In-Class Questions & Activities
1. Circle the key words in prompt.
2. What stylistic and linguistic devices are you asked to use to help you prove your point?
3. Read the soliloquy silently to yourself, bearing in mind the prompt. Annotate the text as you read for those stylistic and linguistic features in prompt.
4. Planning your Essay:
A. How would you describe King Henry’s state of mind? (use vivid adjectives)
B. Organization of the Soliloquy
1. How many divisions (sections) do you see in the soliloquy?
2. Place brackets around them.
1. Where can you find patterns or groups of similar diction? Highlight patterns directly on text.
2. What repeated figure of speech help animate King Henry’s state of mind?
1. Highlight in margins the various images (mental pictures that appeal to any one of the five sense) that appear throughout the soliloquy.
2. Make note of the similarities/differences between images.
3. What do these various images suggest about King Henry’s state of mind?
1. What types of sentences are used?
2. What do each suggest in relation to character?
Write a thesis statement that directly addresses the prompt. Your thesis statement should provide an arguable point that would defend were you to write a complete essay. DO NOT mention the stylistic devices in your thesis. Additionally, thesis must be a complex sentence.
The Destruction of Othello (20 minutes)
In Act 3, lines 121-490, which lines show that Othello is still a rational human being, but one torn by doubt? Which lines show that Othello has turned into the "green-eyed monster" of which Iago told him?
In the same section of Act 3, identify the rhetorical devices that Iago uses to make sure that Othello is ensnared in his web of deceit.
In the same section of Act 3, identify also Othello's weaknesses that allow him to fall for Iago's evil persuasion.
In the beginning of Act 4, scene 1, what are the hypothetical situations Iago imagines between a woman and a man (namely Desdemona and Cassio)? What images does Iago use to torment Othello? Which of Othello's many insecurities do these images affect? What is the result of Iago's language?
Major Characters-Samuel Taylor Coleridge (15 minutes)
Read the document below and take notes in your reading journal
Minor Characters (5 minute discussion)
How do the minor characters and little side plots strengthen the Unity of Action in Othello?
from Attic and Elizabethan Tragedy by Lauchlan Maclean Watt:
The only Unity that has any reason in it, and that really is observed at all in all dramatic works, is the "Unity of Action."  This means, of course, that the interest of the play shall be one throughout. It may have more events than one, but the interest must not be divided; and any subsidiary motive must be purely secondary, lying into the main purpose, and leading towards the general conclusion.
Quote and Analysis Hunt
Choose a person or pair from this list and find a quotation that supports the character analysis presented. Then write commentary to show how it illustrates the character analysis.
Othello: A Moor, and an officer in the Venetian military. He falls in love with, and marries, the delicate Desdemona, though he is middle-aged, and she is still young. Othello is bold, a good warrior, and a decent person overall; however, he is undone by jealousy and pride, his two main failings. Although Othello is very eloquent, he believes his manners and words are both rough.
Desdemona: Othello's wife, a young Venetian woman of high birth and good breeding. Desdemona is almost overly virtuous, which causes her to feel that she must defend Cassio, and speak in a public sphere when necessary. She is stronger than Othello believes her to be, and is not the private, withdrawn, meek woman he would ideally like her to be.
Cassio: Othello's lieutenant, though he has little field experience. Cassio is a smooth-talking, very courteous Venetian courtier, the opposite of Othello in many respects, which is why Othello admires him, oddly enough. Othello is led to believe that Cassio has had an affair with Desdemona, though Cassio has only honorable intentions toward Desdemona.
Iago: Othello's ensign, and passed over for the lieutenant position in favor of Cassio. Iago is young and treacherous; he is a villain from the start, and though he cites his hurt pride over the lost promotion and Othello's alleged infidelity with Iago's wife Emilia as being reasons for his actions, he is without reasons. He is immoral, but very perceptive, keen, and able to manipulate people into falling for the traps he sets without them being aware.
Emilia: Iago's wife, and Desdemona's handmaiden. She is entrusted with bringing people into Desdemona's presence, staying with her at all times, etc. Emilia has no idea what her husband Iago is up to, nor of his darker qualities. She remains loyal to Desdemona above all others, although she unwittingly plays a key part in Iago's treachery.
Brabantio: Desdemona's father, a senator and renowned citizen of Venice. He is not at all pleased by Desdemona's union, and warns Othello that as Desdemona betrayed her father, she may betray her husband too.
Roderigo: Lusts after Desdemona, which Iago is of course aware of. Iago uses him to ruin Cassio's reputation, and in his other schemes. Iago promises Roderigo that he shall have Desdemona's love in return for his help; Roderigo actually receives nothing but a disgraced death.
Duke of Venice: Ruler of the city, and Othello's superior. He allows Othello and Desdemona to stay together despite her father's protests, and also sends Othello off to Cyprus to battle the Moors.
Senators: Other authority figures of Venice, and men of reason and order; they also support Othello and Desdemona's union, and Othello answers to them and the Duke in matters of war.
Bianca: A courtesan who Cassio visits frequently; Cassio asks her to make a copy of Desdemona's handkerchief, and the fact that the handkerchief is found in her place further incriminates Cassio. She is the only female in the play whom Cassio shows less than full respect to, probably because she is a prostitute.
Montano, Governor of Cyprus: Pronounces judgment on Iago at the end of the play, comments on the situation, and helps to wrap the play up. He is the main law and order figure of Cyprus, and serves as damage control after Othello dies, and Iago is proven unfit.
Lodovico and Gratiano: Two Venetian nobles, both of some relation to Desdemona; both play their biggest part after Desdemona has died, and must take the news of the tragedy back to Venice as officials of that city.
Finish studying for the Vocabulary 8 Test
Austin High School teacher