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Othello Revision Notes – themes and quotes

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    * Jealousy* Race* Honour and Reputation* Love and Desire* Venus and Cyprus* ConflictJealousy..

    .* Imagery associated with it gives the impression it’s destructive, terrifying and unnatural jealousy. There’s a strong sense of jealousy devouring etc.o “The green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on”o “A monster begot upon itself, born on itself”* The above fits in when Iago describes Othello as being “eaten up with passion”* Jealousy is also deeply humiliating in Othello.

    Iago describes it as a “Passion most unsuiting for a man” (as noble as the Moor of Venice)* Shakespeare’s exploration of jealousy gives three examples of jealousy that shed light on the subject…o Iago’s personal and professional jealous – linked to feelings of envy and sets events in motiono Bianca’s suspicions – mirrors Othello’s closelyo Othello’s towering jealousy – propels him towards tragedy* Jealousy characterises Iago* Othello’s sexual jealousy motivated by affection rather than hatred – example of “green- ey’d monster” flipside of boundless love* Both Othello and Iago feel jealous because they have lost possession of something they held dear* Emilia assesses that it is monstrous, destroys love, honour and nobility in those it afflicts.

    Quotes on Jealousy…o “A jealousy so strong that judgement cannot cure” – Iagoo “Good God, the souls of all my tribe defend from jealousy” – Iagoo “Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy to follow still the changes of the moon with fresh suspicions?” – OthelloRace.

    ..* Othello always referred to as the Moor* Before Othello black characters in Othello were usually villains therefore the presentation of a NOBLE MOOR must mean something* Othello’s race make him an outsider – dislocation and opposition* Early on in the play positive descriptions of Othello’s race and heritage* Desdemona ‘saw Othello’s visage in his mind’ – she looks past his colour* Duke to Bribantio ‘ your son in law is far more fair than black’ – the Dukeeither pleading for racial tolerance or telling Bribantio to accept marriage as Othello is virtuous even though he’s black* Iago, Bribantio and Roderigo find Othello’s race alarming..

    .o “Sooty Bosom”o “Thicklips”o “Old Black Ram”* Hero’s tragedy comes out as Othello can only ever be excepted as an outsiderHonour and Reputation…

    * Iago is a clear example of the idea that the difference between reputation and honor is the difference between appearance and reality.* Iago uses his reputation as an honest man to deceive Othello and everyone else – “”When devils will the blackest sins put on, they do suggest at first with heavenly shows.”* Cassio’s changing reputation has a big part in the outcome of the play* Othello’s reputation – very straight, noble, military generalMore Quotes on Honour and Reputation..

    .o ?”My reputation, my reputation, I have lost my reputation”Love and Desire…

    * “She loved me for the dangers I had passed, and I loved her that she did pity them”* “I humbly do beseech of your pardon, For too much loving you”* “His unkindness may defeat my life, But never taint my love”* “Excellent wretch! Perditon catch my soul, but I do love thee, and when I love thee not, chaos is come again”* “I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot to Palestinefor a touch of his nether lip”Venus and Cyprus…* Cyprus – “This warlike isle”* “In Venice they do let God see the pranks they dare not show their husbands” – IagoConflict.

    ..* Main conflicts in ‘Othello’ are between friends and foes* Othello’s inner conflict* Cultural and racial differences which lead to racial judgment and discrimination* Main reason for most of the conflict is Iago* Shakespeare uses techniques such as soliloquies, dramatic irony, imagery, foreshadowing, and symbolism to show us how Iago causes the conflictsCharacters..

    .* Othello* Desdemona* Iago* Cassio* Emilia* Bribantio* Roderigo* BiancaOthello…

    Violent, warlikeo “Horribly stuffed with epithets of war” – Iagoo “Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it” – Indicates readiness to fight, but equal self-control”o “Rude am I in my speech and little blessed with the soft phrase of peace”o “The warlike Moor Othello” – 3 Gentlemano “The lusty Moor”Calm, peacefulo Our first sight of him shows him rejecting Iago’s vengeful attitude towards Brabantioo “Keep up your bright swords” – non-confrontationalo “Is of a constant, loving, noble nature” – Iagoo “My noble Moor is true of mind and made of no such baseness as jealous creatures are” – Desdemonao “Away at once with love or jealousy” – OthelloCredulouso “The Moor is of a free and open nature, that thinks men honest that but seem to be so,” – IagoAs a savage/ mystico “An abuser of the world, a practiser of arts inhibited” – Brabantioo “What she feared to look on” – BrabantioTrusts Desdemonao “I do love thee; and when I love thee not, chaos is come again”o “If she be false, O then heaven mocks itself; I’ll not believe it”Distrusts Desdemonao “Come, swear it, damn thyself;”… “Swear thou art honest”Evidence of Iago’s influenceo “I am bound to thee for ever”o “Fair Devil”o “I think my wife be honest, and think she is not”o “My lord is not my lord” – Desdemonao “Iago: Will you think so?o Othello: Think so Iago?”o [About Emilia] “She’s a simple bawd”o [About Desdemona] “This is a subtle whore”o “Goats and monkeys!”o “That cunning whore of Venice”Desdemona.

    ..Deceitful, the betrayero “Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters’ minds” – Brabantio (foreshadows Othello’s mistrust of Desdemona)o “So much I challenge that I may profess due to the Moor my lord”o “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see: she has deceived her father and may thee.” – Brabantioo “She must change for youth” – Iagoo Easily adapts her appearance – “I am not merry, but I do beguile the thing I am by seeming otherwise”o “She did deceive her father marrying you, and when she seemed to shake and fear you looks she loved them most” – Iagoo [about her hand] “Here’s a young and sweating devil here that commonly rebels.

