Presentation on theme: "Cassio N. Brennan. Sample Questions O ‘While Cassio is an admirable gentleman, his weaknesses contribute in no small way to the tragic death of Desdemona.’"— Presentation transcript:
Sample Questions O ‘While Cassio is an admirable gentleman, his weaknesses contribute in no small way to the tragic death of Desdemona.’ Discuss O Discuss the role of Cassio in the play.
Cassio * Well educated & Well spoken * Handsome* Florentine * Courteous & mannerly *Ladies man *Loyal *Gallant*Weak-willed *Idealistic*Capable *Trusting*Refined
Role O Highlights Othello’s good qualities O Highlight’s Desdemona’s essential goodness O Plausible/credible suitor for the supposed affair with Desdemona O Provides partial motive for Iago’s act of revenge : lieutenant O Highlights Iago’s ability to manipulate others
General points O Cassio unwittingly plays a fundamental role in Iago’s malicious plans. He is an ‘honest fool’ and Iago exploits his weakness, with dramatic and destructive consequences. O Respectful and humble Cassio is seen as being the perfect suitor for Desdemona, his language and mannerisms are polished. He greets the women in Cyprus with charm and affection.
General points O Desdemona in particular is treated in a respectful and venerable way, Cassio refers to her in glowing terms, describing her as one who ‘paragons description’. It is this noble and courteous nature that highlights Iago’s degrading view of women, whose purpose it merely ‘To suckle fools and chronicle small beer’
General points O Cassio is a true friend to Othello, he knows from the outset of the play about the relationship between Othello and Desdemona. O When Othello is at sea, Cassio shows great concern about the Generals welfare. O He is distraught at having disappointed Othello and wants to make amends. O At the close of the play Cassio’s final words illustrate the depth of love and respect he still bears Othello, despite all that has occurred ‘For he was great of heart’
General points - weaknesses O Reputation as a ladies man, his relationship with Bianca, a harlot does nothing to improve this view. Hence why the innocent caring gesture of greeting Desdemona with a kiss on the hand is so easily misconstrued by Iago as a sinister sign of lust. O While Cassio’s noble nature cannot be seen as a flaw, we must be aware of how Iago cleverly uses this observation to his advantage.
General points - weaknesses O Cassio desires to please everyone – Othello, Desdemona, Iago etc. O Despite admitting that he has ‘unhappy brains for drinking’ Cassio continue to drink as he is persuaded by Iago, he does not want to be seen as ungrateful or displeasing.
General points - weaknesses O Cassio lacks patience. Immediately he sets out to restore his position and bond with Othello. O Cassio plays right into Iago’s hand by pleading with Desdemona to beseech Othello on his behalf. ‘Ha I like not that’ Iago uses these secret encounters to inflame Othello’s jealousy and set out on the monstrous path.
General points - weaknesses O Cassio further enables Iago’s evil schemes when he inadvertently discusses Bianca in less than glowing terms ‘bauble’. Like Othello, Cassio too adopts the rhetoric of Iago as he becomes ensnared in Iago’s web of deceit. O Othello mistakenly believes that Cassio is referring to Desdemona and combined with Iago’s other insinuations, Cassio unwittingly seals Desdemona’s fate.
Summation O Cassio is at once a courteous gentleman and an ‘honest fool’. He highlights Othello’s noble qualities and Desdemona’s natural beauty yet allows himself to become a pawn in Iago’s grand and malevolent schemes. O He tries too hard to be like by all, his finer qualities are used against him by the formidable Iago and hence Cassio contributes to the tragic and unnecessary death of Desdemona.