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


AS - Level English literature (Themes/Symbols in 'Othello') Mind Map on Warfare, created by Rebecca Birch on 03/24/2016.

Resource summary

1 As the war in Cyprus is postponed, it is said that the real war happens within the mind. 'Othello' is an extended war allegory - Iago's machinations are the strategic planning of a general, individual victories are minor battles and the three deaths are casualties of the physical combat
2.1 'Though I do hate him as I do hell pains, yet, for necessity of present life, I must show out a flag and sign of love— which is indeed but sign'


  • Act 1, Scene 1
2.1.1 Uses war language 'show out a flag' as a sign of his loyalty towards Othello
3.1 'The tyrant custom, most grave senators, hath made the flinty and steel couch of war my thrice-driven bed of down. I do agnize a natural and prompt alacrity I find in hardness, and do undertake these present wars against the Ottomites. Most humbly therefore bending to your state, I crave fit disposition for my wife. Due reference of place and exhibition, with such accommodation and besort as levels with her breeding'


  • Act 1, Scene 3
3.1.1 Othello puts aside his marriage to Desdemona to almost instantaneously head to war. This suggests that he prioritises his military expertise over his relationship
3.2 Othello refers to Desdemona as his 'fair warrior'


  • Act 2, Scene 1
3.2.1 This is ironic because Desdemona was permitted from actually going to battle in the war and so was not able to become an actual 'warrior' BUT...is Othello referring to her as a 'warrior' because she stuck up for herself against her father
3.3 'Behold, I have a weapon. A better never did itself sustain upon a soldier's thigh'


  • Act 5, Scene 2
3.3.1 Othello's choice of war language within this quote sounds blatantly phallic, forging a disturbing relationship between sex and death
4.1 'The rites for which I love him are bereft me and I a heavy interim shall support by his dear absence. Let me go with him'


  • Act 1, Scene 3
4.1.1 Desdemona's plea to go with Othello to Cyprus in the war shows her adventurous side. However, the decline shows how women were permitted from battle as they were the inferior gender, incapable of doing the things men could do
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