    “o “The hearts of old gave hands; but our new heraldry is of hands not hearts”o “If the earth could teem with women’s tears, every drop she falls would prove a crocodile” – Othelloo “Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on, and turn again.”Honest, trustworthyo “A maiden never bold” – Brabantioo “My life upon her faith” – Othelloo “A maid that paragons description and wild fame” – Cassioo “I durst my lord to wager she is honest, lay down my soul at stake.” – EmiliaAffection for Othelloo “She gave me for my pains a world of sighs” – Othelloo “She loved me for the dangers I had passed, and I loved her that she did pity them.”o Hellish/Heavenlyo “Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves should fear to seize thee”o “Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell”o “Thou young and rose-lipped cherubim, ay there look grim as hell!”Iago.

    ..On Othelloo “I follow him to serve my turn upon him”o “Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago”o “He’s that he is; I may not breathe my censure what he might be.”On Cassioo “He hath a daily beauty in his life that makes me ugly”o “A Florentine” (= a very bad thing)Animalso “An old black ram” “A Barbary horse”o sex = “Making the beast with two backs”o “As prime as goats, as hot as monkeys, as salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross as Ignorance made drunk”On womeno “You are pictures out of doors, bells in your parlours, wild-cats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries, devils being offended, players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds”o “You rise to play and go to bed to work”Paradoxes + Oxymoronso “I am not what I am”o “Honest knave”o “Divinity of hell”o “Men should be what they seem; Or those that be not, would they might seem none!”On loveo “I take this, that you call love, to be a sect or scion”Schemingo “Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light”o “With as little a web as this will I ensnare as a great a fly as Cassio.

    “o “Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used”o “The net that shall enmesh them all”o “The Moor already changes with my poison”o “Work on, my medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught”Honesty and duplicityo “By Janus” – Indicates two headed personalityo “A man he is of honesty and trust.” – Othelloo “Honest Iago” – Othello, later Cassioo “Honest fellow” Desdemonao “As honest as I am”o “When devils will the blackest sins put on, they do suggest at first with heavenly shows”Uses his ‘honesty’ to convince people of thingso “I am a very villain else”o “your words and performances are no kin together” – Roderigo (the first character to acknowledge Iago’s treachery”Corruption of Othelloo Vague allusion, intriguing:”Nothing my lord; or if – I know not what”o Curiosity and secrecy:”Did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady, know of your love?””For a satisfaction of my thought”o Questioning and echoing”Othello: Is he not honest?Iago: Honest, my lord?””Othello: What dost thou think?Iago: Think, my lord?”o Diffidence”Utter my thoughts! Why, say they are vile and false?”o Warning against jealousy”It is my nature’s plague to spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy shapes faults that are not””Beware, my lord, of jealousy: it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.””O, what damned minutes tells he o’er who dotes, yet doubts, suspects yet fondly loves”o Gives evidence of Desdemona’s previous treachery”She did deceive her father marrying you, and when she seemed to shake and fear you looks she loved them most” – Iagoo Othello questions Desdemona’s attraction to him”Haply, for I am black and have not those soft parts of conversation that chamberers have, or for I am declined into the vale of years”o Iago becomes increasingly graphic in his descriptions of Desdemona’s infidelity”Would you, the supervisor grossly gape on? Behold her topped?””As prime as goats, as hot as monkeys, as salt as wolves in pride”o Begins to illustrate Cassio’s guilt”In sleep I heard him say “Sweet Desdemona let us be wary, let us hide our loves””o Introduces the handkerchief”Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief spotted with strawberries in your wife’s hand?”o Confirmation of loyalty”Here doth Iago give up the execution of his wit, hands, heart, to wronged Othello’s service””I am you own for ever”Cassio..

    .o “Mere prattle without practise” -Iagoo “‘Tis my breeding that gives me this bold show of courtesy” (demonstrates his class superiority over Iago)o “I fear Cassio with my night-cap too” – Iagoo “I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth than it should do offence to Michael Cassio” – Iagoo “I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial”o [on Bianca] “Sweet Bianca”…

    “Go to, woman!”o ‘When he hears of her, he cannot refrain from the excess of laughter” – Iagoo “Alas, poor caitiff!”o “I marry her? What! A customer! I prithee, bear some charity to my wit. Do not think it so unwholesome.”o “‘Tis such another fitchew! Marry, a perfumed one”..

    . “my sweet Bianca”Eilia…

    o “Alas she has no speech” – Desdemonao “I nothing but to please his fantasy”o [on men] “They are all but stomachs, and we all but food; they eat us hungerly, and when they are full, they belch us.”o “She’s a simple bawd” – Othelloo “Nor I neither by this heavenly light; I might do’t as well i’th’dark”o “Who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch?”o ” I do say it is their husbands’ fault if wives do fall”o “We have galls, ad though we have some grace, yet we have some revenge. Let husbands know their wives have sense like them”o “Then let them use us well, else let them know the ills we do, their ills instruct us so.”Bribantio.

    ..o Look to her, Moor; have a quick eye to see. She has deceiv’d her father; may do thee!Roderigoo “Thou silly gentlemen” – Iagoo “Put money in thy purse” – Iagoo Iago advises him not to kill himself, so that he can help Iago furthero “Thus do I ever make my fool my purse” – Iago

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