Othello Acts III and IV and Symbolism Test

Who brings in the musicians? Why? Cassio; he wants them to play something nice and short to put Othello in a good mood
Who does Iago say he will keep away from Cassio? Why? Othello; Cassio can talk longer and more openly with Desdemona; ulterior motives: real intentions–make Othello more suspicious; gives Cassio and Desi more alone time
What does Emilia tell Cassio that Othello is planning to do? Othello is not planning to reinstate him
Why do you think Shakespeare included this brief scene? How does it illustrate the relationship between Othello and Iago? To keep us updates; show Iago’s great facade of loyalty to Othello; shows Othello’s trust in Iago to look out for him; Othello gives Cassio a responsibility, he trusts him so much; Iago is keeping Othello busy; tells us where Othello will be going; shows Iago moving up in the ranks (replacing Cassio)
What does Desdemona promise in lines 19-28? How do you think Othello will react to this? She promises to get Cassio his job back, whatever it takes; Othello won’t react well because she plans to not stop talking about Cassio until he reinstates him which will make Othello more jealous and suspicious
Why does Desdemona push so hard for Cassio to get his job back (lines 70-74)? Because Cassio helped Othello win over Desdemona
Explain Iago’s new theory about reputation? How does it contradict what he told Cassio in Act II? Why is he saying this now? He says reputation is EVERYTHING/important and is the most valuable thing you have; contradicts because he told Cassio that a reputation is nothing, that it is easy to get back, and it is stupid to cry/worry/lament over it; he is trying to impress Othello and make him think that they have the same values so Othello will move him up in the ranks; “honest Iago”; gives Othello the idea that he would never ruin his reputation like Cassio, which works for his benefit in the situation; to ruin reputation of Desi so Othello needs to know how important reputations are
What is a cuckold? A foolish man who knows that his wife is cheating on him; central to jealousy; horns on head
How does Iago use Desdemona’s attraction to Othello as “proof” of her capacity to deceive? Her attraction made her lie to her father, so she can lie to anyone
What are the reasons Othello believes Desdemona may have betrayed him? What does he decide to do about the betrayal? The handkerchief, belonging to Desdemona, is now in Cassio’s possession, according to Iago; Othello is black and old and has poor manners, so why would she stay with him?; Othello decides he will send Desi away, assuming she must be cheating and tells Iago to kill Cassio
How does Othello hint that he is a cuckold in line 289? Does Desdemona recognize what he is hinting at? He says he has a headache, implying that his horns are growing; No, she doesn’t, she thinks he has a normal headache (taking his statement literally)
What does Emilia do with Desdemona’s handkerchief and why? What does that tell us about the relationship between Iago and his wife? She picks it up and gives it to Iago; she’s obedient, even being told “good girl” like a dog; she’s one of Iago’s puppets; it is a way for her to win Iago’s affection; it shows the dynamics of their marriage; she doesn’t know why Iago wants it–>shows that there isn’t a lot of communication in their marriage
What does Othello ask Iago for in lines 367-371? What will be the outcome if Iago can’t produce it? What do you think Othello means by that? Othello asks for physical proof; Iago’s life will be worthless, insinuating some sort of punishment; punishment: Othello won’t trust Iago anymore
Describe Iago’s “confession” in lines 418-433. Why did Iago select the particular details he chose? Iago says that Cassio admitted to being with Desi while he was asleep (sleep-talking); Iago says those details to get a rouse out of Othello; he makes it more graphic to increase Othello’s jealousy; painting imagery; made Cassio asleep so that Cassio would deny it if questioned by Othello
How does the relationship between Iago and Othello change in lines 460-475? How does the play physically show the shift in power? They become much closer and trusting; Othello kneels, showing vulnerability to Iago
What does Othello ask Iago to do for him at the end of this scene? And what honor does he bestow upon him? He asks (orders) Iago to kill Cassio; he then makes Iago his lieutenant
