattern and gives it to Lago. Emilia is not sure what Lago is really going to do with the handkerchief, however what she knows is that his whims is going to be satisfied.

Character Analysis

Emilia is wife to Lago and Desdemona’s maid. She is a woman of intelligence and emotional resilience. She accomplishes her duty as a wife at the same time develops loyalty to her mistress, Desdemona. At the end she denounces Lago’s so as to defend the reputation of her mistress. She is aware that Desdemona loves the handkerchief, but she is not aware whey her husband wants the same handkerchief. Shakespeare has brought Emilia as a woman who is submissive. She wants to make his husband happy by giving him the handkerchief that he wants, however, at the end of it all when she discovers that her husband wanted the handkerchief to assassinate Desdemona’s character she tells the truth.

Analysis of the Language, Form

While Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights employ language to create dramatic atmosphere, but the language used in this part of the play is action (Xu 32). This soliloquy is written in blank verse and prose which is made up of unrhymed iambic parameters.

Cultural Context

Shakespeare presents cultural assumptions which are operating beneath the surface of womanhood and gender identity. Basically, Emilia feels happy because she has found something which is going to make his husband happy, which later on turn to be the cause of death of other characters in the play. Shakespeare delineates how men use women to obtain their own selfish gain. It is because of the handkerchief that results to the death of Desdemona.

Theme and Impact

One obvious theme that is evident in this soliloquy is the theme of jealousy. Jealousy is one theme that brings down most of the character in the play. Lago thinks that he has mastered jealousy, because he has rehearsed it in their relationship with Emilia to the extent that Emilia is made to be convinced that jealousy is the personality of men (Bullough 26). However, the kind of jealousy that is developed by this monologue is a poor a weak thought. Additionally, the theme of love and persistent is also evident in this monologue. Lago is persistent that he wants to have Desdemona’s handkerchief. Emilia says that Lago has pleaded with her ore than hundred times to get him the handkerchief which he finally succeeded. It is because of love that Emilia is having for Lago that is why she decides to get him the copy of the handkerchief even if she is not aware of what he is going to do with it.

Lastly, the theme of betrayal is evident in this monologue. Emilia has actually betrayed Desdemona by giving Lago her handkerchief without her opinion. Emilia is much aware that Desdemona love the handkerchief and that it is the first present that she ever relieved from Othello and she often kissed the handkerchief whenever she talks, yet she goes ahead to give the out the handkerchief.

Works cited

Shakespeare, William. othello. Vol. 6. JB Lippincott Company, 1886.

Xu, Yuan-Yuan. “Othello: From Shakespeare.” Sino-US English Teaching 6.8 (2009): 31-34.

Bullough, Geoffrey, ed. Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare: Major tragedies. Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. Volume VII. Vol. 7. Columbia University Press, 1973.

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