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Character Introduction

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1 Character Introduction
Othello Character Introduction

2 Othello The Moor General of the Venetian Army
This is the name given to the medieval Muslim inhabitants of Morocco, western Algeria, Western Sahara, Mauritania, the Iberian Peninsula, etc. Term has also been used in Europe in a broader sense to refer to anyone of Arab or African descent, whether living in Spain or North Africa Not a distinct or self-defined people General of the Venetian Army Secretly married to Desdemona

3 Desdemona Married to Othello
Wealthy daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian senator Disappoints her father by marrying Othello

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

5 Roderigo 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

6 Iago The man on the right Fought beside Othello for several years
Has become a trusted advisor Upset that he was not promoted to lieutenant Hates Othello and uses Roderigo in a plot against Othello

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

8 Michael Cassio The man on the left Othello’s trusted lieutenant
Will do anything out of honor and reputation

9 Bianca A woman in Cyprus Is in love with Cassio

10 Othello and tragedy Definition of tragedy…
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

11 Tragedy’s central character: the Tragic Hero
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

12 Aristotle’s Poetics 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.

13 Othello 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?

14 Subtext: It’s not what you say, but HOW you say it!
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

15 Radio performances — who is the best???
Instructions: Do a round robin read through Discuss the speeches — make sure everyone understands every line Assign parts — divide as necessary to make sure everyone has lines to speak. Run through your scene and practice to ensure an accurate interpretive reading. Use intonation, stress and pauses to convey the subtext accurately!

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