Othello (exam) Flashcard Example #88561

How is Othello highly respected in society?
He has been an invited guest in Brabantio’s home many times
He is descended from royalty
How is Othello valued by his military strategy?
Duke wants only him to handle Cyprus
He is named governor of Cyprus
How is Othello confident and gracious?
When Brabantio tries to arrest him, he remains calm and doesn’t fight him
When he is ordered to Cyprus, he says he will leave immediately, putting the need of the country before his own desires
What are examples of Othello’s tragic flaw?
He chose to elope with Desdemona (insecure about what Brabantio might do)
When Brabantio warns that Desdemona might betray him, Othello overreacts, swearing his life upon her faithfulness (jealous that Desdemona might not really love him forever)
What is Othello’s tragic flaw and will lead him to downfall?
Jealousy.
Bellwhether
the leading sheep of a flock, with a bell on its neck.
an indicator or predictor of something.
Chimerical
existing only as the product of unchecked imagination : fantastically visionary or improbable
Noisome
having an extremely offensive smell.
Proselyte
Convert
Deracinate
Tear something by the roots
Lachrymose
Inducing to tears
Risible
Provoke laughter
Obfuscate
To confuse someone
Polarize
To cause separation between two groups
Cozen
To decieve
Gratis
An action is done without a fee
Rapacity
To be greedy
paean
A song of prize or triumphant
Prurient
having lustful desires or interests; tending to arouse sexual desires
Cognate
Related connected
gamut
The complete range or scope of something
pundit
An expert on a particular subject
tendentious
Promoting a controversial opinion
foray
An attack on an enemy
vicissitude
a change, variation, or alteration
• Where does the scene open? Who is speaking?
The scene opens in Venice on a street.
? Roderigo & Iago are speaking.
• Why do Iago and Roderigo wake up Brabantio?
? They want to wake him up so that Bra will be annoyed enough to go looking for Desdemona & ruin
her’s ; Othello’s wedding.
? To tell his that Des had eloped with Othello
Why does Brabantio become angry? Why does Iago slip away?
The language Iago uses is purposely to get him angry.
? Just the thought that Des has eloped with some stranger.
? Bra gets mad b/c he knows Rod & already told him he couldn’t marry his daughter; he also thinks
Rod’s drunk & wasting his time with his nonsense.
? Iago slips away b/c he has to at least pretend to be loyal to his master (Othello).
What does Iago’s relationship with Roderigo seem to be? Who seems to be in control?
Friendship/Business. Rod seems to be a close friend of Iago. Iago is mainly using his for his own
benefit.
? It also seems as if Iago is the one in charge; Rod seems to mostly go along with whatever Iago
suggests.
• Why does Iago want revenge against Othello? Does he make a convincing argument against him?
Explain.
Iago wants revenge against Othello b/c Othello chose another to be his lieutenant, someone (Michael
Cassio) unfit for the position (he’s never been in war before); Iago was then reduced to a mere
servant/follower of Othello.
? His argument has merit; Othello did ruin his career in the military. However, that’s not enough to
ruin Othello’s & Desdemona’s reps in the entire town.
How does Iago act when Desdemona’s dad appears at the window? Why does it take Brabantino so
long to understand what Roderigo & Iago are telling him? Why don’t they just name Othello from
the beginning?
When Bra appears at the window, Iago goes off on a tangent accusing his daughter of adultery; he
uses crude language, antoginizing Bra.
? It takes Bra so long to understand what Rod ; Iago are telling him b/c he just woke up, ; were also
unclear about who they were talking about.
? They don’t tell Bra that its Othello b/c they want the crude language to upset him; it him angry
enough to discover the truth & made the acts between Des & Othello seem disgusting & animalistic
(also to make Bra angrier for not knowing who the stranger was).
How does Iago lie at the beginning of this scene?
He says that the man talking smack about Othello was Rod, when it was really himself.
Is Othello afraid of Bra? Should he be?
? No, he is incredibly calm about Bra finding out about him & Des.
? He doesn’t have much of a reason to be, since his position in society holds a little more weight than
does Bra’s standing as senator; the wars need Othello.
What do we learn about Othello’s background from this scene?
He comes from a fairly wealthy background; related to royalty.
