Othello 

Act I; scene i 
The numbers after the quotes below refer to line numbers in your text book for easy reference.
 

Quote

Significance

Roderigo: “…That thou, Iago, who has had my purse / As if the strings were thine…” (2-3). 

Indicates that Iago was already manipulating Roderigo for money prior to the opening of the play.

 

 

Iago: “Mere prattle without practice / Is all his soldiership” (26-27).

Iago believes that Cassio’s knowledge and expertise of war is based on talk and book knowledge, not experience (which Iago has plenty of).  Indicates Iago believes Cassio is not qualified for the promotion to lieutenant.

 

Iago: “I follow him to serve my turn upon him” (43).

Iago will be Othello’s servant only to get revenge upon him.

 

Iago: “In following him, I follow but myself” (58).

Iago serves Othello in order to serve his own selfish desires for revenge.

 

Iago: “I am not what I am” (65).

For those around him, Iago is not what he appears to be.

 

Brabantio: “In honest plainness thou hast heard me say / My daughter is not for thee” (99-100).

Indicates that Roderigo has already tired to ask Brabantio for Desdemona’s hand in marriage, but Brabantio has refused.

 

Iago: “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram / Is tupping your white ewe” (88-89).

 

“…the devil will make a grandsire of you” (91).

 

“…you’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you’ll have nephews neigh to you” (111-112).

 

“…your daughter and the Moor are / now making the beast with two backs” (115-116).

Negative, vulgar, sexual imagery that Iago yells up to Brabantio in order to get him angry and try to make Brabantio go after Othello—what’s his motivation for doing this?