Lecture 10 OTHELLO THE MOOR OF VENICE. Critical Focus on Act 5, Scene 1. Entry point through the form and choice of speech of characters. All human speech reveals states of mind; focus on diction, and imagery;]]]
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Critical Focus on
Act 5, Scene 1
‘Othello is powerless, and Iago the real enemy.’
and relate your discussion to the theme of
the individual and society more generally.
Show how the playwright delights
in human inconsistencies
which contribute to
the major themes of the play.
Ironic contrasts in Iago’s character
‘Her eye must be fed. And what delight shall
she have to look at the devil? When the blood
is made dull with the act of sport, there should
be, again to inflame it and give satiety a fresh
appetite, loveliness in favour, sympathy in
years, manners and beauties; all of which the
Moor is defective in.’
’Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our
are our gardens, to the which our wills are
gardeners….either to have it sterile with
idleness or manured with industry, why the
power and corrigible authority of this lies in our
wills…We have reason to cool our raging
motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts…
Act 5, human inconsistencies
Iago’s Malice—The Final Stage
Where does the problem lie in Othello? Flaw?
Lodovico: ’Tis heavy night. p221
Characters’ choice and use of
Characters’ choice and use of
Note characters’ choice and use of simple, short words used quite frequently, and with increasing dramatic significance?
Entry point through word choice / language;
You should also notice how often characters refer or appeal to such words as
The frequency of this simple vocabulary makes it clear how much the play is concerned with…?
Iago to Roderigo:
Here, stand behind this bulk: straight will
he come. // Wear thy good rapier bare, and put
it home, // Quick, quick; fear nothing: I’ll be at
thy elbow. // It makes us or mars us; think on
that, // And fix most firm thy resolution.
’Tis he! O brave Iago, honest and just,
That hast such noble sense of thy friend’s
wrong, // Thou TEACHEST me.
Thou teachest me
‘Strumpet, I come!
Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are
Thy bed, lust-stained, shall with lust’s blood be
Look you, pale mistress?
Do you perceive the gastness of her eye?
Nay, if you stare, we shall hear more anon.
Behold her well; I pray you look upon her.
Do you see, gentlemen? Nay, guiltiness will
Though tongues were out of use.
Rhetorical effectiveness? Convincingness?
(Looks and sounds familiar to the audience?)
Gratiano: This is Othello’s ancient, as I take it.
Lodovico: The same indeed,
a very valiant fellow.
In Iago’s question to Cassio:
In that earlier scene Othello was
Recall Cassio’s words:
This is the night
That either makes me, or fordoes me quite
It makes us, or it mars us; think on that,