Why has the Duke called for Othello? How can you tell that Othello is highly regarded in military
circles?
There is trouble in the war in Cyprus; they need Othello’s guidance.
? When the Duke found himself in a harsh situation, he made it a priority to has someone sent to seek
out Othello specifically.
? The Duke bent out search parties just to locate Othello
• Why is Bra so against having Othello for a son-in-law? Does he seem to blame Des for running off
with Othello? Why isn’t Othello arrested when Bra orders it?
Bra doesn’t want a black son-in-law.
? Bra doesn’t seem to blame Des for being with Othello; he accuses Othello of putting a spell on her,
drugging her, abducting her, ect.
? Othello isn’t arrested b/c the Duke has sent for him, & he’s needed for important state business.
How does Des respond when Bra confronts her?
She gives her loyalty to Othello.
? She is very calm ; matter of fact when she declares her obedience ; love to Othello.
? She feels respect, love, ; obedience towards her dad b/c he’s raised her, but she loves Othello more.
? Bra is upset; he disowns Des, saying to the Duke that he wished he’d never had a child.
? Bra is heartbroken ; feels betrayed.
How does the Duke seem to feel about the problem in Bra’s family? Does he sympathize more with
Othello or Bra?
At first, he says that the man who stole Bra’s daughter deserves to be punished, but when he learns
its Othello he feels different; he feels like Bra should get over it.
? Bra accuses Othello of wrongdoings, but Duke says Bra doesn’t have any proof to back his
accusations.
? Duke seems to sympathize more with Othello, encouraging him to share his story on how they fell
in love.
? He’s siding with Oth b/c he’s a good guy
According to Othello, when did Des & he fall in love? Why do you suppose they kept it a secret?
Does Othello seem to feel apologetic or guilty about the elopement?
Des fell in love with him while listening to his stories about his childhood & life in the military.
? They likely kept it a secret out of respect for Bra; Bra supposedly loved Othello (like a son?) &
Othello didn’t want to do anything to ruin their relationship.
? Othello doesn’t seem very apologetic for marrying the woman he loves.
How can you tell that Othello is a good storyteller? Who has appreciated his stories? Do you think
he tells these stories to build himself up or is he egotistical?
You can tell that Othello is a good storyteller, b/c that’s how he managed to win over the affections
of both Bra ; Des.
? Des fell in love with Oth b/c if his stories.
? Besides Des ; Bra, Oth’s fellow officials (the Duke) have also enjoyed his stories; like now, the one
about him & Des falling in love.
? Though Othello doesn’t seem like the egotistical type, he seems to have this idea in his head that
everyone who meets him can do no less than love him.
? He seems sincere ; he likely tells the stories that he believes are true.
Like Othello, Rod’s in love. What’s the contrast between the 2 lovers? How does Iago revive Rod’s
hopes? Why? Why’s Rod paying him?
Othello seems to be an honest ; entirely open man; he is upfront with Des ; later his officials about
his feelings for Des.
? Othello is also willing to do whatever is necessary to prove his true love for Des ; show his
worthiness to his peers to be with her; it’s Des’s choice whether she wants to be with him.
? Rod seems to be obsessed with the thought of Des; he has pursued her relentlessly despite her denial
of him.
? Rod’s love is unrequited.
? Iago tells Rod that he has a plan.
? Iago tells Rod his “love” is just lust; he shouldn’t kill himself over it.
? He advises Rod to collect a lot of $$, ; when Des gets tired of Othello she’ll come running
back to Rod.
? Iago wants Rod to seduce Des so that they can make a fool out of Othello & ruin his life; Iago wants
revenge on Othello & through Des seems the best way to do it.
? Iago also thinks that Othello slept with his wife, & is pissed at the mere thought that the rumor
is true.
? Rod’s paying Iago so that he can win over Des; Iago will get his revenge on Othello ; Rod will get
to be with Des; everyone wins.
• Iago plans to use Cassio against Othello; he’ll tell Othello that Cassio is being too intimate with Des & he
believes Othello will trust his word, b/c he seems to trust that men don’t lie.
• Describe the events surrounding Othello’s arrival in Cyprus.
The people of Cyprus are all waiting for Oth & praying for his safe arrival.
? Cassio, then Iago & Des, arrive before Oth; everyone seems worried about Oth b/c of the storm.
