Sometimes these blog assignments want to make me pull my hair out. Good thing I don’t have a whole lot to pull out. This literally took me two hours.  Also, I picked this scene because it seems like something that would happen on a reality TV show nowadays (ex: Jersey Shore, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, etc) and all I could think about while reading this scene was this :


The passage (my translation=bolded part under each segment as needed; similes, metaphors, etc are underlined)

  • Roderigo.Most grave Brabantio,                                                       117
  • In simple and pure soul I come to you.                                            118

Brabantio, I’m coming for your own good, not for myself.

  • Iago.’Zounds, sir, you are one of those that will not                  119
    serve God, if the devil bid you. Because we come to                   120
    do you service and you think we are ruffians, you’ll                   121
    have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse;                      122
    you’ll have your nephews neigh to you; you’ll have                   123
    coursers for cousins and gennets for germans.                            124

Beacause you’re not willing to listen to us, daughter will have sex with the black man and give you horses and small animals for relatives.

  • Brabantio.What profane wretch art thou?                                      125

That’s ridiculous. What do you know?

  • Iago. I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter            126
    and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.            127

I’m just trying to tell you that your daughter and Othello are being intimate right now. 

  • Brabantio. Thou art a villain.                                                               128

You’re just trying to mess with me because you didn’t get what you wanted.

  • Iago. You are—a senator.                                                                       129

                 You’re just as bad!

  • Brabantio. This thou shalt answer; I know thee, Roderigo.       130

                  Is it true, Roderigo?

  • Roderigo. Sir, I will answer any thing. But, I beseech you,         131
    If’t be your pleasure and most wise consent,                                   132
    As partly I find it is, that your fair daughter,                                    133
    At this odd-even and dull watch o’ the night,                                  134
    Transported, with no worse nor better guard                                    135
    But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,                                136
    To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor—                                         137
  • I understand your doubts, Brabantio, but I think she’s with Othello.  
    If this be known to you and your allowance,                                      138
    We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs;                               139
    But if you know not this, my manners tell me                                  140
    We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe                                      141
    That, from the sense of all civility,                                                        142
    I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:                             143
  • I’m sorry if you knew this already, I’m not trying to rub it in.
    Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,                                144
    I say again, hath made a gross revolt;                                                   145
    Tying her duty, beauty, wit and fortunes                                             146
    In an extravagant and wheeling stranger                                            147
    Of here and every where. Straight satisfy yourself:                          148
    If she be in her chamber or your house,                                               149
    Let loose on me the justice of the state                                                150
    For thus deluding you.                                                                                151
  • But if you didn’t know this, then you better check your house for your beautiful daughter because I’m pretty sure she’s gone. If she is there, you can punish me justly, but I’m trying to help you.

Unknown Words:

  • ‘zounds: expressing surprise or indignation
  • ruffians: violent people
  • Barbary: A region of northern Africa on the Mediterranean coast between Egypt and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • courser: a swift horse
  • Gennet: Any of several carnivorous mammals of the genus Genetta of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, having grayish or yellowish fur with dark spots and a long ringed tail.
  • beseech: To address an earnest or urgent request to; implore
  • knave:   An unprincipled, crafty fellow
  • lascivious: Given to or expressing lust; lecherous.
  • saucy:Impertinent or disrespectful, especially in a playful or lively way
  • rebuke: To criticize (someone) sharply; reprimand.

Figurative Language Description:

 –you are one of those that will not serve God, if the devil bid you:  allusion to bible, Iago is trying to say that Brabantio is so hard headed that he wouldn’t do something even if the Devil himself made him do it. This adds meaning to the passage because it characterizes Brabantio as being rather stubborn

you’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you’ll have your nephews neigh to you; you’ll have  coursers for cousins and gennets for germans: Figurative language animalizing Othello and referring to him as a horse that would cause Brabantio’s kin to be animal-like too. This adds meaning to the passage because it shows how much Iago dislikes Othello and would dare compare him to an animal. This shows disrespect, but also is used to convince Brabantio to hate Othello too.

now making the beast with two backs: euphemism for having sex. This adds meaning because it frames the act as being vicious in nature.


3 comments on “OtHELL-NO

  1. clicked on ur post just bc i saw a video and im loling at the amount of accurately depicted black culture thats shining through this 2000’s sitcom omg


  2. I must agree with Derrick. The title of this post is A+. Also, two hours is a long time…but Shakespeare is a challenge! Happily for all of us, it’s totally worth it. I’m not being sarcastic. Shakespeare is worth it.


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