Blood

Rebecca Birch
Mind Map by Rebecca Birch, updated more than 1 year ago
Rebecca Birch
Created by Rebecca Birch about 4 years ago
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Description

AS - Level English literature (Themes/Symbols in 'Othello') Mind Map on Blood, created by Rebecca Birch on 03/02/2016.

Resource summary

Blood
1 Death
1.1 'Swords out, and tilting one at other's breasts in opposition bloody. I cannot speak any beginning to this peevish odds, and would in action glorious I had lost those legs that brought me to a part of it'

Annotations:

  • Act 2, Scene 3
1.1.1 Othello would rather lose his legs (and then most likely die, seeing as medical situations were not the best during Shakespearean times) rather than be involved in any speculations that may harm his reputation
1.1.1.1 This links to the context of the time because reputation was taken extremely seriously and people would do everything to protect it. Othello's reputation means so much to him, as it suggests that a black man can do everything that a white one can do
2 Loss of virginity/innocence
2.1 The strawberry pattern on the handkerchief was dyed with virgin's blood
2.1.1 Therefore, the red blood on the white background suggests how Desdemona's innocence has been tainted with infidelity and with Othello's race
3 Loss of heritage
3.1 'Oh, treason of the blood!'

Annotations:

  • Act 1, Scene 1
3.1.1 Shows the shock that Brabantio is feeling towards the fact that his upper class, white daughter has married a lower class Moor. In other words, his daughter has betrayed him for a man with less noble blood
4 War
4.1 'Yet I'll not shed her blood, nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow'

Annotations:

  • Act 5, Scene 2
4.1.1 This suggests that rather than spilling Desdemona's innocent blood, Othello (even at a time of outrage), is honourable in killing her in a more moral manner. This suggests that he still loves and respects her
5 Lust
5.1 'It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will'

Annotations:

  • Act 1, Scene 3
5.1.1 Because Roderigo is a man, it is in his nature and his blood to feel lust towards a woman. It is also suggested that he can't be blamed for lusting after Desdemona because she is described to have angelic qualities
5.2 'When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there should be a game to inflame it and to give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favour'

Annotations:

  • Act 2, Scene 1
5.2.1 Blood symbolises the lust that Desdemona will feel towards other men and suggests that Othello will not be able to satisfy her for much longer, so she will inevitably leave him
6 The extent of the internal war due to Iago's schemes
6.1 'Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons which at the first are scarce found to distaste, but with a little act upon the blood burn like the mines of sulphur'

Annotations:

  • Act 3, Scene 3
6.1.1 This simile can be linked to the theme of Hell ('burn like the mines of sulphur') and due to Iago's manipulation, Othello's jealousy, his hamartia, is enraged
7 How Othello descends into madness
7.1 'O, blood, blood, blood!'

Annotations:

  • Act 3, Scene 3
7.1.1 This uses repetition. This utterance shows us Othello's descent into a barbarous rage and an unstable mentality. Othello wants to kill Cassio to get revenge
8 Creating power/importance through race
8.1 'The blood and basness of our natures would conduct us to most prepost'rous conclusions'

Annotations:

  • Act 1, Scene 3
8.1.1 This suggests that slaves, or black people in general, are bound to do no good if acting upon their nature. Othello's blood acts as a barrier to his success as black people at the time had less rights and were isolated from society
8.2 'That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood or with some dram, conjured this effect, he wrought upon her'

Annotations:

  • Act 1, Scene 3
8.2.1 Because Othello is black, it was believed that he must have used witchcraft (just like his ancestors) to put a spell on Desdemona
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