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, 24 November 2010

23rd November ’10, Tuesday

Othello: Act 3 Scene 3 the tipping point scene.

We started the lesson with an activity that was writing 3 words on each of the 6 pictures that were put up on the board. These pictures showed various things like love, manipulation, pouring of pestilence into Othello’s ear etc. After that we focused on line 229 spoken by Othello of Act 3 Scene 3 i.e. “And yet how nature erring from itself-“ this break in his sentence shows that he is losing the flow in his speech and also shows that the Othello is no more the one who could stop fights with his words. We then went through Othello’s soliloquy which marks the change in Othello i.e. in the words he uses and his behaviour.

We then continued reading Scene 3 and reached an important part of the play i.e. the dropping of the handkerchief by Desdemona. The handkerchief was the first gift that Othello had given to Desdemona. The handkerchief is the main tool used by Iago to bring about the tragedy that he wanted. The next important thing in Scene 3 is the use of Imperatives (commands/orders) by Iago on pg: 119 these give us ideas about Iago which state that he doesn’t love Emilia instead he uses her as a tool, it might also be an hint of homosexuality or the status of women in those times.

Then the course of action is set up by Othello when he asks Iago for visual proof of Desdemona cheating on him. We continued reading and we found that Othello is now in conflict with himself. He has also started making use of violent imagery and antithesis which shows Iago’s influence on him. Iago in his next line i.e.” I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion.” Sums up what has happened to Othello.

As we continue reading we came across a pentameter split (they share the verse, they come together on the basis of their thoughts) between Iago and Othello. And we see a massive change in Othello when he says: “I’ll tear her all into pieces!” at the end of pg: 125, this line of Othello comes in contrast with his line on pg: 115 where he says: “If she be false, O then heaven mocks itself; I’ll not believe it.” This shift in Othello’s thoughts within the span of 150 lines becomes an evidence for his minds instability. We read through the whole of Scene 3 and came across powerful imagery and few lines like “Do not rise yet” which show that Iago is the one in power now.

• For Home Work : Make a flow chart of Act 3 Scene 3 showing the way Othello shifts from being confident in Desdemona to being confident in Iago.
• Read the sheet given by Sir a few classes ago.
• Comment on this blog.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

What is a thesis statement?

We began the lesson discussing what makes a thesis statement great. We did this by comparing two thesis statements:

The character of Ben in Arthur Miller’s Death of A Salesman serves a complex dramatic function.


Ben personifies the defeat of Willy’s hopes in regards to both material success and the proper role of a father. 

We concluded that the second one is better because it answers the question and the reader can pick out the foundation of the essay, therefore the main body of the essay will consist of evidence supporting the thesis statement.

A thesis statement:
tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the essay.
directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself.
makes a claim that others might dispute.
is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organises evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

Overall, the main outcome of the lesson was to understand a thesis statement- presents an arugment rather than re-phrasing the question. Also a thesis statment DOES NOT state facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it's possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.

HOMEWORK: work on coursework, bring it in next lesson to work on during class. Also comment on what you have just read :D

Kind regards, Aisha

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Is Iago homosexual?

Hi :D

We started this lesson by firstly discussing whether or not Iago could possibly be gay.

Many came to the judgment that he probably isn’t, as even though he constantly states his “love” for Othello this could be to only deceive him more rather then showing his actual feelings. Sir asked us the question whether Iago may be jealous of Othello’s love towards Cassio.

We had this discussion in order to understand that there are many different interpretations of the play, as many readers create different meanings of the text. This is one of the AO criteria meaning that it should be included in your coursework answer. What should also be included is information on views of the time the play was written, such as women and black people.

We then (due to the fact that it was Eid and not all the class was in) watched Othello the movie.

The End

P.s I’m such a awesome student I wasn’t even told to do this.

Esmeralda ;)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

There is no Othello without Iago

At the beginning of the lesson the task was to think of a time when you have been tempted to do something, we had to write 1 paragraph on it and state:
-end result
Then we moved onto a whether or not Iago is more of a tragic hero then Othello, what we think of this view and also is Othello even a tragic hero?.

we came to the conclusion that Iago is like the puppet master and he practically controls everyones next move with emotional blackmail and deceptive comments etc.
Iago is the one putting negativity into Othello's head and now Othello is using references to what Iago has said before, whereas he never used to for example when Othello says "forked plague" this means a husband that has been lied to, this shows that he believes in what Iago is saying about Desdemona being deceptive.
Othello shows other signs of Iago's references for example lines 179-194 of Act 3 Scene 3 Othello uses the word doubt four times this shows us that he is undermining his words and trying to convince himself what he is saying is true and this also shows that Iago's negative words are seeping its way into Othello's thoughts and the language he uses.

