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Q3 Othello: summary, characterizations, major topics

Q3 Othello: summary, characterizations, major topics

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Q3 Othello: summary, characterizations, major topics

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William Shakespeare: Othello
written around 1603 and first performed in the Globe Theatre in 1604;
first printed version was published in

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● William Shakespeare: Othello written around 1603 and first performed in the Globe Theatre in 1604; first printed version was published in England, 1622, the Renaissance Drama comprises five acts Act I is set in Venice Acts II to V is set on Cyprus ACTI • Play opens with lago and Roderigo (rich Venetian gentlemen) meeting in a street in Venice • Roderigo jewels to win Desdemona over for him ● Plot overview lago complains about Othello promoting Michael Cassio as his lieutenant instead of him • lago and Roderigo wake Brabantio up to tell him that his daughter secretly married Othello; Brabantio is furious and accuses Othello of having used magic to steal his daughter →>>> Othello claims that he won Desdemona's love not by magic but by telling her the story of his life Desdemona confirms this and professes her love and allegiance (Treue) to her husband; she asks for permission to accompany her husband • Roderigo is dejected and wants to drown himself lago consoles him by saying that he would undermine the couple´s love relationship by convincing Othello that Desdemona betrays him with Cassio ● lago delivers a soliloquy, in which he lays out his plans to deceive other characters The story of an African general in the Venetian army who is tricked into suspecting his wife of adultery. One...

