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Reading notes ± Applying lenses of literary criticism

Quote Act Formalist criticism Other critical response

What a full fortune does the Act 1, Roderigo clearly holds Othello¶s race Historical ± Shows the stereotype at the time
Thicklips owe Scene 1, against him. of Moors and the disrespect shown
If he can carry¶t thus! 68-69 Uses the term ³thick lips´ as a metaphor
for black people
Even now, now, very now, an Act 1, Metaphor of a black ram (Othello) Historical ± again displays how blacks were
old black ram Scene 1, having sex with the innocent white ewe viewed amongst the general public. Othello
Is tupping your white ewe 91-92 (desdemonda) was described as a ram that was taking
advantage of and violating an innocent girl
Your daughter and the Moor Act 1, Metaphor for having sex Mythological ± describes the attitude toward
are now making the beast with Scene 1, sex before marriage, it wasn¶t accepted at
two backs. 113 the time.
Keep up your bright swords, Act 1, Not literally the reason he wants them to Mythological ± Othello is breaking the
for the dew will rust them. Scene 2, put their swords away, he wants to keep stereotype made by society by not being a
61 the peace blood thirsty savage

I will a round unvarnish¶d tale Act 1, Uses imagery to prove how truthful he Historical ± because he is a moor, he needs
deliver. Scene 3, will be to stress all the time that he is telling the
104 truth
The robb¶d that smiles steals Act 1, The statement is a paradox, the senator Gender ± Favors the woman¶s right to
something from the thief. Scene 3, is telling Brabanito to be happy with the choose any spouse
230 verdict even though he thinks his
daughter was stolen
The food that to him now is as Act 1, Metaphor comparing the situations to Gender ± The food is used as imagery to
luscious as locusts, shall be to Scene 3, food, foreshadows a ³bitter end´ show the sexuality of the situation
him shortly as bitter as 333
My parts, my title, and my Act 1, Iago has an overinflated sense of Psychological ± Iago is a narcissist and
perfect soul, shall manifest me Scene 2, importance and rightfulness thinks that he is better than all around him
rightly 35
Ay, to me. Act 1, Metaphor of her daughter being a valued Mythological ± Brabanito still holds the
She is abused, stol'n from me, Scene 3, possession that was literally stolen from stereotype that moors use witchcraft and
and corrupted 65-67 him by a thief wizardry
By spells and medicines bought
of mountebanks

Did you by indirect and forcèd Act 1, Again accusations of poison and foul Mythological ± Society is not ready to trust
courses Scene 5, play in the courting of his wife Moors, and still applies the stereotype. Even
Subdue and poison this young 114-115 the senators believe its possible for them to
maid¶s affections? do this

