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Othello Powerpoint presentation English 102


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Othello Powerpoint presentation

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Othello Powerpoint presentation English 102

  1. 1. William Shakespeare Othello, the Moor of Venice 34
  2. 2. Shakespeare’s England <ul><li>At the time of Shakespeare, England was a small nation by modern standards, with a population of about five million. </li></ul><ul><li>The English Renaissance was in full bloom. The arts and sciences flourished, and increased contact with other nations led to new styles of living, new fashions, new art forms (the sonnet), and a broader vocabulary (which Shakespeare eagerly appropriated). </li></ul><ul><li>England was mostly rural. Agriculture was the chief means of livelihood. Mining and timber were expanding industries. </li></ul>A Marriage Feast at Bermondsey by Joris Hoefnagel (ca. 1569)
  3. 3. Shakespeare’s England continued … <ul><li>New domestic comforts included chimneys, metal dishes, carpets, windows, beds, and pillows. </li></ul><ul><li>Travel within England was slow because of poor roads and dangerous because of highway robbers. </li></ul><ul><li>The heart of London stretched for a couple of miles at most. </li></ul><ul><li>The city had trees, gardens, and meadows. London Bridge was a fashionable thoroughfare with shops festively decorated for certain occasions. But London Bridge also displayed the heads of executed traitors. </li></ul><ul><li>City houses were small and crowded, and the streets narrow and filthy. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Shakespeare’s England continued … <ul><li>Epidemics and plagues resulted from the unsanitary conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>England was a proud nation that had begun to forge a strong national identity. </li></ul><ul><li>The English took pride in their nation’s overseas exploration and empire expansion. Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world from 1577-1581, and the English founded its first permanent colony in America with Jamestown in 1607. </li></ul><ul><li>Ireland was declared a kingdom under English rule in 1541, but was more a source of trouble than of economic strength. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Queen Elizabeth <ul><li>Elizabethan England takes its name from Queen Elizabeth, who lived from 1533-1603, reigning from 1558-1603. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, who was executed three years after Elizabeth’s birth. </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabeth’s reign was generally marked by peace, economic prosperity, and social advancement. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite her success, the age was openly skeptical about a woman’s ability and right to rule. </li></ul><ul><li>The Babington Conspiracy of 1586 refers to a plot to assassinate Elizabeth. Mary, Queen of Scots, was involved and executed when the plot was uncovered. </li></ul>The “Darnley Portrait” of Queen Elizabeth 1 (ca. 1575)
  6. 6. Queen Elizabeth continued… <ul><li>Elizabeth was a skilled diplomat who dealt effectively with foreign governments, factions at home, and Parliament. </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabeth never married. Marriage would have upset the delicate political relationships she maintained with one foreign or domestic group or another. </li></ul><ul><li>She was a patron of the arts and several poems have been credited to her. </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabeth was succeeded by James I (reigned until 1625). A far less successful monarch, he was not a good diplomat as he resisted compromise. He was out of touch with the English people, and his reign helped widen the gap between crown and Parliament that led to the Civil War. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Globe Theatre <ul><li>The theatre was so important and influential to the Elizabethans that Queen Elizabeth found it necessary to censor plays. Shakespeare avoided the controversial political issues of the day. </li></ul><ul><li>The Globe Theatre opened on the south bank of the Thames River in 1599. Shakespeare was a minor shareholder in the theatre and many of his greatest plays premiered at the Globe. </li></ul><ul><li>The Globe could accommodate an audience of perhaps 3,000, including 800 groundlings, who paid a penny to stand on the ground surrounding the stage. </li></ul><ul><li>More prosperous spectators sat in one of the three stories nearly encircling the stage. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Globe Theatre continued … <ul><li>The stage projected out into the audience, creating more intimacy between actors and audience than on Greek stages. Like the Greek amphitheaters, the stage was open to the sky. </li></ul><ul><li>The Globe had a fairly versatile stage, containing a balcony, several doors for convenient entrances and exits, a curtained alcove, and a stage floor trapdoor. Costumes were often elaborate. </li></ul><ul><li>All parts were played by men or young boys. Women were not allowed to appear on stage until after the English Restoration in 1660. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1613, during a performance of Henry VIII , sparks from a stage cannon set the thatched roof on fire. The theatre burned to the ground in less than two hours. There were no deaths. The theatre was quickly rebuilt with a tiled roof. The theatre functioned successfully until 1642 when the Puritans rose to power and closed all theatres. The Globe was demolished to make room for tenements in 1644. </li></ul>
