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September 06, 2012

Questioning Othello: Truth, Justice, and the English Renaissance Way


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Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. 1603. British. Drama.

HON 250 Students,

Below, please . . .

. . . enter your work on this text as prescribed in class.

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To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at September 6, 2012 12:26 PM

Readers' Comments:

7 November 2008

ENG 225 Students:

Part one of your homework assignment tonight (due next meeting) is to follow the instructions for the questions below:

 

    In-Class, Individual Discussion Questions (Take-Home Quiz) on Othello, The Moor of Venice

 

INSTRUCTIONS: Before our next class meeting, enter the answer to the question you registered for on the attendance sheet (first, re-type the question) and submit digitally to BOTH turnitin.com and the English-blog (this is a quiz). You should show evidence/verification in your answer by using our text and incorporating page numbers and line numbers into your answer. To get credit for your answer, use specific examples and quotations.  As usual, please acknowledge the course syllabus on the course policy for assignments submitted after the deadline (not accepted). Technical issues will not be accepted as an excuse. SLU has a student technology center paid for by your student fees.

 

1.     Do Othello and Desdemona ever consummate their marriage? If you think so, find the page and line number of these events to prove your answer.  How do we know or not? Is this an important question? In other words, would either scenario change the way we understand the story?  Why or why not?

2.     Why does Othello believe Iago? There are many doorways into this question; Find the page and line number of these events for your answer.  One of them is at the end, when Iago says, "I told him what I thought, and told no more / Than what he found himself was apt and true" (5.2.183).

3.     In Act Four, Scene Three, Desdemona and Emilia have a conversation about men and women, marriage, and fidelity. Find the page and line number of these events for your answer.  What does this scene indicate about the character of Desdemona? How can you relate this scene to central issues in the play?

4.     Various critics have noticed that Desdemona apparently lies more than once in the play: e.g., when Othello asks her about the handkerchief, or when she briefly comes to life at the end to absolve Othello of her murder. Find the page and line number of these events for your answer.  Do you consider these moments to be lies, and if so, how do you understand them?

5.     Othello's death scene is superbly staged. Shakespeare gives the character a powerful final speech. Reading it (or hearing it), do you think this tragic hero has learned anything from his experience, or is he continuing to sustain his illusions? Find the page and line number of these events for your answer

6.     Othello’s heroic qualities and military proficiency allow him partial acceptance into Venetian society. How is this acceptance provisional, and what can it reveal about the sexual and emotional construction of Othello’s undoing? Find the page and line number of these events for your answer.

7.     The Duke of Venice tells Brabantio, “Your son in law is far more fair than black” (Act 1, Scene 3). Find the page and line number of these events.  How does this further one’s understanding of Venetian society’s ambivalent attitude toward Othello?

8.     The events of the play last about three days, and Othello kills Desdemona the day after he arrives in Cyprus. How does the incompatible and compressed time frame both make Desdemona’s adultery impossible and enhance the psychological impact Iago’s lies have on Othello? Find the page and line number of these events for your answer.

9.     Brabantio’s comments to Othello regarding Desdemona in Act 1, Scene 3 are a cautionary warning that she may betray her husband, having already betrayed her father. Find the page and line number of these events for your answer. (A.) What does this reveal about Venetian society’s attitude toward women and (B.) how does it connect to the tragedy at the end of the play?

10.  In Othello, Venice is often seen as established home of order and stability, while Cyprus can represent the chaos and inversion of a place outside of a “system.” What role then, according to this understanding, does Cyprus play in furthering the action of the play?  In other words, if we accept this symbolism, how does it affect the plot?

11.  Iago’s famous lines “I am not what I am” (Act I, Scene 1) force an examination of identity and duplicity in this play. Find the page and line number of these events for your answer.Is Iago the only character who could make this statement?  If not, who else? Explain.

12.  Helpful or hurtful?  Go back and review the language used Does the play Othello reinforce or challenge racial stereotypes? Does this play reinforce or challenge sexist stereotypes

13.  What motivates Iago to carry out his schemes?  Do you find him a devil incarnate, a madman, or a rational human being?

14.  Whom besides Othello does Iago deceive?  What is Desdemona’s opinion of him?  Emilia’s?  Cassio’s (before Iago is found out)?  To what do you attribute Iago’s success as a deceiver?

15.  How essential to the play is the fact that Othello is a black man, a Moor, and not a native of Venice?

16.  In the introduction to his edition of the play in The Complete Signet Classic Shakespeare, Alan Kernan remarks: “Othello is probably the most neatly, the most formally constructed of Shakespeare’s plays.  Every character is, for example, balanced by another similar or contrasting character.  Desdemona is balanced by her opposite, Iago; love and concern for others at one end of the scale, hatred and concern for self at the other.”  Besides Desdemona and Iago, what other pairs of characters strike balances?

17.  Consider any passage of the play in which there is a shift from verse to prose, or from prose to verse.  What is the effect of this shift?

18.  Indicate a passage that you consider memorable for its poetry.  Does the passage seem introduced for its own sake?  Does it in any way advance the action of the play, express theme, or demonstrate character?

19.  Does the play contain any tragic recognition—in other words, a moment of terrible enlightenment, or a “realization of the unthinkable”?  (NOTE: usually enlightenment is “good,” right?—as in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.”  What happens when it’s bad?—Think of the protagonist Neo in The Matrix as discussed in an earlier class meeting).

20.  Does the downfall of Othello proceed from any flaw in his nature, or is his downfall entirely the work of Iago?

 

For the questions from earlier class meetings . . .

. . . please see the entries below.

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*FROM: 5 November 2008

ENG 225 Students:

Receive the number of your quiz question by attending today's class. Answer YOUR quiz question (not one that you didn't sign up for) in the comment box below. As usual, please acknowledge the course syllabus on the course policy for assignments submitted after the deadline (not accepted). Technical issues will not be accepted as an excuse. SLU has a student technology center paid for by your student fees.

Reading-Check Questions: Othello, The Moor of Venice, Act V

 INSTRUCTIONS: Before our next class meeting, enter the answer to the question you registered for on the attendance sheet (first, re-type the question) and submit digitally to BOTH turnitin.com and the English-blog (this is a quiz). You should show evidence/verification in your answer by using our text and incorporating page numbers and line numbers into your answer. To get credit for your answer, use specific examples and quotations.

1.      In Act V, how would Iago gain from Roderigo’s death? Cassio’s?

2.      In Act V, what happens when Roderigo attacks Cassio?  Who actually wounds Cassio: also answer when and why? 

3.      In Act V, why, when, and how does Iago stab Roderigo? What is the outcome?

4.      In Act V, how, when, and why does Othello come to think that Iago has kept his vow?

5.      In Act V, after Bianca appears, what new part of his plot does Iago begin Scene 1?

6.      In Act V, who will get the blame for the attack on Cassio if Iago has his way? Explain.

7.      In Act V, what justification does Othello try to give the murder of Desdemona in Scene 2?

8.      In Act V, how, when, and why does Othello kill Desdemona?  What interruption occurs while he is doing it?

9.      In Act V, whom does Desdemona blame for her death?  Does Emilia believe her? Why or why not?

10.    In Act V, is Desdemona faithful to Othello to the end? If so, how?

11.    In Act V, what happens when Iago tells his wife not to speak and to go home, orders which good Renaissance wives should follow without question? Is she compliant? Why or why not?

12.    In Act V, what is Emilia’s reaction when Othello tells her that Iago has revealed Desdemona's affair with Cassio to him? Explain.

13.    In Act V, what is Othello finally beginning to realize in Scene 2?  What has happened to Desdemona’s father? Explain.

14.    In Act V, does Othello eventually show a change of heart towards Desdemona? If so, when and at what point? Explain.

15.    In Act V, why, when, and how does Othello attack Iago? Explain the context.

16.    In Act V, does Othello have a reaction to having his sword taken away? If so, what is it? Explain.

17.    In Act V, how, when, and why does Othello use the second sword his finds in the room? Explain.

18.    In Act V, how, when, and why do Roderigo’s “pockets” conveniently help to clarify much of what has happened? Explain the context.

19.    In Act V, what function does the presence of the characters Lodovico and Gratiano serve? Who are they and why are they there? What do they learn and what do they reveal?

20.    In Act V, what happens to Othello, Iago and Cassio in the end? How are all the plots and schemes revealed at the end of the play?

21.    In Act V, does anyone inherit Othello’s estate?  If so, who? Also answer why or why not. Is this a “just” conclusion? Explain.

Because I will take the top 10 quiz scores for your final quiz grade when I tally your final grade for the course, I am graciously giving you take-home/open-book quizzes. However, if I get the feeling that you are not doing the readings or participating in the class discussions, I will re-institute the quizzes as I normally do them--in other words, you WON'T know the questions in advance. Our next class meeting will be an open class discussion of Othello. If you haven't read it yet, you had better by the next class meeting. Come read and prepared to discuss the questions as a class. The next work is the Epic of Son-Jara. You should get a head-start on reading it and being prepared for the quiz that group 1 will give in class. Their quiz will count the same as if it were a quiz I would give. Based on your history of absences, quiz scores and paper scores, for several of you, NOW Is not the time to start blowing off the course if you still expect to pass to course. Please keep this in mind as we push toward the end of the semester and the final exam. I will draw upon the material given in the presentations for the final exam as well as anything we have covered thus far since the mid-term.

See you in class,

Dr. Hobbs

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*FROM*: 3 November 2008

ENG 225 Students,

Per your instructions from today's meeting submit your quiz in the comment box below. Please see the course syllabus on the course policy for assignments submitted after the deadline (not accepted). Technical issues will not be accepted as an excuse. SLU has a student technology center paid for by your student fees.

Reading-Check Questions: Othello, The Moor of Venice, Act IV

 

INSTRUCTIONS: Before our next class meeting, enter the answer to the question you registered for on the attendance sheet (first, re-type the question) and submit digitally to BOTH turnitin.com and the English-blog (this is a quiz). You should show evidence/verification in your answer by using our text and incorporating page numbers and line numbers into your answer. To get credit for your answer, use specific examples and quotations.

 

1.      In Act IV, Scene 2, how does Desdemona react to the accusations of Othello?

2.      In Act IV, Scene 1, lines 238-62, why is the character Lodovico introduced into the action? What purpose does this character serve in the plot development?

3.      In Act III, Iago used one clever bit of “evidence” to suggest that Desdemona was being unfaithful.  In Act IV, what circumstantial evidence is now ADDED to Othello’s case against Desdemona?

4.      In Act IV, what is the significance of Bianca’s flinging the handkerchief at Cassio just when Othello is looking on?  How plausible do you find Bianca’s act to be?  Why or why not?.

5.      Now that you’ve read Act IV, explain the overall significance of the handkerchief in this play.  We already know why the handkerchief is important to Othello.  The question now is: why is it so important to how the play works?  What does it represent? What suggestions or hints does it contain?

6.      In Act IV, Scene 2, lines 33-92, what prevents Othello from being moved by Desdemona’s appeal?

7.      When Roderigo grows impatient with Iago, in Act IV, Scene 2, lines 182-202, how does Iago make use of his fellow plotter’s discontent?

8.      In Act IV, Scene 3, what does the conversation between Emilia and Desdemona tell us about the nature of each?

9.      In Act IV, which scenes (or speeches) contain memorable examples of dramatic irony? (if you are STILL unfamiliar with what dramatic irony is, you need to take time refresh your memory).

10.   In Act IV, how does Othello react to Iago’s images of infidelity?

11.   In Act IV, why does Iago speak to Cassio about Bianca?

12.   Explain how the handkerchief has increased in significance in Act IV than it has from the previous Acts.

13.   First, consider/recall the behavior of Othello in Acts I to III  Now, in Act IV, how has Othello changed up to this point in the play?

14.   Explain the difference in the relationship between Desdemona and Othello in Act IV compared to when they first arrived in Cyprus in Act II.

15.   In Act IV, why is Emilia’s belief about what is causing Othello’s behavior ironic?

16.   In Act IV, what clue does Emilia offer about Iago’s own jealousy?

17.   In Act IV, why is Roderigo annoyed at Iago?

18.   In Act IV, scene 1, who is the first person in the play to figure out Iago’s duplicity?  How is Iago able to manipulate this person, even after the truth is known?

19.   Where in Act IV,  Scene 2, does Desdemona finally start to fight back?  Explain her physical reaction right after Othello exits in about line 99?

20.   According to Othello, what’s the worst part of being a cuckold as revealed in Act IV?

The Reading-Check (Quiz) for today's quiz/reading-check on Act IV of Othello, The Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare drew from questions at these study-guide resources (consider studying the questions from Acts V for a future activity:

Diablo Valley College: Dr. W. Harlan’s “English 154 - Shakespeare and His World” Course Study Questions - http://www.srvc.net/engl154/html_files/OtheStudyQuest.htm

(and)

eNotes – http://www.enotes.com/othello/act-iv-scenes-1-3-questions-answers

(and)

Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia, eds. “Questions.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007. 1038-39.

*Since so many of you expressed that you liked the Laurence Fishbourne portrayal of Othello the best (the most recently made "Hollywood" version), I thought you might enjoy seeing this two-minute clip from the Act IV. It is the so-called "slap-scene" of Act IV where Othello "wigs out" on Desdemona. [I saw many of you flinch when the Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal Lector!) version of Othello slapped Desdemona in the BBC version we screened in class].

Here is the same scene from the much older, black-and-white version with Orson Welles as Othello (the version we will watch Act V for on Wednesday):

See you Wednesday as we wrap up our screening and begin our discussion of Othello. Be prepared to have something to say. You've seen many versions of how Othello has been portrayed. Which is most important for the academic (what YOU are now)--versions which try to stay as close to the original as possible or versions which water themselves down so that they can be more "palatable" for typically unread, American audiences? I'm also interested in your opinions on the apparent racism in the play. Is Shakespeare racist or is he merely depicting racism of his time in Renaissance England (or, of early Renaissance Italy?). What do you think about the director's choice to cast non-African actors in black-face makeup to play Othello? Does this add or detract from the play? Does it possibly emphasize certain "points" that having an African-American actor such as Fishbourne cannot?

We will discuss these issues and more soon.

Dr. Hobbs
-------------------

*FROM*: 31 October 2008

Students,

Per your instructions from today's meeting, submit your quiz in the comment box below. The questions are repeated here. [NOTE: Please see the course syllabus on the course policy for assignments submitted after the deadline (not accepted). Technical issues will not be accepted as an excuse. SLU has a student technology center paid for by your student fees.]

Reading-Check Questions: Othello, The Moor of Venice, Act III

 

INSTRUCTIONS: Before our next class meeting, enter the answer to the exact question you registered for on today’s attendance sheet (first, re-type the question) and submit digitally to BOTH turnitin.com and the English-blog (this is a quiz). You should show evidence/verification in your answer by using our text and incorporating page numbers and line numbers into your answer.

 

1.     In scene 1 of Act III, why does Cassio bring musicians? What is Othello’s response to them?

2.     Who is Emilia?  In scene 1 of Act III, what arrangements does she make for Cassio?

3.     In Act III, Scene 3, what is ironic about Emilia’s comments at the beginning of this scene?

4.     In Act III, Scene 3, what does Desdemona promise Cassio?

5.     In Act III, Scene 3, how does Iago begin planting the first seeds of jealousy in Othello?

6.     Act III, Scene 3, what does Othello agree to do for Desdemona?

7.     Act III, Scene 3, after Desdemona leaves, how does Iago begin anew to raise Othello’s suspicions about Cassio?

8.     When Iago raises the issue of jealousy in Act III, Scene 3, what does Othello say?  How does Iago then respond?

9.     In Act III, Scene 3, why does Iago say, “I see this hath a little dashed your spirits,” and then twice, “I (do) see you are moved”?

10.  In Act III, Scene 3, after Iago finally departs, what does Othello’s soliloquy show about his suspicions?  In other words, once Iago leaves, what do Othello’s next remarks reveal about his thoughts?

11.  In Act III, Scene 3, what does Emilia do after Othello and Desdemona depart?  What does her brief soliloquy (look up this word if you do not know it!) reveal about Iago?

12.  What does Iago reveal in his brief soliloquy (look up this word if you still do not know it!) in Act III, Scene 3?

13.  In Act III, Scene 3, what attitude does Othello take upon returning to Iago (after has already left him once before in the scene)?

14.  In Act III, Scene 3, how does Othello threaten Iago?   How does Iago respond?

15.  In Act III, Scene 3, what are two specific pieces of evidence that Iago cites to cast suspicion on Cassio?

16.  Act III, what does Othello command Iago to do at the end of Scene 3?

17.  In Act III, Scene 4, Why does Othello insist that Desdemona present the handkerchief?

18.  What are two examples of “dramatic irony” (we have discussed this concept in our earlier class lectures—look it up if you still don’t understand it) in Desdemona and Emilia’s conversation in Act III, Scene 4.

19.  What is Emilia’s view of men (see lines 98-102 of Act III, Scene 4)?  How justified are her beliefs?

20.  In Act III, what important information is revealed in Cassio and Bianca’s conversation that ends Scene 4?

The Reading-Check (Quiz) for today's quiz/reading-check on Act III of Othello, The Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare drew from questions at these two study-guide sites (consider studying the questions from Acts IV-V for a future activity:

Clayton State University - http://a-s.clayton.edu/walkup/1102%20Online/1102%20Online/othelloIII&IV.htm

(and)

Instructor Cindy Adams’s “Studyguide.Org” – http://www.studyguide.org/othello.htm


Youtube user "miscellus" presents an extract from the filmed version of Act III with Sir Laurence Olivier as Othello that "starts with Act 3, scene 3, line 245 "Why did I Marry" to Iago's line (376) "Are you a man? Have you a soul, or sense?"

To see Anthony Hopkins do scene 3, lines 337 to the end of Scene 3, Act III. where Othello enters "Ha!, False to me! to me!" and Iago plants stories of Cassio and the handkerchief, see the youtube clip below from user "ShakespeareandMore:

Happy Halloween,

Dr. Hobbs
______________________________

*FROM*: 29 October 2008

ENG 225 Students,

I hope you enjoyed watching the cinematic version of Othello, Act II as portrayed by actors Laurence Fishbourne as Othello and Kenneth Branaugh as Iago.

Your homework tonight is to answer YOUR question from the in-class discussion today in the comment box below. Start by re-typing your question. Then write about a paragraph to fully answer your question. You can skip Turnitin.com on this one (although I will record the grades for your in-class reading checks on turnitin.com--nothing for you to submit there).

In-Class Discussion Questions for Act II of Othello, The Moor of Venice

 

1.     Othello, Act II, Scene 1
Describe how Cassio acts when he lands at Cyprus, especially when Desdemona comes ashore. (lines 42-97)

 

2.     Othello, Act II, Scene 1
What do the Cypriots (those from Cypress) think of Othello?  Do their words (in Scene 1) make him seem to us a lesser man or a larger one?

 

3.     Othello, Act III, Scene 1

Why does Iago verbally
attack his wife (Emilia) at lines 99-110? 
What cruelty does Iago display toward her? yes">  How well founded is his distrust of his wife’s fidelity?

 

4.     Othello, Act II, Scene 1
According to Iago what is all that the most accomplished woman in the world is good for?  (lines 146-158)

 

5.     Othello, Act II, Scene 1
Explain what Iago is talking about at lines 165-172.

Posted by: Raquel Rugani at November 26, 2007 02:26 PM

R. Hauser
English 104H Introduction to Literature

In your interpretation of the play, exactly what impels Othello to kill Desdemona? Jealousy? Desire for revenge? Excess idealism? A wish to be a public avenger who punishes "else she'll betray more men"?

In my interpretation of the play, I believe that a combination of disgust and jealousy impels Othello to kill Desdemona. It is evident that Othello is disgusted by actions he thinks Desdemona took when he says "she turned to folly, and she was a whore" (Kennedy 1031). Othello also claims "O, she was foul!" (Kennedy 1032)The meanings of both quotes are also enhanced through Othello's tone.

Along with disgust, Othello also shows signs of jealousy by saying "Tis pitiful. But yet Iago knows that she with Cassio hath the act of shame a thousand times committed. Cassio confessed it; And she did gratify his amorous works with that recognizance and pledge of love which I first gave her. I saw it in his hand; It was a handkerchief, an antique token my father gave my mother" (Kennedy 1033). This quote proves that Othello was disgusted Desdemona could easily give away such a valuable treasure and that he was jealous she gave it to his right hand man, Cassio.

Kennedy, X.J., and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and
Writing. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

Posted by: R. Hauser at November 26, 2007 04:20 PM

C Lazar
Intro to Literature 104H
Quiz Make-up
In this act, what circumstantial evidence is added to Othello’s case against Desdemona?
He hears Iago talk to Cassio about Bianca, which Othello thinks Cassio is talking about Desdemona (1007).

Posted by: C Lazar at November 26, 2007 04:23 PM

C Lazar
Intro to Literature 104H
Whom besides Othello does Iago deceive? What is Desdemona’s opinion about him? Emilia? Cassio (before Iago is found out)? To what would you attribute Iago’s success as a deceiver?
Iago deceives absolutely everyone in the play. Desdemona does not like Iago because of his slanderous ways towards women (963). Emilia knows that Iago does not love her anymore. Cassio believes that Iago is just trying to help him. Iago’s attributes to his deceiving success is being able to fake his love and friendship for Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Roderigo, and more importantly Emilia his own wife.

Posted by: C Lazar at November 26, 2007 04:30 PM

Greg Anne
Professor Hobbs
English 104F
26 November 2007

In III, iv, 49-98, Emilia knows of Desdemona’s distress over the lost handkerchief. At this moment, how do you explain her failure to relieve Desdemona’s mind? Is Emilia aware of her husband’s villainy?

In Act III when Desdemonia explains to Emilia the great lose of her husband’s handkerchief Emilia does little to ease Desdemonia’s mind. The severity of her lose is explained to Emilia when Desdemonia states, “I would rather lose my purse” (997). With this knowledge Emilia goes on to prod Desdemonia’s worries by bringing up the possibility of Othello being jealous. This of course gains to the distress that Desdemonia was experiencing. When Othello enters and finds out what has happened Emilia does nothing to defend Desdemonia or help her in any way (997-999). After the fight, Iago and Emilia” team up” on Desdemonia. They explain to Desdemonia how jealous Othello seemed and how things didn’t look good (999-1001). This as well as her actions with Desdemonia alone makes me believe that Emilia not only knows of her husband’s villainy but is also in on it. She seems to be saying what is needed to make the plan work. Instead of being comforting and helpful Emilia further discomforts Desdemonia by putting ideas such as jealousy and anger in her mind. This further upsets Desdemonia knowing that her love could be possibly having these feelings.

Posted by: Greg Anne at November 26, 2007 04:41 PM

J Betz
Intro to Lit. 104 H

How do you account for Barbantio’s dismay on learning of his daughter’s marriage, despite the fact that Desdemona has married a man so generally loved and admired?

Desdemona’s Father, Barbantio, is dismayed because Desdemona did not tell him about her getting married to Othello. Although Othello is so generally loved and admired he is still a black man in a time where interracial marriages were almost unheard of. This being true, Barbantio feels that Othello must have tricked Desdemona into marrying him using witchcraft and charm.

Posted by: J B at November 26, 2007 05:11 PM

A. Lacey
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.F Introduction to Literature
26 November 2007

Act III 1. Trace the steps by which Iago rouses Othello to suspicion. Is there anything n Othello’s character or circumstances that renders him particularly susceptible to Iago’s wiles?

The first step in the path to make Othello suspicious of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness is when Desdemona asks for Cassio to be given back his position (983). Iago says of Desdemona and Cassio spending time together; therefore, she must be cheating on Othello. Iago also mentions that Cassio was the go between for Othello and Desdemona before the marriage, implying that Cassio and Desdemona were together intimately before Othello and Desdemona were married. Iago continuously says he loves Othello so Othello fells he would not betray him (985). The final step is when Desdemona does not have the handkerchief from Othello’s mother and it ends up in Cassio’s possession.

Othello has some flaws that made him susceptible to Iago’s wiles. The first one is being in a powerful position. This makes him feel that no one would lie to him. This makes Othello to have the flaw of being very trusting of people who are close to him. This trait allows Othello to believe that Iago is telling the absolute truth. Since Othello has these flaws he easily believes everything that Iago tells him about Cassio and Desdemona.

Posted by: A.Lacey at November 26, 2007 05:16 PM

J. Cowan
Professor Hobbs
ENGL104 Section F

For what major events does the merrymaking (scene II) give opportunity?

Although Scene II is merely a short proclamation by the Herald of Cyprus, much can be learned based on the few lines revealed. The Herald is proclaiming a feast to the people of Cyprus, based on the deeds Othello and his men have done to the Turkish fleet.

The most important news the Herald brings back to the people of Cyprus is that Othello and his crew served their enemy Turkish fleet with shear destruction. The people are called to celebration in every way imaginable because of the military triumph with bonfires, dancing, and feasting. In addition to the news of the defeat, the Herald is also proclaiming the news of the marriage between Othello and Desdemona. It is because of these two events that the people of Cyprus are celebrating the tremendous news.

Posted by: J. Cowan at November 26, 2007 05:42 PM

Brittany A.
ENGL 104.F

What do the Cypriots think of Othello? Do their words (scene 1) make him seem to us a lesser man or a larger one?

The Cypriots look to Othello as a “worthy governor” (line 32) and look at him with tremendous respect. They make his seem like a larger man rather than a smaller one because they constantly boast about him, talking about how wonderful he is. When they get word from Cassio that the Turkish fleet had been defeated and depleted, they began to say how courageous he was and how gracious they were to him for ending the war (lines 21-24). While waiting for Othello’s ship to arrive, the Cypriots began to pray towards heaven asking that Othello be kept safe and that he has not been lost at sea. During this period of prayer and thereafter, they continue to praise Othello’s bravery until his ship finally arrives. Othello is welcomed with opened arms and he greets all those who were waiting for him.

Posted by: Brittany Abbott at November 26, 2007 06:02 PM

Jessica B.
English 104H
Thesis and Chief Arguments of Burgress’ “An Asian Culture Looks at Shakespeare”

The thesis of Burgress’ “An Asian Look at Shakespeare” is, “Translation is not a matter of words only; it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture”. One chief argument Burgress gives deals with the film Richard III being played in a Borneo Kampong. The tribe approved the costumes because they were similar to theirs. They also accepted the story because it was typical to their own history, and therefore also accepted Shakespeare as a great poet. Another chief argument involves the tragic novel The Heart of the Matter. The novel was read to Muslim children who found it comical because in their culture a man can have more than one wife.

Posted by: Jessica B. at November 26, 2007 06:26 PM

Greg Anne
Professor Hobbs
English 104F
26 November 2007

What does the audience learn of Brabantio in this scene (Act V scene1) and why does Gratiano seem to be “relieved” about it?
In Act V of the play the audience learns of the death of Brabantio in the lines by Gratiano, “Poor desdemon! I am glad thy father’s dead” (1032). He then seems to be relieved to the fact that her father has died before he learned of his daughter’s death. The grief of such knowledge, “would make him do a desperate turn” according to Gratiano (1033). Such news to any father would tear him apart inside. It is better that Brabantio had not found out of such an occurrence.

Posted by: Greg Anne at November 26, 2007 08:05 PM

Chris
English 104.H Intorduction To Literature
26 November 2007

How does Othello's mistaken belief that Cassio is slain affect the outcome of the play?

After the ambush, Iago ends up killing Cassio and Roderigo. Othello hears Cassio's cry and comes to see what is going on. He witnesses Iago killing Cassio. This changes the outcome of the play because Othello is now influenced to kill Desdemona. He says to Iago "Thou teachest me" (Page - 1002, scene 1, verse 34).

The play could of had many different endings. Othello could of solved all his problems somehow, he could of forgot about what was going on, or he could of married someone else. However, because of the event that happened, Othello's mind was in a different state of thought, which just wanted revenge. This is why the story has the endingit has.

Posted by: Chris at November 26, 2007 08:23 PM

Sara A.
ENGL 104.H Introduction to Literature

"Indicate a passage that you consider memorable for its poetry. Does the passage seem introduced for its own sake? Does it in any way advance the action of the play, express theme or demonstrate character?"

The scene where Othello comes to Desdemona’s bedside to kill her is a memorable one. The way Othello murders his wife demonstrates his character in many ways. First, he believes information given to him by Iago, which shows that Othello is very trusting of others. Othello doesn’t just walk in and kill her either. He speaks with her and before he kills her he says in Act V Scene II, line 49, “Peace, and be still!” He is almost “kind” about the murder.

Othello is also selfish though. His motives for killing Desdemona were for revenge of being humiliated and also because cheating was unforgivable in that time period. Not only is this passage a demonstration of Othello’s character but it also advances the actions in the play such as the truth coming out and the aggression other characters feel for each other. This scene wasn’t introduced for its own sake but plays an important part in the play.

Posted by: Sara A. at November 26, 2007 08:51 PM

Alyssa
ENGL104F

What prevents Othello from being moved by Desdemona's appeal?

At the beginning of Act IV scene 1, after Othello falls into a trance and wakes again Iago tells him Cassio visited, but he sent him away and told him to come back another time. When Cassio does return Iago questions him of Bianca, while Othello is behind a door listening to the whole conversation. Iago told him to prove that Cassio and Desdemona were together he would get Cassio to confess this. Othello believed what Cassio is saying deals with Desdemona because Iago told him he would get him to confess is love for Desdemona. Othello has also seen the handkerchief that he gave Desdemona.

Therefore Othello is not moved by Desdemona's appeal because of what he has heard from the talk between Cassio and Iago.

Posted by: Alyssa at November 26, 2007 09:21 PM

Lindsay Malloy
ENGL 104.F - Intro to Lit

What do you understand by Othello's calling himself "one that loved not wisely but too well"?

When Othello claimed to have not loved wisely but too well, he is speaking of Desdemona's supposed cheating on him. Because he believes Iago and Roderigo's false accusations of Desdemona and Cassio's relations, he considers himself unwise, though he loved her alot which led him to believe that he loved her well.

Posted by: Lindsay M at November 26, 2007 10:12 PM

Jess Hammaker
English 104.f Writing about Literature

In II, iii, 221, Othello speaks of Iago's "honesty and love". How do you account for Othello being so totally decieved?

Othello believes that Iago is honest, loving, and caring about Othello's feelings. Othello believes that Iago is being a true friend and making sure Desdemona is not going to hurt Othello. In reality, Iago is out to get Othello because he gave Cassio the job that he wanted and believes that Othello had an affair with his wife, Emilia.

Posted by: Jess Hammaker at November 26, 2007 10:23 PM

J Conrad
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.F Introduction to Literature
26 November 2007

What reasons does Iago give for his hatred of Othello?

In Shakespeare’s “Othello” Iago has a deep hatred for Othello. Iago is one of Othello’s men that Othello believes is loyal. Iago’s proves from his thoughts and asides to be very disloyal. The strong hatred that Iago feels for Othello comes from Iago’s irritation of Othello’s relationship with Desdemona, the power that Othello has as a military figure, and Iago’s belief that Othello has slept with his wife.

The uneasiness that Iago feels about Othello and Desdemona’s relationship is seen at the beginning of the play. Iago and Roderigo spot Othello with Desdemona and go and tell Desdemona’s father Barbantio. The fact that is a black Moor with power fuels Iago’s hatred even more. Iago tells yet another reason why he hates Othello in an aside at the end of act one. Iago says, “He’s done my office” which tells that Iago believes that Othello has slept with his wife.

Posted by: J. Conrad at November 26, 2007 11:42 PM

L. George
English 104.H
Thesis and Chief Arguments of Ben Jonson’s “On His Friend and Rival William Shakespeare”

I chose Ben Jonson’s “On His Friend and Rival William Shakespeare”. After reading this short excerpt, I concluded the thesis was as follows: “There was ever more in him to be raised than to be pardoned” (1045). I feel this is the thesis, because throughout the paragraph Jonson emphasizes the good qualities and mentions few negative qualities in Shakespeare, simply to what this sentence is stating. Jonson’s view of Shakespeare included him to be “honest, and of an open and free nature, had an excellent phantasy, brave notions, and gentle expression” (1045). There were few things Shakespeare was known for that may have been looked down upon. One such example Jonson uses is in Shakespeare’s writing, he “never blotted out a line” (1045). This was Shakespeare’s biggest fall. The reader could conclude the chief argument Jonson chose to write about was simply what type of person Shakespeare was; although, some thought of Shakespeare as a negative influence, Jonson also saw the good in him. Nonetheless, Jonson wants the readers to know Shakespeare was an overall excellent man.

