Othello Re-cap

Othello Re-cap

Othello Re-cap Characters Themes & Symbol Important Quotes Othello Othellos Trust Othellos love for Desdemona and trusting nature was what Iago used to cause his downfall. Othello had unwavering trust for

Iago, constantly referring to him as Honest Iago and seeking his counsel. This causes his lines to sometimes be slightly ironic and help foreshadow events to come: Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul but I do love thee; and when I love thee not, Chaos is come again. Act 3 Scene 3 Line 90. Othellos trusting nature and his love for Desdemona clash often however when

Iago begins insinuating Desdemonas infidelity, this causes him to get angry, for good reason. However, In Act 3 Scene 3 Othello eventually lets his passions take hold of him, where before he was demanding Ocular proof, his trust for Iago trumps his love for Desdemona (which really brings to question how much he really loved her in the first place) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHVnL yP9ZVE

He goes from: Give me the ocular proof Act 3 Scene 3 line 361 To: Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her, damn her! Act 3 Scene 3 Line 475 In a very short space of time. This shows just how much Iago can manipulate his fierce and passionate nature. Desdemona Desdemona is the daughter of Brabantio, a man of reputation in Venice. She has defied

the norms of her society by eloping with Othello Her marriage with Othello Her marriage with Othello has been seen as a way of Desdemona asserting her independence. She goes against the classic view of a 17th century woman by not asking for her fathers approval for her marriage with Othello, she took the matter in her own hands stating that she is merely doing just like her mother was preferring you before her father (I.iii.185) Desdemona also goes against the norms of the Venetian society by marrying someone of

a different race. Othello is highly regarded in Venice, however, he is still seen as a foreigner. Her love for Othello A very important quote in the first scene shows Desdemonas love for Othello: My hearts subdued even to the very quality of my lord. I saw Othellos visage in his mind and to his honours and his valiant parts did I my soul and fortunes consecrate. (I.iii.247-251) This passage suggests that Desdemona loves Othello as a whole, not just because of the dangers I [Othello] had passed.

Throughout the play, she does remain faithful to Othello, she never doubts him or denies him anything. Innocence It has been argued that Desdemona is a Christ like figure, she is kind, loving and trusting towards all the other characters in the play, just like Christ was to humankind.

To a certain extent Desdemonas naivety/innocence is responsible for her downfall, she fails to see the bad in people. She blindly follows the advice Iago has given her regarding Cassios position and she fails to notice that her constant reference to Cassio is angering Othello and causing him to doubt her. Iago Iago is one of Shakespeares most sinister villains, often considered so because of the unique trust Othello puts in him, which he betrays while maintaining his reputation of honesty and dedication. Shakespeare contrasts Iago with Othellos nobility and integrity.

Iago is a malcontent he has a bitter and cyncial view of the world around him. The name Iago is a shortened version of the Spanish name Santiago or St James. Saint James of Spain was also known as St James the Moor Killer which seems appropriate within the play. Woman hater sees women as less than men and foolish Iago Iago has a natural ability to understand what motivates those around him, therefore allowing

him to manipulate the other characters in the play to his advantage: Othello- Iago uses Othellos jealous and insecure nature to manipulate him into believing that Desdemona is cheating on him. Desdemona- Iago uses Desdemonas kind and generous nature as leverage for convincing Cassio to ask Desdemona to persuade Othello to give Cassio his job back. Rodrigo- Iago uses Rodrigos infatuation with Desdemona, in order to manipulate Rodrigo into being a part of his scheming plans. Cassio-Iago uses Cassios obsession with his outerappearance as a way to manipulate him into going through Desdemona in order to get his job back.

What motivates Iago? It has been said that Iago has a number of motives for his actions, including the following: He feels resentful about not being chosen as

Othellos Lieutenant He suspects that Othello has engaged in adultery with his wife, Emilia His love for evil His own fixation with Desdemona His love for Othello Because he can- he is pure evil How other people see him: Iago holds a reputation throughout the entire play for being honest, direct speaking and reliable. Whether or not these are true are disputable.

Emilia- Emilia is the only character, which Iago fails to manipulate. Although, in hope of impressing him, she does steal Desdemonas handkerchief. Othello- At first Othello displays a strong sense of respect towards Iago, always referring to him as being honest. However following the unravelling of his plan, Othello makes a reference to him being the devil (I look down towards his feet; but that is a fable (V.ii.286). How he sees himself:

Iago is a self-professed villain, who is consistent in his behaviour throughout the entire play, not once doubting himself or his actions. E.g. I am a very villain else (IV.i.125). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fItEfJhf0 oc His relationship with his wife: Iago is constantly disrespecting and mocking Emilia, demonstrating that their marriage was not a very loving one. Emilia is the one who unmasks Iagos plan.

