Act 1, Scene 3 Flashcards Preview

A Level English Literature - Othello > Act 1, Scene 3 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Act 1, Scene 3 Deck (26)
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A1, S3: Duke: "Valiant Othello"

Immediately addresses him positively, speaking of Othello's strengths. The Duke sees Othello as a soldier, which dehumanises him - he only respects Othello because of what Othello can do for them in the military


A1, S3: Brabantio: "Take hold on me; for my particular grief / Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature / That it engluts and swallows other sorrows"

- Floods and water imagery reminds us of Venice (importance of Venetian society)
- Speaks purposefully and hyperbolically - extent of his emotions


A1, S3: Brabantio: "My daughter! O my daughter!"

- Dramatic speech; short emphatic sentences, exclamation marks
- Similar to Shylock in 'Merchant of Venice', and there is a variant of this scene in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in which Egeus (Hermia's father) accuses Lysander of using witchcraft
-> Shakespeare is never on the side of the father in these situations as he believes the daughter should be free to marry who she wants which was a modern view for the time. Similarly, he is not opposed to interracial relationships


A1, S3: Othello: "Rude am I in my speech / And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace"

- Othello is honest about and aware of his simplicity and inarticulacy
- He contrasts Brabantio as he is much calmer and more polite


A1, S3: Brabantio: "A maiden never bold; / Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion / Blushed at herself"

Brabantio tries to prove Desdemona is pure and innocent to almost incriminate Othello and imply he has taken advantage of her. His speech this comes from also contains many words from the semantic field of war


A1, S3: Othello: "The trust, the office I do hold of you / Not only take away, but let your sentence / Even fall upon my life"

This foreshadows the end of the play, and "Even fall upon my life" is its own isolated line, not complete in itself - more emphatic


A1, S3: Othello: "This to hear / would Desdemona seriously incline"

Leaning into him, but has dual meanings. It shows she is forward - unconventional due to the expectations of women at the time


A1, S3: Othello: "She wished she had not heard it, yet she wished / That heaven had made her such a man. She thanked me, / And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her, / I should but teach him how to tell my story, / And that would woo her"

- Desdemona is aware of the fact that their relationship would be taboo and almost codes the message that she loves him - but she is able to look past racial differences - loves him as he is a man who has not been presented as a suitor and loves him for who he is, not the assets he has (showing she is not shallow and does not want to follow what her father has set out for her)
- Fairly flirtatious comment - unconventional for a woman at that time


A1, S3: Othello: "She loved me for the dangers I had passed / And I loved her, that she did pity them"

- His adventures and hardship are what has won her love
- He loves her because she pitied him - Othello isn't used to this? He is only used to being treated as a soldier and being dehumanised


A1, S3: Duke: "I think this tale would win my daughter too. / Good Brabantio, / Take up this mangled matter at the best"

- "Tale" is a phallic pun, implying Othello's masculinity is enough to win anyone's daughter over, as well as the obvious relationship to telling stories
- Gives a verdict before he hears any evidence from Desdemona
- He makes it clear that it is not ideal for Brabantio but he will have to accept it - Othello is needed as a soldier - hypocrisy of the Venetian state - uses Othello for what he is good at, but won't let him in to the inner circle of their society


A1, S3: Brabantio: "I am glad at soul I have no child, / For thy escape would teach me tyranny / To hang clogs on them"

Typical Shakespearean father - wants to control his daughter's life but fails, and Shakespeare makes him deliberately unsympathetic


A1, S3: Desdemona: "So that, dear lords, if I be left behind, / A moth of peace, and he go to the war, / The rites for which I love him are bereft me"

- Shows extent of their love and what she is willing to risk for him
- "A moth of peace" shows that she does not want to be seen as weak or inferior and implies that she would be lost without him


A1, S3: Othello: "So please your grace, my ancient; / A man he is of honesty and trust"

Talking about Iago - ironic foreshadowing, also refers to him by his job title as Cassio has done previously


A1, S3: Duke: "If virtue no delighted beauty lack, / Your son-in-law is far more fair than black"

Racist implications in this heroic couplet, shows how Othello's insecurity is because of how he has been treated by others because of his colour, which is what makes him easy to manipulate and why he is trusting


A1, S3: Brabantio: "Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see, / She has deceived her father, and may thee"

Another heroic couplet that sows the first seed of doubt in Othello - this is the first time that someone has explicitly questioned her virtues


A1, S3: Othello: "My life upon her faith"

Ironic - he dies because he is too easily persuaded she was unfaithful


A1, S3: Iago: "But we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts; whereof I take this, that you call love, to be a sect or scion"

Cynical views of love - saying it doesn't exist, only sexual desire does


A1, S3: Iago: "Put money in thy purse"

Ironic statement - Roderigo has lost his money to Iago - part of what has led him to contemplate suicide, especially since he has seen no results


A1, S3: Iago: "Thou shalt enjoy her"

Questions whether Roderigo only wants to marry Desdemona because of sexual desire rather than love - objectifies women


A1, S3: Iago: "Seek thou rather to be hanged in compassing thy joy than to be drowned and go without her"

Iago tells Roderigo to die for 'a good reason' to persuade him to help with his own plan - manipulating Roderigo


A1, S3: Iago: "If thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure, me a sport. There are many events in the womb of time, which will be delivered"

- Iago tells Roderigo he would be doing him a favour if he could cuckold Othello - the aim of his plan
- "Womb of time" metaphor is significant - continued


A1, S3: Iago: "Thus do I ever make my fool my purse"

Shows us it is not the first time he has manipulated someone - use of "my" emphasises his control - opening line to his soliloquy reinforces this more


A1, S3: Iago: "I hate the Moor, / And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets / He's done my office. I know not if't be true / But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, / Will do as if for surety"

Provides some further motive for Iago - although he has no proof, but he wants to get Othello anyway - shows his racism


A1, S3: Iago: "After some time, to abuse Othello's ear / That he is too familiar with his wife"

Iago believes Othello will be easily manipulated


A1, S3: Iago: "The Moor is of a free and open nature, / That thinks men honest that be seem to be so, / And will as tenderly be led by th'nose / As asses are"

Dehumanises Othello and criticises his naivety, reinforcing his own cynical nature


A1, S3: Iago: "It is engendered. Hell and night / Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light"

Continued metaphor of the "womb of time" showing the development of his plan which is only in its early stages at this point