Iago uses many different techniques to put words into Othello's mouth like when they describe a man of colour Iago usually says something harsh and with negative imagery for example in one of the first speeches of act 3 scene 3 that Iago says he tries to slyly say to Othello that Desdemona is capable of lying and she has already done it to her dad so she would do it to him to the audience can see that Othello is swayed by this and agrees a little.
In the second speech that Iago says to Othello he lied to Desdemona's dad because he loves Othello and tries to suck up to him and in return Othello says that he is in Iago's debt,
Iago then starts saying to Othello that he has seen what its done to Othello but Othello is in denial and keeps repeating that it hasn't effected him this shows that he is trying to convince himself that what he is saying is true once again and also it shows that Iago is succeeding in getting Othello to doubt himself.

To sum it up we had to say what the quote "there is no Othello without Iago" meant to us in the light of this scene, some people came up with the conclusion that it meant that Iago controls Othello and all the actions Othello does are composed by Iago etc.

Our homework was to write about how language, structure and form effect a soliloquy, we have to use the term Lexis (speech) and...
-How is the influence over Othello shown in a soliloquy?
-use the term antithesis
-how does the form of soliloquy add to this effect?
And last but not least we have to finish reading notes for separation on Tuesdays lesson...

Arigatou Gozaimasu >.<

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The tragic tipping point

Our starter was to define what we thought the tragic tipping point was in a play with which some members in the class shared their views on it (most of the class agreed that it was the point where everything would soon crumble into a tragedy). Then we watched the start of Orsen Welles famous 1952 version of Othello which showed the tombs of Desdemona and Othello being carried to their resting places (you can find this version of Othello on youtube). From this we discussed in small groups what effect we thought Welles was trying to put across to us the audience by putting their death scene first-my group said it was the bait to catch in the audience. We read act 3 scene 3 of the play which was basically about Iago manipulating Othello into paranoia about Desdemona possibly having an affair with Cassio (Iago pretending to reluctantly tell Othello about his thoughts on the matter). We then used the conversation analysis sheet to see if conversations were following a set pattern or not which i can explain in more detail to those who were not in if they see me.

Our homework was to write two paragraphs on linguistic analysis and one paragraph picking an imagery quote from act 3 which shows the play is at a tipping point and explain it in relation to what is happening in the scene.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Tragedy? Dramatic Devices, Expressionism, and Realism

Before I start, we were told that we were going to be practicing essays for the sake of our coursework later on, so it might be worth reviewing the Assessment Objectives (A01, A02, etc.) in my previous post if your interested :P

We began the lesson by imagining which dramatic devices that we would use for emphasis when directing DoaS. People came up with these thingies:
-Way Dialouge is Spoken
-Body Language
-Facial Expressions
When the comments are eventually posted, you'll be able to see details on the ones that are already included in the play, emphasis on eventually. (:S)

We then discussed, as a class, the use of the Flute in the play- with the two most prominent examples given as:
-Act 1, Pg1-2, When Willy comes home without selling anything
-Requiem, Pg107-108, Plays around the time that Happy was the last one to leave the scene.
It was agreed that the Flute always had a close relation to Willy, with the deeper meaning revealed as "The flute is Willy going to his 'happy place'. It is seem as a link to the simpler past or tie to Willy's idealistic future".

If that befuddled anyone, be sure to talk to someone from the class that may have a better idea of how to explain it. Relating to the Holiday Homework, we then discussed what Realism and Expressionism are when used in plays. The definitions compiled are as so:

-Realism: When a play focuses on events that have happened or could happen in real life.
Characters are realistic, and easily relateable.

-Expressionism: Characters express their innermost feelings or emotions through actions
that relate to them, which are sometimes obscure as a result. It is an
attempt to make a play relateable to a wider audience, as anyone
capable of emotion can ideally feel some relation to the characters, even
without the plays wider meaning being felt.

If Expression confused anyone, again talk to someone from the class, but beware that there was much confusion there aswell (D':)

Dramatic Devices are used in DoaS: Review the comments for details on each one, there are mini-presentaions on all of them.

Oh, and there was no homework! Yay! :D
~Dylan :P

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

At first we were discussing abit from Jean Anouilh's script for the play Antigone.
It describes how tragedy is inevitable and that it can happen to anyone, and it is easily triggered. It was quite long to fit into this blog. the key quotes were

'The spring is wound up tight. it will uncoil herself'.'Anything will set it going'. 'The rest is automatic. You dont need to lift a finger'. 'Death, treason, and sorrow are on the march'. 'he who kills is as innocent as he who gets killed'. 'All you can do is shout.i did not say groan, whimper, can get at all those things said that you never dared say'.

This had a connection with Othello. quotes like 'death, treason, and sorrow are on the march' remind us that we know Othello's character isnt going to end happy. Also 'he who kills is as innocent as he who gets killed' is the same with Iago and the question, if Iago is an evil villain.

Afterwards, we read 2 scenes from the book, which were only about five minutes in total, as both were really short. The reasons for these short scenes is to keep the action going, and not delaying anything. We also see that the play is getting faster, and also comes off the usual topic of Iago. Now we see Othello puts his concentration back into the battle with the turks. Meanwhile, Desdemona speaks to Cassio and assures him that she will get his job back, and becomes a nagging machine.
We then changed their words into what they actually are thinking. I would type it up, but it would make no sense to people that werent in ;)

That was basically the highlight of the lesson... comment NOW