? Iago sees Cassio & Des talking & begins his plot to make Cassio lose his position as lieutenant.
? There’s much rejoicing ; reunion between Des ; Oth when he finally arrives.
Why is Des nervous before Othello shows up?
The storm has separated him from everyone else, ; it destroyed all the Turk’s ships; she’s worried
about him ; his ship.
• How does Cassio treat Des? Do you think they’re attracted to each other as Iago plans to lead Oth
to believe?
He treats Des like she’s precious; he has the men of Cyprus bow to her.
? I don’t think he’s honestly attracted to her, just being nice ; a good friend to Oth; though if he was, I
don’t think he’d ever act on it.
What suspicions does Iago have about his wife? Are there any grounds for these suspicions? What
does this tell you about Iago?
He believes that his wife has slept around; specifically with Oth ; Cassio.
? No grounds for this suspicion; this tells us that Iago is a paranoid ; tyrant man.
? Oth ; Emilia have never once made anyone else think that they’d once been together; never
even shown as being in the same room together.
• How can you tell Cassio is devoted to Oth?
You can tell by the way that he worries over Oth’s ship being safe ; how he takes care of what’s
most precious to Oth while he cannot, Des.
• What does Iago’s attitude towards women (love) seem to be?
He acts like they are a trial ; nothing but trouble.
? He was insulting his own wife ; women in general before Oth arrived.
? He also seems to think that the only thing women are good for is getting a man ; being devious.
How does Iago brainwash Rod? How does he convince Rod to get in a fight with Cassio? What’s his
real reason for wanting the fight?
? Iago tells Rod all kinds of nonsense about Des & Cassio soon becoming lovers b/c of how they act
around one another.
? Iago tells Rod that, if he wants to have Des, he has to get Cassio out of the way; if Cassio gets fired,
then Rod will have a shot at winning over Des.
? Iago really wants the fight so that he can get Cassio’s position
• Why does Iago say of Des, “Now I do love her too”? Do you think he’s jealous of Oth for winning
Des?
? Iago says this b/c Des is now the perfect conduit for Iago’s revenge on Oth; he can hurt Oth through
Des.
? “Wife for wife”; Oth was with his wife, so he’ll ruin Oth’s relationship with Des.
? Likely not jealous, though angry that Oth supposedly slept with his wife ; then managed to win
over a pretty wife himself.
• What’s the mood of this scene?
It’s very celebratory ; Cyprus seems to revere Oth greatly, praising his name.
Why the celebration?
They’ve defeated the Turks & Oth has been married; all reasons to them to celebrate
Do you think Iago will participate?
Iago will likely participate, so that he doesn’t look suspicious to Oth.
? Also, it’s the perfect place to stage his plans.
• Explain how Cassio gets drunk, even tho he knows he has “very poor & unhappy brains for
drinking.”
He’s a lightweight, so he had one glass of watered-down wine, but ended up a little tipsy anyways.
? He succumbed to peer pressure ; the other soldiers gave hi
• Iago says to himself that if he can get Cassio to drink one more than he’s already had, he’ll have no
trouble getting Cass to fight Rod.
? Also, Iago’s already gotten all the guards plus Rod drunk
• How does Cassio react when Iago refers to Des & Oth’s sex life?
Iago goes on to Cass about how pretty Des is ; speculates that she’s a great lover; Cass agrees, tho
says she’d be a modest one.
? Cass also goes on about Des’s great attributes & winning personality.
• Cassio & Rod start brawling, & Montano is attacked & wounded by Cassio while trying to break up the
fight.
? Oth comes in (PO’d) then to break up the fighting ; asks Iago who started it, ; Iago tells him that
he found Cass chasing Rod with his sword; he said Rod must’ve said something terrible to Cass, b/c
Cass wouldn’t have attacked him otherwise
• What do Cassio ; Rod argue about? How’s the governor involved in the fight?
Cass doesn’t remember why he ; Rod were fighting, or what about; he blames is on the alcohol.
? Rod was telling Cass that he was doing his job wrong; then, Montano called him drunk.
• Cass was not happy.
? Montano ended up injured by Cass while trying to break up the fighting.
What advice does Iago give Cassio after he’s demoted? Is Cassio naive in accepting the advice, or
would it usually be good advice?
