Act 2, Scene 3 Flashcards Preview

A Level English Literature - Othello > Act 2, Scene 3 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Act 2, Scene 3 Deck (17)
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A2, S3: Othello: "Good Michael"

Refers to Cassio by his first name - shows theyre on good terms


A2, S3: Iago: "He hath not yet made wanton the night with her; and she is sport for Jove"

Reference to Othello and Desdemona consummating their marriage, as well as a reference to Desdemona being attractive enough for Jupiter - Iago uses this to try and make Cassio say something crude about Desdemona in order to bait him into a fight with Roderigo motivated by their love for Desdemona


A2, S3: Cassio: "She's a most exquisite lady"

Cassio is much more refined in his speech and does not rise to Iago immediately - clear contrast in their speech


A2, S3: Cassio: "I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking"

Knows he cannot take a drink - Iago intends to use this against him


A2, S3: Iago: "He is a soldier fit to stand by Caesar / And give direction"

- Iago is speaking in verse to contrast Cassio's switch to prose (in his drunkenness)
- Iago raises the image of Caesar's murder (and the audience would think of him as Brutus)
- Iago addresses this to Montano, and deliberately implies Cassio's only use is to 'help out', not be significantly/directly involved - Iago wants to damage his reputation


A2, S3: Othello: "Honest Iago, that looks dead with grieving, / Speak, who began this? On thy love I charge thee"

- Iago has made himself look ill to manipulate Othello, and he is given the job of explaining the situation, allowing him to have control over the information Othello receives
- Describing Iago as "honest" and speaking about love is ironic


A2, S3: Iago: "In terms like bride and groom / Devesting them for bed, and then but now, As if some planet had unwitted men, / Swords out"

- Iago uses the bride and groom image to reference Othello and Desdemona - crude image acts almost as an insult as this is what he and Desdemona have just done
- Iago speaks about the planets having an influence on people - trying to shift blame to make his words seem more credible by suggesting it wasn't entirely their fault, but implies a sudden shift in attitude


A2, S3: Othello: "What's the matter / That you unlace your reputation thus?"

- Othello unconsciously uses and image that makes us think of adultery


A2, S3: Othello: "My blood begins my safer guides to rule"

- Shakespeare implies that, because he is black, he has this nature that he cannot control - shows Shakespeare isn't overtly racist, but cannot completely escape the instilled racism from his society
- Idea that Othello is unable to fully control his id, a racist idea (Cyprus, however, is where more characters expose their animalistic sides, as Shakespeare has a proto-Freudian understanding of the ideas of id, ego and superego)


A2, S3: Iago: "There comes a fellow crying out for help, / And Cassio following him with determined sword / To execute upon him"

Iago manipulates the truth in a way that will make Othello jump to a conclusion; he knows it is more persuasive if Othello appears to make the conclusion himself


A2, S3: Iago: "And Cassio high in oath; which till tonight / I ne'er might say before"

Iago uses subtle persuasion to give Othello the impression that he is being fair - facade of reluctance to speak negatively about Cassio


A2, S3: Othello: "I know, Iago, / Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter, / Making it light to Cassio"

Shows Iago has successfully duped Othello by pretending to conceal what Cassio has done


A2, S3: Cassio: "Reputation, reputation, reputation. O I have lost my reputation. I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial"

- Triple exclamations show Cassio is hyperconscious of his superego as he is the most socially conscious character who cares about society and its rules (he is a parody of a courtier, which might explain this)
- Idea that he is "bestial" without his reputation suggests people are comprised of 2 halves - an animal half, and how people perceive you, which is similar to Iago's views, however Iago's is more cynical, and he believes people manipulate others to help hide their animal selves


A2, S3: Iago: "And what's he then that says I play the villain..?"

Metadramatic, and another example of Shakespeare using an acting metaphor - also the idea people adopt their 'roles' and depending on the situation and don't have an innate personality - Lacan


A2, S3: Iago: "How am I then a villain / To counsel Cassio to this parallel course, / Directly to his good?"

Another metadramatic reference showing his heightened self awareness - initiates debate as to whether Iago is a villain or if he is a catalyst of actions that would happen anyway (he believes he is a catalyst and that these events would happen regardless, such if Desdemona cheated on Othello) - if Iago is a villain, is he then superfluous in a pure tragedy?


A2, S3: Iago: "I'll pour this pestilence into his ear"

Metaphor for persuasion, it also happens in Macbeth and Hamlet, but it happens literally in Hamlet


A2, S3: Iago: "Pleasure and action make the hours seem short"

More hints to Iago's motivations - is it that he is bored and wants to fill his time?