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Character introduction 1. The Moor General of the Venetian Army Secretly married to Desdemona 2.

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Presentation on theme: "Character introduction 1. The Moor General of the Venetian Army Secretly married to Desdemona 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Character introduction 1

2 The Moor General of the Venetian Army Secretly married to Desdemona 2

3 Married to Othello Wealthy daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian senator 3

4 Venetian senator Father of Desdemona Is not happy that Othello secretly married his daughter 4

5 The man on the left Is in love with Desdemona Hires Iago, the man on the right, to help him get together with Desdemona Will do anything to be with Desdemona 5

6 Othello’s Ancient Upset that he was not promoted to Lieutenant Hates Othello and vows revenge 6

7 Iago’s wife Desdemona’s servant and confidant 7

8 The man on the left Othello’s trusted Lieutenant and friend Will do anything out of honor and reputation 8

9 A woman in Cyprus Is in love with Cassio 9

10 10 A big deal?

11 The term "Moor” was used in Europe in a broad way to refer to Muslims, especially those of Arab or African decent. The way the label is used by some characters, as well as the references made early in the play to his physical features, make us wonder…is the play about race? 11

12 “There was a fascination with the exotic in Renaissance England.” Shakespeare’s audience probably found Othello intriguing because he was different, not unlike Desdemona’s reaction to him. The typical audience in Shakespeare’s day would likely have been more interested in the differences in social rank between Desdemona and Othello than they would have been with the difference in their races. 12

13 “The play is not about race; it’s about men who have lost their moral compass.” Any racism we observe says more about the character who says such things than it does the play’s message. The fact that we notice this racism is because a modern audience is sensitive to it. 13

14 “I am nothing if not critical.” “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy, it is the green-eyed monster.” “Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.” “As ignorant as dirt.” “I wear my heart upon my sleeve.” 14

15 Spiders and webs Honesty and loyalty What “seems” versus what “is” Jealousy Proof versus suspicion Women as whores Men as users 15

16 The words he used: Most of the time the words that are unfamiliar are explained or defined in the notes on the facing page. His sentence structure: As modern readers, we’re pretty dependent upon “regular” word order: subject-verb-object The dog bit the man is very different from The man bit the dog! Shakespeare inverted his sentence patterns in order to achieve a certain rhythm or rhyme. 16

17 “If ever I did dream of such a matter, abhor me.” Say what? First, what word(s) don’t you know? Now, what would the “right” word order be? 17

18 Even when the sentences were in the “right” order, he used many parenthetical statements, or interrupters, that separated subjects from verbs. “But I beseech you, If’t be your pleasure and most wise consent— As partly I find it is—that your fair daughter, At this odd-even and dull watch o’ th’ night, Transported with no worse nor better guard But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier, To the gross clasps of the lascivious Moor: 18

19 First, don’t get frustrated. You do not need to understand every single word! Next, read for the punctuation, turning poetry into prose (just like you did with Beowulf) On initial reading, read a speech, stop, and do a mental paraphrase. If you get the general drift, that’s enough for the first time through. Untangle difficult lines by Putting inverted sentences into “normal” order Paying attention to the punctuation that signals those interrupting clauses (dashes, commas). Skip the interrupting material during a first reading. 19

20 Definition: A type of drama where the major character undergoes a morally significant struggle that ends disastrously Developed by Greeks but perfected by Shakespeare Greek tragic hero lived, but suffered terribly as a result of his flaws and mistakes. Shakespeare preferred to kill off all his heroes. 20

21 Greater than average man Falls short of perfection Tragic flaw Causes hero to make mistakes Catharsis (a moment of realization that he caused his own difficulties) Downfall 21

22 Aristotle wrote that the purpose of tragedy was to … Arouse the emotions of pity and fear in the audience, which relied on our ability to relate to the character’s flaws and mistakes. Produce for the audience a catharsis of its own, where we experience the character’s pain, but safely. This means that… Through tragedy, we are able to experience great emotions with no threat to ourselves. Hopefully through watching a tragedy we can learn from the mistakes of the hero and avoid a similar fate. 22

23 Regarding Iago and Roderigo, who seems to be in control? What has just happened? Who is Brabantio? What sort of person do you think the Moor is? Why are neither Othello or Desdemona mentioned by name in this scene? What sort of language does Iago use to tell Brabantio that his daughter has eloped? On what sort of fears and prejudices does Iago play? 23

24 24

25 Text = surface meaning Subtext=the real meaning Subtext is conveyed by the following: Intonation (tone) Stress Pause Body language: stance, gesture, eye contact or eye avoidance The “Fred Scene” 25

26 Instructions: 1. Do a round robin read through 2. Discuss the speeches—make sure everyone understands every line 3. Assign parts—divide as necessary to make sure everyone has lines to speak. 4. Run through your scene and practice to ensure an accurate interpretive reading. 5. Use intonation, stress and pauses to convey the subtext accurately! 26

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