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Language – Period _1___
Othello - by William Shakespeare Act II – Scene 1
1) Setting: The setting is not specified – after reading the first exchange of dialogue, and remembering how Act I ended, what do you guess is the setting?
The setting is Cyprus, because at the end of the Act 1, people were dispatched to Cyprus for incoming Turkish attack. Also, soon after the third gentleman comes into the conversation, he says, “…commission her for Cyprus,” which can be taken into account that the interlocutors are in fact in Cyprus, waiting for their fleet to come back from the battle (2.1.32). 2) Go back and look at the character list – who is Montano?
He is an official in Cyprus. 3) Language: The words “ensheltered and embayed” sound like examples of the words Shakespeare created – what would they mean? (And, by the way, Juniors will learn next year in A.P. Lit. that the first extensive dictionary of the English language was published by Dr. Samuel Johnson in 1755 – about 140 years after Shakespeare’s death. Before Dr. Johnson came along, there was no universal and accepted spellings or definitions of English words, and poets like Shakespeare simply manipulated the language any way they wished!)
Words “ensheltered and embayed” means sheltered and surrounded by bay. 4) Syntax: What mean the bold-face italics in the following? (My own syntax shows I’ve been reading Shakespeare too much and too long!): “Let’s to the seaside, ho! As well to see the vessel that’s come in As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello, Even till we make the main and th’ aerial blue An indistinct regard.” Hint: “Main” is used as in “bounding main,” or “the sea.”
The bold-face italics mean that ‘until the ocean and the sky indistinctively blur together that either one cannot be distinguished separately. 5) Plot: My, the plot is certainly being controlled by chance and circumstance. This was very common in Shakespeare’s time: if the writer couldn’t think of a good reason for the plot to go where he wanted it to go, he could just bring in a bolt of lightning or an earthquake to cause the action to shift! When you reach line 47, explain what has happened.
There was a crazy storm out in the sea that it almost wiped out most of the Turkish fleet.
in Roman mythology. “’Has had most favorable and happy speed” (2. a. Zeus. when Iago. 10) Language: We had “enshelter” and “embay. 8) Literary Devices: There are two obvious stylistic devices in Cassio’s lines 74-80 – write the phrases and identify the devices they illustrate. the fluctuations and turbulences that will soon follow is humored. Hint: One is a sound device (sound as in a noise. and howling winds. the supreme god of Romans. high seas. 7) Satire: Shakespeare is actually poking fun at himself in Cassio’s lines 67-70 – in what way? By incorporating dramatic irony. and the ship was piloted by excellent and expert captains. The excerpt is consisted of vivid words that describe the scene and onomatopoeia allows the readers to hear and visualize the scene. he is able to create satire about himself through Cassio’s lines. and for what is Cassio praying? Jove is also known as Jupiter.75-76). Cassio is praying for the safety of the moor. not as in valid). Readers know what will happen to the couple. but Iago still takes it offensively. while at the time the speakers and characters of the play do not.1.” now we have “enwheel” – what does the word mean? It has similar meaning as today’s word. 12) Literary Device as Insult: When Cassio gallantly makes excuse for his effusive affection. Othello could cheer up the Cyprus. This course of action angers Iago. Roderigo and Emilia enter? Cassio kisses Iago’s wife./ The guttered rocks and congregated sands…” (2. After that.1. 11) Foolish Cassio seems to be playing right into Iago’s hands – what does Cassio do at which Iago may take offense. Desdemona. 9) You may be familiar with an old English exclamation. so that Othello can be reunited with his newly-wed wife.” What is the device Iago uses to insult Emilia? Phrase some of the insults in plain English.74)! This phrase shows the usage of personification. coarse talk from Iago. He is also the counterpart of Greek god. Emilia. what follows is quite a bit of very low-class. later Cassio refers to Iago’s words. Cassio claims that it is show of courtship from where he comes from. This excerpt shows a usage of imagery. which means to surround completely or pass around.6) Comprehension: What reasons does Cassio give for still having hope that Othello will arrive safely? Because the ship was built with thick timber. Desdemona. (Note the play Kadletz-2005 . saying “He speaks home” which means “He speaks bluntly. because he feels offended due to people ‘using’ his wife. b. Similar to Shakespeare’s marriage. “… Tempests themselves. “By Jove!” Cassio uses the name in a prayer – who is Jove. encircle.
