Othello - Year11LiteratureSSC

Seven Deadly Sins
• Wrath
• Greed
• Sloth
• Pride
• Lust
• Envy
• Gluttony
Discuss: Which ones do you consider to be the ‘deadliest’?
• What are the origin of sins?
• Are they relevant today?
• Which are more relevant than others?
Who are the ‘modern day outsiders’?
Who were the ‘outsiders’ of the 16th century?
• Review notes on the summary of ‘Othello’
• Review character summaries
Activity: Create a ‘family tree’ showing the
relationship between the characters.
How do people perceive you?
What is your reputation?
Is your reputation different with different people?
Does your reputation mean a lot to you?
Have you had an experience when you have been
worried that your reputation was damaged?
Did this concern you?
Is one’s reputation important?
• Modern day examples of when a reputation
has been tainted?
Act 2 Sc. 3 lines 245-265
Cassio: Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have
lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of
myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation,
Iago, my reputation!
Iago: Reputation is an idle and most false imposition,
oft got without merit and lost without deserving. You
have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute
yourself such a loser
Cassio: I will rather sue be to be despised than to
deceive so good a commander with so light, so
drunken and so indiscreet an officer.
• Consider Iago’s and Cassio’s thoughts on
• Which one do you agree with more?
• Write your response – include quotes from
the dialogue.
• What ‘fatal flaw’ is Iago preying in in regards
to Desdemona?
Shakespeare’s verse – pg. xx
Blank verse – regular rhythm but does not rhyme
Iambic pentameter – lines are ten syllables long.
Each line divided into pairs of syllables
Meter – regular pattern of stressed and unstressed
syllables in each line. Each line can be broken into a
unit consisting of two or three syllables.
Feet – the unit of syllables
Writing Task
• Imagine you are Cassio. Write his response to
these latest events.
• How does he feel about what he has done, his
reputation and his disappointment in himself.
• How does he feel about Iago’s advice about
what to do next?
Iago’s thoughts…
• Lines 293 – 305
• Lines 314 – 340
What does Iago say to Cassio, and what is he
actually thinking?
Find 3-5 quotes from both pieces of dialogue
that reveal his thoughts.
• Discuss:
Do you think that men and women have
different roles/behaviours in relationships?
Think of examples. Consider your own
experiences, family experiences, examples from
other texts, different eras, cultures
Act 4 Scene 3
• What is the symbolism of the ‘willow song’?
• How do Emilia and Desdemona’s views about
behaviour in relationships contrast?
• What are your thoughts on their differing
• How do you think their differing opinions impact
the plot of the play? How does it further develop
the tragedy of the play?
• Desdemona’s attitude towards her chastity
represents what Renaissance males wanted and
expected of woman.
• Emilia suggests that the ideal of female chastity is
overblown and exaggerated. She gently hints
that instead of suffering Othello’s abuse, she
could look for happiness elsewhere.
• She believes in reasonable ground between the
• Identify the lines where foreshadowing is
• Describe the tone of the scene – use quotes to
support your answer
• How is the scene ominous?
Act 5
Scene 2
Yet I’ll not shed her blood,
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
And smooth as monumental alabaster:
She must die, else she’ll betray more men.
Read Othello’s opening soliloquy (lines 1-23)
• Look at the repeated use of light and
references to Desdemona’s purity
• Write an analysis of this speech.
• What is revealed about Othello and his
thoughts? How does he view Desdemona?
• Comment on the use of references to light –
what do they symbolise?
• Discuss the meaning of the metaphors within
the speech
Act 5 scene 2 Language
• Discuss the fractured and frantic language of
lines 30-80. How do these lines add to the
• Notice Othello and Emilia’s use of language as
opposites collide poetically to work out the
horrible truth of the situation (5.2.126-136)
• Consider Emilia’s repetition of the word
‘husband’. What does this emphasise?
What makes this play a tragedy?
What is Tragedy?
• The term tragedy first applied to describe
classical Greek theatre.
• It defines the kind of serious play that
deliberately arouses, as Aristotle argued, our
‘pleasure of pity and fear’ for the tragic
• This protagonist is neither a complete villain
or a saint, but a noble man (or, much less
often, a woman) with a mixture of faults and
• While we are lead to pity him, we also
experience fear because we recognise our life
could just as easily be destroyed through similar
faults as this noble example who is better than
we are to begin with.
• When the hero encounters the reversal of
fortune followed by catastrophe, partly through
his own pride or an error of judgement,
Aristotle argued that we experience a
pleasurable release of tension, accompanied by
a sense of relief that balance has been restored
to the world through a cleansing of the fault.
• Shakespearean tragedies do seem to close by
bringing to an end disruptive elements that
have led to the catastrophe
• There is, however, sometimes a lingering
sense that cosmic order has been restored
only temporarily.
• Othello – a noble protagonist is undermined by
circumstances and some ‘fatal flaw’ in his own
• In Shakespeare’s other great tragedies we could
say that for ‘Hamlet’, the fatal flaw is hesitation,
for ‘Macbeth’ it is uncontrollable ambition, and
for ‘King Lear’, emotional blindness.
• Othello’s fatal flaw is that he has been ‘one that
loved not wisely, but too well’.
THEMES – Sample Mind Map
Use the notes provided to develop your own theme diagram
Beginning of passage analysis
In passage one Shakespeare introduces the motif
of appearance and reality through the
characterisation of Iago. His initial belief that not
all masters/can be truly follow’d initiates his
deceptiveness that is to follow throughout the rest
of the play. Through dramatic irony and
foreshadowing, the audience can predict Iago’s
actions as he tells Roderigo that while being
trimm’d in forms and visages of duty/ [others] keep
yet their hearts attending to themselves. Iago’s
forthcoming betrayal is further emphasised in his
strength of words, In following him, I follow but