H. British Lit Othello Study Guide

author of Othello William Shakespeare
years Shakespeare lived 1564-1616
Shakespeare’s nationality British
Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway
theatre company Shakespeare was an actor for Lord Chamberlain’s Men
theatre where Shakespeare performed many of his plays Globe Theatre
year Othello was written ~1603
language that is not intended to be taken literally figurative language
descriptive language used in literature to recreate sensory experiences imagery
play on words pun
a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art. allusion
unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter blank verse
a long speech in a play made by a character who is alone and thus reveals private thoughts and feelings to the audience or reader soliloquy
the general name given to literary techniques that involve surprising, interesting, or amusing contradictions irony
when words are used to suggest the opposite of their usual meaning verbal irony
when there is a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the audience or reader knows to be true dramatic irony
when an event occurs that directly contradicts expectations situational irony
in literature, the technique of creating anxiety or apprehension resulting from uncertainty suspense
a hint of something to come foreshadowing
a character in a work, who by sharp contrast, serves to stress and highlight the distinctive temperament of another chance, usually the protagonist or antagonists foil
a comparison between two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences in a paragraph or lines in a poem extended metaphor
central character protagonist
the character who is pitted against the protagonist antagonist
a scheme which depends for its success on the ignorance or gullibility of the person or persons against whom it is directed intrigue
the introduction of comic characters, speeches, or scenes in a serious or tragic work comic relief
a character who uses unethical methods to attain what they desire Machiavellian character
a character whose downfall is brought about by some weakness or error in judgement tragic hero
a tragic flaw hamartia
the reversal of fortune of the once-noble hero; the turning point for the hero; EX: a terrible downfall, irreversible defeat or death perpeteia
the change from ignorance to knowledge on the part of the hero; when the hero recognizes his or her error; wisdom or knowledge gained from suffering anagnorisis
deep sense of pity and fear which leads to a feeling of relief catharsis
the element or scene in a story that evokes pity pathos
8 elements of a tragedy 1. emphasizes human suffering2. ends with rigid finality3. moves with solemnity and foreboding4. emotional response (pity and fear)5. identification with the hero6. laments man’s fate7. criticizes hubris, self-delusion, and complacency8. offers some hope (man CAN learn), but stress the limitations of the human condition
9 elements of a tragic hero 1. hero recognizes great mistake, but too late to change it2. hero demonstrates a personal flaw or error in perception3. hero is frequently hubristic4. hero is isolated from community in individuality5. hero exercises free will6. hero suffers terrible downfall7. hero fails through error8. hero aspires to more than he can achieve9. hero is larger than life, considerably above the audience in status or responsibility
7 elements of a tragic struggle 1. serious and painful struggle2. life and societal norms at odds3. struggle against unchangeable4. struggle dominated by Fate or necessity5. discovery of true nature leads to hero’s isolation6. struggle against predictable and inevitable7. struggle between man and destiny, or between man and social forces beyond man’s control
4 elements of tragic methods 1. tragedy depends on validity of universal norms2. cohering episodes clarify action3. causality dominates power of deed, which leads to suffering, which leads to recognition or understanding4. plot moves from freedom of choice to inflexible consequence
famous black general; husband of Desdemona Othello
Othello’s religion Christianity
other name for Othello The Moor
definition of “moor” black African man
what happens to Othello at the end of the play? -kills Desdemona-realizes that he has been tricked-stabs Iago but doesn’t kill him-then kills himself
location of Othello at the beginning Venice
location of the story Othello at the end Cyprus
enemy of Venice at beginning of Othello Turks
what happens to the Turks? their fleet is drowned by a violent storm
antagonist; Othello’s ensign/ancient; hates Othello for giving the promotion of lieutenant to Cassio instead of him; plots to ruin Othello and Cassio; racist Iago
what happens to Iago at the end of the play? -Emilia reveals her trickery-stabs and kills her-runs away-is captured by Montano-Othello stabs him-punishment is given to Cassio
Othello’s white wife; elopes to be with Othello; daughter of Brabantio; supposed lover of Cassio Desdemona
what happens to Desdemona at the end of the play? killed by Othello
Othello’s lieutenant; supposed lover of Desdemona Cassio