Posted by: L. George at November 27, 2007 12:18 AM

Adam Tercek

Professor Hobbs

ENGL104F Introduction to Literature
26 November 2007

In this act, what circumstantial evidence is added to Othello’s case against Desdemona?

A handkerchief, to most, an item one uses to blow their nose into. Although, to Othello and his wife Desdemona, it is an important token of their love to each other. To both of them it held an extraordinary amount of sentimental value. When Cassio was found with the very handkerchief that Othello gave Desdemona, he assumed that his wife was surely having an affair.

This assumption, Othello believed, was enough evidence to accuse his beloved Desdemona of cheating on him, and at the same time was reason enough to have Cassio killed. Othello was in such rage that he thought Cassio should hang before he can even confess.

Posted by: Adam Tercek at November 27, 2007 12:40 AM

B Sanders
27 November 2007
English 104

What is Othello’s position in society? How is he regarded by these who know him? By his words, when we first meet him in Scene ii, what traits of character does he manifest?

Othello is a Moor of Venice. Thus he is a black man but he says that he is of royal rank. As a result it is to be believed that he is somewhat important to the society itself. And he was somewhat of a famous and renowned captain and general. To others that knew who Othello was didn’t really like him as a person but they liked him for the things that he had done for the country and the people; except for Desdemona who loved him dearly and with all of her heart. Also some of the people were jealous of Othello because of the fact that he was a moor and that he had the love of Desdemona. Othello manifested the character traits such as courage, dignity, and insecurity. Also Othello was gullible to all effects and a pushover for bad advice.

Posted by: B Sanders at November 27, 2007 12:54 AM

M.Bobb
ENGL 104 Intro to Literature

In your view, does Othello's long speech in V, ii, 348-366 succeed in restoring his original dignity and nobility? Do you agree with Cassio (V, ii, 372) that Othello was "great of heart"?

I believe Othello's speech does bring a slight sense of dignity and nobility back into his character. Othello realizes what he has done and how he was tricked, but at the same time he is aware that Desdemona's death his own doing. He also tells the people looking on that they should speak of him as he is, and not to over glamorize the situation.

I agree with what Cassio states because Othello was a good person at heart who had a temporary lapse in judgment. Also for someone to say this after everything that was done to him shows that he truly meant what he was saying.

Posted by: m. bobb at November 27, 2007 12:11 PM

Jenna
Section F
Question 4. When Roderigo grows impatient with Iago, how does Iago make use of his fellow plotter's discontent?

Roderigo is frustrated. Roderiogo wants Desdemona to return all of the jewels that Iago was to give to her. Iago tells him that Cassio is being assigned to go to Otello's place. Iago lies and says Othello is being sent to Africa but really he is being sent back to Venice. Iago tells Roderigo he is just the man to get rid of Cassio.

Posted by: Jenna at November 27, 2007 12:41 PM

C. Shoub
English 104. Section F
What does the conversation between Emilia and Desdemona tell us about the nature of each?

The conversation emphasizes Desdemona’s virtue and loyalty. She states that she would never be unfaithful even if it was to save the world (1020). Her innocence is highlighted against Othello’s unfair accusations. Emilia’s practicality comes forth when she makes the point that the world “is a great price for a small vice” (1020). Desdemona’s naivety is displayed when she does not think there is such a women, which would betray a husband. Emilia’s response shows that she understands that women’s needs and wants get overlooked by society. She voices, “And have not we affections, desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?” (1021). Emilia seems to recognize that the realities for being human are similar for men and women.

Works cited
Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia.Literature:an
Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama,
and Writing. 5th Compact Ed. New York:
Pearson-Longman, 2007.
Shakespeare. Othello, the Moor of Venice.
Kennedy 938-1038.

Posted by: Catherine Shoub at November 27, 2007 12:51 PM

K.Olijnk

ENGL 104(H) Introduction to Literature

What motivates Iago to carry out his schemes? Do you find him a devil incarnate, a madman, or a rational human being?

I believe that Iago’s motives come from his desire to be more than Othello’s ancient. He wants to be a lieutenant, and he is extremely jealous and angry when the title is given to a younger and less experience man. Iago is more than a madman because if he were that he could have just secretively killed Cassio. He is most definitely not a rational human being, for all of his actions show that. What makes Iago a devils incarnate is the fact that he continues to do selfish, appalling, and deceitful acts, and yet never feels any guilt over any of them; not even after Rodergio, Desdemona, and his wife are all dead, and other are injured. He was willing to sacrifice anyone to eventually get what he wanted. In a way, at some points, it seems like all of his plans and schemes are more of a game to him, that he cannot stop playing. Another part of the jealousy is towards not only Cassio, but also Othello. He believes that Othello has slept with his wife, and Iago’s hatred for Othello grows from this belief.

Posted by: K.Olijnk at November 27, 2007 03:28 PM

Andrea Prescott
Eng 104H Introduction to Literature
Professor Hobbs
26 November 2007
"Thesis and Chief Arguments of Clare Asquth's Shakespeare's Language as a Hidden Political Code"
The thesis statement is Shakespeare's was the one sixteenth-century writer who, it appears never fell foul of the authorities. There are many arguments over his writings due to many hidden meanings throughout his work. The hidden meanings often related to what was going on politically and religiously in that time period.
In religion "low"and "dark" is often used to posses Protestantism as "high" and "fair" represent Catholicism the opposition of the two was referring to the reformation, he remains neutral, fair and tall can be corrupt,as dark and low can be noble.
This helps spectators and readers see the shadowed plot. Shakespeare needed a new method of writing to express a country's political and spiritual downfall without being punished for doing so.

Posted by: A. Prescott at November 27, 2007 03:32 PM

L. Cicerchi

Professor Hobbs

Engl 104H Intro to Literature

28 November 2007

Thesis and Chief Arguments of W.H. Auden's "Iago as a Triumphant Villain"

The thesis in this short excerpt is the first sentence: “Any consideration of the Tragedy of Othello must be primarily occupied, not with its official hero but with its villain”. This is the thesis statement since it is the only sentence that tells us what the whole thing is going to be about. In this section, a main argument is how this could be a tragedy when the fall of Othello wasn’t from glory to misery and his death was not his fault or the gods. Another argument is that this is a very particular play, because Iago, the villain, never fails at what he wants done. He always gets what he wants throughout the story.

Posted by: L. Cicerchi at November 27, 2007 05:07 PM

D. Dzurko
English 104 H

Thesis and Chief Arguments of Vaughan's "Black and White in Othello"

The thesis Ms. Vaughan's summary is "Throughout the play, Shakespeare exploits a discourse of racial difference that by 1604 had become ingrained in the English psyche." Her main arguments are generally that Othello is to have a deep effect on the audience both physically and emotionally. Throughout the play, it is shown that Othello is different, one of the "others." Visually, Othello obviously looks different from every other character as he is the only one of African descent.

Posted by: D. Dzurko at November 27, 2007 06:57 PM

A. Collier
English 104.H

5. What do you understand by Othello's calling himself "one that loved not wisely but too well?"

Othello loved Desdemona so much he could be driven to jealousy very easily. Othello said, "one that loved not wisely but too well." When he says this he is saying that he has not been trusting of Desdemona and therefore has not been very wise when making decisions. When he says, "but too well", he means he loved her so much even a hint of cheating on him would throw him over the edge of reason. He was not wise in his decision making when he kills Desdemona for the belief that she is cheating on him, which explains why he says, "one that loved not wisely." His love for her was so strong that after stabbing himself, he kissed her before he died as the reader sees on line 370. This shows that he regrets his decision making, so he must take his own life or suffer the consequences.

Posted by: A. Collier at November 27, 2007 09:30 PM

B. Kirk
English 104.H-Introduction to Literature
Question: Othello Act V
1) Summarize the events that lead to Iago’s unmasking.

The events that lead to Iago’s unmasking are in a sense all the lies he told. Throughout the entire play Iago wanted revenge. Iago created problems between Othello and Desdemona, and between Roderigo and Cassio. All the while he made himself look honest and just. He also made himself seem like everyone’s ally. After setting this all up, he is able to unmask himself and his plans, he has won his revenge no matter what happens. And ultimately he doesn’t care if he dies or is punished, because he has achieved his goal.

Posted by: B. Kirk at November 27, 2007 09:31 PM

B. Kirk
English 104.H-Introduction to Literature
Question: Othello Act V
1) Summarize the events that lead to Iago’s unmasking.

The events that lead to Iago’s unmasking are in a sense all the lies he told. Throughout the entire play Iago wanted revenge. Iago created problems between Othello and Desdemona, and between Roderigo and Cassio. All the while he made himself look honest and just. He also made himself seem like everyone’s ally. After setting this all up, he is able to unmask himself and his plans, he has won his revenge no matter what happens. And ultimately he doesn’t care if he dies or is punished, because he has achieved his goal.

Posted by: B. Kirk at November 27, 2007 09:31 PM

Alycia Gorlaski

English 104.F Introduction to Literature

What cruelty does Iago display toward Emilia? How well founded is his distrust of his wife’s fidelity?

In Act II Scene 1 Iago accuses his wife Emilia of many cruel things which play into his great distrust of her fidelity. He says in line 109 that when he wants to sleep “she puts her tongue little in her heart” and in her thoughts only. She is silent and behaved in public, but in the parlor noisy and brazen. She is wildcat in her domestic affairs and a deceiver in housekeeping. These indications show that she is reserved and well behaved around Iago, but when he is not around Emilia is wild and unfaithful. Her infidelity vividly shows through when Iago accuses Emilia of being a “huswife in bed” (busy in bed) as well as offending the devil in line 113.

Posted by: A Gorlaski at November 27, 2007 11:13 PM

C. Schirra
Engl104 F

How plausible do you find Bianca’s flinging the handkerchief at Cassio just when Othello is looking on? How important is the handkerchief in this play? What does it represent? What suggestions or hints do you find in it?

Bianca throwing the handkerchief is believable by anyone who was watching because she was angry and what she said was truthful. It was placed where she would find it and the time was perfect for Iago’s plan of making Othello angry. This handkerchief is extremely important because Othello’s parents used the handkerchief as a symbol of their loyalty in their marriage. As long as his mother kept the handkerchief, it meant she was loyal to his father.

The handkerchief is a symbol of their care. Othello finds the handkerchief to be a very important part of their relationship. When it is misplaced, he beings to believe she does not care as much because she does not care for the items he gives to her. This is the first part of the plotting which lead to the end of Othello and Desdemonda. The handkerchief is a part of foreshadowing of events to come.

Posted by: C. Schirra at November 27, 2007 11:29 PM

Dana Buckley
Professor Hobbs
English 104.H Introduction to Literature
27 November 2007
Response to General Question Number Eight

Question: Does the downfall of Othello proceed from any flaw in his nature, or his downfall entirely the work of Iago?

Answer: One of Othello’s flaws in his nature is that he doesn’t second guess what people tell him and takes it as truth without supporting evidence. A fine example of Othello’s flaw was the mind games by Iago throughout the play. Othello believes Iago’s mind games so much he loses complete trust of his wife and ends up killing her at the end of the play. Due to Othello’s behavior he is kicked out of being King of Venice having Cassio replace him. If Othello were to use his own reasonings and would have thought for himself, he would have still remained King and wouldn’t have killed his dearly devoted wife who loved him with all her heart.

Posted by: D. Buckley at November 28, 2007 12:07 AM

Thesis and Chief Arguments of Bodkin's Lucifer in Shakespeare's Othello.

The main argument in Bodkin's Lucifer in Shakespeare's Othello is that the figure of the hero is concentrated on destruction of it's destined prey. The fact that a few figures in "Othello" are evil is what makes Bodkin's thesis. With all the hatred and violence and degradation, it is easy to see that the devil may be in these peoples souls.

One of the main arguments is that the devil is not a real being, but rather a "psychological archetype" that we come up with in our minds. If that is true, it is easy to see why people may see so many things the devil is doing in this play. These acts include Othello's murder of Desdemona, Iago's wounding of Cassio and stabbing of Rederigo, and ultimately withe Othello killing himself. These acts would not be committed by normal people, which is what Bodkin is trying to say. That is why Maud Bodkin believes there is "Lucifer in Shakespeare's Othello."

Posted by: A. Kean at November 28, 2007 12:07 AM

In this act, what scenes (or speeches) contain memorable dramatic irony?

In Act IV there were a number of scenes that contained dramatic irony, but the most memorable was early on the the act when Iago and Othello are speaking (1003-1004). At this point the two are discussing the fact that there should be no crime for a women to be in bed naked with another male, but only if nothing happens. Iago then speaks of if he was to give his wife a handkerchief it would be up to her what to do with it. Then suddenly he goes on to speak of how Cassio told him that he slept with Desdemona. This displays dramatic irony because we (the audience) know what Iago plans are, but neither do Othello nor Cassio

Posted by: Cory at November 28, 2007 10:00 AM

JM
Eng104
In your interpretation of the play, exactly what impels Othello to kill Desdemona? Jealousy? Desire for revenge? Excess idealism? A wish to be a public avenge who punishes, “else she’ll betray more men”

I think the reason he killed Desdemona was a personal thing. I believe he did it out of anger and revenge. He loved her so much and when he heard the stories from Iago he was deeply hurt and extremely irate. I think he said that he had to kill her so she wouldn’t go betray other men just as a cover up and although it might have been one of the reasons, it was not what drove him to murder. Othello kisses Desdemona twice as she dies and then once more when he finds out the truth and kills himself because he loved her and realized he could not live with himself.

Posted by: Jessica Meurer at November 28, 2007 10:15 AM

Amanda O’Brien
Professor Hobbs
ENGL104H: Introduction to Literature
(M-W-F 3:10 P.M.)
28 November 2007

General Question No. 7
Does the play contain any tragic recognition—as discussed on pages 884-85, a moment of terrible enlightenment, a “realization of the unthinkable”?

This play does contain much tragic recognition. Right after Desdemona and Othello announced their marriage, Iago planned to convince Othello of her adultery. Even though it wasn’t true, it is still considered recognition because Othello was convinced, surprised, and devastated.

Another recognition is when he found out that all the accusations he made against Desdemona were false, but it was too late, he had already killed her. He discovers what he had done was a mistake. One last recognition is when Emilia finally sees the true identity of her husband Iago—a lying, in-direct murder. When she tries to preach that Iago is a liar, he kills her.

Posted by: A. O'Brien at November 28, 2007 10:21 AM

Amanda O’Brien
Professor Hobbs
ENGL104H: Introduction to Literature
(M-W-F 3:10 P.M.)
28 November 2007

General Question No. 7
Does the play contain any tragic recognition—as discussed on pages 884-85, a moment of terrible enlightenment, a “realization of the unthinkable”?

This play does contain much tragic recognition. Right after Desdemona and Othello announced their marriage, Iago planned to convince Othello of her adultery. Even though it wasn’t true, it is still considered recognition because Othello was convinced, surprised, and devastated.

Another recognition is when he found out that all the accusations he made against Desdemona were false, but it was too late, he had already killed her. He discovers what he had done was a mistake. One last recognition is when Emilia finally sees the true identity of her husband Iago—a lying, in-direct murder. When she tries to preach that Iago is a liar, he kills her.

Posted by: A. O'Brien at November 28, 2007 10:21 AM

K. Weidlich

ENGL104H. Introduction to Literature

MWF 3:00PM

What is Iago's motive in stabbing Roderigo?

In Act V, Scene I, a triangle is formed between Iago, Roderigo, and Cassio. The sequence of events first occurs when Iago decides to stab Roderigo. However, Iago had a motive to this. When he stabbed Roderigo, he did not kill him. He thought that if he was only wounded, Roderigo and Cassio would end up battling each other once Cassio enered the picture. This would give Iago the chance to swindle gold and jewels from Roderigo and gve them to Desdemona as gifts. Afterwards, he played it off as if he had nothing to do with the encounter.

Works Cited

Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Giola, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and
Writing. Ed X.J. Kennedy and Dana Giola. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

Shakespeare, William. "Othello, The Moor of Venice". Kennedy 938.

Posted by: K. Weidlich at November 28, 2007 10:37 AM

What does the audience learn of Barbantio in this scene and why does Graziano seem to be relieved about it?

We learn that Barbantio is dead. I believe that Gratiano shows a sign of relief because Barbantio wasn't alive to see his daughter come to a terrible end. Gratiano knew that this would turn Barbantio upside down if he was alive to see such

"Poor Desdemon! I am glad thy father's dead. Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief. Did he live now, this sight would make him do a desperate turn" --Gratiano

Posted by: Cory at November 28, 2007 10:59 AM

K. Bradley
Professor Hobbs
ENGL 104.F Introduction to Literature
28 November 2007

Act I Question 7: By what strategy does Iago enlist Roderigo in his plot against the Moor? In what lines do we learn Iago’s true feelings toward Roderigo?

Iago gets Roderigo involved in his plan by using deceitful tactics. He knows of Roderigo’s love for Desdemona and convinces him that if they rid her of Othello, then she will be his. Later in Act I, we learn of Iago’s true reasoning for involving Roderigo. He calls him a fool and says he would not be wasting his time if he knew he would not be getting anything out of him. He tells the reader of his real plan at the very end of Act I, beginning on line 362. He states that he is not really helping Roderigo get Desdemona, but he is using Roderigo to get to her and Othello.

Posted by: K. Bradley at November 28, 2007 11:33 AM

C. Carley
ENGL 104F Intro to Literature
"What is Iago's motive in stabbing Roderigo?"


Iago was the villain in “Othello, the Moor of Veinice.” This is one of many motives behind his stabbing of Roderigo. Iago was always out to protect himself and his interests. As a result, to ensure that no one found out about what he was doing he manipulated those around him. Rodergio was the only one who knew anything about Iago’s hatred of Othello, as Iago had told him, “I follow him to serve my turn upon him” in line 44 on page 940 (Kennedy). All the other characters in the play were under the mistaken illusion that Iago was a faithful follower of Othello.


Iago was also afraid that Roderigo would discover that Desdemona was not receiving the gifts he had offered to her. If Roderigo had discovered the truth that Iago was pocketing the gifts for his beloved he would certainly turn him in to Othello, and all of Iago’s dirty deeds would be undone. Iago also knew that he could not depend on Rodergio to remain a part of his evil plan. On page 979 he had to convince Rodergio to stay and pursue Desdemona after Roderigo said, “I do not follow here in chase… my money is almost spent…with no money at all, and little more wit, return again to Venice” in lines 316-320 (Kennedy).


In stabbing Roderigo it seemed that all of Iago’s problems would be solved. He could blame Roderigo for attempting to take Cassio’s life, and rid himself of the only person who knew of his plan to take down Othello. Unfortunately for Iago, Emilia had placed the pieces of the story together, and would bring his actions to light.

Posted by: Cailin Carley at November 28, 2007 12:22 PM

J. Carter
English 104 (F) Writing About Literature

How does Othello’s mistaken belief that Cassio is slain (V,i,27-34) affect the outcome of the play?

When Othello hears Cassio scream, “I am maimed forever. Help ho! Murder! Murder!”, Othello believed that Iago had taken revenge and murdered Cassio (V,i,27). From this point on, Othello felt enraged and felt that he should take revenge too. He then trusted that Iago was a great and noble friend and that in order to carry out this revenge he would have to kill Desdemona. Iago set himself up to be such a true and loyal friend throughout the whole play. When Othello found out that Iago even killed his enemy for him his trust is undeniably strong.

This affects the final outcome of the play in that Othello listened to nobody. When Desdemona tries to tell Othello that she did nothing wrong, he didn’t even think twice about the fact that she is lying to him. Othello does kill his loving wife and eventually himself because of the great betrayal and mistrust he felt towards the people and the situations that surrounded him. Othello was mislead his misinterpretation of Cassio’s death was the final straw in Othello’s ultimate fate.

Posted by: J. Carter at November 28, 2007 12:46 PM

Brooke Z.
English 104.H- Introduction to Literature

Thesis and Chief Arguments of Kennedy's "Breaking the Language Barrier."

Shakespearean literature usually seems very complex and difficult for most people the first time they look at a piece of work. This is mostly because the English language that Shakespeare used now differs somewhat from the English that is used today. This excerpt explains how even though Shakespeare’s work can seem very complex and difficult; it really is not difficult if we would put the time and effort into learning it.

The excerpt also states ways that can make this task easier. This includes reading the complete work more than once, listening to a recording, and watching a theatrical performance either in person or recorded. By watching or listening to the work it usually makes it easier to grasp. One must also “immerse themselves” in the text; this will make it easier to thoroughly understand. After each time of reading a Shakespearean work, it is almost certain that one will understand more and more because this type of language is more familiar to the reader.

Posted by: Brooke Z. at November 28, 2007 12:55 PM

K. Weidlich

ENGL104H. Introduction to Literature

MWF 3:00PM

Act IV, Question 6: In this act, what scenes (or speeches) contain memorable dramatic irony?

Act IV contains a few scenes which contain dramatic irony. The first is within scene I. Iago and Othello are carrying on conversation between each other. When Iago speaks of relations with a woman and "lying on her", this causes Othello to faint. They claim Othello fell into an epilepsy. Another part of scene I would be when Othello speaks with Cassio. Supposidly, Desdemona had an affair with him. Another dramatic irony scene would be in scene II. Othello approaches Desdemona on the fact of her being a whore and having affairs. But it turned out she was clueless as to what he was speaking of.

Work Cited

Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Giola, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and
Writing. Ed X.J. Kennedy and Dana Giola. 5th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

Shakespeare, William. "Othello,the Moor of Venice". Kennedy 938.

Posted by: Kirsten Weidlich at November 28, 2007 01:34 PM

4. In the introduction to his edition of the play In the Complete Signet Classis Shakespeare, Alvin Kernan remarks: “Othello is probably the most neatly, more formally constructed of Shakespeare’s plays. Every character is, for example, balanced by another similar or contrasting character. Desdemona is balanced by her opposite, Iago; love and concern for others at one end of the scale, hatred and concern for self at the other.” Besides Desdemona and Iago, what other pairs of characters strike balances?
Cassio, like Desdemona, is balanced by Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello. Cassio, regardless of his relations with Bianca, is a noble military man. He is a more experienced lieutenant than Iago, which is why he is promoted by Othello in the first place. He is also significantly more trustworthy than Iago, who is continually deceitful towards Othello. Iago tells lies to the Moor on numerous occasions because he is jealous of Cassio’s position. It is ironic that even though Cassio is the more honorable of the two, Othello feels compelled to listen to Iago.
Desdemona strikes a contrasting balance with Bianca in addition to her balance with Iago. Desdemona remains faithful to Othello throughout the entire drama (even though he does not think so). Bianca, however, has sexual morals opposite to those of Desdemona. She seeks sexual relations with Cassio even though she is not married to him. For the time period in which Shakespeare’s play was written, Bianca’s actions would have been greatly frowned upon. It seems unfair that Desdemona always acted morally but is condemned in the end nonetheless.

Posted by: mdollar at November 28, 2007 02:22 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this assignment has now passed. Comments are no longer being accepted for this exercise/assignment.

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at November 28, 2007 03:28 PM

W. Fulton
Professor Hobbs
Intro to Lit Engl.104
26 November 2007

#3: How essential to the play is the fact that Othello is a black man, a moor, and not a native of Venice?

The fact that Othello is not a native of Venice and a black man is essential to the play. From the very first act the fact that Othello is a black man is a major source of conflict. In act one, scene two, Desdemona's father is infuriated at the idea of his daughter marrying a black man. He even goes as far as to say on page 947 that Othello perhaps used "black" magic in order to make her love him. One of the underlying tones of the play is that of racial intolerance and without Othello being a black man, the message would not come across as strongly.

Posted by: W. Fulton at December 5, 2007 03:34 PM

2. Who is Iago? Is Iago a friend to Othello? Explain.

Iago is an ensign of Othello. He is an enemy to him because Othello promoted Cassio to lieutenant over Iago. Iago believed that he should have been promoted since he has more war experience than Cassio. Iago starts to plot his revenge against Othello by telling Othello's wife's father, that Othello and her are together which is in defiance to the custom of predetermined marriage that was held at the time.

Posted by: Quinten J at October 27, 2008 02:10 PM

Alex Slavin

October 27-08

English 225

Dr. Hobbs

English-Blog

4. Explain what happens between Iago and Cassio in the short time Othello is off stage in the Sagittary.

-Othello exits the scene and Iago makes a comment to Cassio about faith but Cassio does not understand. Iago blatantly tells Cassio that Othello is married. Cassio is confused and upset that he had to hear such news form Iago when he holds a lower ranking. Iago made such a comment in the first place because he wanted to appear more knowledgeable and at the same time, initiate a conflict between Cassio and Othello. Othello enters back into the scene before Iago can tell Cassio who Othello is married to. Iago gives Cassio the mindset of how much trust Othello has for Cassio when he did not know that Othello was married and Iago did.

Posted by: Alex Slavin at October 27, 2008 07:11 PM

Quinten Jones
ENG 225 CA01
October 28, 2008

6. How do we know Othello’s second speech of justification (Act I, Scene 3, lines 127 – 169) was effective?

It talks about Othello "woo"ing Desdemona and then goes on to say in lines 157-158 on page 2930 that Othello's "stoy being done,/She gave me [Othello] for my pains a world of kisses." He is saying that he didn't force her into anything, but she wanted it and that when she talks after him, she will say the same thing. In the first line after, the Duke tells Othello "I think this tale would win my daughter, too" (Line 170, page 1930). This means that Othello has won favor of the Duke and has his backing which will help in the decision.

Posted by: Quinten J at October 28, 2008 09:22 AM

D.J. Garry
Dr. Hobbs
English 225
29 October 2008
2. How does Brabantio assume the Moor won his daughter (Act I, Scene 1, lines 167-172)?
Brabantio assumes that the Moor won his daughter through a trick or spell. He thinks that the Moor knows some form of witchcraft that enchanted her. This is evident in the following quote, “By what you see them act. Is there not charms/ By which the property of youth and maidhood/ May be abused?” (LAwall lines 170-173 p. 2923). When he says “charms”, he is referring to the spell or trick that the Moor would have used to enchant his daughter.

Posted by: david g. at October 28, 2008 07:16 PM

How do we know Othello’s second speech of justification (Act I, Scene 3, lines 127 – 169) was effective?

We can tell that Othello's second speech is effective because of the response he receives. His woman tells him how she feels bad for him and how she will shower him with love and kisses. This effectiveness is also shown in the statement that the Duke makes right after. He says to Othello that even his daughter would accept the same response. This shows that Othello is a great story teller and that people truly believe what Othello is telling them.

Posted by: Joseph S. at October 28, 2008 09:33 PM

Kamille G
3. What do we learn about Iago's methods of operation from what he tells Othello (still not named) in Act I, Scene 2, lines 1-10? Who is the "him" of line 5? Be sure to compare what Iago says here with what we saw happen (and heard him say) in 1.1.
From what Iago tells Othello in Act I, Scene 2, lines 1-10 it can be deduced that Iago’s method’s of operation are very covert. Iago is able to brainwash and influence people to do certain things in order for him to succeed in whatever plans that he has formulated. He makes the person that he is using to accomplish something believe that they will benefit from his plans, while all along Iago is only playing a game with his ally and in the end he makes them look like the bad guy. For instance, Iago convinces Roderigo to wake up and tell Brabanzio about Othello’s relationship with Desdemona. Iago makes it appear to Roderigo that he, Iago, is trying to help break up this relationship since Roderigo lusts for Desdemona. But, the true intent behind Iago’s plan is to get back at Othello for promoting Cassio above him. Later on, Iago secretly lies to Othello telling him that he heard Roderigo telling Brabanzio about Othello’s relationship “Nay, but he prated, And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms against your honour” (lines 7-9, page 2923). Thus, Iago gets back at Othello but he makes Roderigo look like the bad guy, but not himself. Therefore, the “him” which Iago refers to in line 5 is Roderigo, because Iago is trying to make Roderigo look like the one responsible for revealing the secret of the marriage between Othello and Desdemona. But, from 1.1 we know that it was Iago’s plan all along to reveal the secret to Brabanzio, “Call up her father, Rouse him, poison his delight, …Plague him with flies” (lines 68-71, page 2920), but he was only using Roderigo as his medium.

Kamille G
English 225 Sec. 1
28/10/08

Posted by: Kamille G at October 28, 2008 10:37 PM

Eng225 MWF 12:30-1:20
28th October 2008
Dr. Hobbs

7. Why is Desdemona’s response to her father’s question at Act I, Scene 3, lines 176 – 178 especially effective?

Desdemona's response to her father was especially effective because she traced it back to her own mother before her, who had to switch her role from her father to husband. She also let her father know that she can divide her duties respectfully between her husband and her father and that she is intelligent and knows what she is doing, and that she was in fact married to Othello by her own freewill.

Posted by: Brandon Mckoy at October 28, 2008 11:52 PM

1. What is Iago's immediate plan (Act I, Scene 1, lines 66-72)? How well does he carry it out? Whose father is Brabantio? What is Roderigo's previous relationship to Brabantio and his daughter (1.1.94-100)?

Iago immediate plan is to go to Barbantio Window and tell him about Othello's affair with his daughter Desdemona. Roderigo's previous relationship with Desdemona is that they dated and he was in love with her. Roderigo carries out the plan good but it still does not work.

Posted by: John Daniel at October 29, 2008 09:49 AM

Myron Kirchner
ENG-225
Group question #2

How does Brabantio assume the Moor won his daughter?

Brabantio was convinced that Othello used some sort of magic (charm) to bewitch his daughter.

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at October 29, 2008 10:20 AM

Walter Perkins
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs
29 October

5. What is effective in Othello’s first speech of justification (Act I, Scene 3, lines 76 – 94)?

She fell in love because of his stories. Othello is saying he didn’t rick her or use witchcraft to make her fall in love with him. His argument isn’t that he steal Brabantio’s daughter at all and it was free choice of the daughter to fall in love. The all around gist of the speech is that they fell in love.

Posted by: Walter P at October 29, 2008 10:43 AM

Anna R
Engl 225. 01
Dr. Hobbs
Oct 28th, 2008

1. What is Iago's immediate plan (Act I, Scene 1, lines 66-72)? How well does he carry it out? Whose father is Brabantio? What is Roderigo's previous relationship to Brabantio and his daughter (1.1.94-100)?

The plan was to get immediate revenge and kill Othello. He carries it out perfectly because he acts as if nothing is wrong and as if he is Othello’s friend. Brabanzio is Desdemona’s father who tells Roderigo that his daughter is not for him. Roderigo has an obsession for Desdemona, which he does not really try to hide and will do anything in order to be with her.

Posted by: Anna R. at October 29, 2008 10:44 AM

3. What do we learn about Iago's methods of operation from what he tells Othello (still not named) in Act I, Scene 2, lines 1-10? Who is the "him" of line 5? Be sure to compare what Iago says here with what we saw happen (and heard him say) in 1.1.
We learn that Iago is a vengeful character, who will get his revenge before his target knows that Iago is after them. Cassio is Iago’s current target when talking with Othello. He is crafting deceit among the people who he thinks are after his wife, and the person who was promoted before him and his promoter.

Posted by: john anderson at October 29, 2008 11:07 AM

Jonathan Till
Dr. Hobbs
10-28-08
Eng 225

English Blog 10-28

8.) Describe and explain Iago’s “parable of the garden”

What Iago’s “parable of the garden” is his metaphor for life in that we are responsible for our destiny, and we reap what we have sown. We are gardeners and life is our garden. There is some irony in this statement because Iago has spent his time sowing the seeds of discord throughout Venice.