According to Harold Bloom, a Shakespeare Scholar, the relationship between Iago and Emilia, poses interesting irony in the final act; Iago is known to the audience as being the character who is best at predicting and manipulating other peoples behaviour, yet he fails to understand the person, whom he should know best: his wife. His views on women: He displays a general hatred for women, which is displayed through his relationship with this wife as well as his form of speech

both when addressing other women (Desdemona included) or discussing them. His rudimentary nature is strongly conveyed through his sexual references, which also demonstrates his belief that women should be/ already hold a lower position within society. Cassio Othellos Lieutenant Victim of Iagos Jealousy

Iago is jealous of Cassio because Othello promoted him to lieutenant even though he is an inexperienced solider compared to Iago They are trusted friends as Cassio was aware of Othello and Desdemonas relationship before they were married and he went between them on many occasions Cassio represents the class privilege of which Iago is so envious and resentful. It annoys Iago that Cassio seems to have bought into the idea that he is socially superior. Cassio is a lady's man. Not only does he have Desdemona's ear, he is known to have sexual affairs with women of questionable backgrounds, notably the courtesan Bianca whose jealousy reinforces Iago's cause of casting doubt upon Cassio's fidelity. This makes him the perfect target for Iago.

Inability to drink Reflects his youth Key weakness that Iago takes full advantage of Not to-night, good Iago: I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking: I could well wish courtesy would invent some other custom of entertainment. - Act II. Scene iii What other see him as

Cassio is inordinately concerned with his reputation Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation! - CASSIO,Act II.SCENE III. This obsession leads to Cassio and Othellos fall out as Cassio extreme want to restore his reputation leads him to take advantage of his relationship with Desdemona allowing Iago to provoke Othellos jealousy.

The audience only sees Cassio through Iagos eyes and in his eyes he is all reputation and title with no real substance Themes Nature of love and marriage Nature of jealousy Male mistrust of women Deception/ Betrayal/ Honesty Importance of reputation Betrayal and Deception Many of the characters in the play all trust in Iago's honesty; this leads to the downfall of many characters, as this trust in Iago's

"honesty" became a crucial contributor to their undoing. Iago deceives and betrays most characters including his wife, whom he kills to keep quiet. Service Iago helps Othello, or so Othello thinks, in killing Cassio. Emilia helps Iago with his scheming, without understanding what she actually is doing, by giving

Desdemonas handkerchief to him which he used as the final proof that Desdemona is sleeping with Cassio. Unintentionally she has helped Iago very much in his scheming. Roderigo perhaps acts most like a servant or service to Iago.Iago takes his money, while saying that he will use it to buy gifts for Desdemona to prove Roderigos love for her. He uses him in his little plan to make Cassio drunk and start a fight which leads to the end of his job. Good vs evil The major battle of good vs. evil is Iago's

battle against Othello and Cassio. Iago and his evil plans to corrupt and turn the flawed natures of other characters, and he does succeed to some extent. One could also see Desdemona as the good. Jealousy Othellos jealousy arises from Iagos brilliant scheming. His suspicions start when he sees Cassio

leaving Desdemona. Iago says I do not like that and already Othellos suspicion and jealousy is developing. At first Othello disregards Iagos comments; Think thou Id make a life of jealousy.No Iago, Ill see before I doubt, however in the end he does make a life of jealousy Othello is quick to believe in Iagos lies and says Perdition catch my soul but I do love thee; and when I love thee not, chaos is come again. This is saying that if he cant have Desdemona all to himself nobody can and chaos will come. Love

Love is a theme that is very important in the play and is shown consistently throughout the play. The Outsider (and Race) It has a great amount of influence on how people regard Othello for those who distrust black people merely on looks never like Othello, like Iago.

Race also determines how Othello perceives himself as a rough outsider, though he is nothing of the sort. Othello is defensively proud of himself and his achievements, and especially proud of the honorable appearance he presents. He wants to appear powerful, accomplished, and moral at every possible instance, and when this is almost denied to him, his wounded pride becomes especially powerful. The Danger of Isolation (outsider cont) Isolation enables many of the plays most important effects: Iago frequently speaks in soliloquies; Othello stands apart

while Iago talks with Cassio in Act IV, scene i, and is left alone onstage with the bodies of Emilia and Desdemona for a few moments in Act V, scene ii; Roderigo seems attached to no one in the play except Iago. And, most prominently, Othello is visibly isolated from the other characters by his physical stature and the color of his skin. Iago is an expert at manipulating the distance between characters, isolating his victims so that they fall prey to their own obsessions. At the same time, Iago, of necessity always standing apart, falls prey to his own obsession with revenge. Self-isolation as an act of self-preservation leads ultimately to self-destruction. Such self-isolation leads to the deaths of Roderigo, Iago, Othello, and even Emilia.

Symbols The Handkerchief Desdemona Love for Othello Othello Faith and chastity then symbol of betrayal The pattern of strawberries (dyed with virgins blood) on a white background strongly suggests the bloodstains left on the sheets on a virgins wedding night, so the handkerchief implicitly suggests a guarantee of virginity as well as fidelity. The Bedsheets

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