Act 2, Scene 1 Flashcards Preview

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

Flashcards in Act 2, Scene 1 Deck (21)
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A2, S1: 3rd gentleman: "But this same Cassio, though he speaks of comfort / Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly / And prays the Moor be safe"

Sets up Othello and Cassio's relationship, and it shows Cassio cares for Othello, although this may be partly due to his military use. Setting up their relationship at a point which is still relatively early means that it is more poignant when their relationship breaks later on


A2, S1: Cassio: "He hath achieved a maid / That paragons description and wild fame; / One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens, / And in th'essential vesture of creation / Does tire the ingener"

Cassio uses overly flamboyant language to show that he is flirtatious, and there is an implication that he is looking too closely at Desdemona - what Iago preys upon as part of his plan later on, and it is one of the only things he speaks truthfully about


A2, S1: Cassio: "Let it not gall your patience, good Iago, / That I extend my manners. 'Tis my breeding / That gives me this bold show of courtesy"

Pins his actions on his upbringing, again something Iago takes advantage of


A2, S1: Iago: "Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk. You rise to play, and go to bed to work."

Iago implies women are motivated by base desires as men are, they just hide it


A2, S1: Emilia: "You shall not write my praise"
Iago: "No, let me not"

Iago completes her line. The exchanges between Iago and Emilia (and Desdemona and Iago as well) are reminiscent of 'Much Ado about Nothing' and the 'merry war'. Iago, however, is not redeemed by love as Benedick is, but instead experiences as tragic version of this as his spite and vindictiveness are much more severe


A2, S1: Desdemona: "I am not merry, but I do beguile / The thing I am by seeming otherwise. Come, how wouldst thou praise me?"

Asserts herself to Iago and shows she is serious about female empowerment. This makes her an obviously strong character, as she has already fought her father's wishes and now she is fighting Iago's chauvinism - feminist and sympathetic character


A2, S1: Iago: "But my muse labours, / And thus she is delivered"

Metaphor of pregnancy returns


A2, S1: Iago: "If she be black, and thereto have a wit, / She'll find a white that shall her blackness fit"

He uses crude imagery implying that a clever woman will be able to manipulate their way into a good relationship. Heroic couplet


A2, S1: Iago: "She never yet was foolish that was fair, / For even her folly helped her to an heir"

Another heroic couplet, implying that women who aren't intelligent will be easily manipulated and believes they will get pregnant easily - misogynistic


A2, S1: Iago: "To suckle fools and chronicle small beer"

He delivers this much more seriously and without the 'jokey' tone of his other lines, as well as there being no heroic couplet this time.
This is his ultimate piece of cynicism, as he believes someone who 'perfect' would lead an inconsequential life as he believes you cannot get by without acting as he does - this line reflects his own manipulative and opportunistic ways


A2, S1: Iago: "He takes her by the palm. Ay, well said, whisper. With as little a web as this I will ensnare as great a fly as Cassio"

He will use Cassio taking Desdemona's hand as evidence of Cassio's tactile nature to use against him later on. Iago perceives himself as in control of this whole situation


A2, S1: Othello: "O my fair warrior!"

Oxymoron, he has to express his love through war-like terms


A2, S1: Othello: "If it were now to die, / 'Twere now to be most happy"

Ironic - this is the point at which he feels the happiest, as soon after this Iago begin to manipulate him. Also foreshadows this ending, and it is ironic as Othello and Desdemona's relationship deteriorates


A2, S1: Desdemona: "The heavens forbid / But that our loves and comforts should increase, / Even as our days do grow"

Believes they will get happier and happier every day - dramatic irony


A2, S1: Iago: "O you are well tuned now! / But I'll set down the pegs that make this music, / As honest as I am"

Music metaphor, wants to 'detune' the mechanism that is Othello and Desdemona's love
Continues the reference Othello makes to "the greatest discords" that their "hearts shall make" - both music metaphors - shows the opposition


A2, S1: Othello: "O my sweet, / I prattle out of fashion"

Shows he has spoken more than he is used to - reinforces how his speech is usually more limited - shows extent of their love


A2, S1: Iago: "Her eye must be fed; and what delight shall she have to look upon the devil?"

Iago says that it is because Desdemona is a virgin that she loves Othello (because of her 'untapped sexuality') but once she loses her virginity she won't be attracted to him anymore because he thinks she loves Cassio. he implies that Desdemona will have an affair in order to encourage Roderigo to wait and help him until this happens for both of their own selfish gain - manipulates Roderigo and implies that they are both immoral


A2, S1: Iago: "Blessed fig's end! The wine she drinks is made of grapes"

Shows Iago is a materialist - he believes Desdemona is no different to anyone else and she is motivated by sexuality and morals are unimportant. Parallels with Freud's idea of transference which is a narcissistic view of love - we project other's love onto ourselves


A2, S1: Iago: "So you shall have a shorter journey to your desires by the means I shall then have to prefer them"

Preying on Roderigo's gullibility - able to persuade him to Iago's ideas - Roderigo's purpose as a character is to show Iago at work and is only a 2 dimensional character to show Iago's desire, motivation and philosophy


A2, S1: Iago: "The thought whereof / Doth like a poisonous mineral gnaw my inwards; and nothing can or shall content my soul / Till I am evened with him"

Shows the effect of jealousy on Iago - he wants to project those feelings onto Othello


A2, S1: Iago: "I fear Cassio with my night-cap too"

Fairly unrealistic, but Iago uses it as a pretext to hate Cassio. This shows Iago's harmartia is being obsessively jealous and how he wants to transfer that feeling onto Othello to make Othello suffer the same torture he has