a)How does Shakespeare present aspects of love in this passage? b)Examine the view that, in this passage and elsewhere in the play, Desdemona’s love for Othello is based on weak foundations.

Her father loved me, of invited me

Still question'd me the story of my life,

From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,

That I have passed.

I ran it through, even from my boyish days,

To the very moment that he bade me tell it;

Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,

Of moving accidents by flood and field

Of hair-breadth scapes i' the imminent deadly breach,

Of being taken by the insolent foe

And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence

And portance in my travels' history:

Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,

Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven

It was my hint to speak,--such was the process;

And of the Cannibals that each other eat,

The Anthropophagi and men whose heads

Do grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear

Would Desdemona seriously incline:

But still the house-affairs would draw her thence:

Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,

She'd come again, and with a greedy ear

Devour up my discourse: which I observing,

Took once a pliant hour, and found good means

To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,

Whereof by parcels she had something heard,

But not intentively: I did consent,

And often did beguile her of her tears,

When I did speak of some distressful stroke

That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,

She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:

She swore, in faith, twas strange, 'twas passing strange,

'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:

She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd

That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me,

And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,

I should but teach him how to tell my story.

And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:

She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,

And I loved her that she did pity them.

This only is the witchcraft I have used:

Here comes the lady; let her witness it.

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Othello describes his courting of Desdemona. This was largely a forbidden relationship yet still Desdemona would come and eagerly listen to Othello's stories. The bond between them grows stronger through time spent together. Desdemona shows a nurturing pity for Othello: a man that has been hardened by the harsh realities of war. Desdemona provides a soft feminine love in Othello's otherwise hyper-masculine life.