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Transcript of Othello
Emilia: Character and relationships
Emilia creates an impression that she truly wants to help Desdemona and be her friend, however she steals her handkerchief to give to Iago to please him which leads to Othello killing Desdemona. Emilia seems to be a friend of Desdemona but she is blinded to Iago’s true intentions and causes the death of Desdemona.
Scene 1: Iago tricks Cassio into believing that he truly wants to help him, so Iago arranges for Cassio to speak to Desdemona privately.However Iago’s plan involves Othello catching the two talking together privately which will help Iago convince that Desdemona is cheating on Othello with Cassio.
Scene 3: Iago’s plan is put into action, Othello walks in on Desdemona and Cassio talking privately, however Desdemona lies to him and says she wasn’t talking to Cassio. Othello Doesn’t think much of it until Iago plagues Othello’s Thoughts by implying that Desdemona is cheating on him
By: Rachel Felling, ViAnn Pham, Michael Beiley,
Alex Stoken, Chris Mason, Samer Hassinan
Makes sure Othello walks in on Cassio and Desdemona when they are talking quietly.
Subtly suggests that Cassio is being suspicious.
Doesn’t catch Iago’s drift that Desdemona may be cheating on him.
He declares how he loves her so much.
Brings up Cassio and Desdemona’s relationship
Acts like he is hiding something important from Othello.
Starts getting suspicious about Cassio
Demands to know what Iago is hiding from him
Emilia's food Philosophy:
Brings up the topic of jealousy
Tells Othello to watch his wife closely.
Claims he must witness ocular proof before he believes his wife would cheat on him.
However, begins to have doubts.
Tells Othello about Cassio’s “dream”.
Mentions how he saw Cassio wipe his beard with Desdemona’s handkerchief.
Becomes outrageous and swears to kill Cassio and Desdemona if these suspicions turn out to be true.
Harasses Desdemona to give him her handkerchief.
Emilia references women as food and men as stomachs
They are used until tired of then gotten rid of
Iago feels that women are useless
Very unstable, judgemental relationship
Iago’s talk of animals in heat indicates racism towards Othello.
Desdemona is also compared to an animal because she is inappropriately associating herself with a black man.
Animals do things on instinctive behavior.
Subtly implying that Othello and Desdemona cannot control their actions and that their behavior is unacceptable.
Emphasizes that Othello is an outsider in this society.
Iago’s language here is very vulgar and uncalled for.
It further corroborates Iago as a cynical and prejudiced character.
Iago and Emilia's Relationship
Iago’s attitude towards his wife is very condescending and demanding.
Treats her like she is basically worthless.
Emilia’s mood is confident and patient.
Very calm even when Iago snaps at her
Submissively relinquishes the handkerchief when he snatches it from her
Change in power
Iago- holds power when he snaps at Emilia for no particular reason.
Emilia- power shifts to Emilia when he realizes that she has something he wants
Iago- regains power when he starts demanding for the handkerchief
Iago wants to use Desdemona’s handkerchief to further manipulate Othello.
Repeatedly brought up throughout the act, indicating great importance later on.
First brought up when Desdemona offers the handkerchief to Othello to treat his headache.
Emilia finds it left on the ground and gives it to Iago to fulfill his wishes.
Iago brings up the subject of this handkerchief to Othello, mentioning that he spotted it in Cassio’s room.
Othello harasses Desdemona about it when she reveals that she has misplaced it.
Cassio, not knowing it is Desdemona’s, gives it to Bianca for her to copy the design.
Why does Iago want the handkerchief?
"...honesty's a fool"
Spoken by Iago
Central to the play as a whole, main theme of play
Throughout the act, Othello believes Iago to be a completely honest man and listens to everything he has to say.
Doesn't know that Iago is just feeding him lies.
Othello’s belief in honesty is making a fool out of him.
The scene is extremely short because it informs the reader of Othello's whereabouts, to show that Cassio and Desdemona have time to can privately talk.
Othello tells Iago that he will inspect the fortification walls, which will give time for Cassio and Desdemona to have their private conversation.
Iago's Manipulation cont'd
“I am bound to thee forever”
Othello's commitment to Iago
Iago tactically approaches the task of heightening Othello’s anxiety by casually yet deliberately planting various seeds of doubt in Othello’s mind. He’ll mention the “strangeness” of Desdemona’s behavior when she’s around Cassio.
Primarily, Iago deceives Othello, Cassio and Desdemona
"My lord is not my lord"
Iago uses the handkerchief to get under Othello's skin, making him act like another.
