Othello Studyguide work in progress

Why does Iago say he hates Othello? Why does Roderigo hate Othello? Iago hates Othello because he promoted Cassio to a higher rank and not himself. Roderigo hates Othello because he wants to be with Desdemona.
Why should Roderigo pay particular attention to Iago’s speech? (Lines 44 – 70) Iago is expressing hatred for Othello, which the two can relate over. If he paid close attention he could notice that Iago is betraying Othello and may take caution for himself.
Why do Iago and Roderigo wake Desdemona’s father? They wake him to alert him of Desdemona and Othello’s union.
Explain the contrast in how Iago speaks to Brabantio and how Roderigo speaks to him. Iago is rude and aggressive while Roderigo is respectful and seems to be kissing up to him.
How does Brabantio’s attitude toward Roderigo change in the course of this scene? Why? In the beginning he wants little to do with Roderigo, but in the end he is in a bit of a panic and comes to rely on Roderigo.
What are Othello’s reasons explaining why he is not worried about Brabantio’s threats? What does this suggest about what Othello values? Is he naive? Othello is unaffected by the threats because he needs to focus on the matters of war that the Duke of Venice has asked him to be a part of. Also, Othello knows that the Duke of Venice will side with him in any case if he is arrested. He is not naive, and he values his duties.
What happens between Iago and Cassio in the short time Othello is off the stage? Iago drops his supportive act and makes it to seem as if Othello is dishonorable and stole Desdemona’s love.
What is Brabantio’s explanation for why Desdemona has run off with Othello? He thinks Othello must’ve bewitched her in some way or forced her into this.
How does Othello react to Brabantio’s attack? He keeps his cool rather than provoking a fight.
What does the council of Venice determine the Turks’ military objective as being? The Turks are intending to mislead the Venetians and make them think they are going to a different place.
What is effective in Othello’s speeches of justification?
How did the relationship between Othello and Desdemona begin? Who first initiated the idea of love? Why was Desdemona attracted to him?
Why does Desdemona’s response to her father’s question displease him?
What warning does Brabantio give Othello as they exit the court? Should Othello take his words seriously?
Describe how Cassio speaks of Desdemona and examine her body language towards him. How does this lead Iago to the next step of his malicious plan?
How does Iago verbally attack his wife?
In lines 280 – 302 what is Iago trying to get Roderigo to do? How and why?
After Roderigo leaves, what does Iago admit regarding his feelings towards Desdemona?
What idea does Iago plant in Montano’s head so he would think that Cassio’s behavior is inappropriate?
What new aspect of Othello’s personality is shown in lines 220 – 225?
Describe how Iago, while apparently defending his friend Cassio, actually encourages Othello to take action against him?
What has Cassio injured beyond repair? Why does Cassio agree to take Iago’s advice and seek a woman’s help?
Who else does Iago plan to use in his scheme? Do you think she will be manipulated into his plan, or will Iago trust her with full knowledge of his plot? Why?
Emilia overhears the conversation between Desdemona and Othello. She shares what she heard with Cassio. What reason does Othello give to Desdemona about why he cannot reinstate Cassio?
Do you believe Desdemona is serious when she says she’d “rather die than give away Cassio’s cause”? Why would someone put their life at risk for a secret?
Why does Desdemona push so hard for Cassio to be reinstated?
What is the principal strategy Iago uses (repeatedly in this scene) to convince Othello that his wife has betrayed him with Cassio?
How does Othello appear to escape Iago’s trap in lines 167 – 170? Then, Iago manipulates him in lines 183 – 190 and 195 – 200. Why does Othello fall for the manipulation?
What are the reasons Othello believes Desdemona may have betrayed him? What does he decide to do about the “betrayal”?
Why does Emilia take Desdemona’s handkerchief? What does that tell us about Iago and Emilia’s relationship?
What does Iago say Cassio’s dream is?
How does the relationship between Iago and Othello change in the last 30 lines of this scene? How does Shakespeare physically show the power shift?
How does Emilia explain Othello’s anger over the missing handkerchief? How effective of a liar is Desdemona?
Is Othello’s handkerchief really magical? Explain within the realm of the play.
How does Iago control the communications between Othello and all the other characters? Why does Desdemona excuse Othello’s anger?
Who is Bianca and what is her problem? What are the similarities between her and Othello?
Why does Othello lose consciousness? How does Iago explain what happened? Why?
Do you think Iago anticipated Bianca’s appearance? How is he able to use her arrival to further his deception?
How does Othello show his anger towards Desdemona? What prompts him to this action?
How does Iago manipulate Lodovico in the last 20 lines of this scene?
According to Othello what’s the worst part of being a cuckold? Does he have more to lose than most men?
Where in this scene does Desdemona finally begin fighting back? Why doesn’t she react more strongly when Othello accuses her of infidelity?
Where in this scene does Emilia almost figure out what has happened? Explain Iago’s reaction to her speculations.
Who is the first character to figure out Iago’s duplicity? How is Iago able to manipulate this character, even after they know the truth?
Explain the difference between Desdemona and Emilia’s attitudes towards adultery.
Why does Iago accuse Bianca of involvement on the attack of Cassio?
As he enters Desdemona’s bedchamber to kill her, Othello mutters “It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul.”. What is he talking about? In what way might he be rationalizing Desdemona’s murder?
Often at the end of a play, Shakespeare’s heroes have a moment of insight. According to lines 397 and further, what is Othello’s insight into himself?