Othello Act 2 Study Guide

How does the setting change from Act 1 to the Act 2? What are some possible symbolic meanings of this change? The setting changed from normal to stormy weather. This indicates the chaotic sense of the play and it foreshadows all the bad things coming up.
Although Othello and Desdemona’s reunion is joyful and passionate, the language of the scene hints at other emotions in Othello. Which lines could foreshadow trouble? “If it were now to die, twere now to be most happy” “My soul hath her content so absolute that not another comfort like this succeeds an unknown fate”
What emotion does Iago play on to get Roderigo to provoke Cassio? What weakness of Cassio’s does Iago take advantage of? What do these actions reveal about Iago and his methods? He plays on Roderigo’s anger and Cassio’s low tolerance of alcohol. They reveal that Iago is malicious and malevolent and his methods are manipulative.
In the order of their appearance, list the characters who arrive from Venice in Scene 1. 1. Cassio 2. Desdemona 3. Iago 4. Emilia 5. Othello
What becomes of the Turkish threat? They all died in the stormed. They drowned and were defeated in battle.
What trouble does Iago stir up to disturb the peace of the island? Iago manipulates Roderigo and convinces him to fight Cassio.
How does Othello react to the disturbance? Othello fires Cassio
What advice does Iago give to the remorseful Cassio? Iago tells Cassio to speak to Desdemona, maybe he can get her to vouch for him with Othello to get his job back.
“With as little a web as this will I ensnare a great fly as Cassio” (Scene 1, lines 166-167) What does this quote mean? Who said the quote? To whom was it addressed? Iago is painting himself as a spider. Cassio is a fly and Iago is gonna manipulate and “trap” him. It means that Cassio is gonna be tricked by Iago and used. Iago is saying this quote and it is addressed to Cassio.
“He’ll be as full of quarrel and offense / as my young mistress’ dog” (Scene 3, lines 46-47) What does this quote mean? Who said the quote? To whom was it addressed? This quote is comparing Cassio to a dog. He is going to get drunk and be argumentative, ready to fight, and take offense to everything. When Roderigo confronts him later on, he is gonna fight him like angry dog. Iago is saying this to the audience.
“So will I turn her virtue into pitch / and out of her own goodness make the rest / that shall enmesh them all” (Scene 3, lines 351-353) What does this quote mean? Who said the quote? To whom was it addressed? Desdemona is so in love with Othello and Iago is gonna turn that purity into darkness. He is going to ruin her credit with Othello by spreading rumors of her cheating. Iago is saying this and it is addressed to the audience.
Name 3 traits about Cassio He is a ladies man, he is loyal to Othello, he has a weakness for alcohol
Iago urges Roderigo to provoke Cassio by telling him that Desdemona is now in love with Cassio
Name a pair of foils Iago and Cassio (Iago – manipulative, hates women // Cassio – loves women, manipulated)
In Scene 3, Othello becomes angry with Cassio because while supervising the watch, Cassio got into a fight
What step in his plan to entrap the main characters does Iago take at the end of Act II?
What is the outcome of the battle with the Turks? A huge storm strikes at sea, destroying much of the Turkish fleet. The Turks are forced to give up their attack on Cyprus, and the Venetian ships return in triumph
Explain the incident that led to Cassio’s dismissal. Iago gets Cassio drunk and then has Roderigo pick a fight with him. As the enraged and drunken Cassio attempts to attack Roderigo, Montano steps in to stop him. Cassio fights Montano, and gravely wounds him. Othello arrives to see about the commotion, and finding Cassio at fault, dismisses him from his position
What report does Iago give to Othello and the others about the incident? What does he say to Cassio privately? To Othello and the others, Iago pretends not to understand how the whole fight came about, but he defends Cassio, saying that Cassio surely received from “him that fled” (Roderigo) some “strange indignity, / Which patience could not pass.” To Cassio, he says that the incident is not serious. He reassures Cassio that Othello is only angry, and will soon forgive him
How do Iago’s words mislead everyone? Iago misleads everyone by pretending to be innocent of how the fight began and by pretending to be sympathetic to Cassio, when in actual fact, Iago was the one responsible for it all
Cassio’s lines “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation!” are among the most famous in the play. Evaluate Cassio’s and Iago’s stated opinions about reputation. Do you agree with Iago or with Cassio? Cassio views reputation, or honor, as a person’s most valuable possession. Without honor, he is nothing more than a beast. Iago, on the other hand, claims that reputa- tion is “an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving” (II, iii, 268-270). Responses will vary. Students should note that Iago is quite right about reputation being “oft got without merit.” This is true of Iago him- self

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