Othello acts one & two study guide

From Roderigo’s first speech, it appears that he paid Iago for something. Can you tell what it was? – win desdemona from othello
What is revealed about Iago’s character when he says, “I am not what I am” (line 65)? – iago’s character is deceiving- he hates Othello as much as Roderigo does for positioning cassio as lieutenant
What kind of imagery does Iago use in telling Brabantio of Desdemona’s treachery? What is significant about this? – Iago uses the imagery that an old black ram (Othello) is sleeping with his little white lamb (Desdemona)- theme: racial segregation, not common for interracial relationships- making Desdemona sound like an innocent, helpless victim and Othello as a predator
How do Iago and Roderigo stir up trouble? – wake up Brabantio in the middle of the night and claim that his daughter, Desdemona, has been taken away by Othello- lead to Brabantio discovering that his daughter is not in her room, which leads to Brabantio sending his officers to Othello’s house.
What is Brabantio’s first reaction when he discovers that Desdemona is gone? How does he then search for some excuse to justify her behaviour? – At first, Brabantio did not believe in Iago and Roderigo that Desdemona is gone, because he believes that Roderigo is telling him this news to have the opportunity to see his daughter- After checking that Desdemona was gone, Brabantio is devastated because his daughter has deceived him- Brabantio makes an excuse that Desdemona has fallen in love with Othello in the state of a magic spell
How does Iago try to intimidate Othello? What does it mean when he asks Othello if he is “fast” married? Why is that significant? – Iago says that Brabantio will attempt to divorce Othello and Desdemona from their marriage- Iago is attempting to upset Othello so that he will regret marrying Desdemona. Iago asking if Othello is “fast married” is Iago asking if Othello has slept with Desdemona yet- if Othello has already slept with Desdemona, there is no way for Brabantio to undo that intercourse, resulting in Brabantio giving Desdemona to Othello- iago planting seed of doubt
How does Othello’s response reveal his own positive self-image? – shows that he is not an evil man, and that he is actually very calm and rational- very forgiving and does not seek revenge even when Iago tells him that Brabantio will try and annul his marriage – insists that Iago does not kill Brabantio, regardless of what he thinks he has done wrong- not fueled by revenge and truly has good intentions
What accusation against Othello does Brabantio repeat to the Duke? – he says that Othello used witchcraft and magic in order for Desdemona to fall in love with him
In Brabantio’s response to Othello’s defense, what disturbs him most about the marriage? – desdemona, in Brabantio’s eyes, is the most innocent girl in the world- Brabantio is claiming that Desdemona would never fall in love with a man that she is afraid to look at in the first place- Brabantio is saying that someone, with such perfection as herself, who never make such an unnatural mistake.
Explain the reason Othello has for why Desdemona loves him – Desdemona said she loved Othello for the stories he told her about his earlier life- it saddened her and intrigued her hearing all that he had been through
What does Desdemona’s speech say about her character? – This shows that she has a great deal of love and appreciation towards her father but she cares for Othello so much that she would put him first over the one who educated her and whom she owed loyalty and obedience to for life- theme: loyalty
Othello accepts the Duke’s orders to go to Cyprus with only one condition. What is it? – Othello wants to provide accommodations for Desdemona when he leaves to Cyprus- to bring Desdemona with him to Cyprus
How does Iago reassure Roderigo that Desdemona will be his? How does Iago finally convince Roderigo to believe him? – telling him that she will get bored of Othello and leave him for another man- Roderigo was told to sell his land and gain money so that he can prove himself worthy of Desdemona when she leaves Othello
Iago describes an English garden. What is he comparing it to? What is he saying about human control of life? – Iago compares their bodies to gardens and that love is not love but a desire- human control in life is being patient and knowing what you want then going to get it- rational minds are needed to control one’s actions.
