Othello Act 3 Scene 3 Part 1

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  • Act 3 Scene 3: deception and duplicity dominate and the destructive power of jealousy becomes clear
    • What happens?
      • 1. D promises to help C
      • 2. D and E speak of the honesty of I, C, and O.
        • D says 'I shall rather die/Than give this cause away'
      • 3. O and I arrives, Cassio slips away. I opportunistically employs this to voice his suspicions
      • 4. D says to O that C needs his help. O ignores this but D is persistent!
      • 5. D and E leave, O's tone changes.
        • 'Excellent wretch! When I love thee not/ Chaos shall come again'
      • 6. I uses this to his advantage and further pours 'pestilence'
      • 7. O speaks of the 'monster in thy thought'- his growing jealousy'
        • External pressures on the tragic hero. O sees himself as an outsider and so thinks D would cheat on him!
      • 8. Iago feigns loyalty + defends Cassio. O's language begins to emulate Iago's
        • 9. Othello demands proof of Desdemona's infidelity.
    • Cassio
      • Engages in polite flattery of Desdemona
        • 'bounteous madam'
      • Trusting/doubtful
        • Unquestionably follows Iago's advice
        • But still thinks Othello 'will forget my love and service'
    • Desdemona
      • Open and honest
        • Says to Cassio: 'I will do/All my abilities in thy behalf'
      • Blind
        • Describes Iago as 'an honest fellow'
        • 'I'll take him out of patience'
          • Says this about Othello, she clearly does not know his temper
      • Determined + confident of her love
        • Relentlessly asks when O will meet C 'tomorrow night, or...'
    • Emilia
      • Present but silenced
      • Submissive to Iago but duped
        • 'I warrant it grives his husband/As if the causes were his'
          • She's worried Iago is grieving Cassio's demotion
    • Iago
      • Opportunistic
        • 'Ha, I like not that!'
      • Subtle + intelligent
        • 'Did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady,/Know of your love?'
        • Pretends to be reluctant to share his thoughts
    • Significance of the scene
      • Turning point in the play
        • O's anger at D for first time
        • Descent into chaos
      • Emphasises O's flaws
        • blindness, lack of self-knowledge, trust, naive openess
        • Shakespeare is revealing the consequences of a leader having these traits
  • Tragic elements: isolation, power, treatment of women, waste, blindness, tragic hero


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