What is the last line of the scene? Are you as creeped out by it as I am? Why or why not? “I’m your own forever.”-Iago; very creepy; makes me think Iago is crushing on Othello, revealing the real reason to end the marriage
Describe the Clown’s word play in the opening of the act. What’s so punny? Pun: play on words/sounds that have multiple meanings to produce a comedic/cringe-worthy effect; he is asked where Othello us lying (sleeping) and answered as if he was thinking of lying as in deceiving
In line 19, Desdemona asks Emilia about the handkerchief. What us Emilia’s response? Why does she say that? Emilia says she doesn’t know where it is; she lies because she is trying to help her husband with his plan and keep him from getting into trouble
Why is the handkerchief so important to Othello? What’s the story behind it? Do you believe the story? Why or why not? It belonged to his mother, who got it from an old witch who cursed it saying that if she lost it, her husband wouldn’t love or desire her anymore; I believe that it is true that he got it from his mom, but the rest isn’t true because he only told the story to make Desdemona feel bad about losing it/cheating
How does Bianca end up with Desdemona’s handkerchief? What does she agree to do with it? Cassio gave it to her and asks her to copy the embroidery pattern; she agrees to copy the pattern
“Oh beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on.”- 3.3.169-171 Iago; “Beware of jealousy because it makes the situation worse!”; Iago is using reverse-psychology to get Othello to become jealous
“If she be false, heaven mocked itself. I’ll not believe ‘t.” -3.3.282-289 Othello; “If she’s cheated, (then heaven’s a fake) I don’t believe it.”; This foreshadows Othello’s mental breakdown
“I am your own forever.” -3.3.486 Iago; “I’m yours forever.”; It’s very creepy; it shows his dedication to Othello, promising his life and loyalty
“Well, my good lady.–(aside)–Oh, hardness to dissemble!–How do you, Desdemona?” -3.4.32-33 Othello; “I’m fine–it’s so hard to pretend!–How are you, Desdemona?”; Othello is pretending not to be jealous so he can catch her/make her admit to cheating
How has the relationship between Iago and Othello changed since the beginning of the play? Why do you think this change occurred? They are more friendly to each other (acting more like frat brothers than a boss and employee); it’s personal now; Othello has become manipulated by Iago so they become friendlier; Othello only gets advice from Iago; Othello values him more because of his info; I think that it happened because Othello is starting to trust Iago
What does Iago tell Othello that Cassio was bragging about? What is Othello’s reaction to this news? Iago says that he was bragging about sleeping with Desdemona; Othello basically has a panic attack from emotion
Explain how Iago stages his simultaneous manipulations of Cassio and Othello. In other words, what happens to confirm Othello’s suspicion about his wife’s infidelity (unfaithfulness)? Iago makes Othello hide, only seeing their actions until he is beckoned closer; Othello thinks they are speaking of Desi when they are talking about Bianca; the confirmation is when Othello sees the handkerchief in Bianca’s hands
Do you think Iago expected Bianca’s appearance at line 138? How is he able to use her arrival to further his deception? I don’t think he does; Iago tells Othello that Cassio gave the handkerchief to her; he also uses her to get rid of Cassio
What’s different about Othello’s attitude toward Desdemona in lines 169 -202? What causes this change? Othello despises how great she is; he thinks she has stooped too low and left him for a worse man; Othello has some self-hatred
What does Iago suggest Othello do instead when Othello asks for poison? What service does Iago offer to perform himself? Iago suggests strangling her on the very bed she cheated on; Iago offers to kill Cassio and talk with Othello again at midnight
How does Othello make himself look bad in front of Lodovico? Why is Lodovico so surprised by Othello’s actions? Othello hits Desdemona; Othello is known as the unemotional guy whose always in control; he’s not a man who will ruin his reputation
Describe the tone of Othello’s speech in lines 247-255. frantic, upset, angry, jumbled
Lodovico is very concerned about Othello. What does Iago encourage him to do at the end of the scene? Why? He encourages Lodovico to watch Othello closely for only his actions can speak to how he truly is; “true Othello”; maybe Lodovico sees Othello kill Desdemona?