? Iago tells Cass to petition Oth to change his mind; Oth had no choice b/c it’s policy to deal with bad
situations like this.
? This would normally be pretty good advice; when you get on someone’s bad side, you
apologize & usually all can be forgiven.
? Then, Iago tells Cass to ask Des to speak on his behalf; then, Cass’s relationship with Oth will be
repaired ; with Des be made stronger.
? This advice would not be something that a friend would normally suggest; if Cass took this
advice, he’d definitely be naive.
• Why does Iago say to Rod “How poor are they that have not patience!/What wound did ever heal
but by degrees”?
Rod tells Iago that he’s not got much fight left in him ; wants to quit ; go back home.
? Iago is saying that all wounds heal in time ; he’d be a fool to quit now when he’s come so far; he
also advises Rod to not get impatient.
• Iago plans to reveal Cass ; Des as Cass is pleading for Des to help him get back into Oth’s good graces.
• What is the setting of this scene? Mood?
? In front of the castle, musicians & a clown are trying to entertain the guests of Cyprus.
? The clown tells the musicians to quit playing & they seem a bit offended.
• How does Iago get Des & Cass together?
Cass asks to talk to Iago’s wife, that she might bring Des to him.
? Iago told Cass before that Des could speak to Oth on his behalf to be reinstated to his position
What’s ironic about Iago’s comment to Cass that he’ll “devise a means to draw the Moor/Out of the
way, that your converse & business/May be more free”?
Iago’s intent all along was to get Des ; Cass together so that Oth could catch them alone.
? Iago plans to rat out Cass ; Des; not help him
How does Cass know that Des has already spoken to Oth on his behalf? Why then does he arrange
to meet Des?
? Cass knows Des has already spoken on his behalf b/c Emilia told him so, though that the
conversation hadn’t gone quite in his favor.
? Cass likely arranges to meet Des b/c he wants to know exactly what Oth said about his request; he’s
really anxious to be reinstated into his job ; doesn’t want to lose it to someone else.
? Or else Cass wants to discuss what he could do to get back in the general’s ; governor’s good
graces.
How does this scene show you that Oth is a busy man?
Oth doesn’t even have the time to deliver his own letter of thanks to the captain who brought him to
Cyprus; busy being governor of Cyprus.
? He sends Iago to deliver his letter for him.
Why’s this a good time for Iago to act?
Oth will be preoccupied with his duties & won’t be able to account for Iago’s whereabouts.
? Also, Oth likely won’t have the time or patience to deal with any of Iago’s nonsense, & he hopes that
Oth’s irritation might be directed toward Cass ; Des.
Why does Cass leave Des in such a hurry? Why does Iago point that out to Oth?
Cass feels uncomfortable being in the situation he finds himself (having Oth catch him with Des ;
Em); he doesn’t feel he’d be helping his case as he is now.
? When Oth asks about it, Iago says surely Cass wouldn’t leave so quickly/guiltily if he saw Oth
coming.
? Iago wants Cass to get caught sneaking guiltily away from Oth’s wife to make Oth suspicious of
Cass’s actions
Why’s Des so willing to speak up for Cass? Do you think she goes too far?
She thinks that Cass is an honest man ; a loyal friend to Oth.
? She probably does go too far in pestering Oth about it—insisting that Oth talks to Cass soon.
? She makes quite the case for Cass ; Oth agrees since it’s what Des wants so badly.
• “Michael Cassio/ That came a wooing with you, and so many a time / When I have spoke of you
dispraisingly/Hath ta’en your part…”
? Cass was very involved with Des & Oth’s courtship.
• Iago questions to Oth about Cass’s relationship to Des; did he know her while Oth was courting her?
? Oth says Cass was the one who delivered messages between Oth & Des.
? Iago questions Cass’s honesty & begins to question to Oth the ‘true’ relationship between Cass &
Des, hinting that they care(d) more about each other than they let on.
• Oth says to Iago that he won’t suspect Des of infidelity until there is substantial proof rather than mere
suspicion.
? He won’t be jealous until there’s proof that he has reason to be
When does Oth 1st begin to doubt Des?
After Oth assures Iago that jealousy doesn’t rule him, Iago tells Oth to watch how Des & Cass
interact & determine for himself if there’s something more going on between them.
