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Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 441
NOTES ON OTHELLO

NOTE Q.

IAGO'S SUSPICION REGARDING CASSIO AND EMILIA.

     The one expression of this suspicion appears in a very curious manner. Iago, soliloquizing, says (II. i. 311):

                        Which thing to do,
If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moor in the rank [F. right] garb --
For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too --
Make the Moor thank me, etc.

Why 'For I fear Cassio,' etc.? He can hardly be giving himself an additional reason for involving Cassio; the parenthesis must be explanatory of the preceding line or some part of it. I think it explains 'rank garb' or 'right garb,' and the meaning is, 'For Cassio is what I shall accuse him of being, a seducer of wives.' He is returning to the thought with which the soliloquy begins, 'That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it.' In saying this he is unconsciously trying to believe that Cassio would at any rate like to be an adulterer, so that it is not so very abominable to say that he is one. And the idea 'I suspect him with Emilia' is a second and stronger attempt of the same kind. The idea probably was born and died in one moment. It is a curious example of lago's secret subjection to morality.

 

NOTE R.

REMINISCENCES OF OTHELLO IN KING LEAR

     The following is a list, made without any special search, and doubtless incomplete, of words and phrases in King Lear which recall words and phrases in Othello, and many of which occur only in these two plays.

  • 'waterish,' I. i. 261, appears only here and in O. III. iii. 15.
  • 'fortune's alms," I. i. 281, appears only here and in O. III. iv. 122.

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