I am not merry; but I do Act 2, Characterizes Desdemona by showing Gender ± While she tries to keep Iago from
beguile. The thing I am by Scene 1, how she looks out for Emilia, shows her being mean to Emilia, Desdemona is still
seeming otherwise. Come, how 127-130 kindness and sympathy towards trying to find out what Iago thinks of her,
wouldst thou praise me? ³abused´ wives possibly saying that women are too worried
about others¶ thoughts/material things
I have lost the immortal part of Act 2, Cassio considers his reputation to be Mythological ± Shows how much society
myself²and what remains is Scene 3, ³immortal´ and is upset that it is lost valued their reputation, especially after
bestial. 225 death.
Come, Act 2, Othello is referring to sex in a positive Gender ± Shows how Othello views his
My dear love Scene 3, manner, using words like profit and marriage in somewhat of a business
The purchase made, the fruits 2 fruits to enjoy. mindset, thinking of the ³profits´ to be
are to ensue: gained from her
The profit's yet to come 'tween
me and you
Divinity of hell! When devils Act 2, Iago uses an aside to explain to the Historical- Iago describes the evil sins as
will the blackest sins put on Scene 3, audience that despite his heavenly ³black´, a reference to the racist tendencies
They do suggest at first with 350-353 appearance, he is truly evil of the time
heavenly shows As I do now
Reputation is an idle and most Act 2 Ironic because Iago is convincing Mythological ± Shakespeare is trying to
false imposition; oft got Scene 3 Cassio that reputation is not important, convey the sense that people of this era were
without merit, and lost without 226-227 but he later uses Othello¶s reputation vein and cared to much about reputation
deserving. worries against him
How poor are they that have Act 2 Metaphor Iago uses to compare Psychological ± Shows Iago to be
not patience! Scene 3 emotional pain to a physical injury, and completely incapable of showing any sort of
What wound did ever heal but 274-275 is yelling at Roderigo for complaining compassion towards others
by degrees
If after every tempest come Act 2 Othello is saying that he enjoys the Psychological ± Shows Othello¶s lack of
such calms, Scene 1 calmness after the ³storm´, violent war, foresight, he doesn¶t even consider that the
May the winds blow till they 170-171 that he wishes a bigger storm would storm would be so bad that it wouldn¶t be
have waken'd death! come so he could enjoy even more worth the calm
Come, lieutenant, I have a Act 2 Iago feels the need to refer to him as Historical ± It is not out of the ordinary of
stoup of wine, and here without Scene 3 ³black Othello´, displaying the use of Iago to be reminding everyone around him
are a brace of Cyprus gallants 22-23 race in his plan that Othello is different, black, and should
that would fain have a measure be referred to as such
to the health of black Othello
Notwithstanding, with my Act 2 Cassio is telling Othello that Iago has Psychological ± Cassio is skeptical of Iago
personal eye Scene 3 specific orders to do something, but just and does not seem to fully trust him,
Will I look to¶t 5-6 to make sure Cassio will follow up possibly signs of paranoia
Thou know¶st we work by wit Act 2 Iago is telling Roderigo that only Historical ± Iago references witchcraft in
and not by witchcraft, Scene 3 medicine will heal wounds, or more order to mock Othello for being a moor,
And wit depends on dilatory 357-360 literally only time and patience will fix because the stereotype was that they
time the setbacks to their plan practiced crazy witchcraft
Men should be what they seem; Act 3, Dramatic Irony because Iago is telling Gender ± Shakespeare is making a statement
Or those that be not, would Scene 3 this to warn Othello about Cassio, when about how deceptive men can be and
they might seem none 131-132 is fact this pertains more to Iago. questions whether one can trust any man of
This honest creature doubtless Act 3, Dramatic Irony because Iago is making Historical ± Othello is fulfilling the
Sees and knows more, much Scene 3 Othello believe he knows more about stereotype that moors are gullible
more than he unfolds. 146-149 Cassio and Desdemona¶s affair, when
really what he knows is that it doesn¶t
'Tis not a year or two shows us Act 3, Emilia uses a metaphor comparing men Gender ± Emilia is showing her disgust
a man.They are all but Scene 4 to stomachs and women to belched towards men with this metaphor
stomachs, and we all but food. 91-95 food.
To eat us hungerly, and when
they are full,They belch us

O, beware, my lord of jealousy; Act 3, The green eyed monster is actually a Mythological ± Shakespeare is possibly
It is the green-ey'd monster Scene 3 metaphor for jealousy saying that people of that time did not take
which doth mock The meat it 165-169 their own advice, because Iago was also
feeds on. jealous of many other characters throughout
the play
O curse of marriage, That we Act 3, Shows Othello¶s insecurities because he Gender- Othello has very little trust in
can call these delicate creatures Scene 4 has already decided Des is cheating Desdemona, and even though he has no
ours, And not their appetites! I 272-277 without proof. He is also more worried valid proof, he has convinced himself that
had rather be a toad, And live about how the other guy feels than he most women are cheaters so it must be true
upon the vapors of a dungeon, should be
Than keep a corner of the thing
I love For others' uses."
Trifles light as air Are to the Act 3 Two different similes: Iago compares Mythological- Shakespeare is showing his
jealous confirmations strong As Scene 3 trifles to airand to ³proofs of holy writ´ understanding of human nature by showing
proofs of holy writ. 332-334 how easy it is to make a ³fool´ jealous.