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of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, Othello is concerned with the themes of race, jealousy and gullibility, as well as the dangers that can arise from a failure to see beyond the surface appearances. ACT II • Terrible storm rages, delaying the arrival of the Venetians on Cyprus Othello eventually makes it to the island with the news that the Turkish fleet has been wrecked in the wild sea ● lago portrays all women, whether beautiful, ugly, smart, or foolish, as generally deceptive and sex- starved. But he also says that a woman with perfect virtue would be boring. lago tells Roderigo that Desdemona will soon become tired of Othello and is already showing interest in Cassio • uses "reality" – Cassio taking Desdi's hand to spin an illusion that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. ● • To celebrate the destruction of the Turkish fleet in the storm, the Venetians gather in a hall in the castle lago tries to convince Cassio to actually take a shot at seducing Desdemona by alluding to the idea that demure (sittsam) women are probably just hiding their inner whore. Cassio, like Othello, takes people at face value. Unable to manipulate Cassio only with words, lago progresses toward more directly bodily means: alcohol under the influence of alcohol he insults Roderigo and injures Montano Othello is disgusted by Cassio's behaviour and removes him from his position By saying he doesn't know what happened, lago makes it look like he is trying to protect Cassio.. As usual, lago pretends that he does not want to say what he is about to say, which makes what he is saying seem even more authentic. lago counsels him to approach Desdemona for help to regain Othello's favour lago moves his plot into its second phase: to twist two noble traits—Cassio's desire to regain his honor and Desdemona's generosity-to provoke Othello's doubt of Desdemona and sexual jealousy of Cassio. 1 АСТ III With the help of lago's wife Emilia, Cassio gets access to Desdemona she promises him to speak with Othello on his behalf • Cassio leaves when Othello arrives because he doesn't want to meet the general now Desdemona speaks to Othello asking to reinstate Cassio as a lieutenant → Othello hesitates Othello's sudden curtness to Desdemona may indicate that he is already suspicious of her, just from seeing Cassio rush away. For her part, Desdemona insists on her obedience to him as a virtuous wife. ● lago uses Cassio's hasty exit and Desdemona's pleading for Cassio to rouse Othello's suspicion, insinuating (unterstellen) that Desdemona has an affair lago once again plants seeds of doubt while making himself look innocent by airing his suspicions and then arguing that they can't possibly be true: lago makes a show of saying that his suspicions must be wrong because Cassio seems so honest, but in the process begins his insinuations (Andeutungen) ● Later, lago describes how he will stage yet another scene and control how the other characters will interpret it: he will get his wife to set up a private meeting between Cassio and Desdemona, then make sure that Othello observes this meeting. He warns Othello against the dangers of "the green-eyed monster" (3.3.165-7) of jealousy, while at the same time noting that Desdemona did successfully deceive her father. Green-eyed monster grows bigger if continuously fed with more doubts Othello tells lago to have Emilia watch Desdemona, and lago tells Othello to watch how Desdemona acts regarding Cassio. ● Othello, alone, now voices worry that perhaps it's unrealistic for him to expect Desdemona to love him when he is black, not well mannered, and considerably older than she is. He curses marriage and laments that it is the fate of "great ones" to be cuckolded As soon as doubt about Desdemona's faithfulness creeps in, Othello loses his sense of manhood and begins to be affected by the racial prejudice that he had formerly shrugged off. Desdemona tries to soothe him with her handkerchief, but Othello says it is too small and drops it to the floor. They exit to go to dinner. Emilia then picks up the handkerchief, noting that Desdemona treasures it since it was the first gift that Othello gave to her, and also that lago is always asking her to steal it for some reason. She decides to make a copy of the handkerchief for him. lago puts it in Cassio's room ● ● lago kindles Othello's jealousy by telling that he heard Cassio fantasizing in his dream about Desdemona & that he heard that Cassio is in possession of the handkerchief Othello vows revenge and makes lago lieutenant ● • When Othello asks Desdemona for the handkerchief she is unable to present it ➜ he is upset and becomes angry and unkind; jealousy has taken hold of him Othello states that the uncertainty of jealousy is actually worse than the possible crime, and expressly connects his worrying with the loss of military glory, of honor and manhood. ● He seeks to eliminate the uncertainty by getting proof-by seeing reality. • lago responds that it's probably impossible to actually catch Desdemona and Cassio in the act of infidelity, but that he can provide circumstantial evidence. He says that one recent night he and Cassio slept in the same bed, and that Cassio, while asleep, called out Desdemona's name, kissed lago, lay his leg over lago's thigh, and cursed fate for giving Desdemona to the Moor. Othello is enraged, saying "I'll tear her all to pieces" (3.3.438). But lago cautions Othello that it was just Cassio's dream and may not signify anything about Desdemona's faithfulness. Then lago asks whether Othello once gave Desdemona a handkerchief with strawberries embroidered on it (this is the kerchief that Emilia earlier picked up). When Othello says yes, lago sadly informs him that earlier that day he saw Cassio holding the handkerchief. → Again, lago is most deceitful precisely in the moments in which he pretends to be most moderate. And, once again, he follows a moment of backing off with an insinuation calculated to drive Othello still madder with jealousy-all carefully staged. 2 Othello vows that he will take revenge on Cassio and Desdemona. lago kneels and vows as well. Othello makes lago his new lieutenant. Scene IV: • takes Desdemona's hand, and notes that it is moist. When Desdemona tries to bring up Cassio's suit, Othello says he has a headache and asks for the handkerchief he gave her. When, Desdemona admits she doesn't have it at hand, Othello tells her that the handkerchief is magic, was given to his mother by an Egyptian sorceress, and that a woman who loses it will lose her husband. Othello obsessively tries to find evidence of infidelity. When Othello demands that she go get it, she tries to change the subject back to Cassio's suit. This enrages Othello, who exits. Emilia wonders if Othello is jealous, then comments on how fickle men are towards women. → Bringing up Cassio in good faith, she plays right into lago's hands. Cassio asks his mistress Bianca to copy the embroidery on the handkerchief he found in his chamber; he doesn't know that its Desdemona's ACT IV Othello suspects that Desdemona gave the missing handkerchief to her new lover • lago tells Othello that Cassio said he spent a night with Desdemona; Othello falls into an epileptic fit. lago says