Othello in nature is kind, strong, assured,etc.
With Iago he becomes rude, judging, unstable
He has completely lost a sense of himself
"...men are not gods"
Could represent that women are controlled in Venetian society with no control over their lives, their men could be acting as "gods"
In the opposite sense women in Othello are often though of as manipulators, using their "pretty faces" to get what they want, in a sense controlling the lives of others
Both Emilia and Iago define Jealousy as a
that is devious.
First impressions: Prostitute, Hungry for love, Naive
Her and Cassio are sleeping together but are in love
Possible Time Lapse
There is an inconsistency in the time periods throughout the scene and when Othello wants Cassio dead. This could suggest:
Two prominent characteristics of Othello are shown in this scene:
Well-respected by his army.
Diligently obey his orders after his speech.
Quick to jump to conclusions.
First, demands for "ocular proof" of Desdemona cheating before believing Iago's suggestion.
However, becomes immediately convinced after hearing Iago talk about his dream and Cassio finding the handkerchief.
"General camp" speech and "ocular proof"
Proof: "Now I see 'tis true"...but is it?
Othello demands "ocular proof", yet finds Iago's testimony sufficient just moments later
Iago pretends to be contrite and apologetic for his assumptions, causing Othello to convince him that he in fact must say what he was going to say
Iago makes it seem like him telling of the story is something he regrets and does not want to do, causing Othello to trust him and believe the storie's truth
Iago comments that seeing the two in action will be difficult, as they are careful
Then, Iago recounts Cassio's "offenses", and Othello is throughly convinced
Cassio appeals to Desdemona, appeal gives Iago ammunition
Iago preys on uncertainty
Irony in faith and trust
Lack of understanding
Iagos subtle use of language draws them apart
Boldness gives him success
Othello speaks of similarities between false and just men: Irony
Weight of words vs. Cunning consideration
"But let her live"
Iago convinces Othello to kill Cassio, but begs him to let Desdemona live
Iago does this to keep in "character", as the loyal servant who regrets telling the information he must tell. It furthers his reputation as the good guy
"I am your own forever"
Iago's concluding statement is ironic as well as ominous
Iago is subtly comparing his faith to Desdemona, who Othello now believes is no longer his
The statement is Iago's way of replacing Desdemona with himself in Othello's good graces
Hard times with the Handkerchief
Let's keep talking about Cassio?
Despite Othello's clear anger that the loss of the handkerchief, Desdemona insists on talking of Cassio
Desdemona is not naive, yet she is irritated by Othello and his seeming obsession with a handkerchief and total dismissal of Cassio
Prompted by Cassio, Desdemona continues to be forceful in bringing the issue to Othello's attention because she feels Cassio deserves a second chance
Sweaty palms are a sign of lechery/adultery
Two Competing Interpretations:
1. Desdemona has only given her hand in marriage, not her heart
2.Word "hand" occurs twice as much as "heart" showing that Othello prioritizes duty (hand) over emotion (heart)
Othello believes Desdemona has been unfaithful, thus not putting her heart into the marriage
Othello is not rejecting emotion, he is embracing rage and anger
Othello makes no mention of his duties
Othello talks about a myth/folk legend associated with the handkerchief
Egyptian made, charmed to keep a spouse faithful, if lost, the lover will turn toward others in lust
The significance to the play is that it represents Desdemona's "faithlessness"; she lost the handkerchief, so she is unfaithful and has lost Othello's trust
If Desdemona had admitted to accidentally losing the handkerchief...
Othello may have forgiven her, despite being angry
He would not have suspected malice or evil
How Is The Plot Taken Forward
Desdemona told the lie because...
She was scared to admit the loss since she knew it meant a lot to Othello
She thought she could recover it before she was caught without it
Iago plants uncertainty into Othello's head
Othello asks for proof
Iago is given Desdemona's handkerchief
Allows Iago to carry on with his plan
Othello begins to believe Desdemona's love for him is unnatural
Othello's soliloquy is indicative of Iago's influence
Othello uses hawking imagery to demonstrate his suspicions and resentment for Desdemona
Scene 1 : Othello, Iago, Cassio, Emilia
Outside of Othello's house
Iago works out a way to have Cassio and Desdemona speak together privately
Scene 2 : Iago and Othello
Othello gives Iago letters to deliver
Scene 3 : Othello, Iago, Cassio, Desdemona, Emilia
Iago convinces Othello of Desdemona's infidelity, Iago obtains Desdemona's handkerchief and Othello is sent into a vindictive rage