Presentation on theme: "OTHELLO. Othello n First performed by the King’s Men at the court of King James I Nov. 1, 1604 n Set against the backdrop of the wars between Turkey and."— Presentation transcript:
Othello n First performed by the King’s Men at the court of King James I Nov. 1, 1604 n Set against the backdrop of the wars between Turkey and Venice. n The island of Cyprus was an outpost of Venice, attacked by the Turks in 1570 and conquered by them in 1571.
Othello sources n History of the Turks (Knolles, 1603) n Italian prose tale written by Cinthio in 1565 in which a Moorish general is deceived by his ensign into believing his wife is unfaithful n Shakespeare turns the ensign into the arch-villain Iago
Othello basic facts n Setting (time): late 16th century n Setting (place): act 1, Venice; thereafter, the island of Cyprus n Major conflict: Othello and Desdemona marry, despite the differences in their age, experience and race. Their marriage is sabotaged by Iago, angered at being passed over for a promotion
Themes n Military heroism vs. romantic love n Love vs. lust n Isolation n Pride n Jealousy n Reputation and Honor n Proof and Judgment
Motifs/symbols in Othello n Water (storms, streams, fountains, tears) n Black and white n Sight and blindness n Animals n The Devil, Hell, demons, monsters
Motifs/Symbols in Othello n Slaves n Handkerchief n the song “Willow”
Definitions n Theme: Fundamental, often universal ideas explored in a literary work n Motif: Recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that help develop and inform the text’s major themes n Symbol: Something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible.
What is a “Moor”? “Moor” is defined variously: –“a blacke Moore, or man of Ethiope” – 16th century def. from the Early Modern English Dictionary Database –A member of a Muslim people of mixed Berber and Arab descent, now living chiefly in northwest Africa. –One of the Muslims who invaded Spain in the 8th century and established a civilization in Andalusia that lasted until the late 15th century – Dictionary.com
“Moor” comes from… n Interestingly, “Moor” derives from Middle English More, from Old French, from Medieval Latin Mrus, from Latin Maurus, Mauritanian, from Greek Mauros, referring to Mauritania
Main Characters n Othello – a stranger in a strange land –A Moor, a military hero, a North African in alien sites, first Venice, then Cyprus.
Desdemona n Othello’s wife –Younger –Daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian Senator –Women of Venice had a reputation as “loose women”; ostensibly, this does not apply to Desdemona, but will return to affect her.
Iago n Othello’s ensign –Called an “ancient” in the play; word does not have our modern meaning –Envious of Othello’s power –Considers himself an “other” because he has no status in society
Iago n Angry that Othello has passed him over for a promotion n Wants Cassio’s position n Ambitious; how is he like Macbeth? n Jealous of Othello’s relationship with Desdemona n Latently in love with Othello and therefore jealous of Desdemona???
Emilia n Iago’s wife –Older than Desdemona, but Iago is 28; therefore Emilia cannot be too old –Iago possesses her, but may not truly love her –May be viewed as a passive accomplice to Iago’s treachery
Other characters n Cassio – Othello’s honorable lieutenant n Bianca – Cassio’s mistress; a Venetian courtesan n Roderigo – gullible, taken in by Iago’s duplicity n Brabantio – a Venetian senator, Desdemona’s father
“I am not who I am.” January is named for Janus the Roman god of gates and doors (ianua), beginnings and endings, and hence represented with a double-faced head, each looking in opposite directions. He was worshipped at the beginning of the harvest time, planting, marriage, birth, and other types of beginnings, especially the beginnings of important events in a person's life. (www.pantheon.org/articles/j/janus.htmlwww.pantheon.org/articles/j/janus.html
Janus Associated ideas: Gate posts Future / past Two – faced
Janus isn’t the only one who is two-faced… n Define “two-faced”. Deceitful? n Do you know anyone who is two-faced? n What actions led you to believe that this person was two-faced? n What did they hope to gain from their actions? n Whey you found out that they were duplicitous, what happened to your relationship?
Vocabulary n Janus n Moor n Rhetoric n Logos n Pathos n ethos
Vocabulary continued n Metaphor n Intimation n Repetition n Imagery n Connotation n Leading question n “Other”