Othello Act II Study Guide

What’s Iago’s perception of women? What textual evidence supports your answer? His perception is that they are for working at home and caring/nursing the baby. “To suckle fools and chronicle small beer” (Shakespeare 2.1.175).
What are Iago’s stated reasons for wishing to destroy Othello and Cassio? His reasons to destroy Othello and Cassio is because he’s jealous of Cassio’s role as lieutenant, Othello’s abuse in likelihood of either Cassio or him, and make the Moor question Cassio’s love for Desdemona
Are Iago’s motives to destroy Othello and Cassio justifiable? Yes because in his soliloquy at the end of Act II he refers to himself as being the devil and himself, a two sided person (the baddest of the bad) .
How does Iago convince Roderigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio? He convinces Roderigo by explaining how she will realize how different she is from the Moor, actions of courtesy is done out of hand more so, intimate actions. Just, wait and see for yourself at the celebration (Shakespeare 2.1.279-292)
What does Iago mean when he says of Desdemona, “Now, I do love her too?” He means he loves her for materialistic reasons, self-use for plan to destroy Rodrigo, Cassio and Othello (Shakespeare 2.1.242-270)
Do you believe Iago when he says, “I fear Cassio with my nightcap, too?” He fears Cassio loves/will take his wife Emilia as well (even though act of possession rather than affection)
Compare Iago’s soliloquy with his soliloquy at the end of I.iii.? Have his motives changed? His motives have not necessarily changed however the plan/way to avenge has. He is going to cause the issues between Rodrigo, Cassio and Desdemona through being two-sided (“honest Iago” and the devil)
How does Act II begin? What is the significance of this beginning? Begins with a dangerous storm and men seeing the Turkish fleets fall at sea
What methods does Iago use to tempt Cassio into drinking? Iago uses responsibilities and preoccupation to lure Cassio into drinking more. Drinks by grabbing others whom had drinks (Ex. Montano), using songs/rhymes, addressing how he should for the cause of celebration for the general,Othello’s victory
How does Cassio behave when he is drunk? Cassio’s behavior when he is drunk is quite irresponsible, easily agitated and has short term memory loss. However, he was leading the celebration and had responsibilities, realizing them yet unable to accept leaving and rather acting sober and responsible/restrictive
What sides of Othello’s personality do we see when he comes in to stop the brawl? “The Moor,” “The General,” Strong, Soldier, Strict, Leader, Very Powerful
What is Iago’s perception of men? “But men are men, the best sometimes forget.Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,As men in rage strike those that wish them best,Yet surely Cassio, I believe, receivedFrom him that fled some strange indignityWhich patience could not pass” (Shakespeare 2.3.205)
What is Cassio’s thought about reputation? How does Iago respond to him? Reputation is a very important trait to him. He has lost everything that perceives him as civil rather than savage (Shakespeare 2.3.281-284).
Identify a passage of prose: Summary of Act 2 at beginning on left side
Identify a passage of verse: Iago’s singing rhymes/tales
Why does Shakespeare use Prose for the passage and Verse for the other passage? Prose identified regular conversation throughout the story. Verse however, identified a change in setting/scenario to show that it was an important event within the play.
Translate Act II. Scene iii. 49-56 If I can get Cassio drink one cupHe will be drunk tonight immediatelyHe will be self-conscious and always readyA spoiled person…The one pest, Roderigo’s love is gone and opposite of what was wanted He will drink a lot because of Desdemona Constantly drinking and watching guard

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