that he will get Cassio to talk about the details of his affair with Desdemona, and that Othello should hide and watch Cassio's face during the conversation. ● Cassio describes his relationship with the prostitute Bianca in a light-hearted and joking manner; Othello believes he is talking about Desdemona and is totally enraged ● Bianca enters; gives Cassio the handkerchief proof for the infidelity of Desdemona lago offers the furious Othello to kill Cassio for him; suggests that he should strangle his wife Desdemona enters with Lodovico (a messenger from Venice); he announces that Othello is commanded home and Cassio should take his place on Cyprus Desdemona expresses her joy; Othello strikes her The presence of Lodovico as an emissary from Venice also reinforces how dramatically Othello has changed from the early scenes in Venice. Jealousy and the fear that he has been cuckolded have robbed him of his honor, and he now acts recklessly, angrily, and without self-control. ● ● Scene II: Despite naively playing into lago's hands earlier by giving him the handkerchief, Emilia shows her earnest loyalty to Desdemona. When the couple is alone, Othello calls Desdemona "whore", "public commoner" "strumpet" Desdemona denies being unfaithful and asserts both her love and loyalty to Othello He tells her to wait for him in bed and send Emilia away Desdemona asks Emilia to fetch lago, whom Desdemona then questions about Othello's behavior. Emilia thinks that it must be the doing of some "eternal villain" who is looking "to get some office" lago has persuaded Roderigo that he has to kill Cassio if he still wants to have a chance of winning Desdemona ● ● ● Scene III: Othello orders Desdemona to go directly to bed and to dismiss Emilia. Emilia helps Desdemona prepare for bed. As they discuss Othello, D tells her how much she still loves Othello in spite of his behaviour Yet Desdemona's next words is to instruct Emilia to use the wedding bedsheets as a shroud for her should she die. Desdemona then sings a song called "Willow" that she learned from her mother's maid, a woman who's husband went mad and abandoned her. Desdemona then asks Emilia whether she would commit adultery. Emilia responds that woman are just like men, and will cheat on their husbands if their husbands cheat on them. 3 Emilia complains that only men are allowed to have affairs. She arguments for equality and sexual needs of women. ACT V Moved by lago's loyalty to him, Othello steels himself to go and kill Desdemona in her bed ● In front of Lodovico and Graziano lago identifies Roderigo as one of the "villains" who attacked Cassio, and stabs and kills Roderigo. the death will hide the fact that lago has kept the gold and jewels Roderigo had given him for Desdemona Scene II: Othello has decided to kill Desdemona to bring about justice (morally right) • torn between his love to her and his resolve to serve cruel justice Desdemona professes her innocence asserting she only loved Othello → he stifles her ● lago instructs Roderigo to ambush Cassio Cassio is seriously injured, lago wounds Cassio from behind and then runs away. From a distance, Othello hears Cassio's shouts of pain and believes that lago has killed Cassio. ● Emilia comes in to report on Roderigo's death and discovers the dying Desdemona Othello claims he killed Desdemona because he had proof of her infidelity from lago Emilia tells him that Desdemona never loved anybody but Othello (did not deserve her love, raises alarm) ● ● Emilia discloses that her husband lago was behind this evil plot → She shows her independence and loyalty to both Desdemona and to the truth > lago kills her Othello tries to kill lago • The wounded Cassio explains how the handkerchief came into his possession • Othello realizes his terrible mistake and stabs himself lago is tried and executed CHARACTERS: ● Othello: A Christian Moor who has earned a high reputation as a general in the Venetian army and has recently married Desdemona, daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio. characterized by his honest (perhaps even naïve) nature, which, together with his status as an outsider, leaves him vulnerable to lago's plots to make him suspect his loyal wife of infidelity. Weakness: gullibility and blind jealousy he advanced in his career from a slave to an experienced soldier and general Respected and valued as a commander and for his military qualities although he claims the opposite, he is a skillful speaker and appears to Brabantio with dignity and objectivity, without allowing himself to be provoked when jealous → unreasonable, brutal Despite the appreciation he receives as a soldier, Othello, as an African, remains an outsider in the Venetian society Double standard of the V.society: use his military service but reject his skin color (Brabantio) rigid sense of justice → kills Desdemona reason for his gullibility: soldiery: he had lived for the war, either a friend or an enemy 4 Othello is both an outsider and an insider in the Venetian society: - His race, physical appearance, and remarkable life history set him apart from the other Venetians. - The duke and other characters treat him as an essential part of the state. lago "Put money in thy purse." (I,iii, ll. 330 ff.) The quiet calm of his character and his skillful avoidance of conflict is surprising. →repetition; alliteration →lago takes advantage of Roderigo's naivity opportunistic world view Othello is not presented as a savage barbarian on stage, but as a well- respected general. $ →puppet master: he manipulates them/plays them like a fiddle!) Desdemona The Daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio. Having been charmed by Othello's tales of exotic lands and military exploits, Desdemona elopes with him before the play begins. She follows Othello to Cyprus and shows constant loyalty to him, even to the moment of death, when he kills her on false suspicions that she has been unfaithful. Brave, ready to go beyond the conventions and gives up her privileged life as a senator's daughter to live modestly with Othello Seen as the embodiment of the virtue: Roderigo does not believe lago at first Her innocent and honest nature contributes to her downfall She stands up for Cassio → reinforces Othello's suspicion Michael Cassio A young, charming, and handsome soldier, whom Othello promotes to the rank of lieutenant, over the more experienced lago. Cassio is loyal to Othello and friendly with Desdemona, though he's unkind to the prostitute Bianca, who seems to love him. lago easily ensnares (verwickelt) the unwitting (ahnungsloser) Cassio in a plot to convince Othello that Desdemona has cheated on him with Cassio. Low tolerance for alcohol, short-tempered nature → easy prey for lago Emilia lago's wife and Desdemona's friend and serving woman. Innocent accomplice despite her best intentions Better judge of character and sense of reality: she recognizes Othello's jealousy and realizes that women are passive and have a subordinate role in the society believes that many women, including herself, would cheat on their husbands under certain circumstances. she proves her own, independent virtue by defending Desdemona's virtue and revealing her husband's crimes in the process → loyal to her mistress till the end (her last words: "Lay me by my mistress" LO 5