what happens to Cassio at the end of the play? -Roderigo tries to kill him and fails-stabs Roderigo-Iago stabs him in the leg and then runs away-given position of governor of Cyprus after Othello kills himself
Iago’s wife; handmaiden to Desdemona Emilia
what happens to Emilia at the end of the play? -walks in just in time to see Desdemona die-tells Othello Desdemona was innocent-Othello insists she cheated and cites Iago-shocked and says Iago must have been lying-Othello says a piece of evidence was the handkerchief in Cassio’s room-betrays Iago by revealing that she was the one who stole it and gave it to Iago-Iago calls her names and then kills her
thwarted suitor of Desdemona; tricked by Iago into selling all his land and pursuing Desdemona from Venice to Cyprus; tries to kill Cassio for being Desdemona’s “lover”; racist Roderigo
what happens to Roderigo at the end of the play? -tries to kill Cassio and fails-Cassio stabs him-tries to ask Iago for help-Iago betrays him by blaming it all on him-Iago stabs and kills him
character at the beginning of the play who orders Othello to fight the Turks in Cyprus and denies Brabantio’s request for Othello to die Duke of Venice
senator; father of Desdemona; tries to get Othello killed; racist Brabantio
what do we learn has happened to Brabantio by the end of the play? he died of grief because his white daughter (Desdemona) married a black man (Othello)
Brabantio’s kinsman; accompanies Lodovico to Cyprus; mentions that Desdemona’s father has died in the final scene Gratiano
governor of Cyprus before Othello Montano
prostitute for Cassio; loves Cassio; Cassio mocks her and refuses to marry her Bianca
one of Brabantio’s kinsmen; acts as a messenger from Venice to Cyprus; arrives in Cyprus in Act Four with letters announcing that Cassio is to replace Othello as governor Lodovico
character who inserts some comedic relief into this piece of crap story; not very funny Clown
establishes–the tone-the setting-some of the main characters-previous events necessary for understanding the play’s action-the main conflict exposition
problems that arise in a story conflict
a series of complications besetting the protagonist that arise when the protagonist takes action to resolve his/her main conflict rising action
the moment of choice for the protagonist when the forces of conflict come together and the situation will either improve or inexorably deteriorate crisis/turning point
presents the incidents resulting from the protagonist’s decision at the crisis/turning point; in a tragedy these incidents emphasize the play’s destructive forces but often include an episode of possible salvation and some comic scenes; playwright’s means of maintaining suspense and relieving the tension as the catastrophe approaches falling action
the emotional peak of a play climax
the conclusion of the play; the unraveling of the plot; in a tragedy includes the catastrophe of the hero’s and others’ deaths resolution/denouement
what type of irony is this and what is the context?”Most grave Brabantio,/In simple and pure soul I come to you.” (I.i.120-121) verbal ironyRoderigo is seemingly respectful and innocent when saying this to Brabantio but actually intends to anger him
what type of irony is this and what is the context?”Though in the trade of war I have slain men,/Yet do I hold it very stuff o’ th’ conscience/To do no contrived murder. I lack the iniquity/ to do me service. Nine or ten times/I had thought t’ have yerked him here under the ribs.” (I.ii.1-5) verbal ironyIago tells Othello that he is reluctant to do harm and doesn’t have the stomach for it, but he actually relishes in the death and destruction in the play
what type of irony is this and what is the context?”Whoe’er he be that in the foul proceeding/Hath thus beguiled your daughter of herself/And you of her, the bloody book of law/You shall yourself read in the bitter letter,/After your own sense, yea, though our proper son/Stood in your action.” (I.iii.78-83) dramatic ironyDuke of Venice tells Brabantio that he can punish whoever tricked Desdemona and took her away from him, even if the guilty man was the Duke’s own son; however, the Duke doesn’t know that the accused is Othello
what type of irony is this and what is the context?”Rude am I in my speech,/And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace;/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,/And little of this great world can I speak/More than pertains to feats of and battle./And therefore little shall I grace my cause/In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,/I will a round unvarnished tale deliver/Of my whole course of love–what drugs, what charms,/What conjuration, and what mighty magic/(For such proceeding I am charged withal)/I won his daughter.” (I.iii.96-111) situational ironyOthello says this to the Duke of Venice and other senators in attendance. He basically tells them that he isn’t a good speaker and will probably embarrass himself, but he will still tell them what “magic” he used to win Desdemona as his wife. The irony is that he actually turns out to be very cultured and well-spoken.