  9. 9. William Shakespeare <ul><li>William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. His father was a successful merchant and fairly prominent member of the community who later fell on hard times. </li></ul><ul><li>The young Shakespeare attended local schools, where he learned some Latin and a little Greek. </li></ul><ul><li>In late 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than he. They had three children together. </li></ul><ul><li>Shakespeare spent most of his working life, some twenty-five years, in London, as one of a troupe of players called Lord Chamberlain’s Men. He was an actor and the company’s principal playwright. </li></ul><ul><li>Apparently a political conservative, he seemed to enjoy London, but never surrendered his roots in the countryside. In 1597, Shakespeare purchased New Place, a fine house in Stratford-upon-Avon – a sign that he had prospered in his career. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Shakespeare’s Life continued … <ul><li>By most counts, Shakespeare wrote some 37 plays between 1591 and 1611. </li></ul><ul><li>His poetry includes long narrative poems, such as “Venus and Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece,” and 154 sonnets. </li></ul><ul><li>Shakespeare retired to New Place in 1611 and died on April 23, 1616. </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporaries, like Ben Jonson wrote about him with extravagant praise and contemporary critic Harold Bloom calls Shakespeare “the supreme genius” ( Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds 11). </li></ul>“ He’s the rain forest of our language … in fact … the first user of thousands of words … and he is one of the great creators of beauty. … You can’t solve … the pain of life. But you can set beauty against it and maybe endure it.” — Ralph Williams, University of Michigan
  11. 11. Ben Jonson on Shakespeare <ul><li>“ … Soul of the age! The applause! delight! the wonder of our stage! My SHAKESPEARE rise! I will not lodge thee by Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie A little further, to make thee a room: Thou art a monument without a tomb, And art alive still while thy book doth live And we have wits to read, and praise to give. </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul><ul><li>But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere Advanced, and made a constellation there! Shine forth, thou Star of Poets, and with rage Or influence, chide or cheer the drooping stage, Which, since thy flight from hence, hath mourned like night, And despairs day, but for thy volume's light.” </li></ul><ul><li>— from “To the Memory of My Beloved Master William Shakespeare” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Harold Bloom on Shakespeare <ul><li>Shakespeare is “the supreme genius … who at the least changed our ways of presenting human nature, if not human nature itself. … Shakespeare’s language is primary to his art … he employed more than twenty-one thousand separate words. … He invented … about eighteen hundred coinages, many of them now in common use. [The great French dramatist] Racine used two thousand words, not many more than Shakespeare coined. … The true Shakespearean difference, the uniqueness of his genius, is elsewhere, in his universality, in the persuasive illusion (is it illusion?) that he has peopled a world, remarkably like what we take to be our own, with men, women, and children preternaturally natural. … Is there another dramatist who excelled equally at comedy and tragedy? We have no comedies by Sophocles, or tragedies by Aristophanes.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Shakespeare’s Endurance <ul><li>In short, Shakespeare endures because of his masterful use of words, his insight into the human mind and human action, and his ability to explore and reveal the complexities and paradoxes inherent in the human condition. </li></ul><ul><li>Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies are generally considered to be King Lear , Macbeth , Othello , and Hamlet (written c. 1600 and for which Shakespeare used several sources). </li></ul>
