Act One Othello Part 2

Often in plays, the setting is not just “where the story happens,” but includes the geographical, historical, social, economic, or philosophical setting. Explain the type of setting that Shakespeare establishes at the beginning of the play. What does the setting convey to the audience? Shakespeare sets the beginning of the play in Venice, which was a major Mediterranean seaport at the time. It was the city of cities—the place to be. Venice was, because of its position and its status, a cosmopolitan city and a hive of industry and social activity. It had become the economic hub of Italy, the focus obviously being on maritime trade and, as such, it attracted traders from all over the known world
How does Iago believe people are prompted within the ranks? What effect does this commentary have on his audience? The effect of Iago’s comments is to let us, the audience, in on his secret, so that in a sort of dramatic irony we will know what Othello (and others including his own wife Emilia) does not – that he is not all he makes himself out to be and that we are not to believe in his outward representation of himself. He has become embittered at the perceived injustice of being passed over for promotion in favor of Cassio – and all because his boss Othello seems to prefer Cassio as a person, enjoying his company more. This is Iago’s peception of the situation. As far as he is concerned he is the more dedicated and skilled soldier. So he lets us into the secret that he will plan his revenge from within the ranks, still seeming to be the person he was.’When my outward action doth demonstrate the native act and figure of my heart in compilment extern,’tis not long after but I will my heart upon my sleeve..’
What does the audience learn about the relationship between Roderigo and Iago? How does Iago manipulate Roderigo? Both are targeting Desdemona (Roderigo as thwarted love; Iago as revenge bait against Othello) Both are jealous of Othello. Both are expose Desdemona’s secret elopement to Brabantio (Roderigo publicly; Iago privately) Both lose their battle against Othello in Act I (the Duke condones the marriage)
Shakespeare begins the play with two secret acts. Explain each deception and the effect these deceptions have on the tone of the play. The play opens with Iago and Roderigo conspiratorially discussing the Moor, in darkness; the tone of the opening scene, in which Iago declares that “in following the Moor, I follow but myself,” sets the tone for a play characterized by Iago’s duplicity and self-interest and deeds conducted in shadows and secrecy. Ostensibly, Iago is annoyed that Cassio has been made Othello’s lieutenant, and Iago only his “ancient” (“I had rather been his hangman,” says Cassio)
Make a list of the images that Shakespeare uses to describe Othello. the moor/ the old black ram/ Barbary horse (African horse)/ practicer
How does Brabantio’s attitude toward Roderigo change throughout act one? When Roderigo first calls to Brabantio, he is not pleasant to see/hear from him as he says “The worser welcome” (I.I.106) but then when Roderigo tells Brabantio that Othello had run off with Desdemona he starts to rely on him for information and says “On, good Roderigo…” (I.I.206)
Explain the irony in Iago’s discussion with Othello after Iago has just left Roderigo at Brabantio’s house. Iago acts as if he is on Othello’s side, even though he has expressed he cannot say anything negative about Othello. He also says that he believes that they will not “punish” Othello for marrying Desdemona because Othello is needed in the war against Cyprus. Yet Brabantio is on the hunt for his daughter and Othello, but Iago is somewhat trying to play as if he is not on either side.
Explain the confusion when Iago and Othello see the men approaching Othello’s home. What do we learn about the men’s character in this conflict? Iago is playing the two faced liar. He set up this little conflict and yet he draws his sword in defense of Othello. We see what an evil chameleon Iago can be. Othello is his stoic self. He is assured that the Duke will take his side. It is Othello’s unwavering sense of fate that is fertile ground for the seeds of doubt that Iago has begun to plant in Othello’s mind.
Why is Iago unwilling to be present when he is talking about Othello’s marriage to Desdemona? Cite two instances where Iago avoids being involved. At the very beginning of the play, Iago incites Roderigo to go and tell Desdemona’s father. Iago tries to hide whilst he is doing this, behind Roderigo. This is because he is trying to cause problems for Othello but doesn’t want the trail to come back to him as Othello considers Iago a close friend. He is like a false friend.
How does Othello contradict the image that Iago has portrayed of him to the audience? Iago does not say anything outright about Othello. I think Iago gives us the sense that Othello can be manipulated and he is actually right. Othello, in this scene however, seems rather in control of things including his marriage. We just have to wait a little while to see Iago’s point.
Explain the parallels and symbolism between the distraction of the Turks approaching Venice and Iago’s deception. The Turks pretend to sail toward to mislead Venetians into thinking they won’t attack Cyprus.Iago is attacking other characters and they are very unaware of the attack coming just like they are unaware of the Turks coming.Read more on –
Explain the difference in tone between these two references to Othello: The way in which Iago addresses Brabantio stands completely in contrast to Roderigo’s measured language, addressing Brabantio respectfully as “Signior” even in his initial yell to catch Brabantio’s attention. Roderigo, we may infer, knows (or suspects) from the outset that Brabantio will recognize his voice. Iago, on the other hand, uses Brabantio’s name without an honorific title (“what, ho, Brabantio!”) and repeatedly yells “thieves! thieves! thieves!” in such a way as to alarm him.

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