Othello/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “We cannot all be masters, nor all masters cannot be truly followed.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 46-47.  Iago to Roderigo.  Iago and Roderigo are both Venetians and are friends. Roderigo is naïve; Iago is destructive. Iago offers this quote, noting that “many a duteous knave wears out his time, and when he’s old, cashiered. Others there are who keep yet their hearts attending on themselves, and throwing but shows of service on their lords do themselves homage.” Othello, the Moor, the Venetian general, has appointed Iago his ancient, a low-ranking military officer. The low level assignment infuriates Iago. He plans to destroy the Moor. Iago is also quite angry with Othello, having heard rumors that Othello has spent time “under the sheets” with Iago’s wife.

Othello/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “In following him, I follow but myself.
I follow not for love and duty, though seeming so for my peculiar
end.  I am not what I seem to be.”

Answer:  Act 1, Scene 1,
Lines 64-71.  Iago to Roderigo. Again, with this quote Iago is talking with Roderigo about Othello, his commanding officer. This quote pretty much tells us all we need to know about Iago. Iago goes on to say “What my outward action doth demonstrate is opposite how I feel. I will soon wear my heart upon my sleeve.”

Othello/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters’ minds by what you see them

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 192-193.  Brabantio to Roderigo. Brabantio is a Venetian senator who has a beautiful daughter, named Desdemona. Brabantio has just learned that his daughter has eloped with the Moor, Othello. He offers this quote. He goes on to say “Are there not charms by which youth may be deceived?” Brabantio believes Othello has won his daughter’s heart through witchcraft and the like. To add to the intrigue, Roderigo had been courting Desdemona.

Othello/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.  Good Signior, you shall more command with
years than with your weapons.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2. Lines 76-79.  Othello to Brabantio.  As we say, Othello has just run off and married Brabantio’s daughter, Desdemona. Brabantio is an influential Venetian senator. And Brabantio is real upset with Othello as well as being upset with his daughter. A confident Othello knows the Turkish navy is about to attack Cyprus, a Venetian protectorate, and that as a Venetian general, his services will be needed. When Brabantio and officers rush Othello with swords drawn, Brabantio upset, as we say, that Othello has eloped with Desdemona, Othello offers this quote.

Othello/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “My noble father, so much duty as my mother showed to you, preferring you
before her father, so much I challenge that I may profess due to the Moor my

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 215-218.  Desdemona to Brabantio.  Othello and Desdemona have secretly married. Her father Brabantio is convinced that the Moor won her by “spells and medicines bought from wandering quacks.” Othello defends himself well through a long and persuasive argument. Venice’s Duke calls Desdemona forward. She offers her father this quote. Brabantio says “God be with you! I have done.”

Othello/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “He who is robbed that smiles steals something from the thief; he robs himself
that indulges in a useless grief.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 237-240.  Duke to Brabantio.  Brabantio has come to accept that his daughter loves Othello and that the Moor has won her, fair and square. The Duke wisely has advised Brabantio that it is best to accept those things you can’t change.

Othello/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “I never did hear that the bruised heart was cured through the ear.  I humbly beseech you, proceed to th’ affairs
of state.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 249-252.  Brabantio to the Duke.  Having finally come to accept that his daughter and Othello are married, Brabantio comes to support the Duke, the Duke focused on Cyprus and the risk posed by the threatening Turkish navy.

Othello/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Before I would say I would drown myself for the love of a guinea hen, I would
exchange my humanity with a baboon.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 356-358.  Iago to Roderigo.  Roderigo, who at one time considered Desdemona
his girlfriend, is beside himself, having heard her say how she loves
Othello. Roderigo has just said “I want
to immediately drown myself.” Iago
considers his friend Roderigo a fool and demeans Desdemona by referring to her
as a “guinea hen.”

Othello/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Cassio hath a sincere and smooth manner to be suspected, framed to make women

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 439-441.  Iago to us.
Michael Cassio is Othello’s lieutenant, his second-in-command. He will be in Cyprus with Othello and Desdemona. Iago lets us know that he will “in double knavery” set up Cassio in such a way that he can make the gullible Othello believe that Desdemona has been unfaithful.

Othello/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “With as little web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 183-184.  Iago aside to himself.  The charming Michael Cassio, a gentleman always, has taken Desdemona’s hand and “kissed three fingers.” Talking to himself, Iago offers this quote. Watching the charismatic Cassio deal with Desdemona, Iago says to himself “Ay, smile upon her, do. I will shackle you with your good manners. Very good; well kissed; an excellent courtesy.”