Episode 67: Your Cheatin’ Heart, Othello Act 4


What to do when your husband thinks you’ve been cheating on him? In Act 4: Scene 3 of Othello we get two very different opinions from two very different women. It’s one of those rare scenes in Shakespeare’s plays that has only women in it, and if you think Shakespeare didn’t care about women then you haven’t listened to his female characters.

Also, there’s a FckShakespeare holiday tune at the end. Don’t miss it! 😁🎄

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• Willow song – willows are symbolic of disappointed love. Produce fruit that ripens and falls too soon – premature.  Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving. For Celts it is considered a female divinity. Linked to the afterlife because it regenerates quickly after cut. For Christians it is linked chastity and purity but also to pain and tears because Christ pulled himself up by willow branches after falling for the umpteenth time on the cross walk to Golgotha.

• usually this scene is played in Desdemona’s bedroom, but the transition is weird then because they are saying goodnight to Lodovico first

• note the difference in the 2 women’s attitudes towards adultery – Emilia is very matter of fact and practical / Desdemona is almost too naïve in this scene – Emilia issues a warning to husbands – great way to use her platform to make a point – this is where direct address is extremely effective!

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