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Othello

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by

George Czar

on 30 July 2013

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Transcript of Othello

Also...

Iago
- Welsh
form of Jacob, a Hebrew word
which means
"heel-grabber".
The Tragedy of
London
Venice
Cyprus
Othello
The Moor of Venice
1603
...or roughly thereabouts
Mondovi
1565
Cinthio's story
Shakespeare's
Othello is published...
"Un Capitano Moro"
is published.
A Presentation by:
Emily K., Jessica F. , Dom W., Adam J., & George C.
"Native West Africans had probably first appeared in London in 1554; certainly, as Eldred Jones points out, by 1601 there were enough black men in London to prompt Elizabeth to express her discontent "at the great number of 'Negars and blackamoors' which are crept into the realm since the troubles between her Highness and the King of Spain."
-from Martin Orkin's "Othello and the 'plain face' of Racism"
*Elizabeth quote from 1601 papers of Robert Cecil
Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun, Secretary and Ambassador for Muley Hamet, King of Barbary, to Queen Elizabeth, 1600.
. . . As such scholars as Eldred Jones and Winthrop Jordan have taught us, there is ample evidence of the existence of color prejudice in the England of Shakespeare's day. This prejudice may be accounted for in a number of ways, including xenophobia-as one proverb first recorded in the early seventeenth century has it, "Three Moors to a Portuguese; three Portuguese to an Englishman"--as well as what V. G. Kiernan sees as a general tendency in the European encounter with Africa, namely, to see Africa as the barbarism against which European civilization defined itself:
Revived memories of antiquity, the Turkish advance, the new horizons opening beyond, all encouraged Europe to see itself afresh as civilization confronting barbarism. . . . Colour, as well as culture, was coming to be a distinguishing feature of Europe.
-from Martin Orkin's "Othello and the 'plain face' of Racism"
First day Q's:
What motivates Iago's revenge?

Why do you think Shakespeare put racist ideas in
the mouths of Iago, Roderigo, and Brabantio?

Would Marquess consider Desdemona a good wife?

Role of reputation?

Island of marriage vs. danger of jealous ideas...

Day 3:
Scenes with handkerchiefs for acting....
Among other changes,
Act I was a Shakespearean addition to Cinthio's original story.
But, back in Shakespeare's day, you could have met people from west Africa and even Bengal in the same London streets.

Of course, there were fewer, and they drew antipathy as well as fascination from the Tudor inhabitants, who had never seen black people before. But we know they lived, worked and intermarried, so it is fair to say that Britain's first black community starts here.

There had been black people in Britain in Roman times, and they are found as musicians in the early Tudor period in England and Scotland.

But the real change came in Elizabeth I's reign, when, through the records, we can pick up ordinary, working, black people, especially in London.

Shakespeare himself, a man fascinated by "the other", wrote several black parts - indeed, two of his greatest characters are black - and the fact that he put them into mainstream entertainment reflects the fact that they were a significant element in the population of London.
-from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18903391
Oh....
O...
Relevance!
So Many Themes,
So Little Time...

Your Brain on Shakespeare:
Race
Gender
Honor / Reputation
Marriage and Military
O...
Other Notes:


Animal/Plant/Nature:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxr_bRDzNISlbVk5SkRzbmVWUUk/edit?usp=sharing


Motives:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxr_bRDzNISlQnE5aDRXbG1CVXc/edit?usp=sharing


Pride:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxr_bRDzNISleEdQWXlVR0I3MUU/edit?usp=sharing

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxr_bRDzNISlSkM2Y0FDQVZPa1U/edit?usp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxr_bRDzNISleXlNYW1CeWUtV2s/edit?usp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxr_bRDzNISlc0RDLTMwTG9VT1E/edit?usp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxr_bRDzNISlajNMS19kUVJKVG8/edit?usp=sharing
?
How is race
used in Othello and O
?
?
What would happen if race is removed from the story
?
?
In what way do you think Brabantio's type of prejudice persists today
?
?
What passage did you find particularly surprising
?
?
What questions do you have about race in Shakespeare's time
?
Desdemona - from Greek meaning ill-fated or unfortunate.
?
Are the characters' reputations an accurate portrayal of their actions?
?
Are Othello's
actions consistent with his reputation ?
?
How does "honest" Iago personify the complexity of reputation
?
?
What passage did you find particularly surprising
?
?

?
?
Do you think Desdemona and Othello consummated their marriage
?
?
?
Female
Loyalty
?
?
Role reversals
?
?
Male perspective of women
?
...a

heel-grabber...
Get it ?
Moors / Barbary
?
Women as possessions
?
?
Ideal woman
vs.
Real woman
?
?
Female
Loyalty
?
?
Role reversals
?
?
Male perspective of women
?
RODERIGO: What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond; but it is not in my virtue to amend it. 320
IAGO: Virtue! a fig! 'tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners: . . .

the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one 330 scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions: but we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion.
Full transcript