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Sea-MarkThe Metaphorical Voyage, Spenser to Milton$
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Philip Edwards

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780853235125

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317415

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date: 19 December 2018

—Shakespeare (I): Othello

—Shakespeare (I): Othello

‘Verie Sea-Marke of My Utmost Saile’

(p.101) Chapter Four—Shakespeare (I): Othello
Liverpool University Press

In Othello, William Shakespeare demonstrates how a single metaphor can illuminate an entire play. Othello speaks these words in the last scene of the play. In calling Desdemona's deathbed the sea-mark of his utmost sail, Othello did himself an injustice. A couplet in Othello concludes the play's extensive symbolism of the sea, as well as Othello's wandering formulations concerning the control of his own life. In his ‘recognition’ in the sea-mark couplet, and his assumption of total responsibility for what has happened, Othello fully understands that he has been driven by what he now perceives to be a corrupted code of honour.

Keywords:   Othello, William Shakespeare, metaphor, sea, sea-mark, symbolism, honour

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