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, 8 November 2011

Iago pulls the strings

In the previous lesson, we read through Act 2 Scene 3 of Othello with the aim of considering the theme of reputation. The scene is set the night of when they arrived in Cyprus. In the scene, Iago uses a lot of imagery through two of his soliloquies and engineers the situation to his advantage. We see Iago manipulating and controlling events and start to take charge of the play.  

He talks to the audience about how he is planning on betraying Cassio by Othello relieving him of his duty and rank of lieutenant. Iago describes his actions as a “Divinity of hell,” creating the “blackest sins” towards Othello. This also gives the audience an image of Iago’s views about Othello. We will be exploring Iago’s language in more detail next lesson.

In his last speech, Iago says “how am I then a villain to counsel Cassio to this parallel course directly to his good?” This would give the audience an in-depth breakdown of his plan and giving a brief second opinion of Iago’s actions and make the audience question themselves. His question directly challenges the audience and makes us question his motives even further -  does Iago really want to help Cassio? But as we read on, we do find out that part of his plan is to make Othello angry with Cassio, thinking that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair. Iago ensures that Cassio loses his reputation and that his own is improved in Othello’s mind.


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  2. This is a Good Blog. However, I would also add that the focus of reputation in the lesson can be linked to the play, as Othello has a different reputation, depending on what group of people are explaining his character. For example, Brabantio sees Othello's reputation as bad, and paints him to be 'demonic', whereas the Duke does nothing but praise Othello, and paints him to be noble.

  3. A really detailed blog. There are bits in here that I dont actually remember :)
    Iago is really manipulative in that he knows exactly what he's doing. It's almost as if he's directing the tragedy.


  4. A good summary of the class. just to add to the blog, we learnt a new term last lesson- "Antithesis" which means the opposition of words or phrases against each other. For example, 'to be or not to be', 'to be' is the thesis and 'not to be' is the antithesis.
    Lisa (:

  5. This summed what we did pretty well.