Act 4, Scene 3: "The same." Notes from Othello

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Othello Act 4, Scene 3: "The same."

Othello bids Desdemona to dismiss Emilia. Instead of dismissing her, Desdemona confides in Emilia and sings a song of false love. The two women discuss the possibility of such a wronged relationship in which a woman truly abuses her husband. Desdemona naively questions the nature of men's actions, to which Emilia responds in a strong female voice:

"But I do think it is their husbands' faults
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 living out of spite -
Why, we have galls, and though we have some grace,
Yet have we some revenge. Let husbands know
Their wives have sense like them; they see and smell,
And have their palates both for sweet and sour
As husbands have. What is it that they do,
When they change us for others? Is it sport?
I think it is. And does affection breed it?
I think it does. Is it frailty that thus errs?
It is so too. And have not we affections,
Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?
Then let them use us well: else let them know
The ills we do, their ills instruct us so."
Act 4, Scene 3

Topic Tracking: Revenge 6

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