? Oth asks Iago to have Em keep an eye on Des for him.
? Oth thinks to himself that, since Iago’s so honest & perceptive, he may’ve seen something
darker in Des that Oth himself hadn’t seen before marrying her
How does Emilia get Des’s handkerchief? Why does she give it to Iago? Do you think she has any
idea that he intends to do something underhanded with it?
Des goes to bind Oth’s aching head, but he tells her to leave him be & she drops it, forgetting to pick
it back up before they leave.
? It’s the first keepsake Oth ever gave Des & she loves it so much b/c of that.
? Iago has asked Em many times to steal it from Des.
? It doesn’t seem like Em has any idea what Iago plans to do with the handkerchief, but she wants only
to please him & therefore gives him the token.
• Oth comes into the room yelling at Iago that he better stop talking smack about Des without proof.
? Oth would rather have never heard that Des was cheating on him, even if it was true.
? Iago resounds that he’s giving up his position since it seems so wrong to be “honest,” especially if he
ends up losing his friends b/c of it, since they can’t handle the truth.
? Oth tells him to stay, & always tell him the truth.
• How does Iago push Oth over the edge in his doubts about Des’s fidelity? What’s the clinching piece
of evidence put forth by Iago?
Iago tells Oth that he shared a bed with Cass once recently & he talked in his sleep.
? He says Cass was talking about Des in his sleep & lamenting that she belonged to Oth.
? Also said that Cass had kissed him & spooned him in bed, saying that they should hide their
love from Oth.
• Oth says that this means they’ve clearly already slept together.
? Iago asks Oth is Des owns a specific handkerchief, & Oth says it’s the one he gave her.
? Iago says he saw Cass with it before (same handkerchief Iago planted in Cass’s room).
? This evidence coupled with the above seems damning enough to Oth.
• Oth swears vengeance on Cass & Des, & his hatred will be his guide; no more love is in his heart.
? Iago swears to be Oth’s servant & do his bidding, no matter how terrible.
? Oth makes him promise to kill Cass in 3 day’s time & Iago accepts, but pleads that he doesn’t kill
Des; Oth swears to come up with a special punishment just for Des.
• Climax: Iago’s plan works; he’s become Oth’s lieutenant.
• How does Emilia respond when Des asks about the handkerchief?
Em acts like she has no idea where Des dropped her handkerchief or what’s become of it
According to Oth, what’s the history behind the handkerchief? Why do you think he’s telling Des
all this?
According to Oth, an Egyptian woman gave it to his mom & told her that as long as she kept it, his
dad would love/desire his mom; if she lost it/gave it away, his dad would hate her & start looking at
other women.
? Oth says that his mom gave it to him on her deathbed & told him to give it to his wife & he did.
? He’s telling Des this to see her sweat about having supposedly given it away to Cass; probably to try
& torture her like the thoughts of her infidelity are touting him.
? He’s trying to teach her a lesson.
• Oth demands that Des show him the handkerchief, but she says she doesn’t want to until he addresses the
matter of Cass’s job; Oth leaves in a fit.
• Moments before, Des had told Em that Oth never got jealous, but now Em asks if that sounded like he
wasn’t a jealous man.
? Des says she’s never seen Oth act like this & it must be an effect of having lost the token.
? Des later remarks that maybe something bad in Cyprus is having an bad impact on his mood.
• SideNote: Bianca is a prostitute.
Why’s Bianca angry with Cass? How’s her anger like Oth’s? What sort of relationship do you think
Cass & Bianca have?
? Cass has been away for over a week & Bianca was expecting word from him; she was on her way to
Cass’s house & he to hers.
? Cass asked if Bianca could copy the pattern on Des’s handkerchief & Bianca thinks that its a gift to
him from another lover; she’s jealous.
? Bianca’s anger is like Oth’s b/c the handkerchief in Cass’s possession implies that he’s in a
relationship with Des (another lover), & neither Bianca nor Oth can stand the idea of him being with
Des.
? Cass & Bianca seem to have an intimate relationship, since Bianca referred to the mystery woman as
“another lover.”
? Bianca is in love with Cass
Why does Cass give the handkerchief to Bianca? So far, who seems to find this handkerchief
special? Who thinks it’s supernatural?