Posted by: Jonathan T. at October 29, 2008 11:33 AM

Myles Godet
Dr. Lee Hobbs
October 29, 2008
English 225
12:30

7. Why is Desdemona’s response to her father’s question at Act I, Scene 3, lines 176 – 178 especially effective?

Desdemona’s response is especially effective due because she does not want to be rude to her father or make if seem as though she hates him and she thanks him for life and providing her with an education. Another reason why what she says to her father is so affective is as a result of the way in which she highlights that in the same way in which her mother chose to be with him she is doing the same in choosing to be with Othello.

Posted by: Myles Godet at October 29, 2008 12:27 PM

strahil s

Dr. Hibbs

ENG-225

October 29, 2008

4. Explain what happens between Iago and Cassio in the short time Othello is off stage in the Sagittary (Act I, Scene 2, lines 47 – 52)

Iago reveals to Cassio that Othello is married. We can see Iago and his intention to plant seeds of discontent and mistrust as Cassion comes second in command and learns about something important not from his leader, but from someone who stands on a lower hierarchy step.

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

Posted by: strahil s at October 29, 2008 12:30 PM

9. In lines 12-29, What is Iago trying to get Cassio to do? Why?
Iago is trying to get Cassio drunk. It is very clear that Cassio rather not drink tonight and find some other form of entertainment instead. Iago want Cassio to get drunk so that he will do something stupid and get in a fight with Montano. This fight will lead Cassio to have a bad reputation and lead Othello to be mad at him. After all this Iago will than tell Cassio the way to get his respect back, but telling him to confess to his wife Desdemona. This is a trap because Iago is planning to set Cassio up by making it seem like he is having an affair with Desdemona.

Posted by: Nichole.Tyler at October 29, 2008 02:27 PM

2.Othello, Act II, Scene 1
What do the Cypriots (those from Cypress) think of Othello? Do their words (in Scene 1) make him seem to us a lesser man or a larger one?

The Cypriots Governor is Montano and he thinks highly of Othello. At the beginning of the act on page 2937 when Othello is still out at sea, Montano says "Pray heavens he be/For I have served him, and the man commands/Like a full soldier" (Lines 35-37). He is saying that he hopes Othello makes it in unharmed because Montano used to be his soldier and remembers Othello being a great leader. Montano goes on to complement Othello and ask to make sure that his ship is strong and his crew is strong to withstand the storm. Then he starts asking about his wife and when she shows up, he "make[s] curtsy" in her honor (page 2937).

Posted by: Quinten J at October 30, 2008 08:20 AM

Anna R.
Engl 225. 01
Oct 30th, 2008
Dr. Hobbs

1. Othello, Act II, Scene 1
Describe how Cassio acts when he lands at Cyprus, especially when Desdemona comes ashore. (lines 42-97)

"The riches of the ship is come ashore" (line 84) is what Cassio says when he Sees Desdemona coming his way. He even tells the other men to bow down in front of her in order to welcome her. he is very nice and respectful without even knowing what cruel plan Iago figures out in his mind in order to detroy him and Othello, who he hates.

Posted by: Anna R. at October 30, 2008 02:21 PM

Walter Perkins
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs
30 October 2008

Class Discussion Group on Othello, Act II, Scene 1

1. Describe how Cassio acts when he lands at Cyprus, especially when Desdemona comes ashore. (lines 42-97)

The quote Cassio states about Desdemona is “The riches of the ship are come ashore” (line 84). He is very nice to Desdemona and tells the other men on the ship they should bow down and worship her presence. For the most part he is overly friendly and puts her status on a petal stool.

Posted by: Walter P at October 30, 2008 05:07 PM

Eng 225 MWF 12:30-1:20
October 30th 2008
Dr. Hobbs

11. Othello, Act II, Scene 3
For what major events does the merrymaking (proclaimed in Scene 2) give opportunity?

The Merrymaking in Act II, Scene 3 gives opportunity for Iago to create an argument between Cassio and Montano so that Othello will relieve Cassio of his lieutenant duties without anyone knowing that Iago is the cause. Iago used the victory as a way to get Cassio drunk which gave way for the fight to be possible. Iago's plan worked and Othello fell into his trap and took away Cassio's duty of being lieutenant.

Posted by: Brandon Mckoy at October 30, 2008 06:03 PM

Alex Slavin

October 30-08

English 225

Dr. Hobbs

English-Blog

7. In Act I, Scene 3 we heard how Othello’s life story helped win the love of Desdemona. In Act II, Scene 1, lines 220-225 we learn Iago’s reaction to the same story. What is it?

- Iago is livid with the fact that Desdemona is in love with Othello. It burns him inside to know how Othello won Desdemona’s heart. Iago feels he has a duty to destroy this bond Desdemona and Othello have. Iago says, “When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there should be again to inflame it” (line 220, p. 2940). Iago does not want Desdemona to be in love with Othello no more. He wants to convince Desdemona of a horrible lie about Othello only to make it seem like the truth.

Posted by: Alex Slavin at October 30, 2008 07:09 PM

Kamille G

7. Othello, Act II, Scene 1
In Act I, Scene 3 we heard how Othello's life story helped win the love of Desdemona. In Act II, Scene 1, lines 220-225 we learn Iago's reaction to the same story. What is it?

Iago believes that Othello’s life stories alone would not be able to keep the relationship between Othello and Desdemona alive. Iago believes that eventually Desdemona will no longer like Othello for his stories and she would get tired of Othello’s ugly face, “Her eye must be fed, and what delight shall she have to look on that devil?” (pg. 2940, lines 219-220), and she will yearn to have someone handsome as her mate when she begins to get bored of him,” When the blood is made dull…, there should be again to inflame it” (pg. 2940, lines 220-221). Iago also believes that eventually Desdemona will realize that Othello is aging and is not like her, and then she will become unattracted to him and go in search for someone who is young and handsome, qualities which Othello lack “and to give saiety a fresh appetite, … sympathy in years, manners, and beauties, all which the Moor is defective in.” (pg. 2940, lines 221-222).

Kamille G
English 225 Sec. 1
30/10/08

Posted by: Kamille G at October 30, 2008 11:23 PM

Paola Silvestri
10/29/08
ENG 225
Question 1- What is Iago’s immediate plan (Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 66-27)? How well does he carry it out? Whose father is Brabantio? What is Roderigo’s previous relationship to Brabantio and his daughter?
A// Iago’s immediate plan is to go to Brabantio’s window and tell him that his daughter, Desdemona, and Othello are having intimate relations. The plan was carried out as he intended. Brabantio is Desdemona’s father. Roderigo’s previous relationship with Desdemona is that he has been in love with her before.
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Question 10
In Act II, scene 3, line 221, Othello speaks of Iago’s “honesty and love.” How do you account for Othello’s being so totally deceived?
A// Othello speaks of Iago's honesty and love because he believes Iago is defending Montavo after the fight. Therefore, Othello sees in Iago an honest companion for Montavo; but Othello doesn't know that the fight was instigated by Iago. He is being deceived because Iago is trying to break off his marriage with Desdemona because he thinks Othello slept with his wife. Throughout the story it is evident that Iago is deceitful and conniving.

Posted by: Paola S at October 31, 2008 12:34 AM

8. At the end of Act II Scene 1, Iago gives a second reason for hating Othello. What is this reason?

The other reason that Iago gives for hating Othello is that he too loves Desdamona. He says that he knows that Othello would make a good husband and that makes him mad. He also adds that this is what drives his revenge towards Othello.

Posted by: Matt M. at October 31, 2008 01:10 AM

Myron Kirchner
ENG 225
M-W-F
How does Iago convince Roderigo that Cassio is in love with Desdemona?

Iago tells Roderigo to keep an eye one how Cassio is flirting with Desdemona, and Desdemona is trying to help his case with Othello. So even though Cassio is just trying to get back on good terms with Othello by consulting Desdemona, in the eyes of Roderigo he is actually flirting with her.

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at October 31, 2008 03:49 AM

In lines 12 -29, what is Iago trying to get Cassio to do? Why?


In this scene Iago is trying to get Cassio to drink while Othello has taken the night off to be with Desdemona. Cassio is suppose to be in charge for the night and watch over everybody. But in the end Iago gets him to get drunk and act foolish.

Posted by: John Daniel at October 31, 2008 09:43 AM

3. Othello, Act III, Scene 1
Why does Iago verbally attack his wife (Emilia) at lines 99-110? What cruelty does Iago display toward her? How well founded is his distrust of his wife’s fidelity?

Cassio kisses Emilia in welcome, and Iago begins to ridicule her for talking too much (or unpleasantly). Emilia says in her defense (line 112) that he has “little cause to say so.” Essentially Iago has already been harboring ill will against his wife and the mere sight of her has started an argument.

Posted by: JustinW at October 31, 2008 10:17 AM

Shayne Tavares
Eng 225 12:30-1:20

4. According to Iago what is all that most accomplished woman in the world is good for? (Lines 146-158)

Answer: According to Iago, what he feels the most accomplished woman in the world is good for is nothing more than taking them to bed and not much more. He feels as if women do not have any real important role than to satisfy their companions and not much more.

Posted by: S.Tavares at October 31, 2008 11:01 AM

strahil s

Dr. Hobbs

ENG-225

Oct. 31, 2008

11. Othello, Act II, Scene 3
For what major events does the merrymaking (proclaimed in Scene 2) give opportunity?

Essentially the merrymaking is a prelude to Cassio's discredit as a lieutenant. Iago's plan to get Cassio drunk and have Roderigo challenge his temper seemed to work exactly as planned.

Posted by: strahil s at October 31, 2008 11:42 AM

6. Othello, Act II, Scene 1
How does Iago convince Roderigo that Cassio is in love with Desdemona? (Lines 215-245)
Iago convinces Roderigo by telling him that her blood will need to inflamed once more with sport. Stating that he is handsome and does not have a wife, and the only reason he would not have a wife is because he is looking at someone else’s wife, in this case Desdimona.

Posted by: john anderson at October 31, 2008 11:53 AM

Jonathan Till
10-30-08
Eng 225


3.) Why does Iago verbally attack his wife at lines 99-110? What cruelty does Iago display towards her? How well founded is his distrust of his wife’s fidelity?
Iago is suspicious of his wife and is under the assumption that Emilia is sleeping around and having an affair. There is little reason for Iago to be suspicious of his wife, but that has never stopped Iago.

Posted by: Jonathan T. at October 31, 2008 12:10 PM

Myles Godet
Dr. Lee Hobbs
October 31, 2008
English 225

2. Othello, Act II, Scene 1
What do the Cypriots (those from Cypress) think of Othello? Do their words (in Scene 1) make him seem to us a lesser man or a larger one?

They hold him in high regards and this is clear due to the fact that it states that they courtsey to his wife Desdamona and come bringing gifts.

Posted by: Myles Godet at October 31, 2008 12:23 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at October 31, 2008 02:15 PM

Paola Silvestri
ENG 225
11/2/08
Question 7. Act III, Scene 3, after Desdemona leaves, how does Iago begin anew to raise Othello’s suspicions about Cassio?
A// Iago convinces Othello that Desdemona is having an intimate affair with Cassio. In this passage Iago confesses the affair to Othello, “Look to your wife. Observe her well with Cassio. Wear your eyes thus: not jealous, nor secure”. Othello is incredibly jealous, “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy. It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on,” said Iago to Othello. It is evident that Iago is an instigator and also very deceitful.

Posted by: Paola S at November 2, 2008 01:44 PM

Alex Slavin

November 2-08

English 225

Dr. Hobbs

Quiz

2. Who is Emilia? In scene 1 of Act III, what arrangements does she make for Cassio?

- Emilia is Iago’s wife. She also tends to Desdemona. Emilia tells Cassio that Othello and Desdemona have been talking about how to take care of the situation of when Cassio was relieved as lieutenant. Desdemona begs Othello to make Cassio lieutenant again. Emilia sets it up so that Cassio is given the chance to talk to Desdemona himself. Emilia tells Cassio, “He might not but refuse you, but he protests he loves you, and needs no other suitor but his liking” (line 44, p. 2951). She is telling Cassio that there is still hope and to just give it time. Now that Cassio was given the chance to talk to Desdemona because of Emilia, Cassio tells Desdemona, “Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio, he’s never anything but your true servant” (line 8, p. 2952). Desdemona’s response is, “I know’t. I thank you. You do love my lord, you have known him long, and be you well assured” (line 10, p. 2952) She even wants Cassio back as lieutenant, she is going to do everything in her power to try and convince Othello to take him back.


Posted by: Alex Slavin at November 2, 2008 07:31 PM

13. What attitude does Othello take upon returning to Iago (after he already left him once before in the scene)?

It was very clear that Iago upset Othello by making up a scenario that was untrue about Othello’s wife and Cassio have a secret relationship. This really upset Othello and put him in a jealous state that makes him keep playing it over and over in his head. Othello arrives back very angry and almost inflicts harm on Iago. Othello take Iago by the neck said “Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore” (line 363-364, page 2960). He was running around screaming and yelling at the top of his lungs mad about the thought of his wife and another man. Othello states “Make me to see’t, or at least so prove it” (line 370, page 2960). Othello is the angriest at this point because he had time to think about the situation and it is killing him inside.

Posted by: Nichole. T at November 2, 2008 07:35 PM

Kamille G
17. In Act III, Scene 4, Why does Othello insist that Desdemona present the handkerchief?
Othello insists that Desdemona present the handkerchief, because Iago told him that Desdemona gave it to Cassio, and he saw “Cassio wipe his beard with it” (pg.2962, line 444). Othello believes that if Desdemona did give Cassio the handkerchief then this would serve as evidence that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio. Thus, Othello believes that if he can get Desdemona to give him the handkerchief then Cassio does not have it, and this will disprove the evidence that Iago presented to Othello of Desdemona’s cheating. Othello’s request for the handkerchief is a test for Desdemona to see if the evidence that Cassio has presented him with is true. But if Desdemona does not have it, and Cassio does, then “It speaks against her with the other proofs” (pg.2962, line 446).
Kamille Garness
English 225 Sec.1
2/11/08

Posted by: Kamille G at November 2, 2008 08:46 PM

Myles Godet
Dr. Lee Hobbs
November 2, 2008
English 225

5. How does Iago begin planting the first seeds of jealousy in Othello?

Iago begins to plant the first seeds of jealousy in Othello when he tries to make it seem as though Casio and Desdamona are together by trying to make the way in which Cassio kisses her on the hand seem more of a romantic gesture than a friendly kiss on the hand that was common in those times. He does this by trying to make it seem as though he kiss her and tries to leave as soon as he enters. The second way that he tries to plant seeds of jealousy in Othello is by pointing out that he saw Casio in possession of the handkerchief that he gave to Desdamona. This was significant because it was the first gift that Othello gave to Desdamona, and when he asked her to show it to him she couldn’t find it.

Posted by: Myles Godet at November 2, 2008 09:47 PM

19. What is Emilia’s view of men (see lines 98-102 of Act III, Scene 4)? How justified are her beliefs?

Emilia's view of men is a very negative one. She says that men are stomachs and women are food which men eat and belch. This mean that Emilia feels that women are used by men. Men have the women and used them up as long they want, then when they feel that they are done with them they toss them aside.

Posted by: Matt M. at November 2, 2008 10:23 PM

D.J. Garry
Dr. Hobbs
English 225
2 November 2008

18. What are two examples of “dramatic irony” (we have discussed this concept in our earlier class lectures—look it up if you still don’t understand it) in Desdemona and Emilia’s conversation in Act III, Scene 4.

The first example of dramatic irony in the conversation is the fact that the audience knows that Emilia knew what happened to the handkerchief but is hiding the information from Desdemona. This is shown in this following quote, “I am glad I have found this napkin” (line 294 p. 2959). The second piece of irony is the fact that the audience knows that Iago was plotting against Cassio with the napkin, but none of the characters know it. This next piece of irony is shown in the following quote, “I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin, and let him find it” (lines 325-326 p. 2959).

Posted by: david g. at November 2, 2008 11:06 PM

Brandon Mckoy
October 3rd 2008
Eng 225

4. In Act III, Scene 3, what does Desdemona promise Cassio?
In Act III, scene 3 Desdemona promises Cassio that she will talk to Othello in his favor and persuade him to reinstate Cassio’s position as his lieutenant. The scene starts off with the conversation between Desdemona and Cassio. In the firs line we see Desdemona telling Cassio “Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do all my abilities in thy behalf” meaning she will do whatever is in her power to get back Cassio’s lieutenant position. In line 17-18 Cassio expresses his concern that his absence and from Othello and his position being filled by Iago will cause Othello to forget his love and his service to him. In line 23 Desdemona reassures Cassio that she will talk Othello out of patience so that he will waist no time in reinstating his position.

Posted by: Brandon Mckoy at November 3, 2008 12:47 AM

20. In Act III, what important information is revealed in Cassio and Bianca’s conversation that ends Scene 4?
In Cassio and Bianca’s conversation near the end Cassio gives Bianca Desdemona’s scarf which was given to her by Othello and now that a she cannot find it when Othello asks for it he will start to believe the lies that Iago are telling him about his wife and his best friend.

Posted by: John Daniel at November 3, 2008 09:49 AM

Quinten Jones
ENG 225 CA01
November 3, 2008

In Act III, Scene 3, what does Emilia do after Othello and Desdemona depart? What does her brief soliloquy reveal about Iago?
In this scene, Othello suggests that Desdemona is cheating on him, although he doesn’t really tell her that; he more implies it to the audience. Othello says that he is having a headache which, back in this time period, implied that he was being cheated on. Desdemona tries to give him her handkerchief to bind is forehead to relieve the pressure of the headache, but Othello replies “Your napkin is too little” and knocks it out of her hand (Line 291B, page 2959). Once the two leave the room, Emilia picks it up off the floor. She then starts talking about how her “husband hath a hundred times/Wooed me to steal it” which reveals that Iago has been after it for a long time (Line 296-297, page 2959). This scene makes Iago look a lot creepier than he already is for two reasons, first because he’s setting up a ridiculous plot that involves several different unaware people to do his bidding, and second because he just started on this scheme a few days previous and already he’s asked his wife to steal a handkerchief a hundred times…it must be that he was trying to get the handkerchief before he started to seek for revenge so he is probably in love with Desdemona a little bit.

Posted by: Quinten J at November 3, 2008 10:05 AM

1. In scene 1 of Act III, why does Cassio bring musicians? What is Othello’s response to them?

Cassio brings musicians in line 1 to bid the general good day and play him a brief song, but the Clown enters with money from Othello to make them stop playing (ln 11).

Posted by: JustinW at November 3, 2008 10:23 AM

8. When Iago raises the issue of jealousy in Act III, Scene 3, what does Othello say? How does Iago then respond?
Act III, Scene 3, Lines 169-196 address this question. “Away at once with love or jealousy” (line 196). Telling Iago to go find proof, and if he can not Othello can go back to loving Desdemona. For which Iago is pleased that he has planted the seeds of jealousy and untrust within Othello, now all he will need to do is finish the job.

Posted by: john anderson at November 3, 2008 10:37 AM

Anna R
Engl 225. 01
Dr. Hobbs
Nov 3rd, 2008


16. Act III, what does Othello command Iago to do at the end of Scene 3?

Iago plots against Othello and tells him that he suspects Desdemona sleeping with Cassio. This accusation torments Othello to the point where he wants full proof and commands Iago to bring him visual proof of his wife cheating on him. However, Iago tells him that there can’t be any visual proof, though he will tell him anything he knows about Desdemona and Cassio and what he has seen and encountered. “If more thou dost perceive, let me know more. / Set on thy wife to observe.” (pg 2957, line 244)

Posted by: Anna R at November 3, 2008 10:41 AM

Walter Perkins
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs
CA01
3 November 2008
Take Home quiz Othello

Q. In Act III, Scene 3, how does Othello threaten Iago? How does Iago respond?

Othello threatens to kill Iago if he doesn’t speak the truth about his wife. Othello says don’t make me jealous and not be saying the full truth that his wife is a whore. Iago responds by planting seeds in Othello’s head about potential cheating by his wife and a secret affair between her and Cassio, but never says it’s true or fully knows it. This drives Othello crazy as he says he would prefer she flat out cheated on him rather than her be a suspect with no evidence. Othello states while threatening Iago for the truth “To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,/ Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances well./Where virtue is, these are more virtuous,/Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw./ The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt,/ For she had eyes and chose me. No, Iago,/ I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;/ And on the proof, there is no more but this:/ Away at once with love or jealousy ( lines 188-196, Act 3, Scene 3).

Posted by: Walter P at November 3, 2008 11:02 AM

ACT III, Scene 3, what does Othello agree to do for Desdemona?

Desdemona begs Othello to reinstate Cassio to lieutenant after the incident. Even though it is some what obvious that Othello will in time reinstate Cassio, Othello makes him sweat it out."Not now (sweet Desdemon) some other time.../
The sooner (Sweet) for you.(3.2.58-60)

Posted by: Joseph S. at November 3, 2008 11:44 AM

Myron Kirchner
ENG-225
Question # 15

In Act III, Scene 3, what are two specific pieces of evidence that Iago cites to cast suspicion on Cassio?

The two pieces of evidence that Iago has are the Othello’s handkerchief and the dream Cassio had, in which Iago claims that Cassio was making love with Desdemona.

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at November 3, 2008 12:07 PM

Strahil S

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 225

11/03/2008

10. In Act III, Scene 3, after Iago finally departs, what does Othello’s soliloquy show about his suspicions? In other words, once Iago leaves, what do Othello’s next remarks reveal about his thoughts?

This is essentially the turning point for Othello. Up until then, Iago made a few remarks that everything he does is merely out of love to Othello. Now Iago no longer needs to prove his honesty to his commander. Instead, Othello now reasons over what appears to be the truth to him. In the course of doing this he ruminates about the causes which may have led to him being “abused”. Going through racism and age he finally arrives at the course he will take from this moment towards Desdemona – “I am abused, and my relief
Must be to loathe her (297)”.

Posted by: strahil s at November 3, 2008 12:07 PM

Jonathan Till
11-2-08
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs

9.) In Act III Scene 3, why does Iago say, “I see this hath a little dashed your spirits,” and then twice, “I (do) see you are moved”?

Iago is talking to Othello in this scene and he has just planted the seeds of deception about a supposed affair between Desdemona and Cassio. Othello has just ranted about how he has not known until now. Just the very mention of an affair is enough to devastate Othello.

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

~Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Jonathan T. at November 3, 2008 12:20 PM

Anna R
Engl 225. 01
Dr. Hobbs
11-3-08

10. In Act IV, how does Othello react to Iago’s image of infidelity?

Iago tells Othello that he thinks nothing of two people laying in bed together naked. Nothing is proven yet as to Desdemona’s infidelity and Othello is going crazy at the fact that he doesn’t know the full truth yet. Iago’s image of real cheating is the actual sexual intercourse as opposed to just laying in bed next to each other. “Or to be naked with her friend in bed / An hour or more, not meaning any harm?” (pg 2968 line 3). He also says that since Othello gives the handkerchief to Desdemona as a gift, it is hers not and she can do whatever she wants with it. Othello on the other hand is completely against what Iago says and gets so mad and upset that he, in essence, passes out again due to his epilepsy. This is another one of Iago’s great plans since he protects Desdemona and Cassio in front of Othello so that Othello himself would never suspect Iago of this terrible plot.

Posted by: Anna R. at November 3, 2008 03:07 PM

2. Why is the character Lodovico introduced into the action? What purpose does this character serve in the plot development?

The main reason why Lodovico was introduced in into the action was because he came from Venice to tell Othello that they command him home. Lodovico states “For, as I think, they do command him home, Deputing Cassio in his government” (line 220-221, page 2972). This makes Othello very angry to hear of the news that he must leave Cassio as his replacement. This makes him very upset and he strikes Desdemona in the process. The whole purpose of this character being introduced was to upset Othello even more and show his true colors. It was very clear that Lodovico knew a different Othello than the one that was before him. Lodovico states “ What, strike his wife!” (Line 263, page 2974). This quotation explains actually how upset he was with Othello and the actions he took upon his wife. He wonders if Othello is mad. The whole introduction of Lodovico to Cyprus only enrages Othello more than he already is with the issue of Cassio and his wife. The idea of Cassio ruling in his spot only makes him more upset.

Posted by: Nichole.T at November 3, 2008 03:57 PM

Quinten Jones

ENG 225 CA01

November 5, 2008

15. In Act IV, why is Emilia’s belief about what is causing Othello’s behavior ironic?

Emilia’s belief is ironic because it is her husband who is causing Othello’s behavior. Emilia says:

I will be hanged if some eternal villain,

Some busy and insinuating rogue,

Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office,

Have not devised this slander, I will be hanged else. Lines 134-137, Page 2978

She is perfectly describing the instigator of the situation, although she doesn’t realize that it is her husband who she is describing. To top it off, she is saying it right in front of him.

Posted by: Quinten J at November 4, 2008 07:43 AM

Shayne T.
Eng 225 12:30-1:20
11/03/08

5. Now that you have read Act IV, explain the overall significance of the Handkerchief in this play. We already know why the handkerchief is important to Othello. The question now is: why is it so important to how the play works? What does it represent? What suggestions or hints does it contain? Use specific examples and quotations.

Answer:
The role of the handkerchief within the play is a weapon or tool to frame both Cassio and Desdemona for acts of adultery against Othello. The key piece of evidence to prove Desdemona’s wrong doings against Othello would be the same handkerchief he presented to Desdemona as a gift which happened to be passed down to him on his mothers death bed. Iago uses the priced gift of given to Desdemona by Othello as a weapon to destroy the relationship between the two of them. Iago also plays with Othello’s emotion of jealousy to his advantage ensuring the success of the plan. In lines 35-40, Othello feels the handkerchief is a confession of Desdemona’s acts of adultery and with Iago further plaguing his mind with suspicion slowly pushes Othello to the edge which leads to Tragedy.

Posted by: S.Tavares at November 4, 2008 11:31 AM

Paola S
ENG 225
11/4/08
Question 8. In Act IV, Scene 3, what does the conversation between Emilia and Desdemona tell us about the nature of each?
A// In this scene Desdemona is singing a song called "Willow" which she learned from her mother's maid, Barbary. Barbary died singing the song, afther her lover deserted her. In a way Desdemona's future was foreshadowed as she sang this song. The song reminds Desdemona of adultery and she asks Emilia if she would ever cheat on her husband, "Wouldst thou do such deed for all the world"?(Pg.2982; Line 67). Emilia says that she wouldn't cheat on her husband, but that the prize if she did (the whole world) would make it seem as a lesser offense, "The world's a huge thing. It is a great price for a small vice" (Pg.2982; Line 67. Emilia expresses her opinion that women, just like men, have sexual apettite. Throughout the conversation it is evident that Emilia thinks that if a man cheats on his wife, his wife should cheat on him. On the other hand, Desdemona believes that bad deeds should be answered with good deeds; "God me such uses send not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend"(Pg.2983;Lines 100-101).

Posted by: Paola S at November 4, 2008 03:01 PM

14. Explain the difference in the relationship between Desdemona and Othello in Act IV compared to when they first arrived in Cyprus in Act II.
When Desdemona and Othello first arrive in Cyprus in Act II, they are completely in love with one another, and they could not accept the fact that they had to be separated during the trip to Cyprus. Desdemona’s deep love for Othello makes her worry that he is dead “O, but I fear-how lost you company?” (line 92, pg.2937). Their love is so strong that they have an inseparable relationship with one another. But, in Act IV, this inseparable relationship is damaged, as their strong connection with one another no longer exists. Othello no longer wants Desdemona in his sight, and he begins to treat her badly abusing her both verbally calling her “Devil” (line 227, pg.2973) and “whore” (line 88, pg.2977), and physically “He strikes her” (line 227, pg.2973). This is the complete opposite of the caring relationship that they had in Act II where he refers to Desdemona as his sweetheart “All’s well my sweeting” (line 234, pg.2947). In Act IV Desdemona no longer looks up to Othello and she tells Emilia “Who is thy Lord?... I ha’ none.” (line 103-105, pg. 2977). Othello also is ashamed of Desdemona and no longer has a high regard for her as was in Act II.

Kamille G
English 225 Sec.1
03/10/08

Posted by: Kamille G at November 4, 2008 07:38 PM


Alex Slavin

November 4, 2008

English 225

Dr. Hobbs

Quiz

16. Act IV, what clue does Emilia offer about Iago’s own Jealousy?

- Othello has been treating Desdemona horribly and wants to find out why and believes Iago knows the answer. Emilia talks to Iago and believes that Othello has been deceived by someone. Iago says, “Fie, there is no such man. It is impossible” (line 138, p. 2978). It is almost as if Iago has become confused because he believes that Emilia is sleeping with Othello. Iago does not want anyone to hear the conversation between him and Emilia. Emila says to Iago, “And made you to suspect me with the Moor” (line 151, p. 2978). He tries to hide his jealousy by telling Emilia to leave so that he can help Desdemona with her problems of winning back the love of Othello.

Posted by: Alex Slavin at November 4, 2008 08:28 PM

D.J. Garry
Dr. Hobbs
English 225
4 November 2008
Othello Scene IV
11. In Act IV, why does Iago speak to Cassio about Bianca?
Iago speaks with Cassio about Bianca in an attempt to trick Othello. He sends Othello to the side to snoop on his conversation with Cassio. He wants Othello to think that they are conversing about Desdamona, when in reality they are talking about Bianca. This is proven when Iago says, “As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad” (Line 97 p.2970). Iago gets Cassio to start speaking of Bianca when he says, “Ply Desdemona well and you sure on’t. Now, if this suit lay in Bianca’s power, How quickly should you speed!” (Lines 103-105 p. 29271).

Posted by: david g. at November 4, 2008 09:30 PM

Brandon Mckoy
November 5th 2008
ENG225 MWF 12:30-1:20

6. In Act IV, scene 2, lines 33-92, what prevents Othello from being moved by Desdemona’s appeal?
Desdemona appeals to Othello in this scene that she is not unfaithful to him. She is completely oblivious to what Othello is accusing her of as she seems lost when Othello tells her that she is false as hell in line 41 and she replies in line 42 “ To whom my lord? With whom? How am I false?” However, the thing that prevents Othello from believing Desdemona’s appeal is all the “evidence” that Iago has provided to him. Othello believes Iago and refuses to believe Desdemona because Iago presented everything to make it seem so real and clearly if Desdemona was truly unfaithful it is not expected that she would admit it so Othello was probably expecting that reaction from her.

Posted by: Brandon Mckoy at November 5, 2008 01:33 AM

Myron Kirchner
ENG-225
Question # 12

Explain how the handkerchief has increased in significance in Act IV than it has from the previous Acts.

Because Othello got so see with his own eyes that Cassio, whom Desdemona had given the handkerchief to, has given the handkerchief to his whore. This plays perfectly in Iago hands as he can drive the point across that Desdemona and Cassio are dishonest, and are having an affair. Iago knows Othello can’t get the image of Cassio and Desdemona out of his head, and so he has Othello exactly where he wants him.” This can be seen in the play when Othello says”—Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief!—To confess, and be hanged for his labor;—first, to be hanged, and then to confess.—I tremble at it”.

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at November 5, 2008 09:51 AM

20. According to Othello, what’s the worst part of being a cuckold as revealed in Act IV?

According to Othello the worst part of being cuckold is that his wife is doing it in a very sneaky way. It’s like she is the nicest person in everybody’s sight and she is the unfaithful when no one is looking. Like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act and that’s the most upsetting part to him. “She is so delicate with her needle, admirable musician. O, she will sing the savageness out of a bear”! (Pg. 2972 Line 175-185)

Posted by: John Daniel at November 5, 2008 10:04 AM

Walter Perkins
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs
CA01
5 November 2008

Othello English Blog

Q: #18. In Act IV, scene 1, who is the first person in the play to figure Iago’s duplicity? How is Iago able to manipulate this person, even after the truth is know?