  14. 14. Othello <ul><li>Shakespeare drew the plot from Othello from Giraldi Cinthio’s “Tale of the Moor,” a sixteenth-century Italian tale. Just a glimpse at the original elevates our appreciation for Shakespeare’s genius and vision, as he transforms a mediocre tale into one of the world’s great works of art. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the changes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Cinthio only Disdemona is given a name, which Shakespeare changes to Desdemona . Shakespeare’s Iago is identified as the Ensign and his Cassio as the Captain. More importantly, Shakespeare deepens his characters with psychological complexity. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Othello continued… <ul><li>Consider the changes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Moor and Disdemona have lived harmoniously as husband and wife for a long time before the Ensign’s destructive scheme. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Cinthio, the Ensign’s wife knows of her husband’s plot, but chooses to remain silent. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Cinthio, the Moor conceals the Ensign and coaxes Disdemona to rise from her bed and approach her closet, out of which the Ensign rushes to beat her to death with a sandbag. The Moor and Ensign place her body on her bed and collapse a portion of the ceiling to make the death look accidental. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Ensign betrays the Moor and arranges for his conviction for murder. The Moor is banished and then slain by Disdemona’s relatives. Only after a subsequent act of villainy is the Ensign arrested, tortured into a confession, and dies a miserable death. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. The Fall of Othello <ul><li>The central question of Othello might be phrased this way: How does a decisive, resourceful, and intelligent soldier, a successful general, allow himself to be so manipulated by another? </li></ul><ul><li>In Act 1, Othello is self-confident, open, clear-headed, and calm; see his reaction when Brabantio tries to arrest him (1.2). Consider too how calmly he expresses his love for Desdemona to the Duke (1.3). Othello brings adventure to her sheltered life while she offers him love and stability. </li></ul><ul><li>By Act 3.3, Othello’s jealousy is aroused and it begins to drive him. At the end of the scene he declares his unwavering commitment to murder his wife. Note too how his language begins to mimic the sexual coarseness of Iago – see 4.2.63-67; 5.1.32-38; 5.2.217-223. </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Fall of Othello continued… <ul><li>So impassioned has he become that, in Act 5, he cannot grant a hearing to his wife’s deathbed denial. For Othello, killing Desdemona is an honorable and necessary act, even a sacrifice. Desdemona must be punished for her adultery, which corrupted their spiritual love, and she is sacrificed to save her from further dishonor. Othello is more sorrowful, than angry here. Ironically, he wants the act of murder to be dispassionate and rational yet he acts in the throes of emotion. (See especially 5.2.1-22.) </li></ul><ul><li>After he recognizes the truth, Othello articulates his epitaph proudly, rationally, somewhat calmly, and without self-pity (5.2.302-304; 5.2.348-366). </li></ul>
  18. 18. Othello as Tragic Hero <ul><li>1. The traditional tragic hero must be extraordinary in rank and deed – “of high estate,” “great reputation and prosperity.” </li></ul><ul><li>Othello is a highly successful general in the Venetian army with many heroic adventures in his past. </li></ul><ul><li>2. A Tragic Flaw – “Hamartia” </li></ul><ul><li>A tragic flaw is the personality trait or fated mistake that leads to a tragic hero’s downfall. Iago identifies Othello’s tragic flaw at the end of Act 1.3.400-03. Othello is gullible, a trait Iago exploits as Othello “thinks men honest that but seem to be so.” </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Tragic Hero continued … <ul><li>3. Outside elements cooperate in the hero’s fall. </li></ul><ul><li>First and foremost, consider the role of Iago in Othello’s downfall. But consider other forces that conspire against him: bad luck with the loss of the handkerchief and Bianca’s arrival with the handkerchief, Desdemona’s naiveté, and more. </li></ul><ul><li>How do Othello’s foreignness and race, the importance of which is signaled by the title of the play, affect his relationships with the other characters? How does being a Moor in Venice affect his own confidence and sense of security? How does Iago use Othello’s foreignness in his plotting? </li></ul><ul><li>4. Recognition – “Anagnorisis” </li></ul><ul><li>Othello experiences recognition or “anagnorisis,” as he not only learns the specific truth about his wife’s good nature and Iago’s evil plotting, but he also learns about the complexity of human nature, human emotion, and the world itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to Suffer </li></ul><ul><li>Othello serves as his own judge, jury, and executioner. Is he fair to himself at the end of play? Does he depict himself accurately in his self-delivered eulogy (5.2.350-66)? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Othello as Traditional Tragedy <ul><li>Restoration – Traditional tragedy follows a pattern of upheaval and restoration. Because the tragic hero is such an important figure, the state itself is affected by his fate. Here, the island of Cyprus and the Venetian army are thrown off balance – although Othello has less of an impact than Oedipus and Hamlet on their respective states. Still, order is restored at the end when a wiser and more experienced Cassio assumes Othello’s position. </li></ul><ul><li>Poetry – The traditional language of tragedy is poetry, which establishes an exalted atmosphere and expresses the heights and depths of human emotion and action more completely. See, for instance, 3.3.469-77, to see how Shakespeare uses poetry to express Othello’s resolve. </li></ul><ul><li>Catharsis – The emotional renewal created by an audience’s feelings of pity and terror for a tragic hero, resulting in the recognition that the hero’s tragic fate was just and that his acceptance of that fate makes the tragedy complete. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Iago <ul><li>The most fascinating character in the play. Iago is intelligent, resourceful, fearless, devious, creative, and conscienceless. </li></ul><ul><li>He is an excellent judge of character and a master manipulator who identifies and exploits the weaknesses of others. Consider how he manipulates Roderigo’s foolish love for Desdemona, and Cassio’s trust in him and his “poor and unhappy brains for drinking” (2.3.30-31). </li></ul><ul><li>Iago recognizes that Othello is gullible and insecure as a foreigner and a Moor in a white, Christian culture. Consider, for example, what he tells Othello about Venetian women and their propensity for adultery (3.3.216-19). </li></ul><ul><li>Othello becomes so isolated that Iago becomes his sole interpreter of reality. In a sense, Iago recreates the world for Othello. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Iago’s Technique <ul><li>Iago manipulates Othello to reach certain conclusions through a carefully contrived and patient procedure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Iago plants an idea in Othello’s mind with a leading but indirect statement or question. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iago might act surprised at Othello’s response. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He pretends to withhold information so as to arouse Othello’s suspicion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He waits patiently for Othello to state the intended conclusion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He reaffirms the conclusion and pledges to help Othello correct the wrong. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider this technique in action in 3.3.101-295. </li></ul><ul><li>Through this technique, Iago appears a faithful and caring friend, honest, trustworthy, and unselfish. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Iago’s Motive <ul><li>Consider the following possibilities: </li></ul><ul><li>─ Iago is bitter at not being promoted and desires Cassio’s position. </li></ul><ul><li>─ Othello has cuckolded him. </li></ul><ul><li>─ Iago turns a neat profit for himself from swindling Roderigo. </li></ul><ul><li>─ Cassio has cuckolded him. </li></ul><ul><li>─ He is jealous of Cassio’s good looks and the favor that Othello shows him. </li></ul><ul><li>─ He is jealous of Desdemona and her closeness with his friend. </li></ul><ul><li>─ He enjoys deceiving and destroying everyone, and manipulating their perspectives on the world. For Iago, his deceptions are entertaining and makes him feel superior. </li></ul><ul><li>Which possible motives seem most probable? Be sure to consider Iago’s monologues. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Iago’s Motive continued … <ul><li>Under examination, each of these possible motivations will prove deficient or limited. </li></ul><ul><li>The final one seems most complete. Iago enjoys what he is doing. Actors usually deliver his last words before breaking into a vicious laugh: </li></ul><ul><li>Othello : … demand that demi-devil </li></ul><ul><li>Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body? </li></ul><ul><li>Iago : Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. </li></ul><ul><li>From this time forth I never will speak word. </li></ul><ul><li>(5.2.311-12) </li></ul><ul><li>Othello’s question, Iago’s response, and silence from other characters on the issue of motive emphasize that no one in the play can rationalize Iago’s destructive actions. Perhaps even Iago had no answer for Othello’s question. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Iago’s Motive continued … <ul><li>The great Romantic poet and Shakespearean scholar, Samuel T. Coleridge might serve as our guide on the question of Iago’s motive. Coleridge states that Iago’s soliloquy at the end of Act 1 reveals the “motive-hunting of motiveless malignancy.” </li></ul><ul><li>Certainly, Iago suggests and knowingly creates motives for inspiration, which indicates that he has to inspire himself to evil, since he has no justified cause. </li></ul>Portrait of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (ca. 18 th century)