catharsis a release of emotional tension- comic relief
hubris excessive pride
tragic hero a protagonist with a fatal flaw which eventually leads to his downfall
pathetic fallacy when the weather reflects what’s happening- storm at sea
soliloquy speech to oneself
nemesis someone or something a person cannot conquer or achieve; a hated enemy
conflict A struggle between opposing forces- Othello vs brabantio
epiphany sudden realization- brabantio realized that his daughter is gone
pathos makes the readers feel pity (specific feeling)- cassio losing his position
dramatic irony iago pretending to side with Othello by warning him of brabantio
“He takes her by the palm./Ay, well said, whisper. With as little a web as/this I will ensnare a fly as great as Cassio.” speaker: iago asidecontext: when cassio takes Desdemona’s hand during their conversation
“So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,/A moth of peace, and he go to war,/The rites for why I love him are bereft me.” speaker: Desdemona to dukecontext: she wants to go with Othello on his journey to cyprus
“If you do find me foul in her report,/The trust, the office, I do hold of you/Not only take away, but let your sentence/Even fall upon my life.” speaker: Othello to dukecontext: when Othello was brought to the duke’s place for questioning`
act 1 & 2 plot summary act 1 scene 1- roderigo upset –> failed courtship with desdemona- decide to tattle on othello to brabantio- iago hates othello because he gave lieutenant position to cassio- brabantio goes to search for the newlywedsact 1 scene 2- iago warns othello of brabantio (pretends to be loyal)- duke asks to see othello- case taken to duke’s act 1 scene 3- othello is accused of using black magic- othello tells the story of his relationship- desdemona claims that their relationship was based on her love for him- attack on cyprus, othello leaves- desdemona under care of iago- roderigo threatens suicide at his loss of desdemona, convinced that desdemona will change over time, he should sell his properties- iago plans to involve cassio in his plan, wants othello to think he is too friendly with desdemona so he’ll be fired and lieutenant position will go to himact 2 scene 1- order of arrival: cassio, iago/desdemona, othello (storm)- harsh words between iago and emilia- cassio and desdemona chats- iago tells roderigo that desdemona is bored o othello, in love with cassio- iago convinces roderigo to remove cassio in a way he will be attacked (win-win: roderigo gets desdemona, iago gets lieutenant position)act 2 scene 2- announcement/party for victory over turks and othello and desdemona’s weddingact 2 scene 3- iago convinces cassio to drink and plans to get him drunk- iago tells to montano that cassio is a good person with bad drinking problems- cassio attacks roderigo, wounds montano- iago points all faults to cassio who is then stripped of lieutenant position- iago convinces cassio to seek desdemona for help- iago plans to turn desdemona’s virtue into pitch (make her kind gesture appear negatively in othello’s eyes)
theme: human nature/free will – iago comparing garden to our bodies (will = gardener) – desdemona marrying othello- iago mentioning that he only provides advice, if people follow and take his advice, they must face the consequences
theme: manipulation – iago tricking othello into thinking he is a honest man (when othello left him to bring desdemona to cyprus)- brabantio doesn’t believe that Desdemona fell in love with Othello, he believes that othello used manipulation & magic- iago goes with roderigo to tell brabantio after desdemona being “taken away” by othello, then warns othello that brabantio is coming- iago manipulating Cassio into getting drunk”I am not what I am”calls himself a spider/fly- iago manipulating Roderigo by telling him to sell his property and to make cassio attack him
character analysis: othello trusting: – easily manipulated by iago when he fired cassio from his position after believing that he started the fight (only listened to iago’s side of the story, not cassio’s)
character analysis: roderigo trusting:- listened to iago and sold everything
theme: loyalty – iago proving his “loyalty” when he warned othello that brabantio is trying to find them- desdemona asking to go with othello to cyprus
“O, you are well tuned now!But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music,As honest as I am.” speaker: Iagocontext: aside after Othello & Desdemona’s conversation and kiss
“Come on, come on. You are pictures out of doors, Bells in your parlours, wildcats in your kitchens, Saint in your injuries, devils being offended, Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your bed.” speaker: iagocontext: after talking about Desdemona and emilia
“she has deceived her father, and may thee” speaker: brabantiomeaning: if she tricked her father, she’ll trick him toocontext: after desdemona revealed that her marriage was based on her lovewhere: act 1 scene 3- foreshadow: desdemona’s unfaithfulness- plants seed of doubt