what type of irony is this and what is the context?”A maiden never bold,/Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion/Blushed at herself. And she, in spite of nature,/Of years, of country, credit, everything,/To fall in love with what she feared to look on!” (I.iii.112-116) situational ironyBrabantio believes that Desdemona is a shy, obedient girl who would never willingly go against traditional customs or her father. However, Desdemona married Othello willingly and she is often outspoken throughout the play. This quote also reveals Brabantio’s deep set racism, as he says that Desdemona, a white girl, would have to go against her very nature in order to fall in love with a black man.
what type of irony is this and what is the context?”So please your Grace, my ancient./A man he is of honesty and trust.” (I.iii.321-323) dramatic ironyOthello assigns his trusted ensign, Iago, to accompany his new wife to Cyprus, and tells the Duke of Venice that Iago is trustworthy and honest. However, the readers know that Othello’s impression of Iago is mistaken.
what is the context of this quote? what type of imagery is it?”With as little a web as this will I ensnare as/great a fly as Cassio.” (II.i.183-184) webbing and trapping imageryIn an aside, Iago delights over Cassio innocently flirting with Desdemona. He plans to twist Cassio’s nice manners into a flaw that will put him in the bad graces of Othello and Roderigo.
what is the context of this quote? what type of imagery is it?”Her eye must be fed. And/what delight shall she have to look on the the devil?” (II.i.246-247) eating and Biblical imageryIago is trying to convince Roderigo that Desdemona needs a man to keep her happy, but because Othello, the “devil,” is black and older, she has turned to Cassio instead.
what is the context of this quote? what type of imagery is it?”The thought whereof/Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards.” (II.i.318-319) eating and poison imageryIn one of his soliloquies, Iago wishes to punish Othello for supposedly sleeping with Emilia, his wife. This thought poisons his mind and becomes one of the reasons he is so intent on hurting Othello.
what is the context of this quote? what type of imagery is it?”He’ll be as full of quarrel and offense/As my young mistress’ dog.” (II.iii.51-52) animal imageryIn a soliloquy/aside, Iago reveals his plan to get Cassio extremely drunk so that Roderigo can anger him and cause a scene.
what is the context of this quote? what type of imagery is it?”O thou/invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be/known by, let us call thee devil!” (II.iii.300-302) Biblical and spiritual imageryIago got Cassio extremely drunk then told Roderigo to anger him. When Cassio begins chasing Roderigo with a sword, Montano (the governor of Cyprus) tries to stop him. Cassio stabs Montano, giving him a serious injury, which forces Othello to fire him from his position of lieutenant. Now Cassio regrets drinking and curses wine and alcohol.
what is the context of this quote? what type of imagery is it?”I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear.” (II.iii.376) poison and disease imageryAfter Iago gets Cassio fired from his position of lieutenant, Iago tells Cassio to ask Desdemona for help in getting reinstated. However, he also plans to trick Othello into thinking that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair. This way, the more pure and helpful Desdemona pleas for Cassio’s position back, the guiltier she will look.
what is the context of this quote? what type of imagery is it?”So will I turn her virtue into pitch,/And out of her own goodness make the net/That shall enmesh them all.” (II.iii.) black/white and trapping imageryAfter Iago gets Cassio fired from his position of lieutenant, Iago tells Cassio to ask Desdemona for help in getting reinstated. However, he also plans to trick Othello into thinking that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair. This way, the more pure and helpful Desdemona pleas for Cassio’s position back, the guiltier she will look. Iago, who hates Othello and Cassio, hopes that this break of trust will lead Othello to take some drastic and not well thought out actions that will hurt one or all of them.
