“I do perceive here a divided duty.”



DESDEMONA:
My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty.

To you I am bound for life and education.
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you. You are the lord of my duty,
I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband,
And so much duty as my mother showed
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord.

 

This quote is from the first act of Shakespeare’s play, Othello. Othello, the Moor is accused for alluring Desdemona with the help of drugs and black magic. The lovers are cited to the Venetian senate. Desdemona; however, stands up and tells her father that she totally loves his husband – not because he wants to respect his father, but because her duty is “divided”.

Whit this act – standing in front of her father and denying his will in public – she proves her true love toward Othello.

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