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Othello - Higher English Quotes > Othello Setting > Flashcards

Flashcards in Othello Setting Deck (7)
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1

How does the play start?

The play starts in media res - in the middle of things which adds a sense of confusion and mystery at the beginning.

We are presented with a conversation between Iago and Roderigo, yet Roderigo is not named until 53 lines into the play adds a sense of mystery.

Iago's anger is made clear - shows he is controlling the disorder and shows he is egotistical.

It starts in a street at night - this suggests an air of suspension, urgency.

Darkness is symbolic for the secrecy and disorder which is presented in this scene.
The fact Iago is undermining his superior in a setting of conflict, under the cover of darkness suggests his views are hidden, and this suggests potential disorder and caos.

2

Why is the location of Venice important?

It is a symbol of civilisation and rationality.
Venice is known for prostitution which is highly coincidental as Desdemona is accused of infidelity.
White majority.

3

Why is the location of Cyprus important?

Cyprus is the place where the Turks and Venetians are fighting over. Setting of conflict.

4

What is important about Act One Scene Three?

It is a courtroom setting - Iago was in Act One Scene One under the cover of darkness and he was found in a street, a place where you would expect danger to be. Now he is in a council chamber which represents the central heart of the venetian state. The anger he has caused is evident and present in this council chamber which shows how he has managed to get disorder inside the heart of the state. THIS IS THREATENING ORDER IN SOCIETY.

5

How does the backdrop of War add to the sense of disorder?

There is a distinct lack of clarity
"There's no composition in these news" - there are conflicting reports about cyprus which adds a sense of chaos and disorder
Sense of escalating threat "My letters say a hundred and seven galleys"; "And mine a hundred and forty"; "And mine two hundred"

6

What is important about the setting in Act Two Scene One?

The action moves to Cyprus - characters are placed in a vulnerable situation and there is a lot of fear
It follows right after Iago's hellish soliloquy which is appropriate.
The storm represents disorder in society
The storm personified represents Iago's eve
the wind "hath ruffianed so upon the sea" - the natural imagery to represent the backdrop for the battle which will occur represents the conflict between Iago and Mankind.

7

Important quote about appearance versus reality in Act Two Scene 1.

"What...can you discern at sea?" "Nothing at all" this is symbolic as everyone in the play is blind - it draws a parallel they can sense danger but they can't see it