A: The first person to figure Iago’s duplicity is Cassio. Iago is able to manipulate Cassio by getting Cassio to joke about Bianca and how much she wants him, while Othello is thinking that Cassio is joking about his wife Desdemona. Iago hides Othello in the room to listen to conversation and Iago talks to Cassio joking about how much Bianca wants him, but it comes off as Desdemona, which drives Othello crazy. Some of statements Cassio says while laughing about Bianca is “Alas, poor caitiff” (Act IV, line 106), “Alas, poor rogue! I think i’faith she loves me” (Act IV, line 109), and “I marry! What, a customer? Prithee, bear some charity to my wit- do not think it so unwholesome. Ha, ha, ha!” (Act IV, line 116-117). Cassio realized Iago was a fraud after the fight that made Cassio lose his lieutenant position.

Posted by: Walter P at November 5, 2008 10:41 AM

9.In Act IV, which scenes (or speeches) contain memorable examples of dramatic irony?

There are many ironic moments contained in the story of Othello. One of the biggest examples I feel comes from the surroundings of Iago. Iago is the main reason for all the turmoil between most of the major characters. It can be seen when Iago tells Othello to “[l]ook to [his] wife. Observe her well. . . .” (III.iii.201) The dramatic irony of it all is that Iago is the reason Othello believes it is happening. The whole time Iago is the reason.

Posted by: Joseph S. at November 5, 2008 10:49 AM

17. In Act IV, why is Roderigo annoyed at Iago?
“I do not find that thou deal’st justly with me” (Line 178). Roderigo seems annoyed with Iago because Iago has been has been leading Roderigo around without giving him what he has been looking for.

Posted by: john.anderson at November 5, 2008 11:59 AM

Jonathan Till
11-5-08
Eng 225

7.) When Roderigo grows impatient with Iago, in Act IV, Scene 2, lines 182-202, how does Iago make use of his fellow plotter's discontent?

Roderigo is angry with Iago for the fact that Roderigo gave Iago some jewels to give to Desdemona, but Iago instead kept them for himself. Iago says "now I see there is mettle in thee" (Othello: 205). Iago uses this to persuade Roderigo to kill Cassio to prove himself.

Posted by: Jonathan T. at November 5, 2008 12:20 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

~Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at November 5, 2008 04:34 PM

Alex Slavin

November 5-08

English 225

Dr. Hobbs

Quiz

17. In Act V, how, when, and why does Othello use the second sword he finds in the room? Explain.
- Emilia tells Othello that Cassio has killed Roderigo. What he really wants to know is if Cassio has been killed also, but he remains alive. Othello’s plans are going terribly wrong and he must take action. Othello kills Desdemona because he believes Iago helped him see who she really is and what a trader she is. Iago is able to stab his own wife and take off and that is when Othello picks up the sword. When Othello meets with Iago again he is able to stab him, but just wounding him. Othello realizes that he has been defeated. Lodovico tells Othello that he is no longer in command and he will be stripped of his powers. Lodovico tells Othello, “Your power and your command is taken off, and Cassio rules in Cyprus” (line 340, p. 2995). Othello refuses to be taken away before he gets the last word. He then pulls the sword that was hidden in his clothes and stabs himself. Othello’s last words were to Desdemona and they were, “I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this: killing myself, to die upon a kiss” (line 368, p. 2995). Othello dies on the bed with the wife of his body. Is it thought that Iaga created this disaster between everyone so he will be put to death.

Posted by: Alex Slavin at November 5, 2008 06:06 PM

Paola S
ENG 225
14. In Act V, does Othello eventually show a change of heart towards Desdemona? If so, when and at what point? Explain.
A// Othello shows a change of heart towards Desdemona when Iago’s lies start to unravel. As Othello weeps beside Desdemona’s dead body he still clings to his belief in Iago’s truth about the handkerchief. When Othello mentions the handkerchief, Emilia says “ O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou spek’st of/ I found by fortune and did give my husband/ For often, with a solemn earnestness/ More than indeed belonged to such a trifle/ He begged me to steal’t” (Pg. 2992; Lines 233-237). After finding out that it was Iago who gave the handkerchief to Cassio, Othello regrets the death of his wife and expresses his uncontrollable grief, “Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starr'd wench!/ Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at count,/ This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven,/ And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl!/ Even like thy chastity. O cursed slave!/ Whip me, ye devils,/ From the possession of this heavenly sight!/ Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur!/ Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!/ O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead!/ Oh! Oh! Oh!” (Pg. 2993; Lines 279-288). In this quote Othello asks to be condemned to hell for killing his beloved wife. It is evident that Othello is disgusted by his acts and asks to be sent to hell to pay for his deeds.

Posted by: Paola S at November 6, 2008 12:09 PM

Strahil S

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 225

11/06/2008

Question #1
1. In Act V, how would Iago gain from Roderigo’s death? Cassio’s?

In this scene of Act V Iago puts the rapier in the hands of Roderigo to have him ambush and stab Cassio to death. After Roderigo’s unsuccessful attempt to kill Cassio, Iago did not hesitate to stab Roderigo without further warning. Moreover, the presence of Graziano and Ludovico at the crime scene, seem to have escalated Iago’s extreme act. We should also note the setting of the act. The darkness, or in other words, the absence of light prevents Graziano and Ludovico from seeing and in the same time aids Iago in executing his evil plan by concealing the truth.

Cassio’s death is part of Iago’s commitment to Othello from the previous act. There is no doubt that the news about Cassio’s death will get quickly to Othello. In fact, Othello hears the voice of the wounded Cassio, “I am maim'd for ever. Help, ho! murder! murder!”,
and assumes that the loyal Iago has fulfilled his part of the oral contract. This is a very important moment because it serves as an accelerator for what Othello has to do.

Posted by: strahil s at November 6, 2008 01:42 PM

D.J. Garry
Dr. Hobbs
Eng. 225
5 November 2008
Othello Act 5
15. In Act V, why, when, and how does Othello attack Iago? Explain the context.
Othello attacks Iago when it comes to his attention that Iago lied to him about Desdemona. It comes to Othello’s attention in the following quote, “O thou dull Moor, that hankerchief thou speak’st of I found by fortune and did give my husband.” (Lines 233-234 p.2992). Othello then has a failed attempt at attacking Cassio. After the failed attempt he acquires another weapon from Graziano. His attack is explained in the following quote, “If that thou beest a devil I cannot kill thee. [He wounds Iago]” (lines 290-291 p.2994).

Posted by: david g. at November 6, 2008 07:29 PM

16. In Act V, does Othello have a reaction to having his sword taken away? If so, what is it? Explain.
Yes, Othello does have a reaction to having his sword taken away from him. The first time when Montanna takes away the sword from Othello, Othello feels that he has lost the symbol of his strength and manhood since his sword can be taken away by someone as feeble as Montanna “I am not valiant neither, But every puny whipster gets my sword” (lines 250-251, pg.2992). When Othello loses his sword he feels that his personal strength should no longer outlast his honor for such strength, since his reputation has already been destroyed from killing his wife “But why should honor outlive honesty?” (line 252, pg.2992). In the end, Othello believes that it no longer matters whether he has the sword, the symbol of his personal strength, because he has already lost his honor for it and he gives up everything “Let it go all” (line 253, pg.2993).
The second time when another sword, the Spanish sword, is taken from Othello he feels no regret about losing it “I am not sorry, neither” (line 295, pg.2994). He believes that his killing of Desdemona was done with reasoning. Othello says, “An honorable murderer, if you will, For naught I did in hate, but all in honour” (lines 300-301, pg.2994), which shows that he believes that his intentions for killing Desdemona were justifiable because he thought Desdemona had dishonored him. Othello believes that even if his sword is taken away from him it would not matter because his actions were the result of his desire to gain honour and not from being wicked. Othello explains that this is a good enough reason to have his sword taken away from him and so he shows no remorse when he loses it.
Kamille G
English 225, Sec.1
6/11/08

Posted by: Kamille G at November 6, 2008 07:57 PM

19. In Act V, what function does the presence of the characters Lodovico and Gratiano serve? Who are they and why are they there? What do they learn and what do they reveal?

Lodovico and Gratiano are an evident role in the final Act of Othello. This is seen when Lodovico visit from Venice and sees the transformation that Othello has gone through. When Othello was in Venice, he was honorable and respected. When Othello leaves for Cyprus, he becomes "tainted." This is seen when Lodovico witnesses Othello striking Desdemona.

Gratiano is the uncle of Desdemona and the heir to Othello's belongings when he dies. Othello seems to also feel that if he could get a family member of Desdemona to understand than everything would be alright. This is not evident in Gratiano's response.

"Poor Desdemon! I am glad thy father's dead: / Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief / Shore [cut] his old thread in twain" (5.2.204-206)

Lodovico is also apart of the final speech in Othello. In the speech, Lodovico pronounces that Gratiano we be heir to Othello's belongings.

Posted by: Joseph S. at November 6, 2008 11:50 PM

18. In Act V, how, when, and why do Roderigo’s “pockets” conveniently help to clarify much of what has happened? Explain the context.

It wasn't until after Roderigo's death that the whole plot was figured out. There were two letters that were found in his pockets. "Here is a letter, found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo, and here is another. The one of them imports the death of Cassio, to be undertook by Roderigo." (315) In these letters, the true plot was revealed and people finally saw Iago for the worm that he really was.

Posted by: Matt M. at November 7, 2008 01:33 AM

Quinten Jones
ENG 225 CA01
November 7, 2008


4. In Act V, how, when, and why does Othello come to think that Iago has kept his vow?
In the beginning of the Act, Othello finds that Cassio has been wounded. Cassio was stabbed by Iago during Cassio’s brawl with Roderigo. As Cassio calls out for help, Othello enters; hearing Cassio, Othello says “Iago keeps his word” (Line 28, page 2983). This is where Othello thinks that Iago kept his vow that he spoke earlier in the play, saying that he would see to the death of Cassio.

Posted by: Quinten J at November 7, 2008 07:54 AM

10. In Act V, is Desdemona faithful to Othello to the end? If so, how?

Yes Desdemona is faithful to Othello to the end. At the end of the story Cassio survives trying to be killed by Iago and Roderigo and he tells Othello the plan that Iago had came up with. (pg 2994 Lines 310-320)

Posted by: John Daniel at November 7, 2008 09:31 AM

Brandon Mckoy
November 7th 2008
Eng225 MWF 12:30-1:20

7. In Act V, what justification does Othello try to give the murder of Desdemona in Scene 2?
On Desdemona’s last breath she tells Emilia that she was not killed by Othello but killed herself (line 132), trying to cover up for Othello and showing her true love for her husband even though he had just strangled her. However, Othello admits to Emilia that he killed Desdemona and explains that she has been unfaithful to him (line 138). Othello was definitely not trying to cover up what he did as he felt that he gave her the right justification because of what he thought she had done. Sadly, when the truth is revealed by Emilia Othello realizes he made a very big mistake and in turn kills himself.

Posted by: Brandon Mckoy at November 7, 2008 10:38 AM

Anna R
Engl 225.01
Dr. Hobbs
11-06-08

2. In Act V, what happens when Roderigo attacks Cassio? Who actually wounds Cassio: also answer when and why?

In Iago’s initial plan. Roderigo was supposed to kill Cassio. While Cassio is to visit Bianca in the brother, Iago and Roderigo wait outside. Iago tells Cassio to wait for him with the rapier while he himself will go around the corner. “Here, stand behind this bulk. Straight will he come. / Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home” (line1, pg2983). However, he cannot follow through with this and only wounds him. When Cassio turns around and takes the rapier, he stabs Roderigo. At this time, Iago comes and stabs Cassio in the leg. Therefore, nothing happens as Iago planned.

Posted by: Anna R. at November 7, 2008 10:41 AM

Walter Perkins
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs
7 November 2008

Othello Act V

3. In Act V, why, when, and how does Iago stab Roderigo? What is the outcome?

Iago stabs Roderigo outside the brothel after Roderigo failed to kill Cassio. Roderigo was intentionally supposed to kill Cassio, but failed in piercing Cassio’s armor. As there is this huge commotion Iago runs in then stabs Cassio in the leg. Roderigo is too wounded by Cassio, but Iago instantly kills Roderigo afterwards. As he is killing Roderigo, Iago says “O murderous slave! O villains” ( line 63, Act V) and “Kill me I’th’ dark? Where be these bloody thieves? How silent is this town! Ho, murder, murder! (Line 65-66, Act V). Roderigo calls Iago a dog and a fraud as he is being stabbed down and betrayed by Iago.

Posted by: Walter P at November 7, 2008 11:08 AM

12. In Act V, what is Emilia’s reaction when Othello tells her that Iago has revealed Desdemona's affair with Cassio to him? Explain.
She is astonished that her husband is such a devil, and claims he is lying through his teeth. For she knows Desdemona has been nothing but faithful to Othello. Also that the only reason Cassio was around her was to try and patch the rift between Cassio and Othello.

Posted by: John Anderson at November 7, 2008 11:57 AM

Myron Kirchner
ENG 225
Question 13
In Act V, what is Othello finally beginning to realize in Scene 2? What has happened to Desdemona’s father? Explain.
]
He’s finally realized that he doesn’t love her anymore because of the horrible crime she has committed, and he decides to kill her without shedding any blood in order to not ruin her beauty.Desdemona’s father died after Desdemona left for Cyprus.

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at November 7, 2008 12:28 PM

-----------------

*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

~Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at November 7, 2008 02:17 PM

Neal Carter II
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-225
7 November 2008

In Act V, what justification does Othello try to give the murder of Desdemona in Scene 2?

In Act V, Scene II of Othello, Othello murders Desdemona by smothering her. When he first appears in her bedchamber, he convinces himself to kill her over her supposed betrayal of him saying with Cassio “It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul, Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!” ( Lines 1-2, page 2987). He kills her because he is distressed and overcome with jealousy and his honor has been wounded, though he continues saying that if he doesn’t end her life she will continue to deceive others, “Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men” (Line 6, page 2988). After Desdemona awakes, she tries to plead for her life but Othello has already made justifications to himself on why she should be killed. He tells her, “That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee .Thou gavest to Cassio.” (Line 48-49, page 2988)

Maynard, Mack and Lawall, Sarah. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice. Volume C. New York. W.W. Norton and Company. Inc. 2002. 2997-2988.

Posted by: Neal Carter II at November 7, 2008 10:01 PM

3. In Act Four, Scene Three, Desdemona and Emilia have a conversation about men and women, marriage, and fidelity. Find the page and line number of these events for your answer. What does this scene indicate about the character of Desdemona? How can you relate this scene to central issues in the play?

Desdemona displays her character several times in this conversation, seeming ignorant of the idea that a woman could be unfaithful (ln. 59-60,74,75,79). This is not to suggest she has never heard this idea, but that she has blocked it from her consciousness and doesn't easily accept it. This conversation ties into the rest of the plays main themes: "Can a couple so different really remain true, can a woman so beautiful be satisfied with what others may see as less valued?" Emilia comments on these ideas suggesting that the reasons we normally think cause infidelity, lust and retribution, are probably true (ln. 93-98).

Posted by: JustinW at November 8, 2008 01:54 PM

Paola Silvestri
ENG 225
Question 14. Whom besides Othello does Iago deceive? What is Desdemona’s opinion of him? Emilia’s? Cassio’s (before Iago is found out)? To what do you attribute Iago’s success as a deceiver?
A// Iago deceives Cassio, Desdemona, Roderigo and Emilia.
Desdemona believes Iago is a faithful server of Othello and a loyal friend; as indicated in this passage “Good Friend, go to him; for by this light of heaven, I know not how I cost him” (Pg. 2978; Lines 152-153). It is evident that Desdemona also sees Iago as her friend and asks him to talk to Othello for her.
Emilia loved Iago and always followed him around trying to capture his attention. After Emilia finds out about Iago’s deceitful plans, her loves turns into hatred as expressed in this passage, “If she say so, may his pernicious sould/ Rot half a grain a day” (Pg. 2990; Lines 162-163).
Cassio thought Iago was a loyal friend and an honest companion. It is evident in several passages that Cassio saw Iago as a close friend, “You advise me well”(Pg.2990; Line 296); “Good night, honest Iago”(Pg.2949;Line 302); “Dost thou hear, my honest friend?” (Pg. 2951; Line 19).
Iago’s success as a deceiver can be attributed to his great role as a manipulator.

Posted by: Paola S at November 9, 2008 04:59 PM

4. Various critics have noticed that Desdemona apparently lies more than once in the play: e.g., when Othello asks her about the handkerchief, or when she briefly comes to life at the end to absolve Othello of her murder. Find the page and line number of these events for your answer. Do you consider these moments to be lies, and if so, how do you understand them?

Desdemona knew that she had lost the handkerchief that Othello gave to her and she knew that this present was very dear to his heart. I feel that Desdemona did lie about this because she did not want to hurt her husband feelings. Desdemona stated “I have it not about me” (line 48, Page 2964). I believe that she knew that she did not have it at the moment and that instead of getting him upset that she was careless and lost it she made a case to say that she just did not have it with her at the moment. I would not see this as a bad lie because she honestly did not know where the handkerchief was and probably wanted to g back and make sure that she had it before she told her husband it was lost forever. Desdemona did not know that Cassio was going to use it against her. Also, she explains that she could go fetch it but she really couldn’t because she would of went back to her room and went and looked for it every where and it wouldn’t ever be there. However, Othello wanted to see it there and than.

Desdemona also lied at the end of the play when Othello was about to put her death. It was clear that early Desdemona said that she did never lose the handkerchief and that she knew where it was the whole time. However, before she was to be put to death Othello says that Cassio had that same handkerchief and Desdemona says “He found it then. I never gave it to him. Send for him hither. Let him confess the truth” (line 72-73, Page 2988). This line explains that she lies again because earlier she told Othello that she never lost the present her gave to her and now she is saying that she must have lost it because he found it. At this point Othello probably thinks that she is just lying and can’t make sense of anything. I think at this point Desdemona was lying but not in a bad way that she was only trying to defend herself. She did not want to die over a silly lie about the handkerchief. 4.

Posted by: Nichole. Tyler at November 9, 2008 07:29 PM

11. Iago’s famous lines “I am not what I am” (Act I, Scene 1) force an examination of identity and duplicity in this play. Find the page and line number of these events for your answer.Is Iago the only character who could make this statement? If not, who else? Explain.
Iago’s famous lines “I am not what I am” (line 65, pg.2920), refers to the fact that Iago was a two-faced character. In the presence of the Moor and the other Venetians and Cyprians Iago took on a demeanor that made him seem loyal and honest to Othello “Iago is the most honest” (line 7, pg.2942), while in reality Iago was only pretending to be so in order for him to gain vengeance from the Moor. Iago was only using this tactic of appearing as honest and obedient to Othello only for his gain, to get back at Othello for promoting Cassio above him, and not because he was truthfully so “In following him I follow but myself” (line 58, pg.2920). Iago knew that his inward and outward self would contradict each other if he was to show them both “For when my outward action doth demonstrate/ The native act and figure of my heart/ In complement extern, ‘tis not after.” (line 61-63, pg. 2920). Iago knew that he was a deceitful and heartless person, who only appeared honest and loyal to Othello “But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve/ For daws to peck at” (line 64-65, pg.2920). No, Iago is not the only character who can say this. Another character who can also quote these lines is Othello. This is because Othello viewed himself as someone who was strong and courageous, but after Montano took away the sword from him he realized that he was not as powerful as he thought he was if someone as feeble as Montano could do this “I am not valiant neither/ But every puny whipster gets my sword” (line 250-251, pg. 2992).

Kamille G
Eng.225 Sec.1
10/10/08

Posted by: Kamille G at November 9, 2008 09:09 PM

20. Does the downfall of Othello proceed from any flaw in his nature, or is his downfall entirely the work of Iago?

I feel that Iago and Othello himself are both involved in the downfall of Othello. Iago is able to capitalize off Othello's uneasiness, his passion of being the hero, and his jealousy. Iago's identification of Othello's uneasiness can be seen in Othello's epileptic fit. Iago describes it as "[a] passion most unsuiting such a man: (iv.i.75). Othello also has this passion to cling to his formal identity and glorify himself in the public's memory. Even though Iago is a driver to Othello's downfall, Othello's flaws did not suit him well.

Posted by: Joseph S. at November 9, 2008 09:48 PM

11. In Act V, what happens when Iago tells his wife not to speak and to go home, orders which good Renaissance wives should follow without question? Is she compliant? Why or why not?

When Iago tell his wife not to speak she does not listen to her husband and still speaks. She is trying to tell Othello that Iago was the one that gave Cassio the handkerchief. Iago told Emilia to not speak another word and she spoke anyways. Iago spoke “Swounds, hold your peace” (line 224, page 2992) He also than tells her to go home and Emilia speaks out by saying “I will not” (line 230, page 2992). This was not what a typical Renaissance woman would have done. She would of obeyed her husband and went home, instead Emilia knew that Iago did wrong and caused the death of her fair lady, Desdemona.

Posted by: Nichole T. at November 9, 2008 10:23 PM

15. How essential to the play is the fact that Othello is a black man, a Moor, and not a native of Venice?

When the play is looked at as a whole, it is not very important that Othello is a black man. However, when you look at the first act, it is clear that there were people who did not like the idea of an outsider. Othello was given respect by everyone, including Brabanzio, however when Brabanzio found out that Othello was dating his daughter his mood changed. He felt that for his daughter to like a black man then he must have tricked her into liking him. He said "She is abused, stol'n from me, and corrupted by spells and medicines bought of mountebanks. For nature so preposterously to err, being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense, sans witchcraft could not." (pg. 2927 line 61) Brabanzio clearly cannot figure out why his daughter would love a black man.

Posted by: Matt M. at November 10, 2008 12:05 AM

Brandon Mckoy
November 9th 2008
Eng 225 MWF 12:30-1:20

7. The Duke of Venice tells Brabantio, “Your son in law is far more fair than black” (Act 1, Scene 3). Find the page and line number of these events. How does this further one’s understanding of Venetian society’s ambivalent attitude toward Othello?

In line 285 the Duke of Venice tells Brabantio “your son in law is far more fair than black”. This seems to have a double meaning with the irony of Othello being black himself. Venetian society’s ambivalent attitude towards Othello show’s to be two-sided. “Fair” by no means is related to skin color because we know that Othello is a black man. Therefore we are left with the other meaning of fair which is ‘just’. By ‘black’, the Duke is not referring to Othello’s skin color here either, but black is used to describe his personality, persona and character.
The Duke is referring to Othello’s character and behavior as more of a white person than a black. In this view it would seem that being black is a bad thing.

Posted by: Brandon Mckoy at November 10, 2008 12:26 AM

Quinten Jones
ENG 225 CA01
November 10, 2008
17. Consider any passage of the play in which there is a shift from verse to prose, or from prose to verse. What is the effect of this shift?
On pages 2938 through 2939 lines 135-175, the play shifts from verse to prose, back to verse. It starts off with Iago and Desdemona, joking about Emilia and about women in general. Desdemona asks Iago what he thinks of her and he tells her in a playful manner. At the end he does an aside towards the audience about how he will use Desdemona to get Cassio out of his job as lieutenant. The effect of this shift is to show Iago’s darker side, as well as his desire to get Cassio’s job.

Posted by: Quinten J at November 10, 2008 07:50 AM

Neal Carter II
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-225
5 November 2008

13. What motivates Iago to carry out his schemes? Do you find him a devil incarnate, a madman, or a rational human being?

He is motivated by his extreme desire for power. Iago knows that through killing of Othello and Cassio, he would gain great power. He tells Roderigo of Cassio’s success, “but he, sir, had th’ election,” (Line 26, page 2919). He is both evil and decisive with his actions. He plans out exactly how he wants things to happen and who exactly he wants to be dealt with. The plan almost works in its entirety until the very end until his wife unfolds the plot. His wife says of actions which thus showcase his personality, “My wayward husband hath an hundred times Wooed me to steal it, (Line 296-297, page 2959) What he’ll do with it, Heaven knows, not I, I nothing know,” (Lines 301-303, page 2959). In scene five, he replies to Othello, in fact, “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know.” (Line 309, page 2994).

Maynard, Mack and Lawall, Sarah. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice. Volume C. New York. W.W. Norton and Company. Inc. 2002. 2919-2959.


Posted by: Neal Carter II at November 10, 2008 08:00 AM

Indicate a passage that you consider memorable for its poetry. Does the passage seem introduced for its own sake? Does it in any way advance the action of the play, express theme, or demonstrate character?
No my heart is turned to stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand. The passage is introduced for its own sake and it demonstrates character in Othello and it also shows the way he is feeling. (pg. 2972 lines 169-172).

Posted by: John Daniel at November 10, 2008 09:27 AM

D.J. Garry
Dr. Hobbs
English 225
10 November 2008
Othello and Roderigo
16. In the introduction to his edition of the play in The Complete Signet Classic Shakespeare, Alan Kernan remarks: “Othello is probably the most neatly, the most formally constructed of Shakespeare’s plays. Every character is, for example, balanced by another similar or contrasting character. Desdemona is balanced by her opposite, Iago; love and concern for others at one end of the scale, hatred and concern for self at the other.” Besides Desdemona and Iago, what other pairs of characters strike balances?
Many of the characters in the play have other characters that are polar opposites of themselves. The first pair that came to my mind was Othello and Roderigo. Othello is bold and powerful, while Roderigo is portrayed as being weak and feeble. Roderigo is not his own man as Othello is. The following quote shows how highly Othello is regarded by others, “It is Othello’s pleasure-our noble and valiant general” (p. 2942 line 1). Roderigo is not anything like this. He is portrayed as being cowardice. Another characteristic that they are opposites of is the fact that Roderigo wants to be the object of Desdemona’s love, and Othello is who she actually loves. This is actually shown in a quote from Desdemona’s father, he says, “The worser welcome. I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors. In honest plainness thou hast heard me say My daughter is not for thee” (p. 2921 lines 96-98).

Posted by: david g. at November 10, 2008 09:52 AM

Anna R
Engl 225. 01
Dr. Hobbs
11-10-08

2. Why does Othello believe Iago? There are many doorways into this question; Find the page and line number of these events for your answer. One of them is at the end, when Iago says, "I told him what I thought, and told no more / Than what he found himself was apt and true" (5.2.183).

When Iago first tells Othello about Cassio and Desdemona, he just suspects them and doesn’t really go off about them telling Othello that they are definitely sleeping together (pg 2955, line 150). When Othello gets mad about Desdemona cheating, Iago kind of protects her and tells Othello that just laying in bed naked isn’t really cheating. He also says that the handkerchief is hers and she can do with it whatever she wants (pg 2968, line 4). Also, when Iago tells Othello to go outside to listen to Cassio and him talking, Cassio explains everything. To Othello it semmed as if they were talking about Desdemona when in reality they were talking about Bianca, the prostitute. Furthermore, when Iago first tells this to Othello, he tells him that he is not sure and that Othello should keep an eye on Desdemona and Cassio. In reality, he tells Desdemona to hang out with Cassio to make him feel better. This looks very suspicious to Othello since all he sees is Desdemona and Cassio spending a lot of time together (pg 2934, line 371). This all proves to Othello that Iago’s suspicions are true.

Posted by: Anna R. at November 10, 2008 10:35 AM

10. In Othello, Venice is often seen as established home of order and stability, while Cyprus can represent the chaos and inversion of a place outside of a “system.” What role then, according to this understanding, does Cyprus play in furthering the action of the play? In other words, if we accept this symbolism, how does it affect the plot?
In Venice Cassio is promoted, Othello trust him and himself, also Othello is yet untouched by Iago’s taint. However, in Cyprus chaos breaks loose, seeding doubts and jealousies wherever Iago could reach.

Posted by: john.anderson at November 10, 2008 10:46 AM

Walter Perkins
Eng 225
Dr. Hobbs
CA01
10 November 2008

Othello Blog

12. Helpful or hurtful? Go back and review the language used. Does the play Othello reinforce or challenge racial stereotypes? Does this play reinforce or challenge sexist stereotypes?

The play is helpful as it gives a viewpoint on sexism and racism in this time. This play displays sexism in a way such as when a man cheats its ok, but when a woman cheats she is a whore. Even without any proof, Desdemona is called a whore and degraded by Othello because of word of mouth. There is also sexism when with Bianca is demeaned or talked about by Iago and Cassio. Iago blamed Bianca’s whorish acts for what happened to Roderigo and Cassio. Those events with Cassio being stabbed were “fruits to her whoreness” according to Iago. Women had no rights and had to obey their men or husbands. Desdemona went to bed when Othello told her to go to bed. There wasn’t as many racial stereotypes compared to sexism, but there were still events of racial stereotypes. One racial stereotype is Othello as the big, strong, powerful black guy, but is too dumb or hardheaded to realize that he was being schemed by his own white lieutenant. One of the main racial events is when Desdemona’s father, Brabanzio, says that Othello didn’t earn Desdemona. He claims that Othello stole her and tricked her by using his witchcraft to trick her into loving him. Othello had to defend himself by saying that she fell in love because of his stories and not witchcraft, but because Othello is a more the father doesn’t believe him. The quote “a black ram is tupping your ewe” is said to the father about his daughter. This quote was saying that a black man is sleeping with his white daughter, which is somewhat racial because these types of acts were forbidden during these times.

Posted by: Walter P at November 10, 2008 10:51 AM

Myron Kirchner
ENG-225
Question #9
Brabantio’s comments to Othello regarding Desdemona in Act 1, Scene 3 are a cautionary warning that she may betray her husband, having already betrayed her father. Find the page and line number of these events for your answer. (A.) What does this reveal about Venetian society’s attitude toward women and (B.) how does it connect to the tragedy at the end of the play?

The Venetian society sees women as scheming and false. Brabantio’s warns Othello that she is capable of betrayal because she has already betrayed him by marrying Othello. As soon as accusations begin to flood in about Desdemona being unfaithful, Othello starts to think that Brabantio was right. Much like Brabantio, Othello would not be swayed to think otherwise.

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at November 10, 2008 11:20 AM

Alex Slavin

November 10-08

English 225

Dr. hobbs

Quiz

20. Does the downfall of Othello proceed from any flaw in his nature, or is his downfall entirely the work of Iago?
- Othello’s downfall is entirely for the work of Iago. It all started when Othello passed him promoted Cassio to lieutenant instead of Iago. He wants to get back at Othello and accuses him of sleeping with Iago’s wife, Emilia. Iago begins to drive Othello crazy and it works. Othello does not know who to trust anymore or how to fix a plan he has become apart of. Iago tells Othello, “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. From this time forth I never will speak word” (line 309, p. 2994). Iago knows when to stop and realizes he has caused a sufficient amount of damage and his plan will continue without him doing another thing. Othello finally realizes that Iago is a piece of crap, he says “O villain” ( line 320, p. 2994). Othello realizes that the damage Iago created is so great that Othello can do nothing to stop it and nothing to make anyone believe what is the truth.

Posted by: alex slavin at November 10, 2008 06:29 PM

-----------------

*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

~Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at November 10, 2008 08:50 PM

Anna R
Engl 225.01
11-24-08

2. Othello:
Explain in a paragraph some of the events which led Othello to believe that Desdemona cheats on him. Who was she supposedly cheating with?

Posted by: Anna R. at November 24, 2008 03:21 PM

2. Othello- It is thought that Othello won Desdemona’s love with witchcraft. When he is given a chance to defend himself, what is Othello’s explanation for the love she has for him?

Posted by: alex.slavin at November 25, 2008 01:45 PM

Is jealousy portrayed throughout Othello? If so what characters are involved in the jealousy? Was any other characters effected in this?

Posted by: Nichole T. at November 26, 2008 03:19 AM

Considering how Othello allowed his jealousy to consume him, if he did not let Iago persuade his thinking is it possible the impending tragedy could have been avoided or was Othello suspicious of Desdemona already but with Iago’s help it was brought to light?

Posted by: S.Tavares at November 28, 2008 03:49 PM

In Othello, cite examples of how racism is portrayed in the story. How does Shakespeare use racism to intrigue and influence his audience?

Posted by: Joseph S. at November 29, 2008 12:26 PM

Othello
What is the significance of the handkerchief that Othello chastises Desdemona for? What does Othello think what happen to the handkerchief?