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Q3 Othello: summary, characterizations, major topics

Q3 Othello: summary, characterizations, major topics

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Q3 Othello: summary, characterizations, major topics

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 ●
William Shakespeare: Othello
written around 1603 and first performed in the Globe Theatre in 1604;
first printed version was published in

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Vielen Dank, wirklich hilfreich für mich, da wir gerade genau das Thema in der Schule haben 😁

Abilernzettel Englisch 2022

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● William Shakespeare: Othello written around 1603 and first performed in the Globe Theatre in 1604; first printed version was published in England, 1622, the Renaissance Drama comprises five acts Act I is set in Venice Acts II to V is set on Cyprus ACTI • Play opens with lago and Roderigo (rich Venetian gentlemen) meeting in a street in Venice • Roderigo jewels to win Desdemona over for him ● Plot overview lago complains about Othello promoting Michael Cassio as his lieutenant instead of him • lago and Roderigo wake Brabantio up to tell him that his daughter secretly married Othello; Brabantio is furious and accuses Othello of having used magic to steal his daughter →>>> Othello claims that he won Desdemona's love not by magic but by telling her the story of his life Desdemona confirms this and professes her love and allegiance (Treue) to her husband; she asks for permission to accompany her husband • Roderigo is dejected and wants to drown himself lago consoles him by saying that he would undermine the couple´s love relationship by convincing Othello that Desdemona betrays him with Cassio ● lago delivers a soliloquy, in which he lays out his plans to deceive other characters The story of an African general in the Venetian army who is tricked into suspecting his wife of adultery. One...

