Eyes

Rebecca Birch
Mind Map by Rebecca Birch, updated more than 1 year ago
Rebecca Birch
Created by Rebecca Birch almost 6 years ago
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Description

AS - Level English literature (Themes/Symbols in 'Othello') Mind Map on Eyes, created by Rebecca Birch on 03/01/2016.

Resource summary

Eyes
  1. 'Saw Othello's visage in his mind, and to his honors and valiant parts, did I my soul and fortunes consecrate'

    Annotations:

    • Act 1, Scene 3
    1. She saw the true Othello when she saw his mind. This also suggests that she understands and rejects the bigotry aimed at Othello. As a person's 'visage' is their face, this suggests that she understands that most Europeans consider black people to be evil, ugly and associated with witchcraft, but she saw past this, and it doesn't bother her that her husband is black, so she saw his honour and courage instead
    2. 'ocular proof'

      Annotations:

      • Act 3, Scene 3
      1. Othello claims that he needs 'ocular proof';not just rumoured stories about Cassio and Desdemona but actual sight proof. He also claims that he won't believe that Desdemona is having an affair unless he receives this proof. This is ironic because Othello then goes on to kill Desdemona, with nothing but a stolen handkerchief and Iago's word for proof. This just shows how far Othello has fallen from a noble general to a stereotypical 'Moor'
      2. Iago's story of seeing Cassio wipe his beard with Desdemona's handkerchief

        Annotations:

        • Act 3, Scene 3
        1. 'I am sure it was your wife's - did I today see Cassio wipe his beard with'

          Annotations:

          • Act 3, Scene 3
          1. The theme of eyes in this respect further implants the idea that Desdemona is having an affair in Othello's mind. It could be argued however, that Othello believes this because of his trust in Iago and the fact that Iago finds it so easy to manipulate people or it could be Othello's hamartia of jealousy stopping him from being able to distinguish between the truth, and lies
            1. 'Set on thy wife to observe'

              Annotations:

              • Act 3, Scene 3
              1. As Othello says this, it creates the assumption that Othello has finally committed to fully believing Iago that Desdemona is having an affair. If this were false, we would assume that Othello would trust Desdemona to be faithful as they were (apparently) in love. This just shows the extent of Iago's manipulation on Othello because he has turned against his wife, who he once placed all of his trust in and was madly in love with
        2. Proof and Judgement
          1. 'I, of whom his (Othello's) eyes had seen the proof, at Rhodes, at Cyprus and on other grounds, Christian and heathen, must be be-lee'd and calm'd by debitor and creditor'

            Annotations:

            • Act 1, Scene 1
            1. Basically meaning, 'My career is cut short by some bookkeeper, even though the general saw my fighting skills first-hand in Rhodes and Cyprus'. This suggests that Iago uses the fact that the general saw his fighting skills as proof that he was more highly equipped for the job as lieutenant over Cassio. This links to the bitterness that Iago feels towards Iago and why he fuels his revenge to get Othello to kill Desdemona
          2. Racism
            1. 'Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her'

              Annotations:

              • Act 1, Scene 2
              1. 'to the sooty bosom of such a thing as thou - to fear, not to delight'

                Annotations:

                • Act 1, Scene 2
                1. Both of these suggest that because they can see that Othello is black, it is acceptable for them to treat him badly. This links to contextual ideas of the time because black people were often associated with making deals with the Devil and abusing the skill of witchcraft to make people fall in love with them. This is why Brabantio is so distraught when he is informed that Desdemona has married Othello because he believes that she must have been put under a spell; why would a young, white, upper class woman, marry a past slave, lower class Moor?
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