? Cass thinks the handkerchief is pretty & wants Bianca to copy the embroidery before he has to
return it to whomever it belongs to.
? Cass seems to think that the handkerchief is something special.
? Des & Oth seem to believe that the handkerchief is supernatural.
What’s Emilia’s opinion of men? How does Des’s opinion differ?
Em thinks that men are always just out to use women until they’re no longer useful or desirable.
? Des seems to think highly of men in general; she thinks that they’re for the most part honorable (esp.
Oth).
Why does Oth fall unconscious?
? Oth has epilepsy; he had a seizure.
? Iago told Oth that Cass slept with Des & if Oth asked Cass, he’d deny it.
According to Iago, why’s Oth luckier than many other men who’ve been cuckolded? Do you agree?
Would you rather not know if someone is betraying you?
? There are many other married men with wives cheating in them, but they don’t even know she’s no
longer chaste; Oth knows, which makes him luckier.
? I agree that it’s better to know than not; you can make your own decisions on how to handle the
situation, rather than later having the person you love divorce you b/c they no longer love you.
What’s Cass saying to Iago as Oth stands hidden, watching them? What does Oth think he’s
saying? How’s this all part of Iago’s plan?
Iago says there’s a rumor that Cass will marry Bianca & Cass denies it, saying Bianca probably
spread the rumor b/c she loves him so much.
? Cass says Bianca’s clingy & a *****”; he’d never marry her.
? Oth thinks that Cass is saying all these things about Des; whenever Cass laughs, Oth says it’s the
winner who gets the last laugh.
? Iago planned to have Cass say nice things about Bianca, ; Oth would think he was saying those
things about Des.
According to Iago, why should Oth strangle Des rather than poison her? What do you think his
real reason is?
? Iago says that Oth should strangle Des in their own bed, likely where the infidelity occurred.
? Likely, Iago’s real reason for strangulation rather than poison is so that Oth leaves a mark on Des
that can be traced back to Oth.
? Also, she’s a young and strong girl ; might not die from the poison.
• SideNote: Lod is Des’s cousin.
Why do you think Shakespeare has Oth welcome Lodovico to Cyprus with the phrase, “goats &
monkeys”? Does Lodovico realize that Oth is upset?
“Goats & monkeys” was how Iago said Des & Cass were like around each other (having sex).
? Lod doesn’t know whether Oth is angry or not; he asks if Oth’s gone insane.
? Iago tells old to just observe Oth; keep an eye on him.
• Oth strikes out at Des & old defends her.
? No one can understand why Oth is treating Des like this.
Why does Oth summon Em if he’s not going to accept her testimony? Do you think she suspects
that Iago has anything to do with Oth’s doubts?
Oth is questioning Em about whether she’s ever seen Des with Cass.
? Em vehemently defends her, saying how pure she is.
? Em still has no idea that its Iago planting doubts in Oth’s head.
How does Des react when Oth calls her a *****? How does she explain his behavior to herself? Are
you surprised she doesn’t react differently?
Des cries out that Oth is wrongly accusing her of being a *****.
? Oth clearly doesn’t believe her.
? Des says that Oth was treating her like a child; one that needed discipline.
? She thinks that work is stressing him out still.
? I’m surprised that she isn’t more upset that Oth just accused her of adultery.
? She seemed only slightly indignant, though mostly just surprised.
How can you tell Des trusts Iago? Is she being naive?
Des sent Em to bring Iago to her after having a big argument with her own husband.
? Des asks Iago for advice on what to do about Oth; then she asks him to speak to Oth on her
behalf.
? She is incredibly naive to put her marriage in the hands of another, whether she thinks they’re a
friend or not.
? Cass asked Des to speak on his behalf to Oth, ; look how well that turned out.
• Em is ranting to Iago ; Des that the only reason for Oth’s behavior is b/c someone else is manipulating
him, all to get some position or high standing.
? Irony, since her own husband is doing just that.
? Iago replies that no one’s that bad.
• Rod is angry with Iago for seeming to hinder his progress with Des; he thinks Iago is trying to keep him
; Des apart
How does Iago plan Cass’s murder? How does he convince Rod that Cass must die? Why do you
think he involves Rod instead of handling it himself?
