Who is the author of Othello? William Shakespeare
What are differences between the protagonists? Differences of age, race, and cultural background.
Why does Shakespeare frequently rearrange the sentence structure? Shakespeare often does this to emphasize a particular work via poetic rhythm. It also allows the character to speak and convey his/her message in a special way.
What is the purpose of interruptions in the dialogue? The interruptions provide details that causes the audience to pay attention to the play’s supporting details.
Why does Shakespeare omit essential words or phrases in his sentences? To create a great dramatic effect
What is the purpose of implied stage action? It vitally affects the audience’s response to the play.
What was the name of Shakespeare’s acting company? King’s Men
What was the name of Shakespeare’s theater? The Globe
How does the way Shakespeare begins the play immediately involved the audience? The audience knows about the plot’s central conflict right away.
Why are Roderigo and Iago arguing when the play begins? Roderigo paid Iago to help him woo Desdemona, but it hasn’t worked.
What is Iago’s problem with Othello? Iago was not appointed to be the second-in-command to Othello, and now immensely hates him.
What is Iago’s current rank that he hates so much? Ensign
Who became the second-in-command to Othello? Michael Cassio
Why does Iago find it unfair that Michael Cassio was appointed to second-in-command? Iago was recommended by ‘three gentlemen’ to be second-in-command, and Michael Cassio does not have experience, but only ‘knows of theories.’
How long has Othello been in Venice prior to his marriage? Nine months
What has happened with Othello and Desdemona? Othello and Desdemona have eloped and run off together.
How does Iago enlist the aid and the trust of Roderigo in the first scene? Roderigo is in love with Desdemona.
What does Iago’s antagonistic role in the play portray? A person who is resentful of his/her position of social inferiority
What is Iago’s first plan in Act I, Scene I to spoil Othello’s pleasure in his marriage? Iago and Roderigo boisterously wake up Brabantio and inform him of what has happened to Desdemona.
Who is Brabantio? The father of young Desdemona.
What is Brabantio’s position in Venice? Senator
Why is Brabantio initially skeptical of Roderigo’s accusations? He has told Roderigo to stay away from Desdemona.
What imagery does Iago use to describe Othello and Desdemona’s elopement, and what conflict does that imagery develop? Iago uses animal imagery to describe Othello and Desdemona’s elopement by calling Othello an ‘old black ram’ and referring to Desdemona as a ‘white ewe’.
What does it mean to ‘make the beast with two backs’? Two people are having sex.
Has Brabantio always hated Othello? No. He used to respect Othello when Othello would visit him and tell him his life stories, especially when serving in the Venetian army.
What stops Brabantio from bringing Othello straight to prison? Othello has been summoned by the Duke in a war emergency, so Brabantio can bring his situation straight to the Duke.
What impending crisis do the duke and his senators face at the beginning of Scene 3? The Duke and his senators are informed that a Turkish fleet of over one hundred ships is approaching Cyprus.
Who is the first character to refer to Othello by name? The Duke
At this point, what is ironic about Othello and his status? Othello is one of the most respected men in Venice, but he is considered an outsider.
What does Brabantio believe Othello used to ‘woo’ his daughter? He believes that Othello used witchcraft on her
How does Othello defend himself against Brabantio’s charges of witchcraft? Othello defends himself by demonstrating his love for Desdemona as a pure act of passion and a love of her mind.
What does Desdemona claim about her love to Othello, specifically to Brabantio? Desdemona is grateful for her father, but she must now dedicate herself to her husband instead.
What first attracted Desdemona to Othello? The stories he told about his past
What kind of impression does Desdemona create in the third scene of the play? Desdemona displays herself as a woman who is sure of her decisions. She fell in love with Othello, and she knows that she should stay with him and dedicate herself.
Overall, why is Brabantio’s suit against Othello balked? Othello is a highly respected general, and believes that his achievements are enough to let him go. After Othello and Desdemona explain that they simply fell in love with each other, the Duke sees Brabantio’s suit against Othello as mere accusations that are supported by no proof.