Posted by: Walter P at November 30, 2008 11:41 PM

1) Explain how the handkerchief that Othelllo gave Desdemona serves as a symbol in the story?

Posted by: Paola S at December 1, 2008 12:36 AM

Myron Kirchner
ENG-225
Extra credit exam questions

Othello
How does Iago use distrustfulness of women and weak personalities to his advantage in deceiving Othello and Rodrigo? Is there any other mention of unfaithfulness in the story?

Posted by: Myron Kirchner at December 1, 2008 02:56 AM

What is the significance of the handkerchief, in Othello?

Posted by: Quinten J at December 1, 2008 08:15 AM

2. Othello - In the story of Othello explain how Iago gave or showed Othello physical evidents that Desdemona was being unfaithful.

Posted by: John Daniel at December 1, 2008 10:58 AM

In Othello, the Moor of Venice, give evidence to show how he is a tragic hero. Using Act 5 Scene 2, when he is about to kill Desdemona in her bedchamber, Othello says "It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul." He rationalizes her murder to himself showing that he does have a moment of insight yet he is still truly a tragic hero. Using the quotation and the entire scene show what is he speaking about and how does he rationalize Desdemona's murder.

Posted by: Neal Carter II at December 1, 2008 12:24 PM

Othello:

1.) What are the primary motivations of Iago? Othello? Desdemonda?

Posted by: Jonathan T. at December 1, 2008 04:22 PM

Strahil S

Engl 225.01

12-01-08

2. Discuss the theme of jelaousy in Othello as a main theme. How is it expressed in the play?
What kind of jelaousy do you think is most destructive according to the play. Give examples.

Posted by: Strahil at December 3, 2008 10:30 AM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
25 September 2012

Act I, Scene 1
Question: In Act I, why does Roderigo hate Othello?

Answer:
Roderigo hates Othello because Othello ended up marrying Desdemona and Roderigo is jealous. Roderigo was hoping he would be the one to marry her. When talking about the fact that Othello has married Desdemona, Roderigo exclaims, “Tush! Never tell me. I take it much unkindly / That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse / As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this” (1.1.1). This shows Roderigo’s disdain for the fact that Othello has married Desdemona – he tells Iago that he does not even want to hear about it because it upsets him so.


Act I, Scene 2
Question: Who does Iago tell Othello badmouthed him to Brabantio?

Answer:
At the very start of this scene Iago is pretending to be angry with someone who has insulted Othello. Iago indignantly states, “I lack iniquity / Sometimes to do me service. Nine or ten times / I had thought t' have yerked him here under the ribs” (1.2.3-5). He wanted to stab “him” under the ribs but whom the actual “him” is, is up to interpretation. One great possibility is Roderigo considering he openly bashed Othello right to Barbantio’s face and in the presence of Iago. In fact, directly to Iago, Roderigo crudely states, “What a full fortune does the Thick-lips owe / If he can carry’t thus!” (1.1.68-69). The term “Thick-lips” is a racial slur towards Othello who is a Moor.
Regardless of who the real “him” is, what is most important here is that it shows that Iago is scheming and not who he appears to be at face value. He is a villain and is pretending to be loyal to more than one side/person.


Act I, Scene 3
Question: Explain Iago’s “parable of the garden” (lines 314-327)

Answer:
In the “parable of the garden” Iago is explaining how what people are is up to them – we have willpower. He states:

“Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners. So that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many—either to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry—why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills” (1.3.314-327).

What he means by this is that the ends of something depend on how you start them. You must “plant” something that will grow into something you want. In other words, people should not be subject simply to their emotions, they need to be in control and use their will.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at September 25, 2012 06:09 PM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02
25 September 2012

Act 1, Scene 1
Question 9: How does Brabantio’s attitude toward Roderigo change in the course of Act 1?

Answer: When Brabantio first hears Iago and Roderigo calling and shouting to him, he is upset that they would call on him. “What is the reason of this terrible summons?” After Roderigo introduces himself, Brabantio remembers him as someone he didn’t want his daughter to marry, and that he is not welcome. “The worser welcome: I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors: In honest plainness thou hast heard me say my daughter is not for thee…” He even believes him to be drunk, appearing at his house only to cause trouble and bother him from rest. “…distempering draughts, Upon malicious bravery, dost thou come To start my quiet.” But Barabantio, after learning why they are there, and upon finding his daughter missing from her room, expresses immediate compassion. Barabantio made a complete change in his attitude toward Roderigo. Barabantio even says that he wished his daughter married Roderigo instead of Othello, and offers to reward him for his troubles.

Act 1, Scene 2
Question 14: Explain what happens between Iago and Cassio in the short time Othello is off stage in the Sagittary (lines 47-57).

Answer: When Othello enters the house, Iago and Cassio are left alone together outside. Cassio asks what he is doing, because they need to leave. Iago says “Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack. If it prove lawful prize, he’s made forever.” Iago describes Othello as being a type of pirate, boarding a ship to take his prize, Desdemona. What he implies is that the marriage should be of illegal nature. This scene is significant because it shows how two-faced Iago can be; when Othello was there, Iago was friendly to him, as soon as he left, Iago insulted him.

Act 1, Scene 3
Question 24: In this scene what does Desdemona tell us attracted her to Othello? What attracted her to him?

Answer: When Othello speaks to Barabantio, he tells him of his daughter’s affection for him because of his past. She is attracted to him for all the suffering and hardships he has been through. “She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd, And I loved her that she did pity them.” When Desdemona enters, she explains that she is married to Othello, and is in love with him. She also says that she is attracted to him for his mind and personality. “I saw Othello’s visage in his mind, And to his honors and his valiant parts Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.” She explains that when she fell in love with Othello, she completely gave up her old life, and wants to be with him.


Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at September 25, 2012 11:56 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
26 September 2012

Question Act 1, Scene 1:

In Act 1, what is Brabantio’s explanation of why his daughter has run off with Othello?


Answer:

Brabantio, in a rage, declares that his daughter must have enchanted by “the Moor” (Othello) and his magic spells, tricking her to run away with him. (page 4, 6th dialogue)


Question Act 1, Scene 2:

Everyone says Othello is lucky to wed the daughter of the rich Brabantio, except Othello. Why is he not impressed?


Answer:

Othello insists that this marriage between him and Desdemona (Brabantio’s daughter) is one out of love and that they married out of their own free will. (page 5, 7th dialogue)


Question Act 1, Scene 3:

Explain how the relationship between Othello and Desdemona began. Who first initiated the idea of love?


Answer:

Othello explains that Barbantio often invited him over in order to hear the story of his life and Desdemona had a “greedy ear” and would often try to overhear bits and pieces of his stories out of curiosity. She finally asked him to hear the whole story in its entirety and he agreed. She was so impressed by his story-telling that she insisted that if Othello had a friend that could tell a story as well as he, then this man should court her (Desdemona hinting that Othello should court her). Desdemona initiated their love, pitying his tragic dangers he had faced and being drawn in by his ability to tell his story. (page 11, 4th dialogue)

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at September 26, 2012 12:03 AM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 Humanistic Traditions
26, September, 2012

Question 1: Act I, scene 1 why does Iago say he hates Othello? What are the charges he makes against the general?

Answer: Iago hates Othello because Othello has had many hardships in his life, allowing for Othello to be seen as heroic, and advancing his career. Othello has proved himself time and again as a competent leader, casting a shadow upon Iago’s career.

Question 15: List all of the negative comments or words Brabantio uses to describe Othello.

Answer: Thief, enchanters, abuser of the world, bond-slave, and pagan. Which makes sense, Brabantio’s daughter broke all tradition; she chose her own husband instead of her father. Also was that he was an outsider, which allowed him to become a general, making Brabantio more distraught.

Question 18: At the beginning of I, 3 what do the duke and the council of Venice determine the Turks’ military objective to be? How does this relate to what happens later?

Answer: The Turks are to try and take Rhodes, an area that Othello has great knowledge, and great success at. Othello is ideal man to lead the resistance at the Turks at Rhodes due to his past success. The Duke and council needed him, if not they may have ruled differently on the case of his marriage.

Posted by: William Berry at September 26, 2012 07:10 AM

Zach Brasseur

Dr. Lee Hobbs

Hon 250

26 September 2012


Question:In Act 1 scene 1, what is Iago's master plot to annoy Othello and Desdemona?

Answer: Iago wants to pit Desdemona's family against Othello by telling her father that she and Othello are "making the beast with two backs" (115), or having sex. Obviously this infuriates Brabantio and he, Iago, and Roderigo, go out in search of Othello.


Question: In Act 1 scene 2, how does Othello react to the provocation of Brabantio's attack?

Answer: Othello responds to the attack by telling both sides to "hold your hands" (82) and he agrees to go to the duke with Brabantio.

Question: In Act 1 scene 3, how does Desdemona argue that she should be allowed to accompany her husband to Cyprus?

Answer: Desdemona says that it is her duty as a wife to go with Othello to Cyprus. Also, she would have "a heavy interim" that she would have to carry if Othello were gone for a long time, meaning that because of their love for each other, it would be unbearable.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at September 26, 2012 10:09 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
September 26, 2012

Act I, Scene I
Question:
In Act I, why is the speck by Iago, lines 38-62, important in explaining what happens later?
Answer:
In Act I, Scene I of Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago speak in sarcasm of “the moor” Othello for receiving a position over himself. Iago does not say anything directly, but in his speech, he hints at his plans to get revenge steal Othello’s position out from under him. “I follow him to serve my turn upon him…wears out his time, much like his master’s ass,” (Act I Scene I, lines 43,48). Iago plans to use trickery on Cassio and Othello in order to achieve what he wants. The line he speaks at the end of his speech is the real hint that treachery is to come however; “I am not what I am,” (Act I Scene I, line 66).
Act I Scene II
Question:
Find five places in I.II, where Othello excersizes authority.
Answer:
In Shakespear’s Othello, his main character, Othello, is portrayed as a self-worthy and authoritative figure. He especially shows this in his first appears in Act I Scene II. The first instance of Othello exercises his authority occurs as Cassio and his men enter. Iago bids Othello go inside and hide, but Othello objects, saying, “Not I; I must be found; my parts, my title, and my perfect soul shall manifest me rightly,” (Act I Scene II, Lines 31-33). Othello thinks so highly of his title in this instance that he believes anything held against him will be forgiven because of who he is. As Cassio gives Othello news from the Duke requiring his presence, Othello replies, “’tis well I am found by you. I will but spend a word here in the house, and go with you,” (Act I Scene II, lines 48-50). Another instance where Othello excercizes his authority occurs when Brabantio enters the scene and orders an attack on him. Othello commands calmly, “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them. – good signior, you shall have more command with years than with your weapons,” (Act I Scene II, lines 59-61). He keeps up this persona even after Brabantio has accused him of his crimes, saying, “hold your hands, both of you of my inclining and the rest,” (Act I Scene II, lines 82-83). Brabantio then orders that Othello be taken to prison to be questioned and punished by the duke, to which he replies, “how may the duke be therewith satisfied, who’s messengers are here about my side, upon some present business of the state, to bring me to him,” (Act I Scene II, lines 88-91).
Act I Scene III
Question:
What is the “real reason” Iago hates Othello?
Answer:
The “real reason” that Iago hates Othello is because Othello has and is better suited for the job he himself wants. Iago is extremely jealous of Othello and is ready to do anything to take out from Othello what he wants for himself.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at September 26, 2012 12:43 PM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 Humanistic Traditions
28, September, 2012

Question: What do the Cypriots (those from Cypress) think of Othello? Do their words (in Scene 1) make him seem to us a lesser man or a larger one?

Answer: The Cypriots praise Othello, they know of his genius in warfare. They know what Othello is capable of, and care much about him since they ask about his health and if he has married.

Question: In Act II what news does Othello bring regarding the Turks?

Answer: Othello announces that the war with the Turks is over.

Posted by: William Berry at September 28, 2012 07:24 AM

William,

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough in my last critique.

You answers need to include exact quotations that prove your answer with appropriate page and line numbers to where the quotation can be found.

I never assign busywork--this is scholarly exercise in documenting your sources and being able to verify your answers with hard data.

Your fellow students depend on the accuracy of your answers in their preparation for tests on this content.

Please revise your answer and repost.

Thanks,

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at September 28, 2012 08:25 AM

Zach Brasseur & Sarah Nobles

Dr. Lee Hobbs

Hon 250

28 September 2012

Act 1 Scene 2

Question: What is a key quotation from this scene that sums up the spirit of the scene. In other words, if we had to know at least one significant quotation from the from this scene, what would it be? Who is speaking? Who is being spoken to? What is the context of the passage? Finally, why is it significant?


Answer: After Iago rats out Othello to Brabantio, Iago goes to Othello to tell him that his new father-in-law has spoken poorly about his honor:

"No, but he chattered on,
And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms,
Against your honor,
That, with the little godliness I have,
I worked hard to tolerate him"

This is significant because it is the first time Othello is hearing that he may have upset Brabantio, who he thought was a friend.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at September 28, 2012 10:06 AM

Zach,

See my comments on William's entry above.

In addition to the Act number and scene number, the page numbers and line number of the quotation in your edition should used should appear somewhere near it in parentheses.

Repost this info, please.

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at September 28, 2012 11:04 AM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
1 October 2012

Act II, Scene 1
Question:
According to Iago what is all that the most accomplished woman in the world is good for? (lines 146-158)

Answer:
According to Iago, the most accomplished woman is one that is “ever fair and never proud” and “had tongue at will and yet was never loud” – among many other things (2.1.158-159). Getting into an argument with Desdemona about women and particularly his wife Emilia, Iago states that the only thing the most accomplished woman in the world is good for would be “To suckle fools and chronicle small beer” (2.1.160). In other words, a woman is only good for raising children and keeping track of small matters or events of no great importance.

Other
Question:
In Act II of Othello, The Moor of Venice, who said the following and what is the context? “…I love thee; But never more be officer of mine.”

Answer:
Othello is the character who states, “…I love thee; But never more be officer of mine,” to Cassio (2.3.211-212). Othello loves Cassio but says he can no longer be under his command. Leading up to this exchange is a further development in Iago’s plan to ruin Othello. In order to ruin Othello, Iago decides that he first needs to get the faithful Cassio out of the way. Iago gets Cassio drunk and upset which leads him to a fight with Roderigo and then with Montano. Whilst this fighting takes place, Iago has Roderigo go and rouse the townspeople to cause even more hatred towards Cassio.
Very strategically Iago has painted Cassio as a drunk and as unreliable, while – of course – making himself look loyal and just. However, the reader knows that Iago is being completely self-serving and dishonest to all those around them, and that he is doing quite a good job at it. A quote that illuminates this idea comes from Othello: “I know, Iago / Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter, / Making it light to Cassio” (2.3.209-211). This quote exemplifies the fact that Othello is still very trusting of Iago even though the reader knows otherwise.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at September 30, 2012 04:51 PM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
30 September 2012

Question: 7) Othello, Act II, Scene 1: How does Iago convince Roderigo that Cassio is in love with Desdemona?

Answer: Iago convinces Roderigo that Cassio is in love with Desdemona by making up an elaborate story about Desdemona. He tells Roderigo that eventually Desdemona will grow tired of Othello. He claims that she will lose interest in Othello because he is not physically attractive. “Her eye must be fed, and what delight shall she have to look on the devil? When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there should be a game to inflame it and to give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favor, sympathy in years, manners and beauties. All which the Moor is defective in.” (Line 204) He then tells Roderigo that when she gets tired of Othello, she will turn to Cassio because he has all the right qualities. “who stands so eminent in the degree of this fortune as Cassio does?... the knave is handsome, young, and hath all those requisites in him that folly and green minds look after. A pestilent complete knave, and the woman hath found him already.”(Line 215) Roderigo protests that she is too much of a good person to do something like that. But Iago refutes him saying that if she were so moral, why would she marry the Moor in the first place? Iago claims that the way they were holding hands was so intimate that it was a sure sign of Cassio’s feelings for Desdemona. “They met so near with their lips that their breaths embraced together.”(Line 206) Eventually Roderigo is convinced.


Question: 10) Othello, Act II, Scene 3: In lines 12-29, what is Iago trying to get Cassio to do? Why?

Answer: I ago enters and immediately begins talking to Cassio about Desdemona. He is trying to get Cassio to admit that he has feelings for Desdemona so that he can set them up and get Othello and Roderigo angry at him. “Our general cast us thus early for the love of his Desdemona—who let us not therefore blame. He hath not yet made wanton the night with her, and she is sport for Jove.” (Line 10) Iago says he cannot blame Othello for making them watch over the others early, for Othello and Desdemona had not yet consummated their love. Iago remarks on her beauty, and is waiting for Cassius to reply. Iago begins to say things to deliberately get Cassius to agree with him. “What an eye she has! Methinks it sounds a parley to provocation.”(Line 18) But Cassius replies that she has “an inviting eye, and yet methinks right modest” (Line 19) in an attempt to defend her. Iago is trying to do this so that he can use the information against both Cassius and Othello.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at September 30, 2012 09:03 PM

Anna McEntee and Stacie Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
October 1, 2012


Objective 2:

What is a Key quotation from Act I Scene I that sums up the spirit of the scene? In other words, if we had to know, at least, one significant quotation from this scene, what would it be? Who is speaking? Who is being spoken to? What is the context of the passage? Finally, why is it significant?


Answer:

A key quotation from Act I Scene I of Othello comes from Iago as he discusses “the moor” or Othello with Iago. In lines 64-65 Iago states, “But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at: I am not what I am.” This line is extremely significant because it sets the plot in motion concerning Iago. This line says so much about what to come, and reveals Iago as the antagonist of the story. He tells Roderigo that he will portray a person that is not himself, and will fool everyone. In some ways this can be seen by Roderigo as Iago letting him in on important information, but in other ways, it could also mean that Iago will be fake to Roderigo, which ends up being the case later in the play. This quotation summarizes the mood of the whole scene, and for the whole play.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at October 1, 2012 12:00 PM

Zach Brasseur & Sarah Nobles

Dr. Lee Hobbs

Hon 250

28 September 2012

Act 1 Scene 2

Question: What is a key quotation from this scene that sums up the spirit of the scene. In other words, if we had to know at least one significant quotation from the from this scene, what would it be? Who is speaking? Who is being spoken to? What is the context of the passage? Finally, why is it significant?


Answer: After Iago rats out Othello to Brabantio, Iago goes to Othello to tell him that his new father-in-law has spoken poorly about his honor:

"No, but he chattered on,
And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms,
Against your honor,
That, with the little godliness I have,
I worked hard to tolerate him" (pg 15 lines 6-10)

This is significant because it is the first time Othello is hearing that he may have upset Brabantio, who he thought was a friend.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 1, 2012 01:04 PM

Zach Brasseur

Dr. Lee Hobbs

Hon 250

1 October 2012

Act II Scene 1

Question: Describe how Cassio acts when he lands at Cyprus, especially when Desdemona arrives.

Answer: Cassio is lamenting the fact that Othello has been lost and his "hopes, not surfeited to death, stand in bold cure" (lines 50-51). When Desdemona comes ashore he sings her praises by urging every man to "let her have your knee" (line 86)


Question:In Act II of *Othello, The Moor of Venice*, who said the following, and what is the context? "So I will turn her virtue into pitch/ And out of her own goodness make the net/That shall enmesh them all."

Answer: This quote is said by Iago while he is describing his plan of villainy. He is leading Cassio to believe that he is going to help him when in reality he plans on turning Desdemona against everyone, including Othello.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 1, 2012 01:25 PM

Will, Rhett, Jordan
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250CA02 Humanistic Tradition
1 October 2012

haracters introduced:
*Duke
Senators
*Desdemona
Messenger
Sailor

Summary:
Brabantio and Othello both state their cases before the Duke. Brabantio wants Othello punished and the marriage nullified. Othello wants their marriage accepted. Othello is being sent off to war, and Desdemonda wants to go with him. Rodrigo and Iago speak at the end.

Quote:
"I here do give thee that with all my heart
Which but thou hast already, with all my heart
I would keep from thee."
By: Brabantio
To: Othello
Significance: After Desdemonda tells Brabantio that their marriage is valid and out of love, Brabantio gives his blessing to the marriage, not because he wants to, but because he has to because it has already been done. There are still undertones of hatred.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at October 1, 2012 02:13 PM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02 The Humanistic Traditions
October 1, 2012

Act II Scene I Question:

How does Iago convince Roderigo that Cassio is in love with Desdemona?

Answer:

Iago convinces Othello that Cassio is in love with Desdemona by using his polite actions against him. As Cassio had held Desdemona’s hand earlier in the scene, Iago twists this around to prove his point. “A knave very voluble; no further conscionable than in putting on the mere form of civil and humane seeming, for the better compass of his salt and most hidden loose affection? Why, none, why, none—a slipper and subtle knave, a finder-out of occasion; that has an eye can stamp and counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never present itself; a devilish knave,” (Act II Scene I, lines 230-235). At first Roderigo does not believe Iago, but using his trickery and words, he finally convinces him of Cassio’s love, and of Desdemona’s impending love.

Act II General Question:

In Act II, explain how Iago engineered Cassio’s disgrace.

Answer:

In Act II, Iago’s plan to ruin Othello goes into action. Part of this plan involves disgracing Cassio in every way he can. Iago first does this by convincing Roderigo that Cassio is in love with Desdemona in Scene I. In Scene III however, Cassio is put in an extremely bad light when Iago gets him drunk which ends in Cassio stabbing Montano. Othello appears on the scene, and falls into Iago’s trap when he believes that iago has sympathy and friendship towards Cassio. “I know, Iago, Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter, Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee but never more be officer of mine,” (Act I Scene III, Lines 209-212). Because of Iago’s slyness, Cassio is removed from his position by Othello and this sets Iago’s plan in motion.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at October 1, 2012 02:16 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
1 October 2012


Question, Act II, Scene 1: In Act 1, Scene 3, we heard how Othello’s life story helped win the love of Desdemona. In Act II, Scene 1, lines 220-225 we lean Iago’s reaction to the same story. What is it?

Answer: Iago believes that Othello’s life story is a web of bragging and lies in order to impress Desdemona. He claims that Othello plays up events in order to earn her sympathy because she is so delicate and ladylike.


Question: In Act II, how does Iago convince Roderigo that Cassio must be dishonored and “removed”?

Answer: As a courtesy, Cassio leads Desdemona away, holding her hand. Iago uses this to convince Roderigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio. He uses this kind gesture to convince Roderigo to pick a fight with Cassio in order to cause a mutiny and have him “removed.”

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at October 1, 2012 02:56 PM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
1 October 2012

Act 1 scene 1.

4. Why should Rodrigo pay particular attention to Iago's speech?

Rodrego should pay particular attention to iagos speech because he goes explaining that he is jealous of Cassio's position in the military. He wants Casio out-of-the-way. He also says that he will help Roderigo with desdemona by betraying othello, who he is supposed to be loyal to. In line 44 he states, "I follow him to serve my term upon him." This means that he is only serving him in order to take advantage of him. Rodrigo should be cautious of this because if iago is Willing to betray Othello for personal gain why wouldn't you do the same to Roderigo he should be careful.

11. Why does Act I scene one begin in the middle of a conversation?

Act I scene one begins the middle of a conversation because it gives a glimpse of the situation without having to explicitly explain how and why Cassio got his position and why they are upset. It gives a brief synopsis of the situation while outlining what is currently going on, as well as foreshadowing what will happen. This is all done by starting in the middle of the conversation.

How does Iago manipulate Rodrigo in lines 329-370?

Iago manipulates rodrigo in lines 329-370 by using rodrigos jealousy to manipulate rodrigo into becoming a pawn in his game for his own personal gains and motives without having to do any dirty work himself. He gets rodrigo to sell all of his assets and look more wealthy than he is so that he looks more suspicious to the mood rather than iago.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at October 1, 2012 03:27 PM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
1 October 2012

1. Where does Act II scene 1 take place?

Act 2 scene 1 takes place on a ship. The fist line is said by Montano and he says, "what from the cape can you discern at sea?"

6. Explain what iago is talking about at lines 165-172.

In lines 165-172 Iago is talking about how his plot will come together the way that Cassio is talking to desdemona. He says that Cassio's manners towards women will be his downfall.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at October 1, 2012 03:36 PM

Rhett Pringle, Anna McEntee, Zach Brasseur, Sarah Nobles
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
3 October 2012

Act 2, Scene 3
Question: What is a key quotation from this scene that sums up the spirit of the scene? In other words, if we had to know at least one significant quotation from this scene, what would it be? Who is speaking? Who is being spoken to? What is the context of the passage? Finally, why is it significant?

Answer: Iago is speaking aside to himself, moments after Cassio departs. The brawl had just ended and Iago was consoling Cassio and gave him the advice to seek out Desdemona to try to win back the Moors trust. Iago plans to set up Cassio into appearing to be in love with Desdemona, and this will work into part of his plan. He says to himself:

“And what’s he, then, that says I play the villain,
When this advice is free I give, and honest,” (Line 293)

This is significant because it shows how manipulative Iago is. It symbolizes the way he acts, lying to everyone. He portrays himself as being a good person, giving free, honest advice to those who seek it. However, within the play Iago is the villain he claims not to be, using his advice to sway the decisions and actions of others in a way that he chooses, for his personal reasons.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at October 1, 2012 11:20 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
2 October 2012

Act III, Scene 2
Question:
In this scene, what does Othello offer his Cyprian hosts?

Answer:
In this particular – and very brief – scene, Othello offers his Cyprian hosts his personal opinion and knowledge of the walls (or defenses). Othello states, “That done, I will be walking on the works” (3.2.3). This notion is then confirmed when he states shortly after, “This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see ’t?” (3.2.6).


Act III, Scene 3
Question:
What does Iago reveal in his brief soliloquy in Act III, Scene 3?

Answer:
In his brief soliloquy, Iago reveals more of his plan to ruin Othello – and Cassio, as well. After receiving Desdemona’s handkerchief from Emilia, Iago states that he will “In Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin / And let him find it” (3.3.331-332). Iago then makes the intense comparison between ideas and poisons: “Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons / Which at the first are scarce found to distaste, / But with a little act upon the blood / Burn like the mines of sulfur” (3.3.336-339). In other words, Iago has already planted the seed in Othello’s head that something is going on between Desdemona and Cassio, and he believes that Othello finding the handkerchief will be just the catalyst he needs to resume his plan of destruction.


Act III, Scene 4
Question:
What is Emilia’s view of men (see lines 98-102 of Act III, Scene 4)? How justified are her beliefs?

Answer:
Emilia reveals her view of men when she states, “They are all but stomachs, and we all but food. / To eat us hungerly, and when they are full, / They belch us” (3.4.98-102). She believes that men see women as something to be consumed and then disposed of at will. Her beliefs can definitely be seen as justified for the reason that Iago – her husband – treats her very poorly. For example, Iago boldly states that all women are good for is “To suckle fools and chronicle small beer” (2.1.160). He also states that it is “A common thing… to have a foolish wife” (3.3.11-13). With such derogatory comments about women, it is no wonder that Emilia feels so negatively about men.


Act III, Scene 4
Question:
In Act III, what important information is revealed in Cassio and Bianca’s conversation that ends Scene 4?

Answer:
In Cassio and Bianca’s conversation, it is revealed that Bianca is, indeed, Cassio’s mistress. After saying that she was just headed to Cassio’s house, she declares, “What, keep a week away? Seven days and nights? / Eight score eight hours? And lovers' absent hours / More tedious than the dial eightscore times!” (3.4.161-163). Also, it is discovered that Cassio has found the handkerchief that Iago planted in his home. Cassio states, “I found it in my chamber. / I like the work well. Ere it be demanded, / As like enough it will, I would have it copied” (3.4.177-179).

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at October 2, 2012 06:41 PM

Zach Brasseur

Dr. Lee Hobbs

Hon 250

2 October 2012

Act III Scene 1


Question: What is Emilia’s opinion of Cassio?


Answer: Emilia takes pity on Cassio, saying that she is “sorry for [his] displeasure” (line 42-43) and she does think highly of him because she calls him “good lieutenant” (line 41).


Act III Scene 2


Question: What is the significance of Othello going off to inspect the fortifications and leaving Cassio space/time/opportunity with Desdemona?


Answer: This action by Othello plays perfectly into Iago’s plan to convince Cassio that he has feelings for Desdemona and to convince Othello that his wife and lieutenant are having an affair.


Act III Scene 3


Question: When Iago raises the issue of jealousy in Act III Scene 3, what does Othello say? How does Iago then respond?


Answer: When Iago suggests that Othello may be jealous of Cassio, Othello responds by saying “I’ll see before I doubt” (line 194). He has no time for jealousy and suspicion, showing that Othello is indeed a virtuous man. But Iago warns him to keep a close eye on Cassio and Desdemona. He says that it will be difficult to find anything though because in Venice, “They let God see the pranks/They dare not show their husbands” (line 206-207). Again I ago shows a disdain and mistrust for women.

Act III Scene 4


Question: In Act III Scene 4, why does Othello insist that Desdemona present the handkerchief?


Answer: In Scene 3, Iago tells Othello that Cassio used Desdemona’s handkerchief, which her husband gave to her, to wipe his beard. Othello, now beginning to get jealous, demands to see it. He says that it was a magic handkerchief that belonged to his mother. It was supposed to make the holder “amiable” (line 57), but if it was lost, her lover would “hold her loathly” (line 60). Othello is trying to make Desdemona feel guilty and confess an affair with Cassio. But she says that she doesn’t know where the handkerchief is.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 2, 2012 09:57 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
1 October 2012


Question, Act II, Scene 1: In Act 1, Scene 3, we heard how Othello’s life story helped win the love of Desdemona. In Act II, Scene 1, lines 220-225 we lean Iago’s reaction to the same story. What is it?

Answer: Iago believes that Othello’s life story is a web of bragging and lies in order to impress Desdemona. He claims that Othello plays up events in order to earn her sympathy because she is so delicate and ladylike.


Question: In Act II, how does Iago convince Roderigo that Cassio must be dishonored and “removed”?

Answer: As a courtesy, Cassio leads Desdemona away, holding her hand. Iago uses this to convince Roderigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio. He uses this kind gesture to convince Roderigo to pick a fight with Cassio in order to cause a mutiny and have him “removed.”

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at October 2, 2012 11:38 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
3 October 2012


Question, Act III, Scene 1: What does Cassio ask the Clown to do?

Answer: To go wake Desdemona and inform her that Cassio wishes to speak to her. (page 33)


Question, Act III, Scene 2: What will Othello be busy doing while Iago does as he has been commanded?

Answer: He will be walking on the battlements while Iago pays his respect to the senate. (page 34)


Question, Act III, Scene 3: In Act III, what does Othello command Iago to do at the end of Scene 3?

Answer: Othello commands Iago to kill Cassio, saying, “Within these three days let me hear you say that Cassio’s not alive.” (page 47)


Question, Act III, Scene 4: What is Bianca’s relationship with Cassio? What does she agree to do for him?

Answer: Bianca is a prostitute and Cassio’s “servant.” They discuss going to each other’s rooms and their absent hours as lovers. (page 52)

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at October 2, 2012 11:53 PM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
3 October 2012

Act 3, Scene 1
Question 3: In Act 3, scene 1, lines 1-31, what is the purpose of this conversation between Cassio and the Clown?

Answer: After hiring some musicians to try to please Othello, a clown enters and tells the musicians to stop playing. Cassio then asks the clown, a servant of Othello, to take a message to Emilia, asking her to come speak with him. “There's a poor piece of gold for thee: if the gentlewoman that attends the general's wife be stirring, tell her there's one Cassio entreats her a little favour of speech…” (Line23) He wants to speak privately with Desdemona to try to get his job and reputation back.


Act 3, Scene 2
Question 10: What do you think is in the letters that Othello gives to Iago to dispatch?

Answer: They were most likely letters detailing the events of the night before. Othello sends Iago to the captain of the ship, to ask him to take the letters to the senate. “These letters give, Iago, to the pilot; And by him do my duties to the senate…” (Line 2)


Act 3, Scene 3
Question 19: After Desdemona leaves, how does Iago begin anew to raise Othello’s suspicions about Cassio?