But jealous souls will not be Act 3, Emiliacompares jealousy to a monster in Mythological ± jealousy is created by itself,
answered so; They are not ever Scene 4 order to demonstrate how it is born from and therefore it causes all subsequent events
jealous for the cause, But 159-162 nothing in the lives of people
jealous for they are jealous: 'tis
a monster Begot upon itself,
born on itself
She did deceive her father, Act 3 Iago is capitalizing on Othello¶s Gender ± Othello is characterized as sexist
marrying you Scene 3 insecurities about his wife, creating a by his response in that he assumes because
And so she did. 18 rift Des left her father, a man, she will also
become unfaithful and leave him, also a
What sense had I of her stol'n Act 3 Othello is referring to Des as an object, Gender- This is the second time that a man
hours of lust? Scene 3 saying that he stole her first and now she is referring to a woman, the same woman, as
I saw't not, thought it not, it 48 is being robbed from him a piece of property. First Brabantino says
harm'd not me: that Des is stolen from him by Othello, and
I slept the next night well, was now Othello is worried about Cassio
free and merry; robbing Des from him
I found not Cassio's kisses on
her lips:
He that is robb'd, not wanting
what is stol'n,
Let him not know't, and he's
not robb'd at all.
My name, that was as fresh Act 3 Othello is saying that his once good Historical ± Now Othello is actually seen
As Dian's visage, is now Scene 3 reputation is being ruined by the actions perpetuating his own negative stereotype,
begrimed and black 54 of his wife, slightly sexist idea saying that his once proud reputation is now
As mine own face. ³black´ like his ³own face´, in other words
his reputation is equivalent with what it
should be based on the discrimination

I have not deserved this. Act 4 First, Des tries to defend herself against Historical ± The reader is seeing the
O devil, devil! Scene 1 Othello¶s rage, but after being verbally stereotype come out in different ways than
If that the earth could teem 273-276 abused we now see her character change jealousy, now seen in Othello¶s rage and
with woman's tears into an accepting, abused wife harsh words
Each drop she falls would
prove a crocodile.
Out of my sight!
I will not stay to offend you.
I will chop her into Act 4 Othello believes he has been made into Historical ± Again, Othello exhibits rage
messes«cuckold me! Scene 1 a cuckhold, a man whose wife is towards Des and is blaming her for his poor
189-198 cheating on him reputation, perpetuating his own stereotype
'tis the strumpet's plague Act 4 Iago has tricked Othello into thinking Gender ± Iago talks down about Bianca and
To beguile many, and be Scene 1 that Cassio is talking about his affair doesn¶t seem effected by her pain because
beguil'd by one. 95-96 with Des, when actually hes talking she cannot be with Cassio, the one man she
about Bianca actually likes
A horned man¶s a monster and a Act 4 Othello uses a metaphor for himself being a Historical ± People at the time looked down on
beast. Scene 1 beast because he feels like he is not truly a men whose wives cheated on them, it was said
42 man if he can¶t keep his wife interested in that those men grew horns on their head
him as he should
O thou weed Act 4 Othello is comparing Des to a weed, but he Psychological ± Despite what he thinks he
Who art so lovely fair, and Scene 2 says even though he knows she is a weed, knows about Des, Othello is still in love with
smell¶st so sweet, 69-71 he is still in love with her like she is a her and apparently nothing can change that. This
That the sense aches at thee, beautiful flower could mirror the unrelenting obsessions
would thou hadst never been born Shakespeare may have had
Upon my knee, what doth your Act 4 Des is telling Othello that she clearly Gender ± Des, the woman, is begging and
speech import? Scene 2 understands that he is mad, but still doesn¶t pleading to work out the problem in their
I understand a fury in your words 33-35 understand why. Othello simply believes marriage while Othello, the man, is actually the
But not the words that she is lying about not knowing and one who is at fault. Shows self-destructiveness
furthers his anger of men and forgiveness in women.
Her honor is an essence that¶s not Act 4 Again Iago refers back to reputation saying Historical ± Othello also looks to reputation, but
seen, Scene 1 that you cannot rely on reputation because it for him he is looking for a form of comfort. He
They have it very oft that have it 16-17 can¶t be seen, but the handkerchief is real wants to be reassured by Des¶ reputation, just as
not. proof. people did at the time
But for the handkerchief