what type of conflict is this and who is it between?(III.iii.68-95)Desdemona badgers Othello about reinstating Cassio until Othello tells her to leave him alone external: Desdemona vs. Othello
what type of conflict is this and who is it between?(III.iii.299-318)Othello begins to wonder if Desdemona really cheated on him, citing Iago as an honest source, and feels insecure about his age and race internal: Othello vs. himself
what type of conflict is this and who is it between?(III.iii.411-437)Othello yells at Iago for planting doubts about Desdemona in his head. Iago says that he quits and being honest always gets him in trouble. external: Othello vs. Iago
what type of conflict is this and who is it between?(III.iii.438-445)Othello wants to know if Desdemona is really honest and trustworthy or if she has cheated on him. He wants to either commit murder or suicide just by thinking abut it. internal: Othello vs. himself
what type of conflict is this and who is it between?(III.iii.486-490)Othello believes that Cassio’s “dream” (the one Iago made up) must be about something that really happened. Iago tells him that added up with other thin proofs, it means that Cassio and Desdemona did have an affair. Othello vows to kill Desdemona. external: Othello vs. Desdemona (who isn’t present)
what type of conflict is this and who is it between?(III.iv.59-115)Othello asks Desdemona to borrow her handkerchief, and when she can’t produce it, begins to get mad. In an effort to distract him, Desdemona starts pleading Cassio’s suit, which, unbeknownst to her, was the worst possible thinking to start talking about. Othello becomes furious and storms out. external: Othello vs. Desdemona
what type of conflict is this and who is it between?(III.iv.161-175)Desdemona thinks that Othello is just worried about state matters and that is why he got so mad over such a little thing as a handkerchief. internal: Desdemona vs. herself
what type of conflict is this and who is it between?(III.iv.204-226)Cassio asks Bianca to copy a handkerchief he found in his room (Desdemona’s). Bianca thinks he got it from another lover. Cassio tells her to stop jumping to conclusions and to not be seen with him by Othello. Bianca tells Cassio that he doesn’t love her, and he doesn’t deny it. external: Bianca vs. Cassio
describe the context of this passage:”Work on,/my medicine, Thus credulous fools are caught,/And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,/All guiltless, meet reproach.” (IV.i.55-59) In an aside after Othello’s epilepsy fit, Iago gloats over how well his plan is working out. He says that his poisonous words are making foolish men think that innocent and pure women are guilty.
describe the context of this passage:”Ay, let her rot and perish and be damned/tonight, for she shall not live. No, my heart is turned/to stone. I strike it, and it hurts my hand. O, the/world hath not a sweeter creature! She might lie by/an emperor’s side and command him tasks.””Nay, that’s not your way.””Hang her, I do but say what she is! So delicate with her needle, an admirable/musician–O, she will sing the savageness out of a bear!/Of so high and plenteous wit and invention!” (IV.i.202-211) Othello wants Desdemona to rot in hell for cheating on him, but he can’t deny her good traits
describe the context of this passage:”I will chop her into messes! Cuckold me?” (IV.i.221) Othello is furious and wants to hurt Desdemona for cheating on him
describe the context of this passage:”Do it not with poison. Strangle her in her bed,/even the bed she hath contaminated.””Good, good. The justice of it pleases. Very good.””And for Cassio, let me be his undertaker. You/shall hear more by midnight.””Excellent good.” (IV.i.228-234) Othello wants to poison Desdemona, but Iago convinces him that a more fitting punishment would be to strangle her in the bed she contaminated with her misguided lust. Iago also says that he will take care of Cassio’s murder.
describe the context of this passage:”What, is he angry?””May be the letter moved him./For, as I think, they do command him home,/Deputing Cassio in his government.”” I am glad on ‘t.””Indeed?””My lord?””I am glad to see you mad.””Why, sweet Othello!”[STRIKING HER] “Devil!””I have not deserved this.” (IV.i.261-271) Desdemona ask Lodovico to help mend the rift between Othello and Cassio. Othello becomes angry because he thinks she is cheating on him with Cassio. Desdemona doesn’t understand why her is angry. Lodovico says maybe something in the letter he delivered made Othello mad. The letter said that Cassio was to replace Othello as governor of Cyprus. Desdemona says she is glad Cassio will get a position back. Othello gets mad and hits her, which is very out of character for him.
