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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 440

the suspected man). Hence too, it may be said, when, at V. ii. 190, she exclaims,

      Villany, villany, villany!
I think upon't, I think: I smell't: O villany!
I thought so then: -- I'll kill myself for grief.

she refers in the words italicized to the occasion of the passage in IV. ii., and is reproaching herself for not having taken steps on her suspicion of Iago.

     I have explained in the text why I think it impossible to suppose that Emilia suspected her husband; and I do not think anyone who follows her speeches in V. ii., and who realizes that, if she did suspect him, she must have been simply pretending surprise when Othello told her that Iago was his informant, will feel any doubt. Her idea in the lines at IV. ii. 130 is, I believe, merely that someone is trying to establish a ground for asking a favour from Othello in return for information which nearly concerns him. It does not follow that, because she knew Cassio was suspected, she must have been referring to Cassio's office. She was a stupid woman, and, even if she had not been, she would not put two and two together so easily as the reader of the play.

     In the line,

I thought so then: I'll kill myself for grief,

I think she certainly refers to IV. ii. 130 f. and also IV. ii. 15 (Steevens's idea that she is thinking of the time when she let Iago take the handkerchief is absurd); If 'I'll kill myself for grief' is to be taken in close connection with the preceding words (which is not certain), she may mean that she reproaches herself for not having acted on her general suspicion, or (less probably) that she reproaches herself for not having suspected that Iago was the rogue.

     With regard to my view that she failed to think of the handkerchief when she saw how angry Othello was, those who believe that she did think of it will of course also believe that she suspected Iago. But in addition to other difficulties, they will have to suppose that her astonishment, when Othello at last mentioned the handkerchief, was mere acting. And anyone who can believe this seems to me beyond argument.

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