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?

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.



  1. Great post tamsin...and if you don't mind I would like to add another thing to the post and that is: Act 3 also gives us certain hints about Othello's changing behavior and the tradegy happening soon and this is shown through the short scenes.


  2. Good blog Tamsin.

    From act 3 scene 3 we see Iago's munipulative behaviour once again when he plants seeds of doubt in Othello's mind hence the tipping point of the play is occuring and tradegy is going to happen. We also see that Othello is questioning his marriage now and his love for desdemona= fatal flaw= tradegy.

  3. You forget to add, my apologies.

    The Orsen Welles movie adaptation of Othello also makes people begin to question not if the characters will die (after all it is a tragedy), but why and how it happened to this scene.

  4. Very useful blog post Tamsin, especially since I had no idea what the homework was.

    I love the way Iago effortlessly manipulates Othello in Act 3 Scene 3, I think that the beauty of it the fact that he hardly says anything, but nevertheless Othello begins to show doubt. This is definately the point where cracks are beggining to show on Othello's flawless (up to now) facade, I reckon it will get more intense from now on.


  5. Very good detailed blog post Tamsin.

    I find it so interesting the was Iago plants thoughts into Othello's mind without him knowing, its so clever. He is a clever, but evil character and thats the beauty of him.

    Chris W

  6. the tipping point i think represents the change in Othello

  7. the tipping point, personaly, is the moment that the tragedy begins to unfold or in other words the moment the spring begins to uncoil, not the moment tension is applied to it, this is because the tipping point is the point when sudden and unexpected events begin to occur.

  8. I feel that in Act 3 Scene 3 is where we see Othello's hamartia, which is his jealousy.

    Esmeralda ;)