Answer: Iago begins to bring up Michael Cassio, and ask Othello how long Cassio knew about his relationship with Desdemona. “Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady, Know of your love?” (Line 94) He begins to make Othello doubt his relationship with Cassio. “(Cassio) went between us very oft.” (Line 100) Iago never says anything bad about Cassio, but he allows and manipulates Othello’s thinking in the way that he wants him to.


Act 3, Scene 4
Question 30: At Iago’s urging, what does Cassio ask Desdemona, and how does Desdemona reply?

Answer: Cassio asks Desdemona again to seek out Othello’s forgiveness, for Iago tells Cassio that there is no other way. “Madam, my former suit: I do beseech you That by your virtuous means I may again Exist, and be a member of his love, Whom I, with all the office of my heart, Entirely honour: I would not be delay'd. If my offence be of such mortal kind That nor my service past, nor present sorrows, Nor purpos'd merit in futurity, Can ransom me into his love again, But to know so must be my benefit” (Line 118) Desdemona replies that Othello is not pleased with her at the moment. “My advocation is not now in tune; My lord is not my lord, nor should I know him Were he in favor as in humor alter'd” (Line 132)However, Othello is now angry at both Cassio and Desdemona. But she still says that she will help Cassio. “You must awhile be patient. What I can do I will; and more I will Than for myself I dare. Let that suffice you.” (Line 138)

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at October 3, 2012 12:12 AM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 Humanistic Traditions CA02
2, October, 2012

Question 1: Act III, Scene 1; who brings in the musicians? Why?

Answer: Cassio brings the musicians, it was to arouse the interest of Desdemona so she would come and speak to him. He could not go to her but with Desdemona coming to him he could make his plea.

Question 11: Act III, Scene 2; Do you believe that Iago will actually take the letters? Why or why not?

Answer: No, Othello handed Iago an immense amount of control over the situations that will arise, from his own making, he has another web yet to weave.

Question 15: Act III, Scene 3; what is ironic about Emilia’s comments at the beginning of the scene?

Answer: ”Good madam, do: I warrant it grieves my husband as if the cause were his”. The irony is because it is Iago’s plan that caused Cassio to fall from his position.

Question 35: Act III, Scene 4; Who is Bianca? How does she end up with Desdemona’s handkerchief?

Answer: Bianca is Cassio’s “lover” though that term does not fit perfectly; she seems to be the camp whore. Cassio gives it to Bianca in an attempt to appease her.

Posted by: William Berry at October 3, 2012 07:34 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
October 3, 2012

Act III Scene I Question:
Who is Emilia? In Scene I of Act III, what arrangements does she make for Cassio?

Answer:
Emilia is Iago’s wife, who Iago believes to have slept with Othello. In Act III Scene I, Cassio asks Emilia to allow him to speak to Desdemona in private so he can ask her to speak on his behalf to Othello. Emilia does allow this, replying, “Pray you come in. I will bestow you where you shall have time to speak your bosom freely,” (Act III Scene I, Lines 42-44).

Act III Scene II Question:
What task does Othello ask Iago and why?

Answer:
In Act III Scene II of Othello, Othello asks Iago to do something. “These letters give, Iago, to the pilot, and by him do my duties to the senate,” (Act III Scene II, lines 1-2). He asks this of Iago because he needs to go look at the town’s fortifications.

Act III Scene III Question:
In Act III, Scene III, What does Desdemona promise Cassio?

Answer:
In Act III Scene III, Desdemona promises Cassio that she will do everything in her power to help him get his position back. “Assure thee, if I do vow a friendship, I’ll perform it to the last article. My Lord shall never rest, I’ll watch him tame him and talk him out of patience,” (Act III Scene III, lines 20-24). Desdemona plans to persuade Othello to give Cassio his position back.

Act III Scene IV Question:
How does Emilia’s view of men differ from Desdemona’s view of Othello?

Answer:
In Shakespeare’s Othello, Emilia and Desdemona have very different views on men. While Desdemona is madly in love with her husband, Othello, Emilia thinks all men are pigs. “’Tis not a year or two shows us a man. They are all but stomachs, and we all but food. To eat us hungerly, and when they are full, they belch us,” (Act III Scene IV, lines 92-95). Their different views are also what helps the plot to move along according to Iago’s plan.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at October 3, 2012 12:32 PM

Jordan, Stacey, Will
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
2 October 2012

Act 2, Scene 1

New Characters:
Cassio --> Important (Becoming a round character)
Montano --> Insignificant (Flat character)
Messenger --> Insignificant (Flat character)
Emilia --> Not yet important (Flat character)

Summary:
Iago arrives first, then Desdemona, then Othello. Before Othello arrives, Iago and Desdemona get in an argument about the usefulness of women and their roles on society. Iago says that all women are good for is childbearing and taking care on unimportant affairs. Othello shows up and leaves with Desdemona. Iago then continues his scheme by planting seeds of jealousy in Rodrigo's head. Iago convinces Rodrigo that Cassio is in love with Desdemona. He later convinces Rodrigo to provoke Cassio into a fight.

Quotes:
1. "To suckle fools and chronicle small beer." Iago (2.1.160)
Iago is starting to show his true colors. We, as the audience, know he is scum, but now the other characters are being exposed and are starting to see this now too.

2. "Tis here, yet confused. Knavery's plain face is never seen till used." Iago (2.1.236-237)
Iago's ploy is still in motion..but you cannot see the results until the end. Things are happening, but it won't completely come together until the end. Characters (excluding Iago) do not really know all of what is going on.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at October 3, 2012 01:58 PM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
3 October 2012

Act III Scene 1

2. In scene 1 of Act III, why are the musicians brought in? What is Othello's response to them?

The musicians are brought in by Cassio in order for them to play something that will put Othello in a good mood. Othello sends a clown to go tell the musicians that their music sounds nasally, but that he likes it. Othello sends the clown to give the musicians money, and also to ask them to stop playing because he is not in the mood to hear music at the moment.

Act III Scene 2
14. Why do you think Shakespeare included this brief scene? What is the function of this scene?

Shakespeare may have included this scene to show that even though Iago has a ploy against Othello, he must still obey him. He could have included it as a transition scene, so that it would flow into another scene or give the actors time between scenes. He could have added it to show that Othello was respectful of those who helped him, such as the ship captain who brought him to where he is. That would have been the function.

Act III Scene 3
18. Act III Scene 3, what does Othello do for Desdemona?

Othello agrees to have Cassio come back after she begs and pleads for Othello to reconsider. He says that Cassio may come anytime he pleases, because he would never deny Desdemona anything.

Act III Scene 4
31. What does Desdemona think is the cause of Othello's anger?

Desdemona believes that Othello is angry because the lost the handkerchief that an old witch made, and she will not bring it to him when he is asking her for it. He says it is a sacred item and she should be very cautious, but she does not have it.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at October 3, 2012 02:18 PM

Stacey Bigge, Jordan Bailey, William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
3 October 2012

Act III, Scene 3
Question:
What does Cassio discuss with Desdemona? What does Desdemona say?

Answer:
Cassio and Desdemona are discussing trying to get Cassio’s position back under Othello. Desdemona reassures him that Othello is only keeping him away for political reasons. Desdemona states, “He shall in strangeness stand no farther off / Than in a polite distance” (3.3.12-14). Desdemona also says that she will keep badgering Othello about the situation and goes as far to say, “His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift, / I’ll intermingle everything he does / With Cassio’s suit” (3.3.24-26).


Act III, Scene 3
Question:
What does Iago say to Othello about Cassio and Desdemona? How does Iago manipulate Othello’s thoughts? What does Othello think of Iago?

Answer:
Iago asks Othello if Cassio was present when he was courting Desdemona, and Othello says yes. Othello says that Cassio was often the messenger between the two and “went between us very oft” (3.3.102). Iago continues to manipulate Othello’s thoughts by leading him on with phrases such as, “Indeed?” that are sure to egg Othello on to ask what Iago is getting at by making these little comments and echoing Othello (3.3. 103). Othello responds in frustration, “Alas, thou echo’st me / As if there were some monster in thy thought / Too hideous to be shown” (3.3.110-112). At this point, Othello believes Iago to be truthful: “This fellow’s of exceeding honesty / And knows all quantities, with a learnèd spirit, / Of human dealings (3.3.263-265). In reality, Iago is being extremely crafty and is fooling Othello completely.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at October 3, 2012 05:07 PM

Sarah Nobles and Rhett Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
3 October 2012

Question, Act III, Scene 4: What does Othello tell Desdemona about the handkerchief when he learns that she does not have it with her?


Answer: Othello tells Desdemona a story about how an Egyptian gave the handkerchief to his mother, a magic handkerchief that keeps her husband "soft and sweet." However, if it's lost or given away, there would be "a perdition," hinting that there would now be destruction in their lives now. (lines 55-68)

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at October 3, 2012 10:26 PM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 Humanistic Traditions
5, October, 2012

Question 6: In act IV, Scene 2, lines 33-92, what prevents Othello from being moved by Desdemona’s appeal? Explain.

Answer: The words of Iago have poisoned Othello’s perception; Othello remembers what Brabantio told Othello of how she would betray him. With that thought in his mind, and the words of Iago, Othello has created the situation within his head and now will not see truth, but the truth within his mind.

Question 14: In Act IV, why does Iago speak to Cassio about Bianca? Explain.

Answer: Iago speaks to Cassio about Bianca to get the reactions he wishes, happy laughing, etc. The whole time Othello is watching and was told Iago would ask about Desdemona. So this is a ploy of Iago to anger Othello and destroy everything.

Question 18: In Act IV, why is Emilia’s belief about what is causing Othello’s behavior ironic? Explain.

Answer: Emilia is ironic by saying she would cheat to give her husband the whole world, which Iago is working on getting at the moment or a small portion of at least. It is also ironic since Iago once accused her of laying with the Moor.

Posted by: William Berry at October 5, 2012 07:18 AM

Zach Brasseur, Anna McEntee

Dr. Lee Hobbs

Hon 250

5 October 2012


Act III, Scene 1


Question: What does Emilia say that Othello and Desdemona are discussing?


Answer: According to Emilia they are discussing Cassio's position and Othello's opinions on him.

"The general and his wife are talking of it,

And she speaks stoutly of you: the Moor replies,

That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus,

And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom

He might not but refuse you; but he protests he loves you" (line 44-49)


Question: What does Cassio ask Emilia?

Answer: Cassio asks Emilia if she can get him time alone with Desdemona so he can talk her into persuading Othello.

"Give me advantage of brief discourse

With Desdemona alone." (line 52-53)

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 5, 2012 01:11 PM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
3 October 2012

Act III Scene 1

2. In scene 1 of Act III, why are the musicians brought in? What is Othello's response to them?

The musicians are brought in by Cassio in order for them to play something that will put Othello in a good mood. Othello sends a clown to go tell the musicians that their music sounds nasally, but that he likes it. Othello sends the clown to give the musicians money, and also to ask them to stop playing because he is not in the mood to hear music at the moment.

Act III Scene 2
14. Why do you think Shakespeare included this brief scene? What is the function of this scene?

Shakespeare may have included this scene to show that even though Iago has a ploy against Othello, he must still obey him. He could have included it as a transition scene, so that it would flow into another scene or give the actors time between scenes. He could have added it to show that Othello was respectful of those who helped him, such as the ship captain who brought him to where he is. That would have been the function.

Act III Scene 3
18. Act III Scene 3, what does Othello do for Desdemona?

Othello agrees to have Cassio come back after she begs and pleads for Othello to reconsider. He says that Cassio may come anytime he pleases, because he would never deny Desdemona anything.

Act III Scene 4
31. What does Desdemona think is the cause of Othello's anger?

Desdemona believes that Othello is angry because the lost the handkerchief that an old witch made, and she will not bring it to him when he is asking her for it. He says it is a sacred item and she should be very cautious, but she does not have it.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at October 5, 2012 09:18 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
6 October 2012

Question 4:
When Roderigo grows impatient with Iago, in Act IV, Scene 2, lines 182-202, how does Iago make use of his fellow plotter’s discontent? Explain.

Answer 4:
Near the tail end of Act IV, Scene 2, Roderigo is growing very impatient with Iago because he feels he still has not gotten any closer to winning Desdemona over. Iago, being the conniving man he is, is able to turn the situation around and gain Roderigo’s trust once more. Roderigo states, “If she will return me my jewels I will give over my suit and repent my unlawful solicitation. If not, assure yourself I will seek satisfaction of you” (4.2.190). Iago uses this statement as an opportunity to regain his trust. Iago responds by flattering Roderigo and telling him, “Why, now I see there’s mettle in thee, and even from this instant to build on thee a better opinion than ever before” (4.2.193). Iago also promises Roderigo that if he is not sleeping with Desdemona by the next night, then he can kill him, and with this, Roderigo is once more pulled into Iago’s plot and says he will help kill Cassio in order to keep Desdemona and Othello in Cyprus. Iago shows here that he is more than capable of taking others’ discontent (in this case, Roderigo’s) and turning it into something that will, of course, benefit him.


Question 11:
Now that you’ve read Act IV, explain the overall significance of the handkerchief in this play. We already know why the handkerchief is important to Othello. The question now is: why is it so important to how the play works? What does it represent? What suggestions or hints does it contain? Explain.

Answer 11:
The handkerchief is so important to how the play works because it is the catalyst that pushes Othello over the edge. It represents all of Othello’s rage, Desdemona’s devastation, and Iago’s ploy. The fact that the handkerchief is what sets off Othello suggests that it much more than just a simple piece of cloth – it is a symbol for all of the chaos that has ensued thus far. This idea is solidified by a declaration of rage from Othello: “Lie with her—that’s fulsome. Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief! To confess, and be hanged for his labor” (4.1.34). When thinking of Desdemona and Cassio being together, Othello cannot help himself from coming back to the handkerchief. All of the sinful actions and scheming that has taken place so far can all be traced back to one source – the handkerchief.


Question 16:
First, consider/recall the behavior of Othello in Acts I to III. Now, in Act IV, how has Othello changed up to this point in the play? Explain.

Answer 16:
Othello has definitely appeared to change when comparing the way he acted in Acts I to III with Act IV. Up until Act IV, he is been on, the whole, very stoic and calm, but there is a drastic shift in Act IV. He has become very loud, angry, emotional, and extremely unstable. He even goes as far as to strike Desdemona and when she is weeping he forcefully declares, “Oh, devil, devil! / If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears, / Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile. / Out of my sight!” (4.1.193-195). It is apparent that the other characters are seeing this drastic change as well. For instance, upon his arrival, Lodovico’s witnesses Othello’s rage and states, “Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate / Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature / Whom passion could not shake? Whose solid virtue / The shot of accident nor dart of chance / Could neither graze nor pierce?” (4.1.215-219). Even he cannot believe the changes that have taken place in Othello. Before being convinced that Desdemona is cheating on him, Othello was very capable and stable no matter what, but now he is enraged and a changed man.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at October 6, 2012 04:27 PM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
7 October 2012

Question 1: In Act IV, Scene 1, lines 238-62, why is the character Lodovico introduced into the action? What purpose does this character serve in the plot development? Explain.

Answer: Lodovico arrives escorting Desdemona, and bringing Othello a letter asking him to return to Venice and appoint Cassio governor in his place. Lodovico serves to act literally as a messenger and symbolically as the idea of reality, what people would think about the current situation. “My lord, this would not be believed in Venice, Though I should swear I saw ’t. 'Tis very much.” (Line 190) He is an outsider, so he sees the relationships between the characters clearly, for he is not involved with all the drama. He causes the plot to come to a turning point, where Othello actually strikes Desdemona, and the downward spiral of the characters’ lives begins a faster descent.


Question 2: What are Othello and Iago discussing at the beginning of the scene? What physical reaction does Othello have to Iago’s information? Explain.

Answer: Iago tells Othello graphically about what Desdemona and Cassio have allegedly been doing behind his back. “To kiss in private?... Or to be naked with her friend in bed An hour or more, not meaning any harm?” (Line 3) This begins to upset Othello, and then Iago reminds him that the psycial sign or her love and honor to Othello is represented by the handkerchief. “Her honor is an essence that’s not seen, They have it very oft that have it not. But for the handkerchief…” (Line 16) After all the talk about Cassio, Desdemona and the handkerchief, Othello falls into a trance. “Lie with her? lie on her? We say “lie on her” when they belie her! Lie with her—that’s fulsome. Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief! To confess, and be hanged for his labor. First to be hanged, and then to confess—I tremble at it. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion without some instruction. It is not words that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips. Is ’t possible? Confess!—Handkerchief!—Oh, devil!” (Line 30)


Question 12: In Act IV, which scenes (or speeches) contain memorable examples of dramatic irony? (if you are STILL unfamiliar with what dramatic irony is, you need to take time to look it up and refresh your memory). Explain.

Answer: When Emilia and Othello discuss the relationship between Desdemona and Cassio in Scene 2, Emilia says that whoever tried to convince Othello that Desdemona was cheating on him should be cursed. “I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest, Lay down my soul at stake. If you think other Remove your thought, it doth abuse your bosom. If any wretch have put this in your head Let heaven requite it with the serpent’s curse For if she be not honest, chaste, and true There’s no man happy. The purest of their wives Is foul as slander.” (Line13) This is an example of dramatic irony because she doesn’t know that Iago is the one putting the thoughts into Othello’s head, or that she herself helped the deception by stealing the handkerchief.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at October 8, 2012 11:14 AM

Zach Brasseur

Dr. Lee Hobbs

Hon 250

8 October 2012

Act IV

Question: In Act IV, what is the significance of Bianca’s flinging the handkerchief at Cassio just when Othello is looking on? How plausible do you find Bianca’s act to be? Why or why not? Explain.


Answer: Bianca throws the handkerchief at Cassio because she believes that it was not really meant for her. (“I was a fine fool to take it” (line 148)) It also provides further evidence for Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair.

Question: Explain how the handkerchief has increased in significance in Act IV than it has from the previous Acts.

Answer: The handkerchief that Othello demanded from Desdemona is found to be the same one that Cassio discovered in his room. He “hath given it his whore” (line 173) according to Iago in reference to Bianca. This infuriates Othello, not only because he believes Cassio is sleeping on his wife but also because he is cheating on her with someone else.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 8, 2012 12:09 PM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
October 8, 2012


Act IV Question 9:

In Act III, Iago used one clever bit of “evidence” to suggest that Desdemona was being unfaithful. In Act IV, what circumstantial evidence is now added to Othello’s case against Desdemona? Explain.


Answer:

In Act III of Othello, there Iago uses the fact that Desdemona and Cassio spend a lot of time together against them in making a case that Desdemona is being unfaithful to Othello. Now, even though the case is false, Act IV brings new “evidence” to the table that brings Othello closer to believing in Iago’s lie. In Scene I, as Iago and Othello are talking, they see Cassio coming their way. Iago tells Othello to hide so that he can get information about him and Desdemona without him knowing Othello is there. The plan succeeds as Iago jokes about a prostitute, Bianca, who Cassio is sleeping with. However, as Cassio jokes and makes gestures, Othello believes them to be talking about Desdemona. “She was here even now. She haunts me in every place. I was the other day talking on the sea-bank with certain Venetians, and thither comes the bauble and, by this hand, she falls me thus about my neck-,” (Act IV Scene I, lines 12-15).


Act IV Question 17:

Explain the difference in the relationship between Desdemona and Othello in Act IV compared to when they first arrived in Cyprus in Act II. Explain.


Answer:

In Act IV of Othello, the relationship between Othello and Desdemona has changed drastically since Act II. Whereas in Act II, The two were inseparable and in love, in Act IV, Othello is hostile towards his wife and Desdemona has no idea as to what she has done to deserve this. Othello is convinced that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio and so he believes everything she says to be a lie or about how in love with Cassio she is. Ay, you did wish that I would make her turn. Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on, and turn again. And she can weep, sir, weep. And she’s obedient, as you say, obedient, very obedient.—proceed you in your tears.” (Act IV Scene I, lines 203-207). Othello now wants nothing to do with Desdemona and is infuriated with just hearing her speak. Compared to the beginning of the play, the relationship between the two has taken a complete turn-around.


Act IV Question 20:

In Act IV, why is Iago annoyed with Iago? Explain.


Answer:

In Act IV, Roderigo begins to see Iago’s master plan for what it is. He realizes that he has been cheated and that Iago never meant to help him with Desdemona. “I’ve listened to you too much already. Your words and actions don’t match up.” (Act IV Scene II, lines 83-84). He enters yelling at Iago that he has lost all of his money because he had trusted in Iago and that he never should have in the first place. Roderigo is the first person to realize what Iago was up to the whole time.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at October 8, 2012 12:12 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
8 October 2012


Question: In Act IV, Scene 2, how does Desdemona react to the accusations of Othello? Explain.

Answer: As Othello begins to accuse her of adultery, Desdemona is very beside herself; she is extremely upset and confused, reduced to tears. She insists that she is his loyal wife and initially pleads for him not to blame his falling out with her father on her. Othello insists she has committed a sin, and Desdemona refers to it as she is committing an ignorant sin (she has no idea what she has done). To the accusations of her being a whore, Desdemona refutes them wholeheartedly, insisting that she is a Christian and that she will be saved. "No, as I am a Christian. If to preserve this body for my lord From any other evil unlawful touch Is not to be a prostitute, I am none," (page 64). Desdemona insists that Iago be brought here to sort out this confusion at once. "I have none. Don‟t talk to me, Emilia; I cannot weep, and I don‟t have any answers, Except what should go by water. I beg you, tonight Lay my wedding sheets on my bed, remember? And I‟ll call your husband here," (page 64).


Question: In Act IV, Scene 3, what does the conversation between Emilia and Desdemona tell us about the nature of each?

Answer: Desdemona cries to Emilia, upset that she has displeased her husband. Emilia insists that the way women are mistreated for displeasing their husband is barbaric and that men should know that women are able to think for themselves too. "Why, we have nerves, and although we have some grace, still we have some revenge. Let husbands know their wives have senses like them," (page 71). Emilia is disheartened by the sight of women being forced into frailty, just like Desdemona. Desdemona, however, is this frail women who is driven to tears over the anger of her husband that Emilia despises. This shows how Emilia could be coined as today's "feminist," a strong-willed woman who doesn't need a man. While Desdemona is the opposite, always looking to please her husband.


Question: In Act IV, how does Othello react to Iago's images of infidelity? Explain.

Answer: Othello reacts in rage, raving that Cassio should be hanged. He's horribly ashamed in his wife at the belief that she has been unfaithful. He reacts so strongly, that he falls into a sort of trance out of shock.

"Lie with her! Lie on her! We say lie on her when they belie her. Lie with her! that's sickening. Handkerchief, Confessions, handkerchief! To confess, and be hanged for his labor, first, to be hanged, and then to confess.—I tremble at it. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion without some reason. It is not words that shake me like this. Rubbish! Noses, ears, and lips. Is it possible? Confess, handkerchief! O devil!" (page 54)

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at October 8, 2012 02:46 PM

Anna McEntee and Rhett Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
October 8, 2012

Question 3 Act IV Scene III:
What are Desdemona’s views about women who cheat on their husbands? What are Emilia’s views? What does Emilia give as the reason a woman might cheat?
Answer:
In Othello, the characters Desdemona and Emilia have completely different views on the subject of faithfulness in marriage. While Desdemona believes if inconceivable for a woman to cheat on her husband, Emilia believes it is not only common, but acceptable, as long as the woman doesn’t get caught. “Nor I neither, by this heavenly light. I might do ’t as well i' th' dark.” (Act IV Scene III, lines 52-53). Emilia even makes up an excuse to defend her case by saying that it would be kay to cheat, as long as it benefitted the husband in some way, like to buy the world.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at October 9, 2012 01:39 AM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 October 2012

Group Question, Act IV, Scene 1: What are Othello and Iago discussing at the beginning of the scene? What physical reaction does Othello have to Iago's information?


Answer: They're discussing Cassio having the handkerchief that Othello gave Desdemona. They then go on to talk about Desdemona's affair with Cassio, the proof being him having the handkerchief.

Iago: "So they do nothin, 'tis a venial slip; But if I give my wife a handkerchief-" (lines 9-10)

Iago: "Her honour is an essence that's not seen, they have it very oft they have it not: But for the handkerchief-" (lines 16-18)

Othello then gets so worked up, that he begins sputtering over his words, then falling into an epileptic fit, foaming at the mouth. His anger and epilepsy could quite possibly be Othello's "Achilles's heel."

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at October 9, 2012 12:53 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 October 2012


Question: Describe the course of Iago’s deception of Othello, showing which incidents were planned and which were opportunistic. Does Iago succeed by skill or by luck?


Answer: Iago’s deception was a well thought out plan that fell into place as the events went on; he was a great strategician and quite the lucky opportunist. He was intelligent enough to not only plan his wickedness, but also take advantage of opportunities of good fortune and twisted them to his advantage. He begins his plan with the intention of enacting revenge upon Othello and Cassio after he is passed for the promotion of Othello’s lieutenant.

He begins his plan by convincing Roderigo to aid him in breaking up Othello and Desdemona, telling Roderigo that he will be able to swoop in and win the love of Desdemona as long as he provides money to Iago. They then go to expose Othello and Desdemona’s elopement to the bride’s father, Brabantio. Not only does this place Othello in a bad light in the eyes of the counsel, but also shows how Desdemona was willing to go behind her father’s back, which Brabantio warns Othello about (a bout of luck on Iago’s side, planting the seed of doubt in Othello’s mind), “Watch her, Moor, if you have eyes to see. She has deceived her father, and may deceive you,” (lines 292-293).

Iago’s next step is to have Cassio demoted and on Othello’s bad side. He does this by encouraging Cassio to drink, which he does to an excess; then Iago convinces Roderigo, a man that was willing to do anything to win the love of the noble lady Desdemona, to throw insults at Cassio till he attacks him, which Cassio does, leaving Montano injured accidentally. Othello demands to know what had happened and asks the “trustworthy Iago,” who hints at Cassio possibly having a drinking problem. This leads to Othello demoting Cassio (a probable act of luck for Iago).

Being a dear friend, Cassio requests that Desdemona speak to Othello on his behalf in order to return him to his position. After their discussion, Cassio embraces Desdemona in the most innocent manner, friend-to-friend, and then leaves. Othello and Iago witness this embrace and Iago takes this opportunity to stir up trouble. When Othello asks Iago if it was Cassio with his wife, Iago responds, “Cassio, my lord! No, sure, I cannot think it, That he would steal away so guilty-like, Seeing you coming,” (lines 38-40). Iago continues to prod at this seed of jealousy in Othello’s mind. Then, when Desdemona happens to drop a handkerchief given to her by her new husband, her servant picks it up, Emilia, who happens to be the wife of Iago. Iago sees Emilia with the handkerchief and takes the opportunity to snatch it from her, another change of good fortune. He then later tells Othello, “I know not that; but such a handkerchief—I am sure it was your wife's—did I today see Cassio wipe his beard with.” (lines 437-439). This handkerchief that means so dearly to Othello is in the hands of the man that his wife is having an affair with and this angers Othello to the point of requesting that Iago kill his former lieutenant, which he happily agrees to do. Iago in his original plan may not have intended to have Cassio killed, but this surely works to his advantage.

Meanwhile, in many occasions that Othello speaks to his wife, Desdemona brings Cassio up in the conversation. She has the intention of merely getting his job back, but Othello sees this as further evidence of the two having an adulterous affair. When he requests that his wife present him with the handkerchief that he gave her, she cannot, stating that she must’ve misplaced it. He takes this as proof that Cassio in fact was given the handkerchief. Other than planting the idea that Desdemona gave Cassio the handkerchief, Iago had not planned these interactions between the new husband and wife. This is all by luck, working to his advantage.

On another occasion, Iago tells Othello that Cassio confessed to having sex with Desdemona. In rage, Othello falls into a fit of epilepsy. After he finally awakens, Iago convinces him to hide and eavesdrop on his conversation with Cassio, ensuring that he will confess. Instead, Iago asks Cassio about Bianca, a local prostitute that is madly in love with Cassio. Cassio speaks ill of her, calling her a whore and stating that he would never marry a girl of that standing, which angers Othello as he believes that Cassio is speaking ill of his wife. This was all planned by Iago, making sure that Othello was listening, and telling Cassio to talk about the woman in his life, which he assumes to mean Bianca.

In a conversation with Iago, Roderigo says that he will no longer be a part of this. Iago, fearing that he will lose his source of money, convinces Roderigo to kill Cassio, forcing Othello, and by connection, Desdemona, to stay in Cyprus with Roderigo. This is an opportunity of luck, allowing Iago to link his two plans together. When the two fight, Roderigo is killed, leaving his loose end tied up, therefore unable to speak out against Iago and his dastardly plan. In the darkness and confusion, Iago takes the chance to stab Cassio in the back of the leg. When Cassio cries out murder, Othello believes that Iago has done his job and then goes to kill Desdemona (though Cassio is not actually dead, merely wounded). With this, Iago’s revenge is fulfilled. He has successfully ruined both Cassio and Othello’s lives just as he intended. He achieved this through a combination of planned events, luck, and fortunate opportunities that Iago takes action on.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at October 9, 2012 02:33 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 October 2012

In-Class Study Question 2:
Act IV, Scene 2 – Discuss the irony in act IV, scene 2, lines 131-145. What do we know that Emilia does not?

In-Class Answer:
In this section of scene two, Emilia is talking to Desdemona about how unfair it is that she is being called a “whore” and is subject to the terrible rumor that she cheated on Othello. Emilia also bets that only some liar could be guilty of such a crime: “I will be hanged, if some eternal villain, / Some busy and insinuating rogue, / Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office, / have not devised this slander” (4.2.135-138). The dramatic irony of her bold statement here is the fact that this “eternal villain” is, in fact, Iago. Of course, Iago takes this blow with grace and plays along by stating, “Fie, there is no such man. It is impossible” (4.2.139).


Homework Study Question 6:
A tragedy concerns the fall of a great man due to some flaw in his character. What is Othello’s flaw, and explain how he is truly a tragic hero.

Homework Answer:
Othello’s major flaw is that he puts his trust and distrust in the wrong people – he has poor judgment. For example, he puts all his faith in Iago and even proclaims, “O brave Iago, honest, and just” (5.1.32). He then puts all of his doubt in Cassio and Desdemona even though they are truly the ones who have been loyal and true to him. Furthermore, it is quite possible that this lack of good judgment may lie in the prejudices that Othello is subject to. In other words, Othello is an outsider that has come within, and he must face prejudices against him because of the fact that he is a Moor in a white society. Once Iago plants the seed that Desdemona has cheated on him, those prejudices hit home and he suddenly feels as if he is not good enough for Desdemona. Once this happens, jealousy and emotion take over, which leads to his serious lack of judgment. You can see this emotional takeover when he is having an epileptic fit after screaming: “Is ’t possible? Confess!—Handkerchief!—Oh, devil!—” (4.1.34). This quote reveals an internal fight he is having with himself about whether it is true that Desdemona has cheated on him. Othello falls victim to self-doubt, which results in poor judgment, and, ultimately, his downfall. Once more, it is Othello’s poor lack of judgment that is his downfall and his true marking as a tragic hero.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at October 9, 2012 03:21 PM

Zach Brasseur

Dr. Lee Hobbs

Hon 250

9 October 2012

Act IV Scene 2

Question: What does Othello ask Emilia at the beginning of the scene and how does Emilia respond?


Answer: Othello asks Emilia if she knows anything about Desdemona's and Cassio's alleged affair. She denies any infidelity on both of their parts and she urges Othello to stop worrying about it:

"Remove your thought, it doth abuse your bosom;

If any wretch ha' put this in your head,

Let heaven requite it with the serpents' curse," (line 14-16)


Here, Emilia is the sole voice of reason in what has been a play full of chaos. She can see things for what they are with empirical evidence, not what someone else has told her, a very humanistic aspect of the play.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 9, 2012 08:56 PM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 Humanistic Traditions
9, October, 2012

Question: Act IV Scene 1, Whom do Iago and Cassio discuss while Othello is hiding? What does Cassio say about her? Whom does Othello think they are discussing and why?

