As you are waiting for the lesson to begin…<br />Othello<br />‘then must you speakOf one that loved not wisely but too well’<br />( Act five, scene two )<br />What examples of love are there in the play? How many different forms of love feature in Othello? Think widely and creatively. <br />Be prepared to feedback your answers<br />
Learning objectives for the lesson… <br /><ul><li>To explore further the theme of love throughout the play
To explore how flawed love contributes towards the downfall and tragedy of the key characters</li></li></ul><li>To start the lesson, review the dictionary definitions of love. Where do we see these different examples of love in the play?<br />Love is…<br /><ul><li>A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
A love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
Affectionate concern for the well-being of others
Strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything</li></li></ul><li>In your groups discuss the key questions concerning your character and the theme of love.<br />You should then look at the key extract – what does this tell us about the characters’ feelings and ideas of love?<br />
Desdemona and Love – Key Questions for discussion<br />To what extent does Desdemona love Othello for his notoriety and position?<br />Does Desdemona’s desire to submit to her husband’s will make her stronger or weaker in the eyes of the audience?<br />Is Desdemona fully accepting of Othello – does even she regard his as an outsider? <br />Does her rebellious and independent nature detract from her love of Othello?<br />Is Desdemona’s final submission to Othello, namely her refusal to acknowledge his responsibility for her death, indicative of her love for him?<br />
DESDEMONA<br />That I did love the Moor to live with him,My downright violence and storm of fortunesMay trumpet to the world: my heart's subduedEven to the very quality of my lord:I saw Othello's visage in his mind,And to his honour and his valiant partsDid I my soul and fortunes consecrate.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,And I a heavy interim shall supportBy his dear absence. Let me go with him.<br />( Act one, scene three )<br />
Othello and Love – Key Questions for discussion<br />Is Othello in love with Desdemona or is he in love with the fact that she is in love with him?<br />Does the fact that he submits to jealousy so readily indicate stronger or weaker love?<br />To what extent is Othello’s love for Desdemona based on his sexual prowess and power?<br />Do Othello and Desdemona ever have a relationship based on equality?<br />Does Othello prove his love for Desdemona at the end of the play? <br />
OTHELLO<br />This fellow's of exceeding honesty,And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,I'ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am blackAnd have not those soft parts of conversationThat chamberers have, or for I am declinedInto the vale of years,--yet that's not much--She's gone. I am abused; and my reliefMust be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,That we can call these delicate creatures ours,And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,Than keep a corner in the thing I loveFor others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones;Prerogatived are they less than the base;'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:Even then this forked plague is fated to usWhen we do quicken. Desdemona comes:<br />( Act three, scene three )<br />
Iago and Love – Key Questions for discussion<br />What does Iago love in the play? What does he actually hope to achieve through his actions?<br />Does Iago love Othello or does he merely love the power and position he holds?<br />Does Iago ever show love for his wife, Emilia? If not love, what is their relationship based on?<br />How does Iago manipulate the love of others to ensure his personal gain?<br />
IAGO<br />Virtue! a fig! 'tis in ourselves that we are thusor thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the whichour wills are gardeners: so that if we will plantnettles, or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed upthyme, supply it with one gender of herbs, ordistract it with many, either to have it sterilewith idleness, or manured with industry, why, thepower and corrigible authority of this lies in ourwills. If the balance of our lives had not onescale of reason to poise another of sensuality, theblood and baseness of our natures would conduct usto most preposterous conclusions: but we havereason to cool our raging motions, our carnalstings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this thatyou call love to be a sect or scion.<br />( Act one, scene three )<br />
Emilia and Love – Key Questions for discussion<br />How does Emilia demonstrate her love for her husband throughout the play?<br />To what extent is Emilia the most shrewd and knowledgeable character when it comes to love?<br />What does the character of Emilia represent? How might her presentation change across time?<br />How do Emilia’s final actions of the play demonstrate her love for Desdemona?<br />
EMILIA<br />Yes, a dozen; and as many to the vantage as wouldstore the world they played for.But I do think it is their husbands' faultsIf wives do fall: say that they slack their duties,And pour our treasures into foreign laps,Or else break out in peevish jealousies,Throwing restraint upon us; or say they strike us,Or scant our former having in despite;Why, we have galls, and though we have some grace,Yet have we some revenge. Let husbands knowTheir wives have sense like them: they see and smellAnd have their palates both for sweet and sour,As husbands have. What is it that they doWhen they change us for others? Is it sport?I think it is: and doth affection breed it?I think it doth: is't frailty that thus errs?It is so too: and have not we affections,Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?Then let them use us well: else let them know,The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.<br />( Act four, scene three )<br />
Look back at the list of different representations of love you made at the beginning of the lesson…<br />Think carefully about how important each different representation of love is to the development of the play. How does love – and flawed love – contribute towards the eventual tragedy of the play. <br />In your pairs, complete the following sheet, identifying different representations of love and a quotation which demonstrates each different element of love. <br />Your final part of the task is to assess how each element of love contributes to the tragedy of the play. <br />
And to finish the lesson…<br />‘In Othello, the representation of love is never pure or virtuous. Although many characters profess love and devotion, they are all flawed, manipulative and self serving.’ <br />To what extent do you agree with this statement? What have we learned this lesson to help us justify our own opinion? <br />
Have we achieved our learning objectives?<br /><ul><li>To explore further the theme of love throughout the play
To explore how flawed love contributes towards the downfall and tragedy of the key characters</li>