  26. 26. Iago’s Mistake <ul><li>Iago might have been completely successful, except for one mistake. He underestimates the integrity and intelligence of his wife Emilia. </li></ul><ul><li>Iago probably thought Emilia lacked the skillfulness to detect his scheming, but he compounded this misjudgment by underestimating her loyalty to Desdemona, her loyalty to truth and justice, and her independence. He expected her to respond to the culture’s code of obedience to husband and “charm [her] tongue” (5.2.190) and go home at his command. </li></ul><ul><li>Note too how Emilia’s experience, awareness, and practical morality contrast with Desdemona’s inexperience, innocence, and uncompromising morality – see Act 4.3. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Dramatic Irony <ul><li>Dramatic irony is a discrepancy between what the characters know and what the audience or readers know. </li></ul><ul><li>Shakespeare uses dramatic irony throughout the play. The audience is well aware of Iago’s plot and true nature (he is hardly “honest, honest Iago”) and about all kinds of details unknown to the characters onstage, especially Othello. We know, for instance, the real topic of the conversation between Iago and Cassio on which Othello eavesdrops (4.1). </li></ul><ul><li>The dramatic irony arouses the audience’s emotions while also increasing our fascination with and appreciation for the evil Iago, whose resourcefulness, improvisational skills, and daring enthrall us. </li></ul>
  28. 28. The Handkerchief <ul><li>Shakespeare employs dramatic irony with the handkerchief, one of the most famous props in theatrical history. </li></ul><ul><li>The audience is well aware of what happens to the handkerchief, the symbol of Othello’s love for and trust in Desdemona. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the trail of the handkerchief: </li></ul><ul><li>─ Desdemona loses the handkerchief and Emilia finds it (3.3.300-344). </li></ul><ul><li>─ Othello demands Desdemona produce the handkerchief (3.4.51-104). </li></ul><ul><li>─ Cassio gives the handkerchief to Bianca (3.4.178-192). </li></ul><ul><li>─ Iago keeps the handkerchief, “ocular proof,” in the forefront of </li></ul><ul><li> Othello’s mind (4.1.1-42). </li></ul><ul><li>─ Bi anca enters with the handkerchief (4.1.147-185). </li></ul><ul><li>─ Othello learns the truth about the handkerchief from Emilia </li></ul><ul><li> (5.2.216-241). </li></ul>
  29. 29. Contrasting Loves <ul><li>At the beginning of the play, Othello and Desdemona demonstrate a pure love, untouched by base impulses. </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast, the speeches of Roderigo, Iago, Emilia, and Bianca consider love in sexual terms, not as a spiritual union. Iago has numerous references to bestial sexuality – see Act 1.1, when he informs Brabantio of Desdemona’s elopement. </li></ul><ul><li>What are the implications of the corruption of Othello and Desdemona’s love? Why was it so difficult for their love to survive? </li></ul>
  30. 30. Jealousy <ul><li>Othello is not jealous by nature. He needs to be worked into a state of jealous confusion. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the following pivotal passages in your discussion of the theme of jealousy. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When Iago further reveals his plot, he seems jealous himself (sincerely so?), and says that he must “put the Moor/ At least into a jealousy so strong/ That judgment cannot cure” (2.1.287-313). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iago later tells Othello to beware of the “green-eyed monster.” Othello responds that he would not “make a life of jealousy.” Note how brilliantly Iago maneuvers the conversation (3.3, 178-206). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Othello implies that even the most rational of individuals has the capaci t y for “being wrought/ perplexed in the extreme” when it comes to jealousy. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Dual Settings <ul><li>The dual settings of Venice and Cyprus emphasize the play’s very prominent polarities of reason and passion. </li></ul><ul><li>In Venice, reason, as embodied by the Duke, is firmly in control, but, in Cyprus, Othello’s passions take over and the barbaric Iago moves unchecked. </li></ul>Alvin Kernan <ul><li>Alvin Kernan wrote that Shakespeare “makes Venice over into a form of The City, the ageless image of government, of reason, of law, and of social concord,” while Cyprus is an outpost where “passions are more explosive and closer to the surface than in Venice.” </li></ul><ul><li>Kernan also states that the dual settings show “a movement expressed in geographical and social symbols from Venice to a Cyprus exposed to attack, from The City to barbarism, from Christendom to the domain of the Turks, from order to riot, from justice to wild revenge and murder, from truth to falsehood” (“ Othello : An Introduction,” in Alfred Harbage, ed., Shakespeare, The Tragedies: A Collection of Critical Essays ). </li></ul>
  32. 32. For Further Consideration <ul><li>Examine the scene in which Othello secretly watches Cassio talking to Bianca (4.1). Think about how Iago controls Othello’s perception, leading him to misinterpret what he sees. </li></ul>