Question:

Help in preparing Othello in school.

by Guest299  |  earlier

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Hello! I study acting in college and we are preparing scenes this semester. One of the scenes that I participate in is ACT V, SCENE II of Othello. I have a question about some Desdemona quotes... when she asks Othello to postpone his action. She asks for that couple of times...My question is what does that mean? Why does she would do if Othello did not kill her just then. Thank you in advance! Vladi

 Tags: Help, othello, preparing, school

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2 ANSWERS

  1. Guest24813816

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  2. Guest23269002

    Hi Dear


    Your question is excellent - Desdemona, again and again, pleas with Othello for more time, although it seems clear that he is determined to kill her. What end does she hope to achieve through this seemingly petty bargaining?

    In my opinion, there are a number of possibilities:

    1) Desdemona loves Othello and is convinced, despite his murderous jealousy, that he is truly in love with her (as he is). Maybe she believes that if she can simply convince him to take a pause, he will regret his decision - this is, after all, not the first time he has had an irrational outburst.

    This theory is especially relevant because according to Elizabethan science, insanity (including jealous rage) was caused by a physiological imbalance in the body. If this imbalance were to pass (which time would only aid in), the person would likely return to health.

    2) Desdemona knows perfectly well that she is innocent of adultery, the longer Othello delays, the stronger the possibility that an objective outsider will come and confirm her innocence.

    3) It is possible that Desdemona, having given up any other hope, believes that if Othello delays someone strong and courageous enough to stop him will come and save her.

    4) the most seemingly silly request of Desdemona's is that Othello delay while she says one prayer. However, to Desdemona this might have been critical. In Shakespearean England, unless a person died in a state of grace (after confession and prayer), he or she was barred from heaven. Although Desdemona had prayed that night, it is unlikely that she was in a perfect state of grace. Therefore, it was essential to her soul's well-being, beyond that of her body, that Othello delay.

    I hope that this answer is helpful. If you would like any more information, please contact me again!

    All the best,
     

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