Afterwards, how does Brabantio react? Brabantio is reluctant about the marriage, and he disowns Desdemona.
Believing that Desdemona will now never love him, what does Roderigo say he will do? Roderigo is going to drown himself.
What does Iago tell Roderigo when Roderigo says that he will drown himself? Iago tells Roderigo to ‘put money in thy purse’.
Why does Iago instruct Roderigo to make himself rich? According to Iago, Desdemona will not love Othello eventually, and she will want to marry a rich man like Roderigo.
At the end of Act I, what rumor does Iago state he heard? He suspects Othello of sleeping with his wife, Emilia.
What is one ironic aspect found in Act I about Iago and his motives? He was referred to as ‘Honest Iago’, which is ironic considering his evil schemes and hatred for Othello.
How is Othello’s status as a “tragic hero” established in the first act? Othello possesses a ‘noble’ quality that makes people respect him, but Iago’s schemes that he is unaware of will bring about his downfall and ruined marriage with Desdemona.
What happens to the threat of a Turkish invasion of Cyprus? Most of the ships of the Turkish fleet heading to Cyprus were shipwrecked by the terrible storm, so the war is over.
What nonliteral purpose does the storm play in the story? The storm represents the chaos that will take place on the island.
Why does Shakespeare move the action of the play from Venice to Cyprus? It puts Othello outside Venetian authority and separates Desdemona from Brabantio’s disapproval.
What is the additional significance of moving the play from Venice to Cyprus? Venice is a place that is romanticized, while Cyprus is regarded as ‘isolated’.
How does Montano react to the news that Othello is about to take his place as governor of Cyprus? Montano is glad about this, deeming Othello worthy of governing Cyprus.
What do Cassio’s actions in Act II, Scene I tell us about his character? Michael Cassio is a very sophisticated gentleman. He is very polite towards Emilia and Desdemona, and he respects Desdemona as he respects Othello.
What does Cassio do that inspires Iago’s plot? Cassio holds Desdemona’s hand
What judgments does Iago pass on women in his conversation with Desdemona and Emilia? Iago makes sexist comments, stating that women in general are immature, manipulative, and only want sex.
What is the purpose of these statements? Iago specifically makes these comments in order to emphasize Cassio’s appeal as a well-mannered and sophisticated gentleman
How does Desdemona react to Iago’s comments about women? She plays along.
How would one best describe Iago’s relationship with his wife Emilia? Business-like – they don’t seem to have much in common, nor do they seem totally devoted to each other
How does Iago truly feel about Desdemona? He admits (in private) that he lusts after her.
What happens during the meeting between Roderigo and Iago at the end of Scene I? Iago convinces Roderigo that Cassio and Desdemona are bound to soon be lovers, so Roderigo should help him to get Cassio fired from his position.
How does Iago bring about Cassio’s dismissal? Iago gets Cassio drunk, knowing that he has a low tolerance for alcohol. He gets mad at Roderigo and begins to chase him, but Montano intervenes and Cassio targets him.
Who did Cassio stab and wound? Montano
Iago sneakily brings about Cassio’s dismissal. How does he do this? Othello believes that Iago has softened up his story in order to protect Cassio.
What does Othello do to Cassio? For causing disorder, Othello dismisses Cassio from his service.
How does Iago manipulate Cassio after the lieutenant’s humiliating dismissal? Iago counsels Cassio at first, and then begins to manipulate him by convincing him to seek Desdemona’s help, who will convince Othello to give Cassio back his lieutenant position.
What does Cassio do when Othello approaches him and Desdemona (as he is asking for her help)? Cassio leaves because he is still ashamed and doesn’t want to confront Othello personally.
Why does Othello think he might not be able to reinstate Cassio? Montano is so popular in Cyprus
Why does Iago say that Othello needs to be careful of Desdemona and Cassio’s affair? Desdemona fooled her father with her marriage, so she is capable of lying.
Prior to the story, what was the connection between Desdemona and Cassio? Cassio was Othello’s go-between when he wooed Desdemona.