Answer: Iago and Cassio are discussing Bianca, how she would wish to marry Cassio, how he refuses to do such a thing saying it would be unsightly; he never had any intention of marrying Bianca. Cassio also tells how he likes how Bianca clings to him and will not leave him alone. Othello thinks they are discussing Desdemona, Iago told Othello he would draw it out of Cassio, Iago use the distance so Othello cannot hear well and tricked Othello.

Question: Discuss how age, social position, and race impact the relationship between Othello and Desdemona.

Answer: Othello was older than Desdemona by at least ten years if not more; it is hard to judge accurately, making their life experience at two different levels which caused complications for the two. Desdemona was the daughter of a wealthy council member; she had a very cushy life, never had to travel, always had servants, and never had real struggles in her life. While Othello was a slave, been a fighting man, living everyday like it may be his last. The biggest bridge between the two was Othello’s nationality. He was not a native; it was highly unlikely for someone to marry someone from outside their own country at this time besides royalty. Mainly due to the fact the most marriages were arranged and the father would never allow it.

Posted by: William Berry at October 10, 2012 07:36 AM

Zach Brasseur
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
10 October 2012

Question: In addition to exposing the prejudices of Venetians, discuss how the play also exposes the prejudices of the audience.

Answer: The place of women in English society during the Renaissance is well known. Although they had more freedoms than they did in the Middle Ages, they were still largely seen as property, as evidenced by Brabantio's indignation at Desdemona marrying without permission. When Iago says to Emilia and Desdemona that women "rise to play and go to bed to work" (Act II Sc 1 line 115), he implies that women are only good for sex.

There is also a degree of racism in Othello. There are slurs included in the dialogue such as Roderigo calling Othello "thicklips" in Act I Sc 1 line 66. And in Act I Sc 3 line 290 the Duke says to Brabantio that his new son-in-law is "far more fair than black", meaning that if it weren't for the color of his skin, you would think he was white.


Question: (in place of last week's question) Discuss the role of Emilia. How does her character change during the course of the play? Pay particular attention to moments when Emilia decides to be silent and when she decides to speak. What is the effect of her silence about the handkerchief? Do we forgive this silence when she insists on speaking in spite of Iago's threats in the final scene?

Answer: When Emilia first appears, it seems as if she is a good and loyal wife, almost subservient to Iago. In Act IV Sc 3 it is revealed that she may not be so faithful as we had thought when she asks Desdemona "who would not make her husband a cuckold, to make him a monarch?" (line 74-75).

One instance where she remains silent is when Iago is telling Desdmona about the differences between men and women in Act II Sc 1. But she does speak when Othello asks her whether or not Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair.

When she is silent on the handkerchief it allows Othello's suspicions to grow. By her not speaking, she fails to prevent an easily avoidable conflict. However, she tries to make up for this silence by outing Iago and admitting that she took the handkerchief and gave it to Iago.

"O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou speak'st on,
I found by fortune, and did give my husband;
For often with a solemn earnestness.
More than indeed belong'd to such a trifle,
He begg'd of me to steal it." (line 226-229)

With this confession, Emilia tries to amend what has been done, but Desdemona is already dead and Othello is about to kill himself.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 10, 2012 10:17 AM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
10 October 2012

Question 3: To what extent does Othello’s final speech affect our assessment of him? What is the effect of his final anecdote about the Turk?

Answer: I think it helps us to understand the humanity of Othello. Othello wishes to be remembered for what he was, neither under or over-stating his role in the entire affair. “in your letters, When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice.” (Line 356) He says himself that he was just a normal person who was tricked into having unrealistic emotions. He says that he was not usually emotional, but once he was it was consuming his judgment. “Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought, Perplexed in the extreme… Of one whose subdued eyes, Albeit unused to the melting mood, Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees Their medicinal gum.” (Line 361) The anecdote is reminiscence of the way which Desdemona fell for him, through the telling of war stories. The final statement about the Turk only helps us understand the patriotic nature of Othello, and how he thinks of justice, he fought in many battles and killed many people, but the one true enemy to everything he loved is himself.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at October 10, 2012 10:49 AM

William, please see my earlier remarks. If you want your responses to count toward your grade in a positive way, you are going to have to make a better effort to follow the stipulations of my instructions. You must be including quoted passages from the text to support the generalizations that you've postulated for an answer and cite them please. Look at your classmates answers for a model.

Thank you,

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at October 10, 2012 10:52 AM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
10 October 2012

Group Questions: Act IV, Scene 2
Question 3: What does Othello say to Desdemona and how does Desdemona respond? Is Othello treating Desdemona fairly?

Answer: Othello asks Desemona what she is, and she says that she is “Your wife, my lord; your true and loyal wife” (Line 36) Othello doesn’t believe her, and asks her to “Swear thou art honest” (Line 40) Desdemona says that heaven knows that she is honest, but Othello still doesn’t believe her. “Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.” (Line 42) Othello then begins to talk about how she is unfaithful to him, while all the time Desdemona is confused as to the nature of Othello’s frustration. Othello is not treated her very fairly in the sense that he does not listen to what she has to say, or trust her words. He is so caught up in his own emotional distress that nothing she says can persuade him otherwise. Desdemona is partially at fault however, for not being able to recognize the situation and handle it in a different and more practical way.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at October 10, 2012 11:01 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
October 10, 2012

Question:

Discuss the role that race plays in Shakespeare’s portrayal of Othello. How do the other characters react to Othello’s skin color or to the fact that he is a Moor? How does Othello see himself?


Answer:

Being that the play Othello is about a different race and the controversy involved in inter-racial, the role of race is very important to how the plot plays out. Othello is treated differently by the other characters in the play just because of his race. He had to work harder than everyone else to earn his ranking and he demands respect because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t get any. When it is found out that he has married Brabantio’s daughter, Desdemona, Brabantio demands he be arrested and tried to using magic on her. “Ay, to me. She is abused, stol'n from me, and corrupted by spells and medicines bought of mountebanks.” (Act I Scene II, lines 64-66) This brings on yet another view of Othello that is controversial, that just because he is a Moor, he uses witchcraft and therefore should be feared.

Another view to take on is Othello’s. In his eyes, he has earned the respect that he has and had to face more than anyone else to earn it just because of his race. “Let him do his spite. My services which I have done the signiory shall out-tongue his complaints.” (Act I Scene II, Lines 17-19). In some ways, Othello’s race had fueled his pride. However, the fact that he is the minority is always lurking in the background, which is what leads him to believe Desdemona to be unfaithful.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at October 10, 2012 12:21 PM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
10 October 2012

Act 4 Scene 3

1. What does Othello command Desdemona to do, and how does Desdemona respond?

Othello is going to go for a walk with Lodovico and he stops and tells Desdemona to go off to bed right that instant and to send Emilia away. He said to wait for him and he would be up shortly. Desdemona promptly obeys him, returns to bed, and sends Emilia away.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at October 10, 2012 01:47 PM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
10 October 2012

Whole Play

9. Analyze Desdemona's role. To what extent is she merely a passive victim of Othello's brutality? How does her character change when she is not with Othello?

Desdemona plays the role of a faithful, loving, obedient wife to Othello. She is mainly a passive victim of Othello's brutality because she is unaware of what he truly believes is going on, and he persuades himself even more that she is being unfaithful to him and she has no chance to defend herself against this assumption. Although, it could be argues that just because she is ignorant that does not mean that she is entirely innocent. In this time, ignorance would have been highly frowned upon, and the fact that Othello clearly gets agitated and angry whenever Desdemona mentions Cassio should tip her off that it is probably a subject that she should stray from. However, she continuously pushes and pushes the subject of Cassio until Othello cannot stand it anymore. When Othello is not around, Desdemona is still a good, faithful wife but she looks out for the interests of others, in good faith, like Cassio.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at October 10, 2012 02:17 PM

Zach Brasseur, Rhett Pringle, Jordan Bailey
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
10 October 2012


Question: Analyze one or more of the play's bizarre comic scenes: the banter between Iago and Desdemona in Act II, scene i; the drinking song in Act II, scene iii; the clown scenes (Act III, scenes i and iv). How do these scenes echo, reflect, distort, or comment on the more serious matter of the play?


Answer: The banter between Iago and Desdemona is interesting because it reveals a lot about Iago's true feelings about women in a more light hearted way, a huge contrast to how his prejudices are revealed in his ultimate plot. In line 115 he says that all women "rise to play, and go to bed to work" meaning that they are generally lazy and only good for sex. He also reveals another part of his nature by telling Desdemona that he is "nothing, if not critical" (line 119). But even here it is difficult to tell if Iago is being honest, because so far he hasn't been very honest, and he is joking around with Desdemona.

This scene is interesting in the context of the play because it is a somewhat humorous event in an otherwise depressing story. It is possible that it is intended to be a comic relief, but it could also be Shakespeare's way of providing important information in an unusual way.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 10, 2012 06:15 PM

Stacey Bigge & William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
12 October 2012

Question:
Marriage is a central them in Othello. Compare and contrast views expressed by characters in the play by finding passages that discuss this theme and, in a larger sense, men’s perceptions of women and women’s perceptions of men. When all is said and done, what might Shakespeare be suggesting about marriage?

Answer:
There is a wide range of views presented from various characters in regards to marriage. The reader gets a glimpse of this through Iago, Cassio, Desdemona, and Emilia. The men perceive women as obeying and subordinate. For example, Iago has no problem in illuminating his belief that women are only good “To suckle fools and chronicle small beer” (2.1.160). When speaking of Bianca with Iago, Cassio proclaims, “I marry her! What? A customer? Prithee bear some charity to my wit” (4.1.109). Furthermore, even though Othello and Desdemona married out of love, the notion that she is subordinate to him is still ever-present. Othello orders, “Get you to bed on th' instant” and Desdemona obeys without fail (4.3.7).

On the other hand, the women show a mixed view towards marriage. As shown above, it is clear that Desdemona does not question her subordinance in her marriage to Othello. She declares to Emilia, “We must not now displease him” (4.3.16). Even though she is being subjected to terrible rumors about her fidelity to Othello, she still is constantly thinking of her societal duty to obey and please him. Conversely, Emilia can almost be seen as a feminist because of her views on marriage and fidelity. In her conversation with Desdemona about whether there are women who would cheat their husbands, Desdemona claims that no such woman could possibly exist but Emilia boldly proclaims, “There be some such, no question” (4.3.46). She even mentions that she would cheat on her husband no question if it meant the gain of the entire world.

Shakespeare may be suggesting that there are different kinds of marriage – ones with love and ones without – but in all marriages, the women become the property of the men. However, he further suggests that how the women react to this notion is different and varied (as shown by the contrasting views of Desdemona and Emilia on marriage).

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at October 12, 2012 01:07 PM

Sarah Nobles and Anna McEntree
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
15 October 2012


Question: Trace the trail of the handkerchief. What purpose does the whole handkerchief episode serve?


Answer: Othello explains to Desdemona that the handkerchief (lines 55-68, Act III, Scene 4) is crucial to their relationship because the Egyptian woman who gave it to his mother explained that it would keep her husband soft and sweet, but if the handkerchief was lost or given away, then there would be destruction (foreshadowing). In Othello's mind, Desdemona not having the handkerchief is proof of her infidelity.

The trail of the handkerchief is as follows:
the Egyptian woman gave it to Othello's mother, Othello's mother gave it to Othello, Othello gave it to Desdemona, Desdemona dropped it and Emilia picked it up, Iago took the handkerchief from Emilia, Iago gave the handkerchief to Cassio, Cassio gave it to Bianca to make a copy, Bianca threw it back at Cassio, and Othello took it from Cassio.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at October 15, 2012 12:24 AM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
16 October 2012

Question 6:
Consider the warning of Desdemona’s father to Othello, and Othello’s response. Are the responses a foreshadowing of what is to come and Othello’s ultimate fate?

Answer 6:
Desdemona’s father’s – Brabantio’s – warnings can be seen as a foreshadowing to Othello’s fate, but in a unique and restricted way. Brabantio warns Othello, “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. / She has deceived her father, and may thee” (1.3.288-289). Othello responds confidently, “My life upon her faith!” (1.3.290).
Brabantio’s warning is, in a way, a foreshadowing because Othello does, indeed, end up believing that Desdemona has “deceived” him by means of infidelity with Cassio. Of course, the dramatic irony of it is that Desdemona has not cheated on her husband at all. This makes Brabantio’s warnings a foreshadowing but in a very unique way. His warnings are a foreshadowing of what is to be apparent but not what is to be true.
Moreover, Othello put his “life upon her faith” and ends up killing himself when he wholeheartedly believes that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him and their marriage. His suicide was not a direct response to Desdemona’s faith but a result from a chain of events: He kills himself once he discovers that he was wrong about Desdemona and once he learns of Iago’s ploy. Othello then exclaims, “Oh, what a fool I am!” and stabs himself to death (5.2.339). This demonstrates that yes, Brabantio’s cautioning of Desdemona’s deceit and Othello’s confident response of his “life upon her faith” come true but not in the clear cut way that it is initially put – there are layers underneath the warning and response that simply could not have been foreseen. Ultimately, there is only the appearance that Desdemona has deceived Othello, it is not the true reality of the situation, which is why Brabantio’s warning and Othello’s response are a foreshadowing but in a unique and limited way.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at October 16, 2012 01:59 PM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Humanistic Traditions
15, October, 2012

Question: From the Laurence Michel article: “Shakespearean Tragedy: Critique of Humanism from the Inside”. In your own words, please paraphrase the author’s thesis/claim/position. What key arguments does the author use to support the thesis? You will need to quote exact passages from the text as evidence with the paragraph/page numbers for easy reference. Failure to adequately do this will result in a fail for this part of the test.
In Laurence Michel’s article he debates that the Humanistic tones of Shakespeare’s work is cast aside by the main character becoming mad or breaking; that the humanism dies/defeated, is cast aside with great pain, and that tragedy is used as an investigation at the pretentions of humanism(pg6 pgh1). That this is due to influences around the main character, yet there is the development and survival of the “Human spirit”. (pg3, pgh2) Michel later says the not only has the “Human spirit” survived but prevailed, as all becomes worse it becomes better, a paradox. The creation of the paradoxes is described as a result of, as William F. Lynch says, “non-cognitive, indeed” transitions in the work. (pg5, pgh1)

The paradox that is the well perceived is that of the “Human Spirit”. How, when everything is falling apart around them, the main character can stand and see the light in the blackness that is scene. This is believed to be done by Shakespeare, how he wrote the piece.

“Somewhere along the line a shift takes place, often no doubt without the student's being aware of it. He begins to consider the audience, instead of the hero, or the theme, or the play, as recipient and beneficiary of the tragic action: it is the spectator who (somehow?the psychology of this is still being worked out) is endowed with pity and terror, purged of them, and dis missed in a state of quiet exhilaration. Meanwhile, the world of the tragedy is a shambles, more of its central people than not are dead, mutilated, bereft, or mad, and those on its fringe are bewildered and cast down. An effect has been declared, without an adequate efficient cause; "affective" criteria have been smuggled into an "intentional" situation. It is a meretricious dexterity in logic or method, an illegitimate transfer from one set of references to another, like the shells and the pea. And the consequences can be destructive of the good estate of the art, producing a theory of tragedy which, as William F. Lynch points out, is "non-cognitive indeed"(pg4-5)

No amount of paraphrasing would carry the same meaning, this discussing something important. There is direct focus on the audience, instead of the scene upon the stage. Michel points out that as the audience becomes more engrossed they are stripped of emotion, the feelings of sympathy replaced with the feeling of exhilaration of success made by the main character. The question then becomes why is this done and what is supposed to be result of these actions, Nietzsche termed this as “pure” spectator (pg5, pgh2). The concept of “pure” spectator is said by Michel, to instill the belief of the “Human spirit” to make up for the failure of the body. Michel says the same pertaining to the play and the audience, which the audience makes up for any shortcomings of the play through its own imagination/compassion. (pg5, pgh3)

The humanism of the works in question, have been debated back and forth constantly by well-known scholars; Weisinger, Coulton, G. Wilson Knight. Their views different greatly, some attack the theology of the time, while others defend the humanism by picking apart arguments against it. One in great contest is the love between Othello and Desdemona, how that their innocence and nobility offer no protection from the scheming of Iago. (pg7, pgh2) The humanistic elements of Desdemona are that she is self-contradictory and slightly self-aware, yet she is so docile that she cannot even be described as a martyr. Michel says that Desdemona started meek, but in death became defiant. (pg10, pgh1) A little too late, turning into she could have been, instead she was the faithful wife who did not defend herself, she allowed herself to be shuffled by others, and brought about her own death.

Another point that is debated is the type of humanism is expressed, whether it is homocentric humanism or Renaissance humanism. The point of contention that Michel uses is the meaning of tragedy. “It says that loss of self is the constant; that lust (power-lust as well as sexual desire) is the expense of spirit in a waste of shame.”(pg8 pgh3) That the application of humanism in the work will reflect what type it is, his example is that Othello offers the chance for true love to flourish in a harsh society (race differences), but when they are isolated, it crumbles to dust. The play is centralized the character Othello, his downfall, though he does not appear to the true protagonist based on the activity of his character or the lack thereof. Since the plot is so, it is an example of homocentric humanism, even though there have been attempts to justify the thought of Renaissance humanism based upon the word choice of “heaven”, and “heavenly”. (pg8 pgh2)

For the rest of the article Michel goes into analyzing word choices, or how Othello should have felt, then compares Othello and Hamlet, recognizing similarities. Michel’s main point was to prove that humanism is destroyed in the work which he did very thoroughly by doing the in-depth analysis of the “human spirit”, the influence of Shakespeare’s work upon the audience using what Nietzsche dubbed “pure” spectator, and the explanation of the paradoxes created in the work.

Posted by: William Berry at October 17, 2012 07:09 AM

Zach Brasseur
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
17 October 2012

Question: Examine the role of Emilia. She is the “undoing” of Iago through her honesty. Was she right to betray her husband for her lady? Whom did she serve? Herself? Desdemona? Her husband? Does she redeem herself in the end for stealing the handkerchief or did she get what she deserved for betraying her lady in the first place? Or did she betray her lady or duly serve her husband? Consider these questions in your answer.

Answer: Emilia, the wife of the villain Iago in Othello, is the ultimate undoing of her husband. Just after Othello murders Desdemona and Iago enters the bed-chamber, Emilia calls out Iago, telling him that he has “told a lie, an odious damned lie,” (V. ii. 181). She shows her loyalty to Desdemona by calling Iago a villain and proclaiming to Othello that he “hast kill’d the sweetest innocent /that e’er did lift up eye” (V. ii. 199-200). In the end, Emilia tries to redeem herself by finally calling out Iago and bringing to light his crimes. However, it is too late as Desdemona is already dead and Iago’s plan is working out just as he wanted. Her role in the plot, the stealing of the handkerchief, was one of the tipping points for Othello, although she claims she stole it unknowingly, “I found by fortune, and did give my husband,” (V. ii. 227). Despite her claim of ignorance and bringing Iago to justice, Emilia probably got what she deserved.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 17, 2012 11:19 AM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
17 October 2012

Question: “Some have suggested that the focus of Othello is not the title character, as is the case with Shakespeare’s other great tragedies, Macbeth, King Lear, and Hamlet. Is Othello simply too one-dimensional to be considered a great tragic hero? Does his seemingly unrealistic gullibility lessen our interests in him and his suffering?”

Answer: The character of Othello is considered to be both a great war hero, as well as a tragic lover. “Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you Against the general enemy Ottoman…” (Line 50) “For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used Their dearest action in the tented field.” (Line 86) By being such a honorable citizen in battle, but failing to do so in love makes Othello a tragic hero. However, it does not necessarily make him the focus of the play. The mastermind behind the deception, Iago, is critical to to development of the story, and is most often the center of attention. “Were I the Moor I would not be Iago. In following him I follow but myself; Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, But seeming so for my peculiar end. For when my outward action doth demonstrate The native act and figure of my heart In compliment extern, ’tis not long after But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.” (Line 57) Even the suffering of Othello is suffocated by the size of Iago scheme. It dominates the entire play, drawing attention to Iago and whomever he is manipulating. Focusing on Othello’s gullibility predominately is also ignored as we look into the gullibility and overall naivety of the other characters. We tend to glance over Othello, and instead are interested in other characters that may put up more of a resistance to foriegn, and absurd, ideas. Othello follows along too easily, and is too easy to read, to become overly attached to. “Then must you speak Of one that loved not wisely but too well, Of one not easily jealous but, being wrought, Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand, Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away” (Line 341) His personality is indeed very flat, however, given his history and inner torments, he can be depicted as a round character.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at October 17, 2012 11:49 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
October 17, 2012

Question:
Why does Othello not investigate Iago’s accusations? Why does Othello not seek his own proof of Desdemona’s betrayal?

Answer:
In Act III of Othello, Iago convinces Othello that his wife, Desdemona, is being unfaithful to him. Othello, even though he says he will, doesn’t question Iago’s accusations and does not look for his own evidence. This is because Othello trusts Iago so deeply that he just believes him to be right and honest. “And for I know thou 'rt full of love and honesty and weigh’st thy words before thou giv’st them breath, therefore these stops of thine fright me the more.” (Act III Scene III, Lines 23-25). Othello believes Iago to be telling the truth because Iago played his part perfectly. He acted as though he did not want to share his suspicions with Othello and therefore made it seem like he wasn’t trying to tell a lie.
The reason for Othello not looking for evidence was because Iago made false evidence that Othello chose to believe. Iago stole Desdemona’s handkerchief and hid it in Cassio’s bed chamber, and as he talks to Cassio, with Othello hidden, he gets Cassio to reveal information that could be misconstrued to make Othello believe that Cassio is having an affair with his wife. “Alas, poor rogue, I think indeed she loves me.” (Act IV, Scene 1, Line 101). In the conversation, Cassio is really talking about Bianca, and her love for him, but Othello thinks he is talking about Desdemona, and her affair with him.
Through Iago’s cunning and lies, he pulls the strings of the story and manipulates every character, Othello especially, into doing what he wants. In this case, Iago manipulates Othello into believing his “suspicions” and going on that alone, rather than seeking out his own evidence to the problem at hand.


Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Othello, 1603

Posted by: Anna McEntee at October 17, 2012 12:54 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.


~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at October 25, 2012 08:29 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
1 September 2013

Question: In Act I, why does Roderigo hate Othello?

Answer: Roderigo hates Othello in Act I because Roderigo loves Desdemona but she married Othello. Roderigo doens't believe that Othello is a fitting spouse for Desdemona, he is a black man. It was believed that Othello cast a spell on Desdemona to make her fall in love with him. Roderigo believes that Desdemona deserves a white husband who will love her, he thinks that Othello's love for Desdemona will fade.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at October 1, 2013 09:36 PM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
22 September 2013

Question: In Act I, scene 1, what is Iago’s master plot to annoy Othello and Desdemona?

Answer: For this written response I will be citing “Othello” (William Shakespeare) the Elizabethan and Modern English Text. Iago’s plan is to annoy Othello and Desdemona by turning her family against him. Not only is their marriage a secret but so is their relationship as a whole. No one in Desdemona’s family knows that she is romantically involved with Othello, a black man who was once a slave. Iago’s master plan is for him and Roderigo to stand in the street outside Desdemona’s fathers house and call up to the window that he is being robbed. Iago begins to scream from the street, “Awake! what, ho, Brabantio! Thieves! Thieves! Thieves! Look at your house, your daughter, and your bags! Thieves! Thieves!” (Act 1, Scene 1, 2). When Brabanito, Desdemona’s, father comes to the window they tell him his is being robbed for his shame and that “an old black ram is screwing your white lamb” (Act 1, Scene1, 3). When Brabanito goes to check on Desdemona he finds her lying with Othello. This enrages Brabanito and causes him too turn against Othello, showing that Iago’s plan has succeeded.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at October 2, 2013 10:17 AM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
2 October 2013

The Use of Religion in La Mandragola

In La Mandragola Machiavelli incorporates various aspects of religion directly into the plot. Not only does he incorporate religion into the plays plot, but he also has the setting of several acts take place within the church. In addition, one of the main characters is a Friar, Friar Timoteo, and he shares a significant part in the story of La Mandragola. There are three notable places in the plot where Machiavelli demonstrates the role of religion; these include act three scene four where Ligurio and Nicia are speaking to Friar Timoteo in the church, act three scene nine where Friar Timoteo has a dialogue with himself, and act three scene eleven when Lucrezia and her mother Sostrata are in the church speaking with Friar Timoteo.
In act three scene four of La Mandragola, Ligurio and Nicia go to the church to convince Friar Timoteo to bless them and their plan to help Lucrezia conceive. Ligurio comes up with a plan to trick the Friar. Nicia pretends to be deaf, and Ligurio tells the Friar a story so scandalous claiming that Nicia “vowed to give three hundred ducats for the Lord’s work if this is kept secret” (Machiavelli 455). The story he told the Friar was that Nicia’s nephew went away to France and while away his daughter became pregnant. They said they came to the church to ask for permission to give the girl a potion to miscarry. After some consideration, and the realization he would be receiving three hundred ducats, the Friar agreed. Little did Timoteo know, this story was not true. Ligurio had only told him this lie knowing that if he agreed to something so scandalous he would have no choice but to agree their true motive. Later Ligurio explained what he had done and proposed the real plan to help Lucrezia succeed, and the Friar again agreed to help. Machiavelli uses this scene as a way to mock the church, as well as the Friar. Showing how easily they can be tricked as well as their greed. Friar Timoteo was willing to allow a woman to miscarry in exchange for a donation of three hundred ducats. This is Machiavelli’s way of showing that the church is flawed.
In act three scene nine, we see a dialogue between Friar Timoteo and himself, directly after Nicia and Ligurio leave the church. He explains how he was tricked and how he plans to convince Lucrezia that it is okay to take the potion. Machiavelli again uses this dialogue to show the importance of money to the church and how is even can overpower the idea of morals. Friar Timoteo says, “It’s true I have been tricked, but this ruse can still be profitable to me” (Machiavelli 458). This shows the Friars true motive, he does not care about the lies or trickery just that he will be profiting. He continues by saying, “Messer Nicia and Callimaco are rich, and I should be able to get quite a bit out of both of them for different reasons” (Machiavelli 458) again showing his greed. A Friar should be a man of God and morals, one who cared for the well-being of others. By agreeing to trick Lucrezia into taking the potion and sleeping with another man the Friar shows that he is not truly respectable and is using his authority for trickery. Then when speaking of Lucrezia he says, “I shall play on her kindness, women aren’t too bright” (Machiavelli 458). Showing his lack of morals again, for a man of God would not use lies and trickery for that is sin.
Lastly, in act three scene eleven, Lucrezia and her mother Sostrata go to the church to speak to Friar Timoteo regarding Ligurio and Callamaco’s plan to help her conceive. Little do they know the Friar has been forewarned that they are coming and also knows the matters they plan to discuss with him. The Friar tells Lucrezia that these actions will not be a sin and will be forgiven. He also says that only what displeases the husband is sin and because she is doing what he wishes it will not be. He tells her, “the outcome of your act is to fill a seat in paradise and to please your husband” (Machiavelli 460). He is basically saying by doing this and pleasing your husband you will have a seat in heaven. The Friar is using Lucrezia faith against her, because he is an authority of the church she will blindly believe anything he says. This is Machiavelli’s way of showing that those who follow the church are fools as well. Just because the Friar has told her to Lucrezia agrees to sleep with another man with the belief that it will help her conceive. This is complete foolishness and Machiavelli shows it through her blind faith in the authority of the church.
To recapitulate, Machiavelli uses religion in the play La Mandragola to mock the church and those who follow it. He shows a Friar with flaws who cares more about money than he does morals. As well as a Friar who is easily tricked, yet does not care due to the money he will be receiving. He shows a woman who has so much faith in the church that she will so blindly believe that it is okay for her to sleep with another man if it will help her conceive a child. Over all, the story of La Mandragola’s plot is used as a device to show the problems in the church and how Machiavelli personally feels about them.


Works Cited
Machiavelli, Niccolò, Peter E. Bondanella, and Mark Musa. The Portable Machiavelli. Hammondsworth,
Eng.: Penguin, 1979. Print.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at October 2, 2013 11:48 AM

Dafne Jacobs
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
02 October 2013
Question: Find all the references in Act I of Othello as a “devil.” Find Iago’s use of “taboo
words.”

Answer: Iago uses the expression “God's blood!,” he calls Othello a “heathen,” and tells Roderigo to “poison [Brabantio's] delight.” He also tells Brabantio that Othello is “tupping [his] white ewe” which could be a reference to the biblical similie between Jesus's followers and sheep. He says that “the devil” will make him a grandfather, referring to Othello. Iago speaks very strongly and negatively about Othelly simply because he gave Cassio a promotion that Iago wanted. Iago seems to be completely uncensored in the way that he speaks, especially in this state of anger.

Posted by: Dafne Jacobs at October 2, 2013 01:52 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
2 October 2013

Question: Find all the examples in Act I of Iago referring to the sex in terms of animals.

Answer: In Act 1, Scene 1, Iago says to Brabantio, "Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is topping your white ewe. Arise, arise;
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you", "you'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse;
you'll have your nephews neigh to you", "I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter
and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs." (Shakespeare, Act 1, Scene 1)

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at October 2, 2013 02:18 PM

Glen Pringle
HON250
Dr. Hobbs
10/2/13

Q: In Act I, why should Roderigo pay particular attention to Iago’s speech?

A: Iago basically tells Roderigo that he is plotting against Othello, and that he is going to trick them all in the end. Iago even tells Roderigo “…I am not what I am.” (1.1.63)”, and will use Roderigo later in his plot against Othello.

Posted by: Glen Pringle at October 2, 2013 03:31 PM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
6 October 2013

Question: Why does Iago verbally attack his wife (Emilia) at lines 99-110? What cruelty does Iago display toward her? How well founded is his distrust of his wife’s fidelity?

Answer: Iago attacks his wife for he believes she is being unfaithful to him with Cassio. He basically accuses her of being a bad housewife in front of everyone in front of everyone. He says, “Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds” (2.1.111-12). He is saying that she only pretends to be a good housekeeper. His distrust is not well founded for he only suspects her infidelity due to the way Cassio acts around her. Constantly kidding his fingers and how he greeted her with a kiss and a very warm welcome.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at October 6, 2013 07:12 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
6 September 2013

Question: How does Iago convince Roderigo that Cassio is in love with Desdemona?

Answer: Iago convinces Roderigo that Cassio is in love with Desdemona by telling him about Cassio and Desdemona’s actions around each other. Iago asks Roderigo “didst thou not see her paddle with the palm of his hand?” (Act 2, scene 1, page 39) Then he states that “they met so near with their lips that their breaths embraced together.” (Act 2, scene 1, page 39). When Roderigo defends Desdemona by saying that she would never cheat on or leave Othello for another man Iago tells him that she is made the same way any other person is made. She will fall for the exact same things that any other woman would fall for. Cassio is “handsome, young, and hath all those requisites in him that folly and green minds look after. A pestilent complete knave, and the woman hath found him already” (Act 2, scene 1, page 39) and since Desdemona is just like any other woman she is going to fall for all of his tricks once she gets tired of Othello.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at October 6, 2013 08:05 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
7 October 2013

Question: Where does Act 2, Scene 1 take place?

Answer: The scene takes place in Cyprus, a small island southeast of Europe. The setting is written in the heading of each scene. The setting is mentioned several times throughout the play, e.g., the third gentlemen states, "Michael Cassio, Lieutenant to the warlike Moor Othello, is come on shore; the Moor himself at sea, and is in full commission here for Cyprus"(Shakespeare 30).