? Iago plans to have Rod nab Cass between 12-1 in the morning as he goes to have dinner with
Bianca.
? Iago tells Rod that he needs to kill Cass so that Oth & Des will remain in Cyprus for a while longer.
? He involves Rod so that Rod will take the fall for Cass’s death instead of himself; he wants to
distance himself from the responsibility of Cass’s death as much as possible.
Put Oth’s soliloquy (“Had it pleased Heaven…”) in your own words.
? If God had simply made Oth poor ; a slave, he could’ve handled that; he even could’ve handled
being laughed at ; scorned his whole life.
? What he couldn’t handle is having his own wife reject him & cheat on him with another man.
? Des has ruined all future descendants b/c of what she’s done.
• Who do you think Des obeys Oth so meekly when he sends her to bed? Do you think she suspects
Oth intends to hurt her?
Des likely doesn’t want to question Oth’s requests in an effort to not anger him more than he’s
already been with her.
? She also has been taught to obey the men who are her Lord, & it’s not in her to deny a direct
order.
? Des has no reason to believe that Oth would actually hurt her (physically).
? She believes that Oth is under stress ; not acting right; Oth also appears calmer now than
before.
Has Des fallen out of love with Oth? Would you?
? Des is still in love with Oth; she even loves him in his bad moods.
? I would never continue to love a man who called me all the bad things he has Des, or treated me like
I was a sinner.
How’s the story in “Willow Song” like Des’s own life?
It’s about a love that’s gone terribly wrong; just like Des’s own love.
? Des is in a kind of mourning over who Oth used to be.
? Des feels like she deserves Oth’s scorn, as it says in the song.
? Des is also like the willow tree right now, hanging low ; fragile
How does Em feel about the double-standard? Does Des agree with her?
Em feels like women can be just as bad as men, ; it’s the husband’s fault if the wives fall into bad
habits, b/c they learn them from the men.
? Des doesn’t think that there’s any woman bad enough to cheat on their own husband
• Des says, in the closing lines of the scene, “Good night, good night. God me such uses send/Not to
pick bad from bad, but by bad mend.” What does she mean? Do you agree with that philosophy?
Des wants to meet a woman like Em explains, so that she can learn from their bad behavior ; avoid
it.
? She’s saying ‘don’t fight evil with evil; fight evil with good.’
? I agree with Des that seeing the after affects of a bad situation might deter one from performing the
bad deed themselves.
? It’s best to learn from others’ mistakes so that we don’t commit them ourselves.
How is Rod killed?
Rod strikes out at Cass who has armor on under his clothes; Cass strikes back & fatally wounds
Rod.
? When ‘help’ arrives, Cass accuses Rod of being the villain who wounded him & Iago stabs Rod
to death.
Why does Oth think that Iago has carried out his promise to kill Cass?
Iago stabs Cass in the leg & Cass cries for help; Oth hears Cass’s cries.
• SideNote: Gratiano is Des’s uncle.
How can you tell that Lod & Cass think that Iago is honest & courteous?
They always speak very highly of him (Lod to Gratiano).
? When Cass cries for help, Iago comes riding in to ‘save the day.’
How does Iago cast suspicion on Bianca for Cass’s injuries? Why?
? Iago tells the men that surely Bianca has something to do with Cass’s injuries.
? He points out how pale Bianca looks, attributing this as her guilt.
? Bianca also admits Cass had dinner with her, but that doesn’t make her guilty of hurting him.
? Iago’s probably trying to place blame on Bianca so that, in every other instance, it will serve to
distance himself from the responsibilities of the crimes he’s committed.
• How does Em react to all this violence? Does she suspect her husband yet?
Em seems upset by all the violence; she also lashes out at Bianca, calling her ***** ; immoral.
? Bianca replies that she’s just as moral as Em is; Em is not happy by the comparison.
? Em doesn’t suspect Iago of anything; right now she seems to believe Iago that it has something to do
with Bianca.
• Iago sends Em away, telling her to tell Oth ; Des what’s happened.
How can you tell that Oth still loves Des & doesn’t wholly want to kill her—moments before he
does? Is there any way she could’ve prevented him from killing her? Is she resigned to die in the
end?
Oth is already lamenting over the thought of killing Des when the scene begins.
? He doesn’t want to kill her, but feels like she’ll cheat on other men if he lets her live.
