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?

Friday, 7 October 2011

Public & Private - Othello: Act 1, Scene 3

The class began with us trying to differentiate between something being exotic and something being different. While it was just a matter of how each individual looked at it here are some ideas that we came up with:

-refers to something foreign
-different but with some intrigue
-used to attract or appeal to someone e.g.
-could indicate something being brought over from a abroad, so it's exotic to its new surroundings (e.g. a fruit or parrot)
-could also be used negatively i.e with Sarah Bartman who was exhibited as a freak attraction during the 19th century due to her African descent and her "exoticness"

-something that stands out because it is out of place
-something that doesn't fit the mould or breaks conventions
-to not be the same as one another

Mr Sadgrove then higlighted to us that this ties into the way that Othello, "the Moor" may pervcieve himself or the way others may percieve him, is he exotic? is he different? do either of these have negative or positive implications?

Act 1, Scene 2...
We were then divided into sets of "Brobantio's" and "Othello's" and we were given the task to use the play to quote lines most relevant in revealing Othello's character.

After making our lists we were put into groups with one Othello and a few Brabantio's. The Brabantio's of the group were to surround the Othello of the group and use quotes from the text to accuse him while also trying to mirror the tone that Brabantio would use to accuse him with, meanwhile the Othello of the group had to stand in the middle of the group and respond to Brabantio's dialogue with quotes from the play actually said by Othello and also try and reflect the tone that Othello would use for these lines.

An example of these exchanges:

-We found that while Brabantio was attacking Othello and name calling him in public, Othello's responses were always very calm and confident.

-His ability to manage the situation and use the power of words to create
tranquilty and order contrasts greatly to the impression we are given of him, as a bad leader, by Iago in Act 1, Scene 1.

Act 1, Scene 3...
We were introuduced to the term DICHOTEMY when one thing is split in two. This was significant to the next scene we were about to read as it is a split between the public and personal lives of both Brabantio and Othello (the matter of Desdemona and matters of the state).

While reading through this scene we focused on a few things:

-Othello's importance to the Duke

-The fact that Othello is refered to as "the valiant Moor" by a Senator, valiant suggests that Othello's bravery is recognised and he is somewhat respected meanwhile Moor suggests that this word has almost become Othello's identity and that it used to take away from the compliment to his bravery.

-We focused on Othello's speech after he is told to speak for himself regarding the charges against him, we sat in a circle as a class and covered the speech with each person reading till the next punctuation mark. The impact of the pauses and the intensity of Othello's words were illuminated by this activity, we concluded that more depth is added to Othello's character through this speech as his genuine nature and humbility come through for example he says "Rude am I in my speech". Also we imagined Othello to say lines such as "I won his daughter" with power and emotion through the help of the Iambic Pentameter which would really stress the word "won".

-Also, we zoomed further into the linguistic devices used by Shakespeare when studying another of Othello's speeches later on in the scene. In order to better understand Othello's life and just how exotic and different his life is we concentrated on the aspects of his life that he lists. We worked in groups to act out freeze frames for atleast six of the things he mentions he has faced in this speech.

I think I've covered everything we did :)


  1. This is a really informative and useful blog. You seem to have covered everything, and i really like the use of the diagram to show the exchanges in conversation between Brabantio and Othello, its an easy way to remember certain quotes pulled from the play :)

  2. Wow Samiha! This entry is unbelievably descriptive. It has re-informed me of the depths we reached in the lesson, I felt the small drama session helped to portray the emotions and attitudes of both Brabantio and Othello.
    I feel I have no more to say on this entry as you've covered every single thing, including bits I don't even remember, haha.

  3. This blog is sooo good! I really like how you put the argument between Brabantio and Othello in a diagram, very helpful :)
    There isn't anything I want to add, it's really good.

  4. This is a really good blog and there's nothing to add to here as it seems you've covered everything. I really like the fact that you've added the diagram as it shows the difference in the speeches between Othello and Brabantio. Well done Samiha:-).


  5. wow u can put pictures up??
    In addition to the linguistic devices mentioned in Othello's speech we also looked into other settings such as the application of music and lighting which can heighten the effects of the drama created during the play. This was done when mr Sagrove put on effective music as we read Othello's speech as a class; we saw that it really made a difference.

    safe Sameha for the blog bredrin


  6. This is really good. I like your use of images as at first I wasn't so sure of how to describe exotic and the diagram shows the task we did in groups which would create a better understanding for those who weren't in.

  7. was'nt in this lesson but thanks for the cactch up samiha

  8. thanks for the blog, very detailed on your description of exotic, and of people understanding of exotic. and i love the diagram of our brabantio/othello task, and how the way they speak to each other contrasts