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of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, Othello is concerned with the themes of race, jealousy and gullibility, as well as the dangers that can arise from a failure to see beyond the surface appearances. ACT II • Terrible storm rages, delaying the arrival of the Venetians on Cyprus Othello eventually makes it to the island with the news that the Turkish fleet has been wrecked in the wild sea ● lago portrays all women, whether beautiful, ugly, smart, or foolish, as generally deceptive and sex- starved. But he also says that a woman with perfect virtue would be boring. lago tells Roderigo that Desdemona will soon become tired of Othello and is already showing interest in Cassio • uses "reality" – Cassio taking Desdi's hand to spin an illusion that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. ● • To celebrate the destruction of the Turkish fleet in the storm, the Venetians gather in a hall in the castle lago tries to convince Cassio to actually take a shot at seducing Desdemona by alluding to the idea that demure (sittsam) women are probably just hiding their inner whore. Cassio, like Othello, takes people at face value. Unable to manipulate Cassio only with words, lago progresses toward more directly bodily means: alcohol under the influence of alcohol he insults Roderigo and injures Montano Othello is disgusted by Cassio's behaviour and removes him from his position By saying he doesn't know what happened, lago makes it look like he is trying to protect Cassio.. As usual, lago pretends that he does not want to say what he is about to say, which makes what he is saying seem even more authentic. lago counsels him to approach Desdemona for help to regain Othello's favour lago moves his plot into its second phase: to twist two noble traits—Cassio's desire to regain his honor and Desdemona's generosity-to provoke Othello's doubt of Desdemona and sexual jealousy of Cassio. 1 АСТ III With the help of lago's wife Emilia, Cassio gets access to Desdemona she promises him to speak with Othello on his behalf • Cassio leaves when Othello arrives because he doesn't want to meet the general now Desdemona speaks to Othello asking to reinstate Cassio as a lieutenant → Othello hesitates Othello's sudden curtness to Desdemona may indicate that he is already suspicious of her, just from seeing Cassio rush away. For her part, Desdemona insists on her obedience to him as a virtuous wife. ● lago uses Cassio's hasty exit and Desdemona's pleading for Cassio to rouse Othello's suspicion, insinuating (unterstellen) that Desdemona has an affair lago once again plants seeds of doubt while making himself look innocent by airing his suspicions and then arguing that they can't possibly be true: lago makes a show of saying that his suspicions must be wrong because Cassio seems so honest, but in the process begins his insinuations (Andeutungen) ● Later, lago describes how he will stage yet another scene and control how the other characters will interpret it: he will get his wife to set up a private meeting between Cassio and Desdemona, then make sure that Othello observes this meeting. He warns Othello against the dangers of "the green-eyed monster" (3.3.165-7) of jealousy, while at the same time noting that Desdemona did successfully deceive her father. Green-eyed monster grows bigger if continuously fed with more doubts Othello tells lago to have Emilia watch Desdemona, and lago tells Othello to watch how Desdemona acts regarding Cassio. ● Othello, alone, now voices worry that perhaps it's unrealistic for him to expect Desdemona to love him when he is black, not well mannered, and considerably older than she is. He curses marriage and laments that it is the fate of "great ones" to be cuckolded As soon as doubt about Desdemona's faithfulness creeps in, Othello loses his sense of manhood and begins to be affected by the racial prejudice that he had formerly shrugged off. Desdemona tries to soothe him with her handkerchief, but Othello says it is too small and drops it to the floor. They exit to go to dinner. Emilia then picks up the handkerchief, noting that Desdemona treasures it since it was the first gift that Othello gave to her, and also that lago is always asking her to steal it for some reason. She decides to make a copy of the handkerchief for him. lago puts it in Cassio's room ● ● lago kindles Othello's jealousy by telling that he heard Cassio fantasizing in his dream about Desdemona & that he heard that Cassio is in possession of the handkerchief Othello vows revenge and makes lago lieutenant ● • When Othello asks Desdemona for the handkerchief she is unable to present it ➜ he is upset and becomes angry and unkind; jealousy has taken hold of him Othello states that the uncertainty of jealousy is actually worse than the possible crime, and expressly