The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Act 2-‘the gathering of a storm’

We started with the lesson by brain storming ‘A Storm’ and what it symbolises in literature (with a beautiful storm musical for effect).

We then had to draw three pictures to illustrate the three scenes in act one. Sir read out passages from each scene which we tried to picture and draw. In this task we were allowed to use speech bubbles. I cannot upload my outstanding art work but here are the passages:
Iago and Roderigo inform Brabantio that his daughter has secretly married Othello. ‘- Scene 1
‘Othello is called to the council on an urgent military business; Brabantio accuses Othello of casting a spell on his daughter’- Scene 2
‘Iago plots revenge, the senate discusses about the war and sends Othello’- Scene 3

Moving on, we read act 2 scene two.We then had to pick out descriptions of Othello from the perspective of Cassio and the governor of Cyprus (Montano). We found that they thought well of him as they described him in a positive manner. For example, Cassio refers to him as ‘Brave Othello’ while Montana declares ‘man commands like a full soldier’. This is significant as he seems to be accepted despite being black. However, this can also be interpreted as Shakespeare playing with dramatic irony because Othello is often referred to by name. This brings up the idea of dichotomy, the split of two things, because though they praise him in public they may think the opposite in private.
We then analysed page 53 by choosing words that are used to describe Desdemona. It was not surprising to find her being described as ‘one excels the quirks of blazing pens’ and being compared to ‘the grace of heaven’, this conforms to the paragon description women received during the renaissance. On the other hand, her description also conveys the stereotype of women being possessions. Desdemona is associated with treasure as her father Brabantio calls her a ‘jewel’ in act 1. This belief is reinforced in act 2 because Cassio lauds Othello for having ‘achieved’ Desdemona . The implication here is that she is a prize or an ornament as Othello has won her. Overall, we concluded that Desdemona was the catalyst causing or triggering Othello’s death as she is ‘the captain’s captain’; she seems tempting could therefore cause trouble.

We had to answer the following Questions:
I. What did you learn today about Othello?
II. What you did not understand?
III. What you find difficult?

Write 10 questions that you would ask Iago in an interview, as he will pop in for a chat next lesson.

Aisha Moallim


  1. I found it interesting how Desdemona was objectified, maybe it made it so it was easier to make her seem a catalyst to tragedy, as she could so easily passed around between characters.

    -->> Good Blog Post Aisha :D <<--

    ~Dylan H. :p~

  2. I agree with Dylan, its strange how much a person can be praised, but at the same time patronised, which I think was the case with Desdemona.The main thing that was said about her was that she is beautiful, as if that is her only purpose, however what makes me question her character is the fact that she was called 'my captain's captain' by Cassion implying that she might be a stronger persona than is made obvious.

    Awesome blog post Aisha x


  3. Nice blog.

    Desdemona kind of confuses me. She hasn't really done anything yet, but I feel like she's going to run off with Iago or Cassio!!!!!!!!!!

    I reckon her and Cassio have got a thing.


  4. Good blog post!

    I believe that Desdemona actually doesn't love Othello much. She never seems to show any compassion towards him- she's probably only interested in his where a bout's maybe for a sense of security. I also agree with Daniel, that Desdemona might run off with Cassio. It's a confusing plot at times, however, I think were in for a shock twist!

    Chris W

  5. I don`t know if Desdemona did have affairs with other men but to me she probably did because of the typical sterotypes of italian women at the time. All sterotypes must have come from somewhere, so she may be conforming to this one with the appearence of caring for Othello as he`s caught her attention for now.

  6. I doubt that desdemona has had affairs or either will because i think that the fact that she went against her family for Othello simply shows just how much she cares for him. I think that Iago is such a manipulator that he will be capable of twisting Desdemonas and Cassios relationship that it will look like she's cheating and this will most like drive Othello mad, as his tragic flaw will most likely be his jealousy.

    Esmeralda ;)

    By the way Aisha ... the Blog is pretty awful am disappointed :P ii Joke it cool

  7. I disagree with Esmerelda, I believe that Othello's relationship with Desdemona will not be spoilt by Iago as I believe their love is too strong, no matter how manipulative and cunning Iago is.

    Good blog Aisha


  8. Desdemona is an interesting character we dont know who she really is maybe she has an evul side to her.on Sonnys point i beleive that desdemona might get tempted in to Iagos trap becasue of the way he twists and plays with peoples minds. Iago might make Desdemona feel that Othello is unworthy.

  9. I wasn't in but this blog has filled me in on what we did in the lesson, great blog very informative. thanks Aisha

    Daniel J.

  10. well done aisha, u did something good for once in your life.
    I agree with Aleks, its weird that she can be praised,aswell as be seen as an item at the time.The main them that was being used when describing Desdemona was her beauty,as if that is her only purpose, however we see her significance when she was called 'my captain's captain' by Cassio


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  12. Good blog Aisha. The blog gives me a clear picture of things done in the class which is really nice....and about Desdemona,her character is a confusing one and I find Iago's thoughts extremely stupid because right now the feelings he has for Desdemona is just from the revenge point of view.Also because he thinks that his wife is not loyal to him.

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  14. thanks.
    very detailed is sure to help anyone that wasn't in....hehehe..

  15. iago like i said in the first blog is a very funny character (not in the good sense. He simply doesn't know how to control himself, he seems to be lost with himself and is looking for an excuse or a scapegoat for his own short comings.