“my life upon her faith! honest iago” speaker: othellomeaning: betting his life on her faithfulnesscontext: after brabantio’s warning of desdemona deceiving him like she did to her fatherwhere: act 1 scene 3- foreshadow
“these moors are changeable in their wills- fill thy purse. the food that to them now is as luscious as locusts shall be to him as bitter as coloquintida” speaker: iago to roderigomeaning: moors are moody people, what’s sweet to them now will be bitter latercontext: when roderigo threatens suicide after loss of desdemonawhere: act 1 scene 3- theme: human nature- tries to absolve himself of any faults
symbolism: storm start of act 2- storm = sea of darkness, unable to see light- blindness to the truth behind iago’s plans
“ye men of cyprus, let her have your knees. hail to thee lady! and grace of heaven, before, behind thee, and on every hand, enwheel thee round” speaker: cassiomeaning: describing desdemonacontext: after desdemona’s arrival to cyprus- imagery/metaphor: grace of heaven, comparison to angelwhere: act 2 scene 1- plot: as if cassio is in love with desdemona
“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, again to inflame it and to give satiety a fresh appetite” speaker: iago to roderigomeaning: desdemona will get bored of othello who is old and cannot keep up with hercontext: after othello arrives and leaves with desdemonawhere: act 2 scene 1- manipulation
“the wine she drinks is made of grapes. if she had been blessed, she would never have loved the moor” speaker: iago to roderigomeaning: she is human like the rest of them, don’t put her on the pedestalcontext: after othello arrives and leaves with desdemonawhere: act 2 scene 1
“i’ll have our michael cassio on the hip, abuse him to the moor in the rank garb- for i fear cassio with my nightcap too- make the moor thank me, love me, and reward me” speaker: iago’s soliloquymeaning: introduces plan to take down cassiocontext: after roderigo leaves, he begins his planwhere: end of act 2 scene 1- alliteration: repetition- dramatic irony- theme: manipulation
“touch me no so near. i had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth than it should do offence to michael cassio; yet i persuade myself, to speak the truth shall nothing wrong him” speaker: iago to montanameaning: he would rather have his tongue cut out than talk about about cassiocontext: after cassio got drunkwhere: act 2 scene 3- irony: iago’s plan all along- theme: manipulation- hyperbole: tongue cut out
“i know, iago, thy honesty and love doth mince this matter, making it light to cassio” speaker: othello to iagomeaning: thanking iago for his honestycontext: after iago told him what happened with cassiowhere: act 2 scene 3- theme: manipulation- character: othello too trusting- irony- othello trusts him even more- iago gained a good reputation, cassio lost his
“then what’s he then that says i play the villain? when this advice is free i give and honest/so will i turn her virtue into pitch” speaker: iago’s soliloquymeaning: helpful in his own mind, he only provides advice and it’s up to others to choose whether to take it or notcontext: after telling cassio to seek desdemona for help to get his position backwhere: act 2 scene 3
How does Iago view women? Provide quote evidence and explain. – two sides, complicated and not as pure and innocent as they seem- completely different people at home and in public
It is clear that Iago views Othello as “different” and thinks that eventually Desdemona will, too. Why does he think Desdemona will lose her love for Othello? – iago said that cassio is young and handsome
Iago tells Roderigo that because of Cassio’s youth and good looks Desdemona will look to Cassio when she gets tired of Othello. Is Iago saying all this just to enrage Roderigo, or do you think he believes that Desdemona will be unfaithful to Othello? Explain. – to enrage roderigo: roderigo is in love with desdemona so idea will make him mad even more –> higher chance of succeeding in making cassio rage in front of everyone- desdemona will be unfaithful to othello: iago’s views on women
Iago accuses Cassio of putting on a false appearance to gain his own ends. How is this accusation an example of irony? – in the end, he said that cassio is handsome will eventually win desdemona over
Why is Cassio reluctant to have a drink? Why does he finally agree? – already feeling tipsy- only drinks because there are gallants
Again, Iago’s soliloquy gives us a glimpse into his plans. He concludes, “So will I turn her virtue into pitch; /And out of her own goodness make the net /That shall enmesh them all.” What is he saying, and how does he plan to accomplish this? – make desdemona’s virtue appear to be negative because he believes she is getting sick of othello- opportunity to tell othello that desdemona is unfaithful