Othello Webquest

Where was Shakespeare born? Stratford-upon-Avon (UK, England)
What is unusual about his birthdate? When do scholars think he was born? How did they come up with that date? It’s also the day he died. (April 23, 1616)April 23, 1564—guess of his B-day. He was baptized April 26.
How many plays are attributed to Shakespeare? 37—controversy surrounding who actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays
People think of Shakespeare as a writer and successful playwright. What does the video also says about Shakespeare’s career? Why? Good businessman—he knew his market & audience—self promoterBuilt the Globe theatre—this was the largest open-air theater
List the four types of Shakespearean plays. 1. history2. tragedy3. tragicomedy4. comedy
People often get confused and can’t remember if they’re familiar with a phrase because they heard it from Shakespeare or from____. the Bible
Why did Shakespeare become a poet? (HINT: What happened to the theaters in London?) Economic necessity!—needs a new way to make $Plague/disease closed the theatres154 sonnets
How many words has Shakespeare been credited with adding to the English language? 3000
Elizabethan theater shifted from a ____ to a ____ function in society. religious, secular (non-religious)
Why did the theater receive criticism and scorn? Plays were often coarse & boisterous.The Church thought the actors were of “questionable” character.
Why were many playhouses constructed outside of London’s city limits? The Puritans didn’t like what was happening in the theater. Queen Elizabeth liked theater, but wanted to keep it close to London. To keep down spread of disease.
Who is one of the best known Elizabethan actors? Which Shakesperean company did he perform with? Richard Burbage w/ The Lord Chamberlain’s Men
Who was not allowed to act on stage? Why not? How did the theater get around this rule? WOMEN! It wasn’t “appropriate”
How did Elizabethan actors dress? What is unusual about this? Fancy. It didnt fit their characters.
Describe the Elizabethan theaters. Who made up the audience? Elizabethan theaters were makeshift, dirty, and loud.They attracted audiences as large as 3,000 from all social classes
Compare and contrast the Elizabethan theater-going experience to performances at the Kentucky Center, the Brown Theater, or the Palace. How are they similar? How are they different? natural light vs lightsoutside vs insidecheaper close vs cheaper fartherno actresses vs all actors
Where is Mauritania located? West Africa (on the coast)
What type of people inhabited this land? (Mauritania) Blacks/Africans & Berbers <-now known as Moors
What is a Moor? North African Muslims
How was the term “Moor” used in Europe? Did it have a positive or negative connotation? negative
Summarize the importance of Venice as a setting. What does Venice symbolize? What kinds of people lived there? Symbolized law & civilizationWhite EuropeansFamous for its courtesans/prostitutes
What current US city would you compare Venice to? Why? Las Vegas StripHome of Kardashians—wealthyDC—symbol of lawNYC–populated
Summarize the importance of Cyprus as a setting. What does Cyprus symbolize? What kind of island is Cyprus? Island sacred to Venus, goddess of loveSymbolizes loveMilitary encampmentSymbolizes war, violenceCHAOS
Give a general description about the role of women and marriage at this time. Wives were considered their husband’s property.Women were considered their father’s property before marriage; but brothers, tooUnmarried women were considered a burden to their familiesParents arranged marriages, especially in the upperclassWomen stayed at homeFoolish to marry for love
Provide two reasons it may have been a big deal that Desdemona married Othello. 1. Desi was daughter of important senator; unequal class union2. inter-racial marriage3. Desi gave her life to Othello4. Brabantio had no say in the union5. they married for love6. age difference
Othello The play’s protagonist and hero. Othello is the highly respected general of the armies of Venice, although he is not a native of Venice but rather a Moor, or North African. He is an eloquent and powerful figure, respected by all those around him. In spite of his elevated status, Othello is nevertheless easy prey to insecurities because of his age, his life as a soldier, and his self-consciousness about being a racial and cultural outsider. He possesses a free and open nature that his ensign Iago exploits to twist Othello’s love for his wife, Desdemona, into a powerful and destructive jealousy.
Iago Othello’s ensign (a senior position also known as “ancient” or “standard-bearer”), a twenty-eight-year-old military veteran from Venice. Iago is the villain of the play. Although he is obsessive, relentless, bold, and ingenius in his efforts to manipulate and deceive the other characters—particularly Othello—Iago’s motivations are notoriously murky. At various points in the play, he claims to be motivated by different things: resentment that Othello passed him over for a promotion in favor of Michael Cassio; jealousy because he heard a rumor that Othello slept with Iago’s wife, Emilia; suspicion that Cassio slept with Emilia too. Iago gives the impression that he’s tossing out plausible motivations as he thinks of them, and that we’ll never understand what really drives his villainy. He hates women and is obsessed with other people’s sex lives.
Desdemona The daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio. Desdemona and Othello are secretly married before the play begins. While in some ways stereotypically pure and meek, Desdemona is also determined and self-possessed. She is equally capable of defending her marriage, jesting bawdily with Iago, and responding with dignity to Othello’s incomprehensible jealousy.
Emilia Iago’s wife and Desdemona’s attendant. A cynical, worldly woman, Emilia is deeply attached to her mistress and distrustful of her husband.
Cassio Othello’s lieutenant, or second-in-command. Cassio is highly educated but young and inexperienced in battle. Iago resents Cassio’s high position and dismisses him as a bookkeeper. Truly devoted to Othello, Cassio is ashamed after being implicated in a drunken brawl on Cyprus and losing his place as lieutenant. Iago uses Cassio’s youth, good looks, and flirtatious manner with women to play on Othello’s insecurities about Desdemona’s fidelity.
Roderigo A jealous suitor of Desdemona. Young, rich, and foolish, Roderigo is convinced that if he gives Iago all of his money, Iago will help him win Desdemona’s hand. Repeatedly frustrated as Othello marries Desdemona and then takes her to Cyprus, Roderigo is ultimately desperate enough to agree to help Iago kill Cassio after Iago points out that Cassio is another potential rival for Desdemona.
Brabrantio Desdemona’s father, a somewhat blustering and self-important Venetian senator. As a friend of Othello, Brabantio feels betrayed when the general marries his daughter in secret.
Inverted sentence subject, verb, or other parts of a sentence are not in their usual order
Ellipsis this occurs when a word or phrase is left out
Metaphor comparison of two things using like or as

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