describe the context of this passage:”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?” (IV.i.299-303) Lodovico remembers Othello as an honest, even tempered, mostly peaceful man, and doesn’t recognize the violent and jealous man he finds on Cyprus.
describe the context of this passage:”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 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.” (IV.ii.13-20) Emilia insists that Desdemona is the purest, most honest woman she has ever met, and there is no way she would have cheated on Othello. Othello doesn’t believe her.
describe the context of this passage:”Had it pleased heaven/To try me with affliction, had they rained/All kinds of sores and shames upon my bare head,/Steeped me in poverty to the very lips,/Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes,/I should have found in some place of my soul/A drop of patience. But alas, to make me/ fixèd figure for the time of scorn/To point his slow finger at–/Yet I could bear that too, well, very well./But there where I have garnered up my heart,/Where either I must live or bear no life,/The fountain from the which my current runs/Or else dries up–to be discarded thence,/Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads/To knot and gender in–turn thy complexion there,/Patience, thou young and rose-lipped cherubin,/Ay, look grim as hell.” (IV.ii.57-74) Othello says that he could bear any shame, discomfort, or horror other than being cheated on.
describe the context of this passage:”Who is thy lord?””He that is yours, sweet lady.””I have none. Do not talk to me, Emilia./I cannot weep, nor answers have I none/But what should go by water. Prithee, tonight/Lay on my bed my wedding sheet. Remember./And call thy husband hither.” (IV.ii.117-123) Desdemona says she has no lord now that Othello has basically called her a *****. She tells Emilia that she has no idea why he thinks that. She asks Emilia to put her wedding sheets on the bed and to call for Iago.
describe the context of this passage:”I would you had never seen him.””So would not I. My love doth so approve him/That even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns–/Prithee, unpin me–have grace and favor “”I have laid those sheets you bade me on the bed.””All’s one. Good how foolish are our minds!/If I do die before prithee, shroud me/In one of same sheets.” (IV.iii.19-26) Emilia wishes Desdemona had never met Othello so she wouldn’t have been hurt by him. Desdemona is glad she met Othello because she loves him gag. Emilia says she has laid the wedding sheets on Desdemona and Othello’s bed. Desdemona asks Emilia to shroud her in her wedding sheets if she dies before Emilia (FORESHADOW).
how is othello established as a great man? -noble general-a Moor but still in a high ranking position-honest-trustworthy
othello’s hamartia (tragic flaw) extreme jealousygullibilityinsecurity about race and age
othello’s peripeteia (self-destructive actions taken blindly by the hero causing a reversal of his fortunes) -believing Iago-ordering death of Cassio-killing Desdemona
othello’s anagnorisis (change from ignorance to knowledge) when Othello realizes Iago had been lying to him the whole time for his own gains
does this play produce catharsis (the purging of emotions such as pity and fear)? not for me, but I guess when Othello, Emilia, and Desdemona are dead, Iago will be punished, and Cassio gets a nice promotion, no one cares about the remaining characters, so the whole thing wraps up neatly, leaving the audience without anything else to worry about
does the audience feel pathos (a feeling of sympathy or pity) for Othello? yesIago torments Othello throughout the play by giving ‘proof’ that Desdemona is cheating on him and vivid images of Desdemona and Cassio together. Iago also turns Othello completely against Cassio, his friend and lieutenant, and convinces him to kill his beloved wife
othello’s denouement (final scene of suffering) After he kills Desdemona, he regrets it even before Emilia tells him she didn’t actually cheat. The worst thing is that, in one final torment, Iago refuses to tell Othello why he did it. Then, of course, Othello stabs himself, which could be considered suffering