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at October 7, 2013 01:23 PM

Dafne Jacobs
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition
07 October 2013
Question: “Describe how Cassio acts when he lands at Cyprus, especially when Desdemona comes ashore.”
Answer: When Cassio lands at Cyprus, he seems to be scared for Othello. He keeps saying that he hopes Othello is okay and will land soon. When Desdemona comes ashore, he hopes it is Othello at first. When he has to explain to her that her husband is lost in the storm, he is short and it seems as though he does not want to explain what happened. He may feel guilty that he lost Othello in the storm, and he's clinging to any hope that he will land at Cyprus soon.

Posted by: Dafne Jacobs at October 7, 2013 01:41 PM

Dafne Jacobs
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition
07 October 2013
Question: “Describe how Cassio acts when he lands at Cyprus, especially when Desdemona comes ashore.”
Answer: When Cassio lands at Cyprus, he seems to be scared for Othello. He keeps saying that he hopes Othello is okay and will land soon. When Desdemona comes ashore, he hopes it is Othello at first. When he has to explain to her that her husband is lost in the storm, he is short and it seems as though he does not want to explain what happened. He may feel guilty that he lost Othello in the storm, and he's clinging to any hope that he will land at Cyprus soon.

Posted by: Dafne Jacobs at October 7, 2013 01:41 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
7 October 2013

Question: In lines 12 -29, what is Iago trying to get Cassio to do? Why?

Answer: Iago is trying to get Cassio to call Desdemona a whore by saying, "What an eye she has! Methinks it sounds a parley to provocation"(Shakespeare 42). Cassio then responds with, "An inviting eye; and yet methinks right modest" (Shakespeare 42). When he does not, Iago tries to get Cassio to get drunk in hope that he may fight with the friends that are coming. If Cassio does either of these two things, he may ruin his reputation.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at October 7, 2013 02:29 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Ca02 Humanistic Traditions
7 October 2013

Othello Act 1 Scene 1

Question: Act 1, Scene 1 why does Iago say he hates Othello? What are the charges he makes against the general?


Answer: In Act 1, Scene 1, Iago says he hates Othello, for Othello promoted Michael Cassio to Lieutenant rather than him. Iago believed he had much more experience as a soldier than Cassio. “One Michael Cassio… never set a squadron in the field, nor the division of a battle knows more than a spinster…but he, sir, had the election.” (Shakespeare Act 1 Scene 1). According to Iago, Cassio has never even been to battle, he compares Cassio’s knowledge of being a soldier to that of a spinster. Iago feels slighted by Cassio’s seemingly unwarranted promotion.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at October 7, 2013 04:15 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 Humanistic Traditions

Othello Act 2 Scene 1

Question: Othello, Act 2 Scene 1, what do the Cypriots (those from Cypress) think of Othello? Do their words (in scene 1) make him seem to us a lesser man or a larger one?

Answer: the Cypriots think Othello is a brave soldier and good leader. “[speaking of Othello] … ‘tis a worthy governor…the man commands like a full soldier…as well to see the vessel that’s come in as to throw out our eyes for brave Othello.” (Shakespeare Act 2 Scene 1) Montano and the “third Gentleman,” consider Othello “brave,” and “warlike.” It makes Othello seem a larger man to have gained such awe and respect.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at October 7, 2013 04:50 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
8 October 2013

Question 4: What does Cassio ask the Clown to do?

Answer: Cassio asks the Clown tell Emilia, Iago's wife, that he wants to speak with her when she wakes up.

Question 19:Act III, Scene 3, after Desdemona leaves, how does Iago begin anew to raise Othello's suspicions about Cassio?

Answer: Iago begins to raise Othello's suspicions about Cassio by being very passive when Othello asks him questions. Iago brings up conversation about Cassio asking Othello "did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady, know of your love?"(Act 3, scene 3, page 60). Iago and Othello continue talking, Othello becomes increasingly suspicious to what Iago is thinking about but won’t share about Cassio. Iago keeping his thoughts on Cassio a secret makes Othello think the worst. Iago greatly increases Othello's suspicion of Cassio states, "I speak not yet of proof. Look at your wife, observe her well with Cassio. Wear you eyes thus, not jealous nor secure...In Venice they do let God see the pranks they dare not show their husbands. Their best conscience is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown" (Scene 3, act 3, page 64). He is telling Othello that there may not be physical proof but if he watches Cassio and Desdemona interact he will be able to see things that she would normally keep secret from Othello. Having this idea in his head he will over think Desdemona's actions making him not trust her.

Question 29: In Act III ,scene 4, why does Othello insist that Desdemona present the handkerchief?

Answer: Othello insists that Desdemona presents the handkerchief because it was cursed by a witch. If the handkerchief is ever "lose't or give't away were such perdition as nothing else could match." (Act III, scene 4, page 77). Othello already has the idea in his head that Desdemona has something to hide. Her not having this handkerchief give him the idea that she hates him and is looking for other men.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at October 9, 2013 12:45 PM

Jennifer Doyle
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
Dr. Hobbs
9 October 2013

Question: Why do you think Shakespeare included such a brief scene? What is the function of this scene?

Answer: Shakespeare included this scene to show Othello's meeting with the gentlemen. They are going to view a town fortification. Also, the author wanted to include Othello's task for Emilio. Othello questioned, "This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see't" (Shakespeare 56).

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at October 9, 2013 01:26 PM

Jennifer Doyle
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
Dr. Hobbs
9 October 2013

Question: In Act III, Scene 3, why does Iago say, “I see this hath a little dashed your spirits,” and then twice, “I (do) see you are moved”?

Answer: Iago tells Othello that he has dashed his spirits because he hinted that maybe Desmenona is planning on betraying him, such as she did to her father by marrying him. Iago can tell that Othello's mood is changing and that hes getting upset. He is trying to instigate him further by saying that he notices his anger. Iago says, "I am to pray you not to strain mt speech to grosser issues, nor to larger reach than to suspicion" (Shakespeare 65).

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at October 9, 2013 01:41 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 October 2013

Question: Do you believe that Iago will actually take the letters? Why or why not?

Answer: I think that Iago will actually take the letters because he needs Othello to continue to trust him in order for his plan to work. Without Othello trusting Iago, Iago may not be able to persuade Othello in any way.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at October 9, 2013 02:39 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 October 2013

Question: In Act III, Scene 3, what does Desdemona promise Cassio?

Answer: After Cassio explains the situation to Desdemona, she promises Cassio that she will campaign for him. She says she will do everything possible to convince Othello to reinstate Cassio. She says, "Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do/ All my abilities in thy behalf" (Shakespeare 57).

Posted by: Joe Radigan at October 9, 2013 02:50 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 October 2013

Question: Who is Bianca? How does she end up with Desdemona’s handkerchief?

Answer: Bianca is a prostitute. Bianca gets the handkerchief because Cassio asks her to make a copy of it. He found it in his room and likes the way it looks so he does not want to give the real thing back to Desdemona. He tells Bianca this and demands she make him a copy, "as like enough it will, I would have it copied. Take it and do't, and leave me for this time"(Shakespeare 81).

Posted by: Joe Radigan at October 9, 2013 03:00 PM

Glen Pringle
HON250
10/9/13
Dr. Hobbes

Q: Who is Emilia? In scene 1 of Act III, what arrangements does she make for Cassio?
Emila is the wife of Iago. She sets up a meeting between Cassio and Desdamona "’Give me advantage of some brief discourse with Desdemona alone.’" (Act 3.1, Line 50)

Q: In this scene, what does Othello offer his Cyprian hosts?

Othello graciously offers his expertise and experience to the Cyprians. He examines their fortification and offers his judgment on it. “’This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see’t’”. (Act 3.2, Line 5)

Q: Act III, what does Othello command Iago to do at the end of Scene 3?

Iago has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant to Othello. Upon finding out the whereabouts of the handkerchief, he flies into a rage, and orders Iago to kill Cassio. “Come, go with me apart…Now art thou my lieutenant.” (Act 3.3, Line 474)

Posted by: Glen Pringle at October 9, 2013 03:07 PM

Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 October 2013

6) Question: “What is Emilia’s opinion of Cassio?”
Answer: Emilia thinks of Cassio as a gentleman and a “humble servant”, and that Othello should forgive him for his transgressions.

10) Question: “What do you think is in the letters that Othello gives to Iago to dispatch?”
Answer: More than likely they’re battle orders, perhaps to inform the other officers that Iago is now their commander.

17) Question: “In Act III, Scene 3, how does Iago begin planting the first seeds of jealousy in Othello?”
Answer: Iago begins by asking about how long Cassio had known Desdemona, and then withholds his reasons for asking to arouse Othello’s Interest. When Iago finally tells him his “suspicions” Othello is so thoroughly wrapped up in his thoughts about what might’ve happened that he blindly accepts the accusation. However, Othello still demands proof of the infidelity.

Posted by: Jacob Gates at October 9, 2013 03:09 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition


1. Q = who brings in the musicians? Why?
a. Cassio brings in the Musicians, to play a song for Othello. “Masters play here, -- I will content your pains, something that’s brief; and bid good morrow general” (Act 3, Scene 1). Cassio was trying to put Othello in good spirits.
2. Q = what task does Othello assign Iago and why?
a. Othello assigns Iago to give some letters to the ship’s captain, and like “pay his respects” to him. “These letters give, Iago, to the pilot; and by him do my duties to the senate…” (Act 3, Scene 2) Othello is off to do repairs for battle, and he leaves this responsibility and power to Iago, now that Iago has gotten into his mind via manipulation. Othello is rewarding Iago, because he foolishly believes that Iago is looking out for his best interests.
3. Q = in Act 3, Scene 3, what does Desdemona promise Cassio?
a. Desdemona promises to help Cassio win back Othello’s favor, and regain his position. “Do not doubt that… I give thee warrant of thy place; assure thee” (Act 3, Scene 3). Desdemona is friends with Cassio, so she cares about what happens to him, and promises to put in a good word with Othello.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at October 9, 2013 04:40 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
14 October 2013

Question: Where in Act IV, Scene 2, does Desdemona finally start to fight back? Explain her physical reaction right after Othello exits ini about line 99? Explain.

Answer: Desdemona finally starts to fight back around line 40. Othello is accusing her of being a whore and instead of just letting him call her all these names she questions him. She asks him “To whom, my lord? With whom? How am I false?” (Line 39). A few lines later she tells Othello, “Lay not your blame on me”, (Line 45) after he told her to leave him. Right after Othello leaves Desdemona isn’t even capable of crying. She is stunned that Othello had treated her how he did. She can’t explain to Emilia what occurred through words, “answers I have none, but what should go by water.” (Act 4, scene 2, page 99)

Question: In Act IV, why does Iago speak to Cassio about Bianca? Explain

Answer: Iago speaks to Cassio about Bianca so he can trick Othello into thinking that Cassio is admitting to sleeping with Desdemona. Iago told Othello to hide and only watch Cassio’s gestures, Othello won’t be able to hear who they are talking about or what is being said all he will see is Cassio’s laughter. Iago states that “Othello shall go mad, and his unbookish jealousy must construe poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behavior quite in the wrong” (act 4, scene 1, page 87). Iago’s whole plan is to make Cassio look like he is sleeping with Desdemona, by having Othello hide away out of earshot Iago can alter the conversation to make Cassio react however Iago pleases.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at October 14, 2013 09:46 AM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
14 October 2013

Question: In Act IV, Scene 1, lines 238-62, why is the character Lodovico introduced into the action? What purpose does this character serve in the plot development? Explain.

Answer: Lodovico is introduced in order to highlight Othello's jealousy. He is a cousin of Desdemona. He comes to bring Othello news that he is being summoned back to Venice and Cassio will become governor of Cyprus. Desdemona says, "Trust me, I am glad on't" (Shakespeare 92). Othello then slaps her and she runs away. Lodovico is shocked that Othello hit her and states, "My lord, this would not be believed in Venice, though I should swear I saw't."

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at October 14, 2013 12:06 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
14 October 13

Question: In Act IV, Scene 2, how does Desdemona react to the accusations of Othello? Explain

Answer: When Othello accuses of Desdemona of being a whore shes very confused and doesn't understand his reasoning. She asks, "Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed" (Shakespeare 97). She even swears to heaven that she is honest. When Othello leaves and Emilia enters, Desdemona tells her that she will not weep because Othello hasn't given her an answer to cry about. But rather, she is going to lay her bed with wedding sheets that night for her and Othello. Desdemona asks Iago for advice on how to win her husband back but he says it is merely his humor which has insulted her.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at October 14, 2013 12:37 PM

Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
14 October 2013

5) Question: “Who is Lodovico? How does Othello treat Desdemona in Lodovico’s presence, and what does Lodovico say about Othello’s behavior? What does Iago tell Lodovico about Othello’s behavior?”
Answer: Lodovico is a messenger who accompanies Desdemona and delivers a number of letters to Othello. Othello strikes Desdemona and belittles her in front of Lodovico. Lodovico can hardly believe that he is considered a worthy or good man by the senate, and does not think his reputation matches his actions.

6) Question: “What does Othello ask Emilia at the beginning of the scene, and how does Emilia respond?”
Answer: Othello asks her if she ever saw anything suspicious between Desdemona and Cassio, and she explains that Desdemona was absolutely faithful to Othello and she never saw anything.

Posted by: Jacob Gates at October 14, 2013 03:06 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
14 October 2013

Seizure Scene


1. The versions vary based on the leading man’s portrayal of Othello. Although Iago plays a major role it is the role of Othello that has the potential to change the dynamic from film to film. The 1981 version takes on a more dramatic approach. Hopkins is near mad in his characterization of Othello; Hopkins spits his lines with madness until he finally collapses in a stress induced epileptic fit. While its 1968 counterpart starring Sir Lawrence Olivier, was so theatrical it was almost a comedy. While the Hopkins’s performance remained constant with his hysteria, Olivier bounced from melodramatic, to false calmness, to heaping sobs before comically crumpling, and petrifying. The 1995 version, starring Lawrence Fishburne deviated from the text heavily, however the emotion was the same. Fishburne’s delivery contained less antics and dramatics than his predecessors’. Fishburne’s delivery was believable, and heavily benefited from Hollywood’s magic.
2. Anthony Hopkins (1981) portrayal of Othello’s seizure was the most orthodox, because he did not deviate from the script.
3. Lawrence Fishburne (1995) deviates from the text the most, mostly as a result of the special effects which take the place of most of the texts dialogue. For example, Fishburne did not say “…noses, ears, and lips…” because we witnessed him experience it through a visualization in his mind.
4. Although it was the most dramatic, and ridiculous, Hopkins (1981) version best conveys the feelings of Othello in the seizure scene. Hopkins is overcome with emotion. Which I personally believe is accurate. When one feels passionately, one often reacts passionately. Othello was so overcome with emotion that he fell into an epileptic fit. And Hopkins best conveys this barrage of emotions.
5. The seizure scene is significant because the audience finally discovers how broken Othello has become, he literally loses his mind. Iago’s plans begin to fall together in a major way.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at October 14, 2013 08:33 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
14 October 2013

Act IV

2. Q= what are Othello and Iago discussing at the beginning of the scene? What physical reaction does Othello have to Iago’s information? Explain.

A= Othello, and Iago are discussing the nature of Cassio and Desdemona’s relationship. Iago is presenting the “evidence” to Othello, and he becomes so overwhelmed that he has a seizure.


10. Q= In Act IV, what is the significance of Bianca’s flinging the handkerchief at Cassio just when Othello is looking on? How plausible do you find Bianca’s act to be? Why or why not? Explain.
A= Bianca throwing the handkerchief is significant, because it “supports” all of the lies that Iago told Othello. Othello gave the handkerchief to Desdemona, so seeing Bianca getting upset that some “minx” gave it to Cassio “proves” that Cassio is sleeping with Desdemona; at least in Othello’s deranged mind. Bianca’s act is implausible to me, because she seems to be a cheap whore easily bought and manipulated.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at October 14, 2013 08:50 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
15 October 2013

Question: A tragedy concerns the fall of a great man due to some flaw in his character. What is Othello’s flaw, and explain how he is truly a tragic hero?

Answer: Othello’s flaw is his jealousy and lack of trust in Desdemona. He believed the wrong people. Throughout the entire play he believed everything Iago told him even though he lied the entire time. Desdemona told him the truth but due to Othello’s jealousy he didn’t believe anything she said. According to Dictionary.com, a tragic hero is “a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat.” Othello is truly a tragic hero because he was destined for downfall. Iago was deceitful and manipulative the entire play with the sole purpose to make Othello suffer.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at October 15, 2013 08:15 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
15 October 2013

1.How are the versions of the scene different from one another?

The scenes differ from form one another in multiple ways. The acting styles are different, different versions put emphasis on different things, the lines are also different. Some versions omit lines while others go straight from the original manuscript. In the 1995 version there was more emphasis on Iago throughout the scene while in the other versions the main focus was Othello and his actions toward Desdemona.

2. Which version is the most orthodox? Why?

The 1981, Anthony Hopkins version is the most orthodox. That version follows the script exactly and the costumes are based off of what is believed to be worn during the time period.


3. Which version differs from the original text the most? Why?

The 1995 version with Laurence Fishburne differs the most from the original text. It is the most recent version and it is portrayed more as a movie than a play. Not all the lines were said, they were either omitted or portrayed in a different way.

4. Which version best conveys the feelings of the scene?

I think the 1952 version best portrays the feelings of the slap scene. The version Anthony Hopkins version was a bit overzealous with the acting and I don’t think that the Laurence Fishburne version put enough emphasis on the slap.

5. Why is this scene significant to the narrative? What does the audience learn from this scene?

This is the first scene where Desdemona actually realizes the Othello is actually mad at her for something. Before this scene she knew something was wrong but she didn’t know what exactly. By slapping Desdemona Othello crossed a line, the slap proves all the stereotypes that had been placed on Othello, he is just like every other moor, a violent beast that is not fitting to be with Desdemona. The audience learns that Othello has cracked, Iago’s plan worked. Othello doesn’t trust his wife, he is letting his personal life affect his work and the position he holds.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at October 15, 2013 08:41 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
16 October 2013

The Slap Scene

How are the versions of the scene different from one another?
In the 1981 version, Othello is made out to be a lunatic. The 1952 version has the best acting and is the most serious. The 1981 version, the scene stops short and doesn't show the last part.

Which version is the most orthodox? Why?
The 1995 version is the most orthodox because Othello is internally mad and keeps his composure, such as in the play. The other men are shocked but not surprised by his slap.

Which version differs from the original text the most? Why?
The 1981 version differs the most because Othello acts absolutely insane. Also, Othello acts rude from the beginning of the scene, even before Desdemona angers him. In this version, Othello looks more white than black.

Which version best conveys the feeling of the scene?
The 1995 version best conveys the feeling of the scene because Desdemona acts very confused and ignorant and the audience can believe her. Othello doesn't show his anger until he slaps her, he keeps it all inside. Desdemona acts very obedient and admiring.

Why is this scene significant to the narrative? What does the audience learn from this scene?
The audience learns of Othello's great mistrust of Desdemona. This scene explains that Cassio will take Othello's place in Cyprus and he will return to Venice. Also, it is the beginning of Othello's downfall because he is slowly going mad.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at October 16, 2013 03:08 PM

Glen Pringle
HON250
10/16/13
Dr. Hobbes

Q: *What role does incoherent language play in Othello? How does Othello’s language change over the course of the play? Pay particular attention to the handkerchief scene in Act III, scene iii, and Othello’s fit in Act IV, scene i.

A: Othello is demonstrated as a master of language ever from his first appearance. He chooses to utilize many difficult words and monologues with no trouble. However, over the course of the entire play, Othello’s thoughts and passions have a major effect on him. His carefully constructed speeches and mannerisms are replaced with nothing but short outbursts. “O, blood, blood, blood!” (III.iii.455) and “Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her, damn her!” (III.iii.478). This dramatic change in dialog and pacing shows the extent of Iago’s cunning on the mind of Othello.

Posted by: Glen Pringle at October 16, 2013 03:15 PM

Glen Pringle
HON250
10/16/13
Dr. Hobbes

Q: What role does incoherent language play in Othello? How does Othello’s language change over the course of the play? Pay particular attention to the handkerchief scene in Act III, scene iii, and Othello’s fit in Act IV, scene i.

A: Othello is demonstrated as a master of language ever from his first appearance. He chooses to utilize many difficult words and monologues with no trouble. However, over the course of the entire play, Othello’s thoughts and passions have a major effect on him. His carefully constructed speeches and mannerisms are replaced with nothing but short outbursts. “O, blood, blood, blood!” (III.iii.455) and “Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her, damn her!” (III.iii.478). This dramatic change in dialog and pacing shows the extent of Iago’s cunning on the mind of Othello.

Posted by: Glen Pringle at October 16, 2013 03:15 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
16 October 2013

Question: Analyze one or more of the play’s bizarre comic scenes: the banter between Iago and
Desdemona in Act II, scene i; the drinking song in Act II, scene iii; the clown scenes
(Act III, scenes i and iv). How do these scenes echo, reflect, distort, or comment on
the more serious matter of the play?

Answer: The play's bizarre comic scenes relieve some of it's seriousness and keep the audience entertained. For example, the banter between Iago and Desdemona shows that the two of them can joke around and lightly insult each other without taking offense. Also, the drinking song in Act 2, Scene 3, which reads: "And let me the canakin clink, clink; and let me the canakin clink. A soldier's a man; O man's life's but a span, why then, let a soldier drink" (Shakespeare 44). This scene shows that the soldiers can have some fun every once in a while and don't always have to be so serious.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at October 16, 2013 03:38 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
20 October 2013

If you read the play Othello closely, you will notice that there is not nearly enough time spent in Cyprus for Desdemona and Cassio to have committed adultery. Othello and Desdemona were married and in Cyprus for about 24 hours before he murdered her. This is certainly enough time for her to have committed adultery with Cassio; however, all her hours were accounted for. Othello decides he wishes to kill Cassio and Desdemona the first day after they arrive on Cyprus. He doesn’t leave any time to think about his decision or ask the accused any questions. Many readers have the false impression that the play lasts several weeks, which is what Shakespeare wanted.
The first night they are all in Cyprus, Desdemona is summoned to bed by Othello after she inquires about the gentlemen who just fought. Othello says to her, “All’s well sweeting; come away to bed” (Shakespeare 49). That same night, Cassio and his musicians play music outside Desdemona and Othello’s home. Cassio asks one of Othello’s men if he can speak to Emilia, whom he then asks if he can speak to Desdemona. Cassio is invited inside to speak to Desdemona but nothing more on the subject is said. However, Othello is home, so no adultery could’ve been committed that night.
Desdemona speaks with Cassio the next day, but only about him regaining his position as Lieutenant. Iago and Othello see the two conversing and Iago attempts to convince Othello of their affair. Othello becomes overcome with jealously. Shortly after their conversation, Desdemona returns to Othello to invite him to his dinner, which they then attend together. It is that very night that Othello kills his wife; only the second night they are in Cyprus.
Othello is so overcome with jealousy that he doesn’t realize how short and unrealistic the time span is. Desdemona and Cassio did not have enough time to commit adultery in Cyprus. Shakespeare wanted the audience to think the adultery was feasible, while the action stayed quick and not too drawn-out. He used many scene changes and few characters per scene to make the idea more probable. Every scene was fast paced and dramatic so that the audience lost track of time and started to believe that Iago was right.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at October 20, 2013 08:41 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
14 October 2013
Take Home Essay Portion


Iago’s schemes and lies furrowed into Othello’s mind like a parasite, and little by little the lies and compromising scenarios with Desdemona and Cassio eroded Othello’s rock solid demeanor and unshakable confidence. Initially Othello doubted himself, wondering if it was because he was a moor, or because he was not as eloquent as Cassio. Nevertheless, by the time Othello was presented with the handkerchief, Iago had painted himself the hero, and Desdemona the villain. “Damn her lewd minx! O, damn her! I will withdraw, to furnish me with some swift means of death for the fair devil” (Othello 3.3.476-479). The fact that this little square of fabric affected Othello so proves how vulnerable and weak-minded he had become.
Only extreme cases of insecurity or doubt could lead to someone being swayed one way or another by a handkerchief, and Othello was motivated by both insecurity and doubt. Although the audience is aware of Iago’s hand in all of this, Othello is oblivious, and allowed what should have been minor coincidences to overwhelm and consume him. The handkerchief does indeed hold sentimental value for Othello, as seen in Act 3, Scene 4 lines 55-68. “That handkerchief did an Egyptian to my mother give… she told her, while she kept it, ‘Twould make her amiable and subdue my father entirely to her love, but if she lost it or made gift of it, my father’s eye should hold her loathed… she dying, gave it to me; and bid me, when my fate would have me wive, to give it to her. I did so: and take heed on’t; make it a darling like your precious eye; to lose’t or give’t away were such perdition as nothing else could match.” Whether or not this tale of the Egyptian handkerchief is legit remains to be seen. Although Othello is indeed quick-witted, I doubt he could fable this tale on a spur of the moment. Yet, he wasn’t in his right mind; he had already begun plotting Desdemona’s demise by the time this conversation occurred.
In conclusion, Othello’s breakdown eventually leads to his destruction, and Desdemona’s demise. The handkerchief alone would not have caused this downward spiral into darkness. The handkerchief was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at October 20, 2013 09:25 PM

Question: Is othello simply too one-dimensional to be considered a great tragic hero?

Burke F Tomaselli
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
Dr. Hobbs.

Shakespeare’s “Othello” literally sets the stage for future stories by opening the idea of an anti-hero protagonist, along with a red-herring type of title. Is Othello the protagonist/main character in the character-named play? F. Scott Fitzgerald took this tool for his renowned novella “The Great Gatsby.” Is Gatsby the protagonist, or is Nick Carraway? Personally, I see Gatsby as the tool which shapes Nick Carraway. Gatsby is Nick’s “Mystic aid” as Joseph Campbell would call him. The parallel still fits in “Othello,” perhaps with Iago being the multi-dimensioned, more interesting character rather than the titled one. Othello himself is too one-dimensional and under-developed. He has potential as a literary character to expand and be considered a great tragic hero, but Shakespeare chose to write him otherwise. Even in theatrical depictions, he is portrayed with a monotone voice, usually by an actor who has a hard time expressing emotion on stage.
The character of Othello is not dynamic or expressive enough I feel to be considered a tragic hero, let alone an Iconic one. His character develops throughout the story due to his ever growing fear of his wife’s loyalty, but his growth piques before his true identity could be further explored. During Act 4, scene one, Iago & Othello share a scene when Iago explains to Othello what his wife has done. His only true emotion expressed is this jealousy induced rage he has for the men who laid with his wife. “…he had my hankerchief!” (84) he proclaims, shouting about a metaphor Iago had made about the trust and gifts to a metaphorical woman. Before succumbing to Iago’s elixir, Othello goes on to explains how he “trembles at [the thought of his wife with another]. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion without some instruction. It is not [the] words that shake me thus”(84). Essentially letting Iago know that he fears it may be true, allowing would could have been another side of a one-dimensional character, before having that side be taken from the reader by Iago’s poison. Ultimately, Othello is much of a vehicle character to others in the play to be deemed a tragic hero. One cannot be bestowed a heavy title such as that because of his use by others.

Posted by: Burke Tomaselli at October 21, 2013 03:55 AM

Allison Sheftall
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
Dr. Hobbs
21 October 2013


Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote that Iago’s soliloquies are the “motive-hunting of motiveless malignity.” I disagree with Coleridge. Iago always has a motive, if his actions aren’t based off of revenge they are based off his desire to stay out of trouble and not get caught. Throughout the play, Iago gives us a couple reasons why he dislikes Othello. Iago is angry that Othello gave Cassio the promotion that Iago wanted; he also believes that Othello is sleeping with his wife, Emilia.
The play opens with Iago speaking to Roderigo, Iago is angry that Othello overlooked him for the promotion. The fifth line in the play Roderigo says to Iago “Thou told’st me thou didst hold him in thy hate” and Iago responds “Despise me if I do not” (Shakespeare, 1998). From the beginning of the play we know that Iago has a grudge with Othello. His first motive to dislike Othello is very apparent. Roderigo gives Iago the idea to quit if he is hated Othello so much. Iago revealed that he “follow[s] [Othello] to serve his turn upon him” (Shakespeare, 1998). As far as we know the only reason Iago is still working under Othello is so he can get back at him. Iago plainly states his motives for wanting to take over Othello, just as he plainly states that he isn’t who he appears to be. From the beginning of the play, Iago is voicing his plan to take over Othello.
The second time Othello plainly states why he hates Othello is in act 1, scene 3. Iago says he hates Othello two separate times in the scene, the first the “cause is hearted” and the second is because “it is thought abroad that ‘twixt [his] sheets h’as done [his] office” (Shakespeare, 1998). The thought of Othello having an affair with Emilia makes Iago jealous. He doesn’t want to be cuckold. I believe that the main reason Iago convinces Othello Desdemona is cheating on him is because Iago had experienced what it was like to believe that he was cuckold. Although the two reasons for hatred, Iago not getting the promotion and the supposed affair between Othello and Emilia, are in no way connected they are still motives for Iago’s hatred.
In Iago’s final soliloquy he states that at this point in the play he doesn’t care about how everyone dies as long as they die. All he is worried about is coming out of the whole situation untouched and for that to happen, everyone must die. Iago describes how everything could go wrong if not everyone is dead. Iago always has a motive for his actions.
Iago’s motive might not be sound motives to hate Othello but they are motives none the less. He was always able to justify why he acted how he did. His hatred stemmed from being overlooked for the promotion, grew when he heard the rumor about an affair between Othello and Emilia, and the motive at the end of the play was for Iago to be able to get away with this feat.


Works Cited
Shakespeare, W. (1998). Othello. New York: Signet Classics.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at October 21, 2013 10:46 AM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition
20 October 2013
Warnings to Othello
Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, has a strong dislike for Othello. He also has harsh feelings towards his own daughter because he feels wronged by her. He believes that Othello has used magic in order to gain the love of his daughter. Brabantio says, “She is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted” (Shakespeare 17). This shows that he feels he was robbed of his daughter. As a result of this, he confronts Othello and takes him in front of the Duke of Venice.
Othello defends himself and even brings Desdemona in order to defend him. She, herself, tells her father that she loves Othello by choice, not by magic. Brabantio feels betrayed by his own daughter and disowns her. He says he would rather adopt a child than have Desdemona as his own (Shakespeare 21). This shows how truly betrayed and hurt he feels. Even though he feels betrayed by his daughter and has a strong dislike to Othello, Brabantio still gives his blessing and a warning to Othello. He tells Othello, “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see: / She has deceived her father, and may thee” (Shakespeare 25). He is telling Othello to watch her because she is a liar. This line plays a major role in the rest of the play. It also could be foreshadowing of the fate of Othello.
Othello ultimately kills Desdemona as well as himself. He is convinced by Iago that she is a whore and has slept with Cassio. This is not true, but when Desdemona tries to tell him it is a lie, he does not believe her. Desdemona says, “And have you mercy too. I never did/ offend you in my life; never loved Cassio” (Shakespeare 116). Although Iago made a strong case against Desdemona, if Othello had trust in her he may have believed her side of the story. This distrust could have stemmed from the warning that Brabantio gave to Othello. He may have lacked true trust in her. In addition, it shows foreshadowing because it sets up the idea of betraying in the play. Brabantio is warning Othello about Desdemona, but the warning can be directed at everyone including Iago.
Overall, the plot is set early by Brabantio’s warning to Desdemona. It does show foreshadowing and ultimately Othello’s fate to come. It shows that he will possibly be betrayed by someone close to him. Brabantio may have instilled a slight distrust in Othello when it came to Desdemona. This may ultimately be why Othello believed nothing Desdemona said when she tried to convince him that she was faithful and not to kill her.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at October 21, 2013 12:37 PM

Joe and Shay
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
21 October 2013

Question: In addition to exposing the prejudices of Venetians, discuss how the play also exposes the prejudices of the audience.

Answer: There are a few prejudices that are exposed. First, Lodovico praises Desdemona for being "obedient" as if it would have been unacceptable for Desdemona to disobey her husband, even though he slapped her. Next, is that Othello needs to be a larger than life man in order for the society to accept him because of his skin color. If he was an ordinary man, he may not have been accepted.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at October 21, 2013 12:43 PM

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