Act 1, Scene 2 Flashcards Preview

A Level English Literature - Othello > Act 1, Scene 2 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Act 1, Scene 2 Deck (17)
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A1, S2: Iago: "Though in the trade of war I have slain men, / Yet I do hold it very stuff o'th'conscience / To do no contrived murder"

- Ironic that Iago speaks about conscience
- This is the opening line of act 2 scene 2, starting the scene in media res, showing Iago is pretending as he acts differently to the first scene


A1, S2: Othello: "'Tis better as it is"

Speaks with minimal words - feels self assured and like he doesn't need to say much. Generally, Iago speaks much more than him throughout this scene which shows how he is trying to convince Othello by using language to manipulate him


A1, S2: Iago: "Nay but he prated / And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms against your honour"

Iago's comment on Brabantio's language shows just how bad what he said must have been. Ironic that Iago makes this comment when he frequently talks badly about Othello - shows his manipulation


A1, S2: Iago: "He will divorce you"

Future tense shows the definite negative consequences


A1, S2: Othello: "Let him do his spite"

Completes Iago's line to show the pace of their dialogue. Indicates that Othello does not respect Brabantio's motives about his views and planned actions against Othello and Desdemona


A1, S2: Othello: "I fetch my life and being / From men of royal siege; and my demerits / May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune..."

- Shows that he was of noble birth in his country of origin, implying that he has already undergone 1 peripeteia before the play begins - movement from high status to low (typical of Aristotelian tragedy, although the idea of 2 tragic falls is not)
- "unbonneted" shows he does not feel he needs to 'take his hat off' to Brabantio or people like him - confident in himself and not outwardly phased by the ways they view him


A1, S2: Othello: "For know, Iago, / But that I love the gentle Desdemona, / I would not my unhoused free condition / Put into the circumscription and confine / For the sea's worth"

- Desdemona is the only thing he would give up his freedom for - extent of their love
- Compares his freedom to the sea - speaks in terms of war, the scope of knowledge that he has


A1, S2: Othello: "My parts, my title, and my perfect soul / Shall manifest me rightly"

Tripling shows his confidence and contrasts how other characters view him - sense of self confidence that is less affected by his insecurity at this point?


A1, S2: Iago: "By Janus, I think no"

Ironic that Iago refers to Janus - Iago is also 2-faced - deliberate association. Also foregrounds how Venice is a 2-faced location, a hypocritical place where people put on false airs and act differently


A1, S2: Iago: "Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack. If it prove lawful prize, he's made forever"

Replies to Cassio (who has just referred to him by his job title) with a rude and sexual metaphor that implies Othello is a pirate (connotations of being unlawful and illicit)


A1, S2: Othello: "Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them. / Good signor, you shall more command with years than with your weapons"

- Addresses them with the imperative "keep" and the formal mode of address ("you" and "your"), showing he is more respectful of them
- "command" is a zeugma - shows he has more respect for his age than his weapons


A1, S2: Brabantio: "O thou foul thief, where hast thou stowed my daughter? Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her"

Brabantio uses the informal mode of address ("thou") and refers to Othello being a devil - racist and lack of respect. Whole speech contains lots of words from the semantic field of witchcraft


A1, S2: Brabantio: "Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom / Of such a thing as thou"

Offensive language - slurs and dehumanisation. Brabantio's whole speech has lots of offensive language throughout


A1, S2: Brabantio: "Lay hold upon him; if he do resist, / Subdue him, at his peril"

- Speaks to his servants, who he thinks he can command
- Shows he believes he has some physical power over Othello


A1, S2: Othello: "Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it / Without a prompter"

- Metaphors from acting - Shakespeare often does this - says we act in different ways depending on the social situation as different situations have different schematised ways of behaving. Lacan (an existentialist) had the idea that humans have no innate or stable personality but carry roles as appropriate
- War and fights are also a significant part of Othello's character so he believes he would be aware if it was meant to happen


A1, S2: Brabantio: "How? The Duke in council? / In this time of the night? Bring him away; / Mine's not an idle cause"

- Brabantio uses rhetorical questions that Othello doesn't/can't answer, as Brabantio is a higher status
- Brabantio is also aware of Othello's opinions of his problems


A1, S2: Brabantio "For if such actions may have passage free, / Bondslaves and pagans shall our statesmen be."

Heroic couplet ends scene - shows Brabantio thinks he is wise