After Othello kills himself, there is no character left who comes even vaguely close to filling his absence. Why is this a criteria of a tragic hero? If there were many men like Othello (noble, brave, strong, having a weakness that leads to their downfall), Othello wouldn’t be special anymore (boohoo). The tragic hero has to be different than all the other characters and special in some way
Iago: SOLILOQUY #1″Thus do I ever make my fool my purse.For I mine own gained knowledge should profaneIf I would time expend with such a snipeBut for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor,And it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheetsHe’s done my office. I know not if ‘t be true,But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,Will do as if for surety. He holds me well.The better shall my purpose work on him.Cassio’s a proper man. Let me see now,To get his place and to plume up my willIn double knavery. How? How? Let’s see.After some time, to abuse Othello’s earThat he is too familiar with his wife.He hath a person and a smooth disposeTo be suspected, framed to make women false.The Moor is of a free and open natureThat thinks men honest that but seem to be so,And will as tenderly be led by th’ noseAs asses are.I have ‘t. It is engendered! Hell and nightMust bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.”(I.iii.426-447) That’s how I always do it, getting money from fools. I’d be wasting my skills dealing with an idiot like that if I couldn’t get something useful out of him. I hate the Moor, and there’s a widespread rumor that he’s slept with my wife. I’m not sure it’s true, but just the suspicion is enough for me. He thinks highly of me. That’ll help. Cassio’s a handsome man. Let’s see, how can Iget his position and use him to hurt Othello at the same time? How? How? Let’s see. After a while I’ll start telling Othello that Cassio is too intimate with Desdemona. Cassio is a smooth talker and a good-looking guy, the sort of man that people would expect to be a seducer. The Moor is open and straightforward. He thinks any man who seems honest is honest. People like that are easy to manipulate. So it’s all decided. I’ve worked it out. With a little help from the devil, I’ll bring this monstrous plan to success.
Iago: SOLILOQUY #2″That Cassio loves her, I do well believe ‘t.That she loves him, ’tis apt and of great credit.The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,Is of a constant, loving, noble nature,And I dare think he’ll prove to DesdemonaA most dear husband. Now, I do love her too,Not out of absolute lust—though peradventureI stand accountant for as great a sin—But partly led to diet my revenge,For that I do suspect the lusty MoorHath leaped into my seat. The thought whereofDoth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards,And nothing can or shall content my soulTill I am evened with him, wife for wife.Or, failing so, yet that I put the MoorAt least into a jealousy so strongThat judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,If this poor trash of Venice, whom I traceFor his quick hunting, stand the putting on,I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,Abuse him to the Moor in the right garb(For I fear Cassio with my night-cape too)Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward meFor making him egregiously an assAnd practicing upon his peace and quietEven to madness. ‘Tis here, but yet confused.Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used.”(II.i.308-334) I think Cassio really does love her, and it’s perfectly likely that she loves him too. I can’t stand the Moor, but I have to admit that he’s a reliable, loving, and good-natured man. He’d probably be a good husband to Desdemona. I love her too, not simply out of lust, but also to feed my revenge. I have a feeling the Moor slept with my wife. That thought keeps gnawing at me, eating me up inside. I won’t be satisfied until I get even with him, wife for wife. If I can’t do that, I can at least make the Moor so jealous that he can’t think straight. If that piece of Venetian trash Roderigo can do what I need to carry out my plan, I’ll have power over Cassio. I’ll say bad things about him to the Moor. I have a feeling Cassio seduced my wife as well. I’ll make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me, even though the joke will be on him the whole time. I’ve got a good plan, though I haven’t worked out the details yet. You can never see the end of an evil plan until the moment comes.
