Analysis of Passage #3

Once again, we see this reoccurring theme of loyalty in Othello. This time around, it presents itself to Desdemona in what is a major conflict to her. She is caught between honoring her father and his authoritative word, and remaining loyal to Othello, the one who holds her heart. In Act 1 Scene 3 is when this battle between filial piety and the divine right of love starts to unfold. Desdemona says to Brabantio, “My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty: To you I am bound for life and education; My life and education both do learn me How to respect you; you are the lord of duty; I am hitherto your daughter.” (Act 1. Scene 3. Lines 180-185). In this first half of her confession, she shows the utmost gratitude and respect to her father for all that he has done for her during her life. Her education and core values of what it is to be respectful and humble to others is because of Brabantio’s guidance. However, she has made up her mind and is devoting her duty to Othello, the man she loves. She says, “but here’s my husband, And so much duty as my mother show’d To you, preferring you before her father, So much I challenge that I may profess Due to the Moor my lord.” (Act 1. Scene 3. Lines 185-189). Desdemona relates herself to her mother in an attempt to convince her father of what is right. Her mother chose Brabantio over her father and it is now Desdemona’s time to do the same. Though she has a duty to fulfill to her father, the one she owes to Othello is of higher importance and could be comparable to that of a bondage under God. This is a pivotal point in the play because Desdemona stands up against her father, which in those times was near unheard of, and takes control of her life to make her own decisions.

Passage 3

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