Othello Act 2 Reflection

Iago delivers a soliloquy at the end of act 1 where he says that he suspects Emilia has cheated on him with Othello, and that he will get back at Othello “wife for wife”. This seems unlikely because it just doesn’t fit Othello’s character, who is honest and very much in love with Desdemona. Othello and Desdemona have a very affectionate reunion on Cyprus and their love for each other is clearly evident. Othello say’s “if it were now to die, ‘Twere now to be most happy”, and “I cannot speak enough of this content. It stops me here; it is too much joy”. It seems really unlikely to me that there’s any truth to what Iago suspects, but I wonder, based on Emilia’s attitude toward Iago in this act and others, if she has entertained the notion of cheating or has. Emilia seems to know who her husband really is, and treats him as such. When Iago is insulting her during the reunion, Emilia doesn’t just take it. After Iago ridicules her about her talking too much, she tells him, “you have little cause to say so”. Jumping ahead to act 3, Emilia tells Desdemona “‘Tis not a year or two shows us a man, They are all but stomachs, and we all but food; They eat us hungerly, and when they are full they belch us”. This gives us even more insight into their relationship, and gives us a glimpse into how Emilia is treated by Iago. Jumping ahead again, this time to act 4 scene 3, Emilia tells Desdemona why a woman would be unfaithful in a relationship. She say’s “But I do think it is their husbands faults if wives do fall, Say that they slack their duties, and pour our treasures into foreign laps; Or else break out in peevish jealousy… Or say they strike us”. This could give more indication into how Iago treats Emilia, she mentions jealousy which is probably Iago’s biggest personality trait. Emilia is strong, sees through Iago and sees their misogynistic and unfair society for what it is. And based on her perception about women being mistreated, maybe it can be interpreted that perhaps she has thought about being unfaithful or has been.

+ posts

Leave a Reply