What happens to the handkerchief Desdemona used to wrap Othello’s head? She inadvertently drops it, and Emilia, instructed by her husband, picks it up and gives it to him.
What does Iago do with this handkerchief? He puts it next to Cassio while asleep.
What pattern is embroidered on the handkerchief? Strawberries
Who made the handkerchief that Othello inherited from his mother? A sibyl, or female prophet
What does the handkerchief ultimately symbolized to Othello? Othello believes that the handkerchief is the magical and sentimental binding force that connects him and Desdemona’s love.
What occurs as Othello becomes more and more suspicious of Desdemona? He loses all good judgment and begins to misread even the most innocent of things.
Why is Othello beginning to get angry with Iago? Iago has suggested to Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him, but Othello now wants proof.
What does Iago say he heard Cassio say? Iago says that he heard Cassio talk about sleeping with Desdemona in his sleep.
What does Iago purposely now ask Othello? Iago inquires if Othello had a handkerchief with a strawberry pattern.
Next, how does Iago connect the handkerchief to Cassio? Iago states that he witnessed Cassio wipe his beard with this handkerchief.
What is the ultimate turning point in the entire play? Othello, now fully convinced that Desdemona is carrying on an affair with Cassio, and now full of vengeance, vows to kill Desdemona.
What does Iago say in response and how does Othello react? Iago says that he will help Othello, and Othello now names him his lieutenant.
When Othello asks Desdemona where his handkerchief is, why does she begin to ask about reinstating Cassio? She had made a promise to Cassio and intends to go through with it, but she also wants to change the subject.
Who is Bianca? Bianca is a prostitute who is in love with Cassio.
What does Bianca ask Cassio? Bianca asks Cassio why he has not visited her.
What does Cassio ask Bianca to do with a handkerchief he found? Cassio asks Bianca to copy the embroidery.
What happens to Othello in the beginning of Act IV after his conversation with Iago? Othello begins to act crazy. He repeats the word “handkerchief” and has an epileptic fit.
How does the conversation between Iago and Cassio about Bianca affect Othello? Othello is hiding and he thinks that they are talking about Desdemona.
In Act II, Iago tried to make it seem that Cassio was a gentleman. How do his feelings about Bianca completely erase that image? He repeatedly calls Bianca a wh0re in a conversation with Iago and laughs at the thought of marrying her.
What does the confrontation between Bianca and Cassio reveal about Cassio’s character? The confrontation between Bianca and Cassio gives an alternate perspective of Cassio’s character. Bianca loves Cassio, but because she is a prostitute, he only uses her and despises her because she allows him to do so. This gives the reading audience a very bad impression of his character, and even depicts him as sadistic.
Why does Othello begin to get angry when Bianca mentions the handkerchief Cassio gave her? This handkerchief belongs to him. He thinks Desdemona gave it to Cassio, but now thinks Cassio only took advantage of Desdemona and ‘gave it to his wh0re.’
What does Othello continue to reference about Desdemona? He says that Desdemona never deserves to be taken advantage like this. Even though he wants to kill her, he continues to state that she is the sweetest and fairest woman ever.
How does Othello plan to kill Desdemona? Initially, Othello plans to poison Desdemona, but then he changes his mind when Iago suggests that he strangle her.
What does Iago promise Othello? Iago promises that he will kill Cassio.
Who is Lodovico and why has he come to Cyprus? Lodovico is a Venetian nobleman, and he comes with a letter from the Duke and his senators. Lodovico is also Desdemona’s cousin.
What does the letter from Lodovico say? Othello is ordered to return home to Venice, while Cassio is appointed governor of Cyprus.
What does Desdemona say about the news? Desdemona is happy for Cassio’s new position.
How does Othello react? Othello is now enraged, especially with Desdemona’s comment about Cassio. He hits her in front of everyone and calls her a devil.
How has Lodovico now become a part of Iago’s scheming? Lodovico witnessed Othello strike his wife for no apparent reason, and now he is shocked and upset. He regrets respecting Othello.