connects his worrying with the loss of military glory, of honor and manhood. ● He seeks to eliminate the uncertainty by getting proof-by seeing reality. • lago responds that it's probably impossible to actually catch Desdemona and Cassio in the act of infidelity, but that he can provide circumstantial evidence. He says that one recent night he and Cassio slept in the same bed, and that Cassio, while asleep, called out Desdemona's name, kissed lago, lay his leg over lago's thigh, and cursed fate for giving Desdemona to the Moor. Othello is enraged, saying "I'll tear her all to pieces" (3.3.438). But lago cautions Othello that it was just Cassio's dream and may not signify anything about Desdemona's faithfulness. Then lago asks whether Othello once gave Desdemona a handkerchief with strawberries embroidered on it (this is the kerchief that Emilia earlier picked up). When Othello says yes, lago sadly informs him that earlier that day he saw Cassio holding the handkerchief. → Again, lago is most deceitful precisely in the moments in which he pretends to be most moderate. And, once again, he follows a moment of backing off with an insinuation calculated to drive Othello still madder with jealousy-all carefully staged. 2 Othello vows that he will take revenge on Cassio and Desdemona. lago kneels and vows as well. Othello makes lago his new lieutenant. Scene IV: • takes Desdemona's hand, and notes that it is moist. When Desdemona tries to bring up Cassio's suit, Othello says he has a headache and asks for the handkerchief he gave her. When, Desdemona admits she doesn't have it at hand, Othello tells her that the handkerchief is magic, was given to his mother by an Egyptian sorceress, and that a woman who loses it will lose her husband. Othello obsessively tries to find evidence of infidelity. When Othello demands that she go get it, she tries to change the subject back to Cassio's suit. This enrages Othello, who exits. Emilia wonders if Othello is jealous, then comments on how fickle men are towards women. → Bringing up Cassio in good faith, she plays right into lago's hands. Cassio asks his mistress Bianca to copy the embroidery on the handkerchief he found in his chamber; he doesn't know that its Desdemona's ACT IV Othello suspects that Desdemona gave the missing handkerchief to her new lover • lago tells Othello that Cassio said he spent a night with Desdemona; Othello falls into an epileptic fit. lago says that he will get Cassio to talk about the details of his affair with Desdemona, and that Othello should hide and watch Cassio's face during the conversation. ● Cassio describes his relationship with the prostitute Bianca in a light-hearted and joking manner; Othello believes he is talking about Desdemona and is totally enraged ● Bianca enters; gives Cassio the handkerchief proof for the infidelity of Desdemona lago offers the furious Othello to kill Cassio for him; suggests that he should strangle his wife Desdemona enters with Lodovico (a messenger from Venice); he announces that Othello is commanded home and Cassio should take his place on Cyprus Desdemona expresses her joy; Othello strikes her The presence of Lodovico as an emissary from Venice also reinforces how dramatically Othello has changed from the early scenes in Venice. Jealousy and the fear that he has been cuckolded have robbed him of his honor, and he now acts recklessly, angrily, and without self-control. ● ● Scene II: Despite naively playing into lago's hands earlier by giving him the handkerchief, Emilia shows her earnest loyalty to Desdemona. When the couple is alone, Othello calls Desdemona "whore", "public commoner" "strumpet" Desdemona denies being unfaithful and asserts both her love and loyalty to Othello He tells her to wait for him in bed and send Emilia away Desdemona asks Emilia to fetch lago, whom Desdemona then questions about Othello's behavior. Emilia thinks that it must be the doing of some "eternal villain" who is looking "to get some office" lago has persuaded Roderigo that he has to kill Cassio if he still wants to have a chance of winning Desdemona ● ● ● Scene III: Othello orders Desdemona to go directly to bed and to dismiss Emilia. Emilia helps Desdemona prepare for bed. As they discuss Othello, D tells her how much she still loves Othello in spite of his behaviour Yet Desdemona's next words is to instruct Emilia to use the wedding bedsheets as a shroud for her should she die. Desdemona then sings a song called "Willow" that she learned from her mother's maid, a woman who's husband went mad and abandoned her. Desdemona then asks Emilia whether she would commit adultery. Emilia responds that woman are just like men, and will cheat on their husbands if their husbands cheat on them. 3 Emilia complains that only men are allowed to have affairs. She arguments for equality and sexual needs of women. ACT V Moved by