? He gives her the chance to repent for her sins, but she says that loving him too much is her only
sin.
? There was nothing Des could do or say (as Oth himself said) that could’ve prevented her death.
? At first, she begged Oth for a day, hour, or prayer longer, but he didn’t & she grew resigned.
? Even after Oth smothers her, she still doesn’t tell Em who killed her.
• Why has Em come? Why doesn’t Des tell her the truth before she dies?
? Iago told Em earlier to inform Oth & Des about what happened with Cass.
? Em tells Oth that Cass killed Rod, but is himself still alive; Oth says he’s not gotten his revenge
then ; seems upset.
? Des likely doesn’t tell the truth b/c she loves Oth so much still that she doesn’t want her him to get in
trouble for killing her.
? Des knows that she’s dying an innocent woman, which is enough for her.
• Oth tells Em that Des was a liar even as she died & went to Hell, b/c Oth was the one to kill her.
? Em says that makes Des even more an angel & Oth more of a devil.
When does Em realize that her husband is behind all this? How does she react? Does she seem to
feel guilty for her part?
? As Oth’s talking crap about Des being unfaithful, Em is defending Des ; telling Oth that he’s nuts.
? Oth says that if she doesn’t believe him, she should just ask her husband, since it was Iago who
told Oth all about Des’s supposed unfaithfulness.
? Em is completely shocked at first, repeating ‘my husband?’ over & over; then she says if Iago said
that then he’s a filthy liar ; can burn in Hell forever.
? Em says that Des was too attached to her ‘filthy marriage’ to ever cheat on Oth.
? Em seems very guilty for her part, saying shell kill herself out of grief
Why does Iago kill his wife? Do you think he has any regrets about that? Why don’t any of the
others stop him?
? Em tells Oth (& everyone else present) that she stole Des’s token ; gave it to Iago.
? When Oth ran at Iago with his sword, Iago turned his own sword to Em.
? Iago doesn’t regret it in the slightest; he was just mad his secret was out, & he ran away.
? No one stopped Iago b/c they were expecting Iago to fight Oth, not kill his own wife.
• Lod comes back in with Cass in a chair & Iago prisoner; Oth stabs Iago, saying if he’s truly the devil then
he can’t be killed.
• Lod asks if Oth planned Cass’s murder with Iago ; Oth says yes; Cass says he never gave Oth a reason to
hate him, ; Oth says its true ; asks for forgiveness.
• Oth asks Iago what he ever did to deserve Iago’s hate & vengeance; Iago says he’ll never tell or speak
again.
? Lod finds paper in Rod’s pockets incriminating Iago for Cass’s attempted murder.
? Cass also says that Rod wasn’t yet dead & confessed that he & Iago had been manipulating them all
from the start.
• Before Oth kills himself, he asks the men to tell everyone the truth about him; that he was a fool to fall
for the devil’s tricks ; throw away the one thing that he loved most in the world.
? He killed Des to keep her from being a sinner ; going to Hell.
How does Oth die? Why does he want to die? What weapon does he use?
Oth stabs himself with his own sword.
? He kisses Des, saying how he’d kissed her before killing her
? He wants to die b/c he’s guilt-ridden for having killed the woman he loves, who was innocent of any
wrongdoings; he doesn’t want to love with what he’s done
Why happens to Iago now? Would the ending have been more satisfying if Oth had killed Iago
before committing suicide? Why didn’t Shakespeare write it that way?
Cass is put in charge of torturing Iago to death by whatever means he sees fit.
? If Oth had killed Iago, as Oth earlier stated, Iago would’ve been getting off too easy; torture seems
like a better punishment for Iago than death.
? Shakespeare likely didn’t write it that way b/c he felt that justice would best be met with Iago in life
than in death.
? He also probably thought it would be more dramatic that Oth died while Iago lived; almost like
Iago’s plan had come to a close ; now he had nothing left but to live with the consequences.
Who wrote the nose and where is he from
Akutagawa ryunosuke, japan
Who wrote marriage is a private affair
Chinua Achebe, Nigeria
Who wrote street sweeping show
Feng jicai, China
Who wrote india
Kamalamarkandaya
Who wrote the bald soprano, which counrty
Eugene lonesco, Britain

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