acts like “wildcats” in her kitchen. worried and sad. Emilia. Iago says that Emilia is a pretty and reserved in appearance. What do we learn in this “aside”? Why is Iago fairly convinced that his plan to make Othello think Cassio “is too familiar with his wife” (1. what is an “aside”? Second. but loud and unladylike in her parlors. In her aside. she reveals to the audience that she is not actually as happy as she appears. From the aside. but in actuality. not to mention that his background or culture makes him so. Aside is lines which the characters within the play cannot hear or understand. This aside also showed the readers how clever and foxy Iago is. it became apparent what sort of person Iago really is. Iago has a long “aside” to the audience. b. When Cassio takes Desdemona’s hand (and note that Shakespeare has already set us up for this incident with the kiss Cassio bestowed on Emilia – we understand that Cassio is just a naturally affectionate kind of guy).3. Kadletz-2005 . Shakespeare has now made it crystal clear in this section. It works as inner thought or mind. almost to the point of being maudlin. but also Othello’s downfall. [creates shock and horror] Note: The word “honey” is a modern-day term of endearment – as we see in line 225.on words with the double meaning of the word “huswife. Note: Make sure you read the notes on page 68 and 70 so you understand Iago’s rhymes. Shakespeare may have been the first to coin this word for that use. of course – Shakespeare needs to set us up for what is to follow. First.”) a. By doing so. We now know he has no respect for women and so will have no compunction about using Desdemona for his nefarious ends. Iago uses several literary devices while insulting his wife. saint-like towards her injuries.439) will work? a. He is ready to bring down someone by spotting weaknesses and twisting the stories according to his will and purpose. because Othello has not returned yet from the sea. he and Desdemona speak many honeyed words of love to each other. 14) If we didn’t already have a pretty clear picture of what kind of man Iago is. 13) Desdemona has an “aside” in all this seemingly-merry banter. the author is able to shed lights into the plot and create contrasts for the audiences to see. and one of such devices is metaphor. b. does not take the marriage seriously and cheats on him. Emilia. Also. Because of Classio’s flirtatious characteristics. She just wants to hide her real feelings underneath the veil of playfulness. b. 15) Dramatic Premise: When Othello appears. but devilish when offended. while the readers or audiences can. What would be the purpose of setting up the premise that Othello is wildly in love with his fair wife? The purpose may be in order to create contrast between the earlier days of marriage and the latter part of vicious and violent period of marriage. what does Desdemona’s “aside” mean? a. Iago is sure of not only Classio’s. This is purposeful. he goes on by saying that she. Because Cassio is naturally nice and “active” around women.
Iago wants to get even with Othello. and love and reward Iago for his loyalty and support. It seems that Desdemona has inspired lust in almost every male character on the stage. who has attracted her with ‘lies. Iago reasons that first. Iago knows of the rumor that Othello might have slept with his own wife. Because of this. Othello is too old for her. “lusty Moor/ Hath leaped into my seat…” (2.’ b. Second of all. Iago may cause Cassio to act rashly and possibly draw blood. who are as old as her and act like her.) that (has) an eye can stamp and counterfeit advantages. Scene 1 how Iago denigrated Cassio. Iago says. Iago presents his case very logically – what does he say that fits in the rhetorical category of “cause and effect”? Because the love between the Moor and Desdemona has sprouted quite quickly. a. he will feed Othello with details that will cause Othello to fire Cassio. and also to plant a little seed of doubt in the mind of the audience! 18) Suspense: This is getting worse and worse. This metaphor describes the rumor. I do well believe ‘t. though true advantage never present itself…” You would think Roderigo would be picking up on this. Note: Remember in Act I. by taking ‘wife for wife. Othello is too ugly. Othello. contrast to older. a.” Look back at Cassio’s lines 67-71 and 74-96.16) Roderigo’s face should be next to the word “pawn” in the dictionary. soldierly. which will stir public opinion against him. Desdemona will seek for the younger ones. Note: Iago begins his soliloquy that ends this scene by saying “That Cassio loves her. List two reasons Iago gives for Desdemona’s presumed change of heart. the love/marriage will probably end as fast. Iago is contemplating intimacies with her because of what incident that is still particularly gnawing at his “inwards”? He uses another creative metaphor to describe the event – write the quote. Kadletz-2005 . saying “A slipper and subtle knave. c. himself is to play. wouldn’t you? 17) Plot: What is Iago’s proposed plan for that night? Note that he has not revealed all to gullible Roderigo – Roderigo only knows for sure what role he. Iago reasons that Desdemona will seek younger and attractive men.317-318).” implying Cassio is completely unskilled in strategy? And yet now he is attributing all sorts of manipulative characteristics to Cassio. because she will get sick with the face of Othello. Not only that. which reads that Othello has slept with Iago’s wife. weren’t you thinking the same thing when you first read those words? Shakespeare is laying the groundwork for what is to come. Iago’s plan for the night is to stir up Cassio and make him angry by using Roderigo. saying “Mere prattle without practice is all his soldiership.’ b. What does “sympathy in years” mean? “Sympathy in years” mean sympathy over years to come. who will act as a provoker. It seems he actually believes Iago’s new tale – that Desdemona loves Cassio. a (finder-out of occasions. By doing so.1. As time passes.
or the outcome is never clearly shown or revealed. 20) Iago’s last five lines are especially chilling. The straightforwardness.. “…this poor trash of Venice. until the plan is used or accomplished. master plan. the plan.1.” The lines mean that what is revealed to him. brainstorming lists of different crude and humorous ways to express this same thought?) a.’ Manipulative mind will always find flaws of others.’ b. Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used. Iago suspects that Roderigo will be taking part of the ‘events. but yet confused.19) And who else does Iago suspect may be participating in these “events”? Write the metaphor he uses this time (can’t you just see Shakespeare. Iago reveals his intentions and participation of Roderigo in the so-called ‘events..325). by the light of a single candle. Kadletz-2005 . Hint: I would go with something about ‘perfidy. By saying things like. 21) Theme: Articulate one theme that is especially relevant to this scene. He ends with one of Shakespeare’s ubiquitous rhyming couplets – what does the following mean? “’Tis here. which he or she will definitely use or manipulate in order to do what the individual wants for him or herself.’(2. is still confusing.”.
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