Iago: SOLILOQUY #3″And what’s he then that says I play the villain?When this advice is free I give and honest,Probal to thinking and indeed the courseTo win the Moor again? For ’tis most easyTh’ inclining Desdemona to subdueIn any honest suit. She’s framed as fruitfulAs the free elements. And then for herTo win the Moor, were to renounce his baptism,All seals and symbols of redeemèd sin,His soul is so enfettered to her love,That she may make, unmake, do what she list,Even as her appetite shall play the godWith his weak function. How am I then a villainTo counsel Cassio to this parallel course,Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!When devils will the blackest sins put onThey do suggest at first with heavenly showsAs I do now. For whiles this honest foolPlies Desdemona to repair his fortuneAnd she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear:That she repeals him for her body’s lust.And by how much she strives to do him goodShe shall undo her credit with the Moor.So will I turn her virtue into pitchAnd out of her own goodness make the netThat shall enmesh them all.”(II.iii.356-382)AND”Two things are to be done:My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress.I’ll set her on.Myself, the while, to draw the Moor apartAnd bring him jump when he may Cassio findSoliciting his wife. Ay, that’s the way.Dull not device by coldness and delay.”(II.iii.404-410) Who can say I’m evil when my advice is so good? That’s really the best way to win the Moor back again. It’s easy to get Desdemona on your side. She’s full of good intentions. And the Moor loves her so much he would renounce his Christianity to keep her happy. He’s so enslaved by love that she can make him do whatever she wants. How am I evil to advise Cassio to do exactly what’ll do him good? That’s the kind of argument you’d expect from Satan! When devils are about to commit their biggest sins they put on their most heavenly faces, just like I’m doing now. And while this fool is begging Desdemona to help him, and while she’s pleading his case to the Moor, I’ll poison the Moor’s ear against her, hinting that she’s taking Cassio’s side because of her lust for him. The more she tries to help Cassio, the more she’ll shake Othello’s confidence in her. And that’s how I’ll turn her good intentions into a big trap to snag them all.ANDNow two things still need to be done. My wife has to help make Desdemona take Cassio’s side. I’ll put her on that. And I need to take the Moor aside right at the moment when Cassio’s talking to Desdemona, so he’ll see them together. Yes, that’s the way I’ll do it. Let’s not ruin a brilliant plan by being slow to act.
important quote by othello”If it were now to die,’Twere now to be most happy, for I fearMy soul hath her content so absoluteThat not another comfort like to thisSucceeds in unknown fate.”(II.i.205-209) If I died right now I’d be completely happy, since I’ll probably never be as happy as this again in my life.
7 pieces of evidence Iago gives Othello to prove that Desdemona is cheating (1.) Cassio is talking to Desdemona, but when he sees Othello and Iago coming he quickly skedaddles. Iago asks Othello who that was. Othello thinks it was Cassio. Iago says surely Cassio wouldn’t be sneaking away from Desdemona looking so guilty(2.) asks if Cassio knew Desdemona when Othello began wooing her and if Cassio knew Othello liked Desdemona(3.) tells Othello to beware of jealousy before telling him anything he should be jealous of(4.) Desdemona deceived her father when she was secretly seeing Othello and when she married him; when she seemed to Brabantio to fear Othello, she actually loved him; she so deceived Brabantio that he thought their marriage was a product of witchcraft(5.) tells Othello to hold off on giving Cassio back his position and see the means with which Cassio tries to get his job back, i.e. following Iago’s suggestion of asking Desdemona for help in getting his job back; says to watch and see if Desdemona pushes a lot for Cassio to be reinstated(6.) Cassio’s “dream” about Desdemona(7.) supposedly Iago saw Cassio wipe his beard with the handkerchief Othello gave Desdemona (first gift; fancy)
othello insecurity soliloquy”This fellow’s of exceeding honestyAnd knows all quantities, with a learnèd spirit,Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,I’d whistle her off and let her down the windTo prey at fortune. Haply, for I am blackAnd have not those soft parts of conversationThat chamberers have, or for I am declinedInto the vale of years—yet that’s not much—She’s gone, I am abused, and my reliefMust be to loathe her. Oh, curse of marriageThat we can call these delicate creatures oursAnd not their appetites! I had rather be a toadAnd live upon the vapor of a dungeonThan keep a corner in the thing I loveFor others’ uses. Yet ’tis the plague to great ones,Prerogatived are they less than the base.’Tis destiny unshunnable, like death.Even then this forkèd plague is fated to usWhen we do quicken. Look where she comes.”(III.iii.299-318) This Iago is extremely honest and good, and he knows a lot about human behavior. If it turns out that she really is running around on me, I’ll send her away, even though it’ll break my heart. Maybe because I’m black, and I don’t have nice manners like courtiers do, or because I’m getting old—but that’s not much—She’s gone, and I’ve been cheated on. I have no choice but to hate her. Oh what a curse marriage is! We think our beautiful wives belong to us, but their desires are free! I’d rather be a toad in a moldy basement than to have only a part of someone I love, sharing the rest of her with others. This is the plague of important men—our wives betray us more than those of poor men. It’s our destiny, like death. We are destined to be betrayed when we are born. Oh, here she comes.