Examination Questions on Othello
Question: What is the constraining motive with Othello in killing Desdemona?
Answer: Honor - not jealousy, surely; for would the merely jealous husband give vent to such feelings as Othello does in
V, ii.? "It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul," seems to be the cry of a soul moved rather by love, pity, and the feeling of justice, than the cry of an enraged husband. Othello distinctly says that "Justice" bears the "sword" (V.
ii. 17). Whatever hold that stormy passion of jealousy may have had over Othello before, we feel convinced that the
calm, sorrowful, but determined feeling of justice reigns supreme, and love must yield to honor and justice. Here we
see that "calmness of intensity" which is such a striking feature in Othello's character.
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How to cite this article:
Ragland, Fanny. Shakespeare Examinations. Ed. William Taylor Thom, M. A. Boston: Ginn and Co., 1888. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/othello/examqo/othellomotive.html >.
Lectures on Othello: Play Construction and the Suffering and Murder of Desdemona
Lectures on Othello: Othello's Jealousy
The Moral Enigma of Shakespeare's Othello
Othello as Tragic Hero
Stage History of Othello
Othello: Plot Summary
Othello: Q & A
Quotes from Othello
How to Pronounce the Names in Othello
Iago Character Introduction
Othello Character Introduction
Desdemona Character Introduction
Iago's Motives: The Relationship Between Othello and Iago
Shakespeare and Race: The Relationship Between Othello and Desdemona
Othello: Essay Topics
Shakespeare's Sources for Othello
The Problem of Time in Othello
What is Tragic Irony?
Seneca's Tragedies and the Elizabethan Drama
Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama
Shakespeare Timeline: Part 1 (1558-1599)
A Shakespeare Timeline: Part 2 (1600-1604)
A Shakespeare Timeline: Part 3 (1605-1616)