How does Emilia react to Othello’s initial suggestion of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness? How does Othello respond? Emilia insists that Desdemona has not done anything suspicious and that she is an honest woman. Othello responds by asking her to get Desdemona, but privately says that any other woman would lie about Desdemona’s infidelity.
When Iago, Desdemona, and Emilia are discussing the possible reason for Othello’s suspicions about Desdemona’s infidelity, how does Iago change his reactions? Iago goes along with everything that is said, saying that it is absolutely terrible that Othello is getting this idea. When Emilia begins to discover that it may have been a false rumor started by someone, Iago now denies that no one could have actually done this.
What does Iago say is the reason for Othello’s behavior? Iago states that Othello is concerned with political problems (“a business of the state”) and is taking his anger out on Desdemona.
Why is Roderigo mad at Iago? Roderigo is not any closer to being with Desdemona, even though he gave his jewels to Iago to deliver to her.
Where does Iago say that Othello and Desdemona are going to sail to when they leave Cyprus? Mauritania
Why does Iago tell Roderigo to kill Cassio? Killing Cassio is going to end the affair between him and Desdemona. Also, if Cassio is killed, Othello and Desdemona cannot leave the island soon.
Does Roderigo succeed in killing Cassio? No. He fails, and then Cassio wounds Roderigo.
What does Iago do to Cassio after Roderigo is wounded? Iago sneaks up from behind and stabs Cassio’s leg.
What happens when Othello sees that Cassio is wounded outside? Othello is thrilled that Iago carried out his promise of killing Cassio and goes back inside.
When Roderigo and Cassio are yelling in pain, who comes to them? Gratiano and Lodovico, as well as Iago (who pretends to respond).
What does Iago do to Roderigo and why? Iago stabs Roderigo and kills him. He falsely does this out of vengeance for harming Cassio, but if Roderigo survived, he would reveal that Iago was the mastermind behind this plan.
Who is Gratiano? Gratiano is Brabantio’s brother and Desdemona’s uncle.
Why aren’t Gratiano and Lodovico able to see Iago kill Roderigo without hesitation? It is dark outside, so they are unaware specifically about Iago’s actions.
What does Othello tell Desdemona to do when they are in the bedroom? Othello tells Desdemona to pray and prepare for her death. He refuses to listen to her when she protests that she hasn’t done anything wrong.
What happens to Desdemona? She is killed by Othello when he smothers her with a pillow.
Who enters the bedroom? What news does this person bring? Emilia enters the bedroom to deliver the news that a man named Roderigo attempted to kill Cassio, but Cassio is not dead.
How does Emilia react to Desdemona’s death? Emilia is mortified that Othello would kill her because she was sweet and honest. Othello persists in claiming that she was having an affair
Is Desdemona ‘dead’ at this point? What happens? Desdemona wakes up for a moment and claims she killed herself, then dies.
What does Othello reveal about the affair that ultimately shocks Emilia? Othello reveals that it was Emilia’s husband Iago that told him all the details, and Emilia begins to realize the truth.
What does Gratiano say happened to Brabantio? Brabantio died of grief due to Desdemona’s marriage.Note: Gratiano stated that he is ‘glad’ that Brabantio cannot see his daughter dead because it would be such a sore sight.
What does Emilia reveal when Othello mentions that Desdemona supposedly gave the handkerchief to Cassio? Emilia calls Othello stupid and proclaims that her husband had ordered her to steal it for him.
What does Iago do to Emilia? Iago stabs Emilia and kills her, then runs away.
What is Emilia’s last wish before she dies? She wants to be laid next to Desdemona.
What is going to happen to Othello? Othello is now stripped of his command, and he is going to be put on trial in Venice.
What does Othello do to Iago, now having learned of all his lies? Othello calls Iago the devil and stabs him, but Iago does not die.
Before Othello is taken away, what does he do? Othello stabs himself with a weapon he had been concealing and dies next to Desdemona.
What happens to Iago at the end of the novel? Iago is taken away to be tortured.
Which character is still alive by the end of the novel? What happens to this person? Michael Cassio is alive by the end of the novel. He is officially the governor of Cyprus.