Why do you think Othello refuses to believe Emilia? What does he think is really going on (lines 13-25)? He thinks she is covering for Desdemona and Desdemona is putting on too good of an act for Emilia to notice (Emilia is fooled)
Explain the dramatic irony in Emilia’s words in lines 13-20. She was roasting/subtweeting Iago, because he was the one that made Othello think she was cheating
According to Othello, what’s the worst part of being a cuckold? He’s been made a laughing stock of Cyprus; his wife is being corrupted; “Ignorance is bliss”; knowing hurts the worst
Where in this scene does Desdemona finally start to fight back? Around line 90 when she defends herself, saying she’s telling the truth and being honest
Who does Desdemona go to for help (line 157)? Why is that ironic? She goes to Iago; he is the one who slandered her
Who is the first person in the play to figure out Iago’s duplicity? What does this person say to show that? How is Iago able to charm this person, even after the truth it known? Roderigo figures it out; hes says “I’ve been cheated” (line 200) and “your words and actions don’t match up”; Iago promises that he will be able to sleep with Desdemona, kill Cassio, and stab Iago if those two things don’t happen to him (Roderigo); gives Roderigo a role in the action; calls him smart; calls him courageous and gained his respect
Othello seems much calmer now, but Desdemona seems very worried. What dies she say to Emilia that could foreshadow her fate? She asks Emilia to have her buried with the sheets from her wedding night if she dies before Emilia
Desdemona has a song stuck in her head as she gets ready for bed. What does Desdemona seem so unsettled by it? Her mother’s old maid died while singing the song about being left by her wild lover
Explain the difference between Desdemona’s and Emilia’s attitudes towards adultery. Emilia wouldn’t do during the day (when she could get caught), only at night. She believes if wives cheat, it is the husband’s fault because she learned it from him; Desdemona despises it and wouldn’t do it for the world
“A horned man’s a monster and a beast”- 4.1.59 Othello to Iago; “A man who’s been cheated on is no longer a human, but an animal.”; Othello has been convinced that Desdemona is cheating on him
“Now he tells how she plucked him to my chamber. Oh, I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall throw it to.”- 4.1.135 Othello to himself and the audience; “Now she’s saying how she took him to our bedroom. I’m going to kill you, I’m just not sure how yet.”; Othello decides that Cassio has to die; this is the promise/threat of Othello’s revenge in due time; shows Othello believes in the affair; making big assumptions here; shows Othello no longer trusts his wife
“This is some minx’s token, and I must take out the work? There, give it to your hobby-horse. Wheresoever you had it, I’ll take out no work on ‘t.”- 4.1.146-148 Bianca to Cassio; “This is a love token from some other slut, and you want me to copy its pattern for you? Give it back to her, I won’t do anything with it.”; Bianca was given the handkerchief that belongs to Desdemona by Cassio
“Do it not with poison. Strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated.”- 4.1.197-198 Iago to Othello; “Don’t do it with poison. Strangle her in her bed, the same bed shes’s contaminated/cheated on.”; Iago is pushing the lie that Desi cheated and hints at having her killed
“Come, swear it, damn thyself. Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves Should fear to seize thee. Therefore be double damned, Swear thou art honest!”- 4.2.38-41 Othello to Desdemona; “You’ll go to hell for lying. They would think you’re an angel if you didn’t. Go ahead and guarantee your spot in hell for lying to me.”; shows Othello truly believes Iago’s word over Desdemona’s
“I have heard too much, and your words and performances are no kin together.”- 4.2.190-191 Roderigo to Iago; “I’ve listened to you too much already. Your words and actions don’t match up.”; He’s calling Iago out on his trickery
“Why, who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? I should venture purgatory for ‘t.”- 4.3.70-71 Emilia to Desdemona; “Who wouldn’t cheat on her husband to make him king? I’d risk my soul for that.”; Emilia is hinting at her rumored infidelity being true
symbolism of the handkerchief color: red-lust/lovepattern: strawberries/fruit-starts out good but can go bad-has to be maintained-growth-fruitfulnessmaterials: dyed with virgin’s blood-purity-innocence-loyalty-chastity
symbolism (def. in own words) using details and items to represent an idea that can relate to things around the item used or in the story it is in; can take different forms
meaning of handkerchief to Emilia loyalty (stole handkerchief without needing a reason); puppy (dog loyal to owner)
meaning of handkerchief to Iago revenge (on Othello); knife (stabbing in the back)
meaning of handkerchief to Othello trust (gave it to Desi to show his trust for her); mistrust (she lost it = trust is gone)
meaning of handkerchief to Othello’s mom infinite sign; love (as long as she had the handkerchief she and her husband would always be in love)
meaning of handkerchief to Cassio puppy (parallel to finding lost hanky = finding lost dog); ordinary; pretty; disposable
meaning of handkerchief to Bianca “some other slut’s token”; jealousy; insulting
meaning of handkerchief to Desdemona trust (like a piece of her)
meaning of handkerchief to us commitment