Othello

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Animals Symbol Icon
Othello is rife with animal metaphors. In particular, this language is used to describe Othello, the "Barbary horse," or the "beautiful creature" Desdemona. In each case, the animal language is connected to prejudice. Describing a person or group in animal terms is a way of defining that person or group as being less than human, something that deserves to be humiliated and controlled.
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Animals Symbol Timeline in Othello

The timeline below shows where the symbol Animals appears in Othello. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 1
Prejudice Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Womanhood and Sexuality Theme Icon
...a "Barbary horse" (1.1.110), and adds that "your daughter and the Moor are making the beast with two backs"(1.1.118). (full context)
Act 2, scene 3
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Womanhood and Sexuality Theme Icon
...lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial" (2.3.251-3). Iago asks if Cassio knew who he was chasing after, but Cassio says that... (full context)