Othello Act I&II notes Ahlm

major theme – reality vs appearance – duty towards leader vs duty to yourself in your own wishes (Iago)
Iago low ranking official- possesses knowledge of military theory and experience (reality vs appearance)he believes people won’t be happy
Roderigo Iago’s friendprevious suitor to Desdemona- Brabantio denies Roderigo’s marriage to her- causes tension with Othello
Brabantio protective of daughter DesdemonaVenetian senator – power, authority, wealthbelieves Othello used witchcraft to win Desdemona
Othello Moor – “the other” (not part of the majority)secretly married to Desdemonarespected Generalofficial ruler of Cyprus
what is Othello’s past? being a slavego on many adventures see and fight odd creatures
How do Othello and Desdemona fall in love? Desdemona loves him for his stories of adventures and accomplishmentsOthello loves her because she pities those stories
Desdemona duty to her father or husband?- she chooses husband like her mother
what does the Duke say about Othello? Othello is a good manappearance does not reflect his goodness(appearance vs reality)
iambic pentameter – 5 feet per line- 2 syllables/foot (unstressed/stressed)
prose = short stories, novelunrhymed and no meter (rhythm)- Shakespeare uses prose for comedy + reserved for coarseness, low class, baseness
blank verse – iambic pentameter- no rhyme scheme
why does Iago speak iambic pentameter and prose? – facade (lack of class but also his status in military)- double-sided
“we are thus or thus” Iago believes we have choice in the way we act- we have power of free will (garden and gardeners)
soliloquoy a speech to audience that is unheard by characters reveals true feelings
night and light illustrates Iago’s duality
what is Iago’s plan for Othello? he will lie to Othello and bring about Othello’s downfall by saying Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair
cannot distinguish sea from sky cannot identify Reality vs Fantasy- blurred together
what does Iago describe himself as? a spider that will catch Cassio in his web
what is the motive for Roderigo to help Iago? he loves Desdemona
what is the motive for Iago to go against Othello? animosity towards Othello for not promoting himhe believes that Othello and Emilia have an affair
what are Iago’s suspicions? Othello: slept with EmiliaCassio:- actually in love with Desdemona- also slept with Emilia=> appearance vs reality
what do the motives and suspicions revolve around? jealousy
what is Othello’s decision for Cassio after the fight? Othello demotes Cassio despite their friendship

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