lago's loyalty to him, Othello steels himself to go and kill Desdemona in her bed ● In front of Lodovico and Graziano lago identifies Roderigo as one of the "villains" who attacked Cassio, and stabs and kills Roderigo. the death will hide the fact that lago has kept the gold and jewels Roderigo had given him for Desdemona Scene II: Othello has decided to kill Desdemona to bring about justice (morally right) • torn between his love to her and his resolve to serve cruel justice Desdemona professes her innocence asserting she only loved Othello → he stifles her ● lago instructs Roderigo to ambush Cassio Cassio is seriously injured, lago wounds Cassio from behind and then runs away. From a distance, Othello hears Cassio's shouts of pain and believes that lago has killed Cassio. ● Emilia comes in to report on Roderigo's death and discovers the dying Desdemona Othello claims he killed Desdemona because he had proof of her infidelity from lago Emilia tells him that Desdemona never loved anybody but Othello (did not deserve her love, raises alarm) ● ● Emilia discloses that her husband lago was behind this evil plot → She shows her independence and loyalty to both Desdemona and to the truth > lago kills her Othello tries to kill lago • The wounded Cassio explains how the handkerchief came into his possession • Othello realizes his terrible mistake and stabs himself lago is tried and executed CHARACTERS: ● Othello: A Christian Moor who has earned a high reputation as a general in the Venetian army and has recently married Desdemona, daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio. characterized by his honest (perhaps even naïve) nature, which, together with his status as an outsider, leaves him vulnerable to lago's plots to make him suspect his loyal wife of infidelity. Weakness: gullibility and blind jealousy he advanced in his career from a slave to an experienced soldier and general Respected and valued as a commander and for his military qualities although he claims the opposite, he is a skillful speaker and appears to Brabantio with dignity and objectivity, without allowing himself to be provoked when jealous → unreasonable, brutal Despite the appreciation he receives as a soldier, Othello, as an African, remains an outsider in the Venetian society Double standard of the V.society: use his military service but reject his skin color (Brabantio) rigid sense of justice → kills Desdemona reason for his gullibility: soldiery: he had lived for the war, either a friend or an enemy 4 Othello is both an outsider and an insider in the Venetian society: - His race, physical appearance, and remarkable life history set him apart from the other Venetians. - The duke and other characters treat him as an essential part of the state. lago "Put money in thy purse." (I,iii, ll. 330 ff.) The quiet calm of his character and his skillful avoidance of conflict is surprising. →repetition; alliteration →lago takes advantage of Roderigo's naivity opportunistic world view Othello is not presented as a savage barbarian on stage, but as a well- respected general. $ →puppet master: he manipulates them/plays them like a fiddle!) Desdemona The Daughter of the Venetian senator Brabantio. Having been charmed by Othello's tales of exotic lands and military exploits, Desdemona elopes with him before the play begins. She follows Othello to Cyprus and shows constant loyalty to him, even to the moment of death, when he kills her on false suspicions that she has been unfaithful. Brave, ready to go beyond the conventions and gives up her privileged life as a senator's daughter to live modestly with Othello Seen as the embodiment of the virtue: Roderigo does not believe lago at first Her innocent and honest nature contributes to her downfall She stands up for Cassio → reinforces Othello's suspicion Michael Cassio A young, charming, and handsome soldier, whom Othello promotes to the rank of lieutenant, over the more experienced lago. Cassio is loyal to Othello and friendly with Desdemona, though he's unkind to the prostitute Bianca, who seems to love him. lago easily ensnares (verwickelt) the unwitting (ahnungsloser) Cassio in a plot to convince Othello that Desdemona has cheated on him with Cassio. Low tolerance for alcohol, short-tempered nature → easy prey for lago Emilia lago's wife and Desdemona's friend and serving woman. Innocent accomplice despite her best intentions Better judge of character and sense of reality: she recognizes Othello's jealousy and realizes that women are passive and have a subordinate role in the society believes that many women, including herself, would cheat on their husbands under certain circumstances. she proves her own, independent virtue by defending Desdemona's virtue and revealing her husband's crimes in the process → loyal to her mistress till the end (her last words: "Lay me by my mistress" LO 5