And pour our treasures into foreign laps, At this point, Emilia adds her own opinions on marriage and fidelity which are surprisingly cynical and insightful. [1] This simple addition gives Emilia’s character a much more defined role, and has had an impact on recent feminist interpretations of Shakespeare. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I think it doth. ( Log Out /  Why, we have galls; and though we have some grace, Emilia then d… Emilia blames the man in the relationship for driving her to it. Desdemona, our ‘pure’ heroine is aghast and protests that she never could do such a thing. If Wives Do Fall – Recent Perspectives of Emilia’s Speech in Othello, Follow Writing in the AM on WordPress.com, In The Flesh: The Experience of Seeing Original Manuscripts, GUEST DOODLEWASH: Using Watercolours to Unlock a Life of Purpose — Doodlewash. Emilia: Yes, a dozen – and as many to th’ vantage,                                                                   As would store the world they played for. Placing the blame onto the man is a daring move to make for a woman within Jacobean society and therefore this reveals Emilia’s strength and passion. One example of this is when Emilia says it is the ‘husbands’ fault’ if their ‘wives do fall’. The character of Emilia is often overlooked in Shakespeare’s Othello, and it is easy to see why. Othello Act 4: Emilia's badass monologue and someone needs to do a cover of the Willow song 4.1 The scene starts with more twisting of words by Iago and lots of discussion about how Cassio had the handkerchief Othello gave Desdemona. ( Log Out /  and later explains to her mistress that “I do think it is their husbands’ faults / If wives do fall” (4.3.). What is it that they do, She tells Desdemona that “they eat us hungerly, and when they are full / They belch us” (3.4.) Emilia goes so far as to betray her friend for the love of her man. [1] Michael Neill ed. Or scant our former having in despite- The issues of racism and domestic violence dominate the action, leaving the wife of scheming Iago and attendant to Desdemona to fall into the shadows. Surname 1 Student’s Name: Instructor: Course: Due Date: Analysis of Emilia’s Speech in Act IV of “Othello” The play “Othello, The Moor of Venice” has been written by William Shakespeare. Emilia's conviction for female equality is so strong that she attempts to convince Desdemona that she should not put up with Othello's jealousy. What I love about this adaptation is the way Atkins pauses after each question, which really gives the message a chance to sink in. She demonstrates her strength and honesty by exposing her husband and challenging Othello for his behavior. This demonstrates her loyalty and that she judges men based on her own experience. Unfortunately, she does not identify her own husband as the perpetrator until it is too late: “You told a lie, an odious, damned lie” (Act 5 Scene 2, Line 187). “But I do think it is their husband’s faults If wives do fall.” This speaks volumes for her relationship with Iago and does insinuate that she would not be averse to the idea of an affair; which corroborates the rumors about her and Othello, although she denies them. If wives do fall: say that they slack their duties, And pour our treasures into foreign laps, Or else break out in peevish jealousies, Throwing restraint upon us; or say they strike us, Or scant our former having in despite; And have their palates both for sweet and sour                                                  90 270: O murderous coxcomb! Emilia is Iago’s wife. Say that they slack their duties. That is, until her speech in Desdemona’s bedchamber. Throwing restraint upon us; or say they strike us,                                             85 However, it was included in the longer Second Quarto edition of Othello, published in 1630. At this point, I began to see her as a character in her own right, with an original perspective to add to the play’s drama. Here, Emilia and Desdemona argue about whether Othello will ever be satisfied about Desdemona’s innocence. Or else break out in peevish jealousies, Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Say that they slack their duties, I despise the heat; I wish I was back in Venice with the cool wind. Lee Jamieson, M.A., is a theater scholar and educator. The scene opens with Othello asking Emilia if she has seen Desdemona and Cassio alone together, whispering or sharing secrets. Check out our discussion for " Gender " for more on this. Othello. If wives do fall: say that they slack their duties, And pour our treasures into foreign laps, Or else break out in … The scene in which this monologue appears is a touching and tender interaction between the two women, Desdemona and Emilia. From her first introduction, Emilia in Shakespeare's Othello is ridiculed and chided by her husband Iago: “Sir, would she give you so much of her lips/As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,/You would have enough” (Iago, Act 2, Scene 1). Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. EMILIA: By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen. Emilia is telling Desdemona to leave Othello, but Desdemona wants to stay loyal to her husband. They were below them and Emilia calls society out on the inequlaity between men and women: "But I do think it is their husbands's faults If wives do fall. The play is a tragedy that revolves around the main characters of Othello, who is a general in the Venetian army and the treacherous Iago. When they change us for others? I’ll also include a typed version of the speech from the Oxford Shakespeare edition of the play, as the poetic language is really beautiful. Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have? She says something like, "Yep, there sure are women who cheat on their husbands." EMILIA ). I didn’t know the channel Shakespeare Solos. This intimate, female space is characterised by the action of Emilia ‘unpinning’ Desdemona, … Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Emilia's response is more worldly. Desdemona (Janie Brookshire) and Emilia (Karen Peakes) in Othello at Folger Theatre, 2011. Desdemona is shocked. 1/16/2014 12:07:06 pm. Emilia says she would, if she thought it would advance her husband’s status in the world. Antonio Muñoz Degrain / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain. The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.[1]. If he needed Desdemona's handkerchief there is a good reason for it. Othello, (Oxford World Classics: Oxford, 2006), Act IV, Scene 3,79-98) p.181. In a conversation with Desdemona, Emilia does not condemn a woman for having an affair: Emilia blames the man in the relationship for driving her to it. Say that they slack their duties. If wives do fall: say that they slack their duties, If wives do fall: say that they slack their duties, And pour our treasures into foreign laps, Or else break out in peevish jealousies, Throwing restraint upon us; or say they strike us, Photo by Carol Pratt. store the world they played for. Also, her loyalty to Desdemona may belie this rumor too. Emilia’s role in Othello is key, her part in taking the handkerchief leads to Othello falling for Iago’s lies more fully. If wives do fall. Emilia says. This monologue springs from a tense scene between Othello and Desdemona. I do not think there is any such woman. After reading about the textual history of this play, I found that this specific speech was not present in the First Folio collection in 1623, which was the first full collection of Shakespeare’s works published after his death. OPHELIA (15-25 years) Hamlet. The use of ‘fall’ contains an irony as the concept contradicts her argument. I trust Iago completely, that's part of my duty as a wife. The issues of racism and domestic violence dominate the action, leaving the wife of scheming Iago and attendant to Desdemona to fall into the shadows. If wives do fall. [He runs at IAGO IAGO, from behind, stabs EMILIA, and exit] GRATIANO: The woman falls; sure, he hath kill'd his wife. He has been acting strange, and Desdemona starts to think that something bad is going to happen. OTHELLO O, pardon me: 'twill do me good to walk. ... Emilia goes on to offer the opinion that "I do think it is their husbands' faults / If wives do fall" (4.3.86-87). by Shakespeare (soliloquy) O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! As husbands have. And doth affection breed it? How about Emilia's monolouge from Othello, act 4, scene 3: But I do think it is their husbands' faults. If wives do fall: say that they slack their duties, 3115 And pour our treasures into foreign laps, Or else break out in peevish jealousies, Throwing restraint upon us; or say they strike us, Emilia's Monologue. The character of Emilia is often overlooked in Shakespeare’s Othello, and it is easy to see why. Then let them use us well: else let them know, I always find listening to Shakespeare a lot easier, and luckily this speech was chosen by the Guardian as a part of their ‘Shakespeare Solo’ series. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Emilia is perceptive and cynical, maybe as a result of her relationship with Iago. He previously served as a theater studies lecturer at Stratford-upon Avon College in the United Kingdom. She is the first to suggest that somebody is telling Othello untruths about Desdemona; “The Moor’s abused by some most villainous knave./Some base, notorious knave” (Act 4 Scene 2, Line 143-5).​. In order to please him, Emilia gives Iago Desdemona’s handkerchief, which leads to her best friend’s condemnation, but this is not done out of spite but to garner a little praise or love from her husband Iago, who rewards her with the line; “O good wench give it to me” (Act 3 Scene 3, Line 319). Emilia even bravely challenges Othello when she discovers he has murdered Desdemona: “O the more angel she, and you the blacker devil!” (Act 5 Scene 2, Line 140). 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