Mine eyes do itch, Act 4 Foreshadowing tragic events to occur in Gender ± Des asks Emilia if her itchy eyes mean
Doth that bode weeping? Scene 3 Des¶ future she¶ll be crying soon and Emilia tries to comfort
43 her by saying no. This shows the relationship
between women in that even though Emilia has
inadvertently assisted Iago, she still cares for
Nor I neither, by this heavenly Act 4 Emilia admits to Des that while she Gender ± Emilia is an independent and is
light. Scene 3 wouldn¶t cheat on Iago in the daytime for responding to Iago¶s mistreatment with the
I might do ¶t as well i' th' dark. 52-53 all to see, she would at night if no one knew possibility of cheating
But I do think it is their husbands' Act 4 Ironically, Emilia is speaking the truth in Gender ± Emilia is now reversing her role as an
faults Scene 3 Des¶ case without even knowing it. It is in obedient housewife and is speaking out against
If wives do fall. 62-63 fact Othello¶s fault that all this drama is the wrongs men have done
going down
Speak of me as I am; nothing Act 5 Although the reader does not fully Historical ± Othello asks that everyone
extenuate, Scene 2 understand yet, this is Othello¶s dying wish remember him as just confused and deceived
Nor ... set down aught in malice: 341-345 and once again he is worried about his rather than jealous. He doesn¶t want to continue
then must you speak reputation, even after death to perpetuate the moor stereotype
Of one that loved not wisely but
too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but
being wrought
Perplex'd in the extreme

Yet I'll not shed her blood; Act 5 Othello is about to kill his wife, but Historical ± Even as Othello is about to kill his
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers Scene 2 hesitates because he doesn¶t want to harm wife, he is still fixated on her race and has
than snow, 1-7 her innocent white skin. This foreshadows trouble harming what he considers to be sacred-
And smooth as monumental Othello¶s later realization of her true white people
alabaster. innocence
Yet she must die, else she'll betray
more men.
She's, like a liar, gone to burning Act 5 Multiple metaphors: Othello compares Des Historical ± Emilia calls Othello a blacker devil,
hell: Scene 2 to a devil, but Emilia responds by saying that he is fulfilling his own stereotype of
'Twas I that kill'd her. 36-38 comparing Othello to the devil and Des to being violent by killing Des
O, the more angel she, an angel
And you the blacker devil!
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl Act 5 Metaphor: Othello is comparing himself to Historical ± Shakespeare shows how races are
away Scene 2 an Indian who found a valuable gem but grouped by whites during this time. He is saying
Richer than all his tribe; of one 73-74 threw it away not knowing its worth. Des is that Native Americans and Blacks were looked
whose subdued eyes, the gem in the metaphor at as being both uncivilized and stupid
Behold, I have a weapon; Act 5 Othello is referring in some way to sex, Historical ± Again the stereotype of the moor
A better never did itself sustain Scene 2 saying he has a ³weapon´ that is on a resurfaces as we see Othello having vague
Upon a soldier's thigh: (5.2.55) 55 ³soldier¶s thigh´ all the while standing over thoughts of sex after murdering his wife
his (dead) wife lying on their bed
O, who hath done this deed? Act 5 Des is blaming herself for the abuse that Gender ± Des is showing typical behavior of an
Nobody; I myself. Farewell Scene 2 Othello committed when in fact she didn¶t abused woman, saying that it was her fault and
Commend me to my kind lord: O, 29-32 do anything wrong in the first place that Othello is not to blame

Demand me nothing: what you Act 5 This is the last time that Iago speaks during Psychological ± Not in line with typical
know, you know: Scene 2 the play, he vows silence and refuses to psychotic behavior, Iago refuses to brag about
From this time forth I never will 316-317 explain to the audience and the characters his misdeeds. Normally one would feel
speak word. why did all of this in the first place compelled to shock everyone with his horrible
I told him what I thought, and told Act 5 Iago is actually attempting to show his Psychological ± It seems Iago is actually trying
no more Scene 2 innocence by saying that he didn¶t to convince himself that he wasn¶t as evil as he
Than what he found himself was 188-189 intentionally mislead Othello, but merely actually was, showing his delusional side
apt and true shared his thoughts and let Othello draw his
own conclusions
Had she been true, Act 5 Othello professes that if Des were faithful, Historical ± This is one of multiple references to
If heaven would make me such Scene 2 then she was the most important thing in the gems Shakespeare uses in order to convey a
another world 144-147 world to him, making his later realization sense of great value. Symbol: gems = value.
Of one entire and perfect even more tragic
I¶d not have sold her for it

I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No Act 5 Othello is attempting to show his regret and Historical ± This is actually a biblical reference
way but this, Scene 2 apologies to Des, despite her being dead, by to Judas kissing Jesus before his murder, and
Killing myself, to die upon a kiss. 375-376 kissing her one last time to reverse the then showing regret by hanging himself,
misdeed however in Othello¶s case he stabbed himself.

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