Mind Map by mmacklin, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by mmacklin almost 7 years ago


Mind Map on Othello, created by mmacklin on 04/09/2014.

Resource summary

  1. Key Relationships
    1. Othello and Desdemona
      1. Othello and Iago
        1. Desdemona and Barbantio
          1. Desdemona and Cassio
            1. Iago and Emilia
            2. Key Scenes
              1. Act I Scene 3
                1. In the first part we see the Duke and senators attempting to establish the movements and intentions of the Turkish fleet, to decide whether they are going to invade Cyprus or Rhodes. Different messengers give conflicting information and the Turkish enemy may be attempting to deceive the Venetians, so the senate has to weigh up the evidence and be shrewd in its judgement. In the second, Brabantio and Othello offer conflicting accounts of the Moor's relationship with Desdemona, each trying to persuade the Duke that his version of events is more truthful. Having originally promised Brabantio that the man who has bewitched his daughter will be punished, the Duke changes his mind and instead takes Othello's part. Desdemona's speech makes it apparent that her father has been deceived. In the third, Iago first continues to gull Roderigo into believing he can cuckold Othello, then reveals to the audience that he is stringing him along for money alone.
                  1. He relishes deceiving Roderigo, and plans to do the same with Othello, whom he says naively believes others honest just because they seem to be so. Notice how, in each of the three parts and on a number of different levels, Shakespeare makes central the question of judgement - making characters (and the audience) use their skill and understanding to decide between opposing points of view, differing opinions. Look, too, at the part that deception plays in all this, and at how important and difficult it is not to be fooled by what only seems to be true. The Turks try to fool the Venetians; Desdemona seemed to be afraid of Othello but was in love with him; Othello thinks his ancient an honest man; Roderigo is taken in by Iago's lies.
                2. Act iii Scene 3
                  1. This is Othello's central scene, both structurally - it falls in the middle of the five acts - and dramatically. During its course we see the Moor utterly transformed from a loving and noble husband, declaring undying love for Desdemona, to an embittered, vengeful and ferocious man who is vowing allegiance to the duplicitous Iago and plotting his wife's murder. Notice how this rapid moral descent is reflected in the transformation of Othello's language from the often lyrical, poised verse of previous scenes to crude, disjointed outbursts. We also witness the subtlety, opportunism and relentless insistence of Iago as he takes advantage of the trust Othello has placed in him. At first, planting the seeds of doubt in the Moor's mind, Iago brilliantly adopts the role of concerned friend, reluctantly divulging others' deceit.
                    1. Notice how he withholds information, pricking Othello's curiosity, and plays shrewdly on Othello's feeling that, as a military man and an outsider, he knows little of Venetian women and their subtle ways. Besides being skilful in his treachery, Iago is also lucky, the handkerchief falling into his possession at just the right moment. Left to himself, Othello turns Iago's insinuations and suggestions into unpalatable realities. Though he talks of needing proof before he can act, Iago requires only to mention the treasured handkerchief, and to invent a story about Cassio dreaming of making love to Desdemona, before Othello is convinced beyond recall.
                3. Key Quotes
                  1. Awake! what, ho, Brabantio! thieves! thieves! thieves! Look to your house, your daughter and your bags! Thieves! thieves! (1.1.7)
                    1. Even now, now, very now, an old black ram Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise; Awake the snorting citizens with the bell, Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you. Arise I say! (1.1.9)
                      1. IAGO Though I do hate him as I do hell's pains Yet for necessity of present life, I must show out a flag and sign of love, Which is indeed but sign. (1.1.152-155) IAGO I hate the Moor: And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets He has done my office: I know not if't be true; But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety. (1.3.379-383)
                        1. IAGO She did deceive her father, marrying you; […] OTHELLO And so she did. (3.3.18)
                        2. Key Facts
                          1. FULL TITLE · The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
                            1. AUTHOR · William Shakespeare
                              1. TYPE OF WORK · Play
                                1. GENRE · Tragedy
                                  1. TIME AND PLACE WRITTEN · Between 1601 and 1604, England
                                    1. DATE OF FIRST PUBLICATION · 1622
                                      1. TONE · Shakespeare clearly views the events of the play as tragic. He seems to view the marriage between Desdemona and Othello as noble and heroic, for the most part.
                                        1. MAJOR CONFLICT · Othello and Desdemona marry and attempt to build a life together, despite their differences in age, race, and experience. Their marriage is sabotaged by the envious Iago, who convinces Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful.
                                          1. RISING ACTION · Iago tells the audience of his scheme, arranges for Cassio to lose his position as lieutenant, and gradually insinuates to Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful.
                                            1. CLIMAX · The climax occurs at the end of Act III, scene iii, when Othello kneels with Iago and vows not to change course until he has achieved bloody revenge.
                                              1. FALLING ACTION · Iago plants the handkerchief in Cassio’s room and later arranges a conversation with Cassio, which Othello watches and sees as “proof” that Cassio and Desdemona have slept together. Iago unsuccessfully attempts to kill Cassio, and Othello smothers Desdemona with a pillow. Emilia exposes Iago’s deceptions, Othello kills himself, and Iago is taken away to be tortured
                                                1. THEMES · The incompatibility of military heroism and love; the danger of isolation
                                                  1. MOTIFS · Sight and blindness; plants; animals; hell, demons, and monsters
                                                    1. FORESHADOWING · Othello and Desdemona’s speeches about love foreshadow the disaster to come; Othello’s description of his past and of his wooing of Desdemona foreshadow his suicide speech; Desdemona’s “Willow” song and remarks to Emilia in Act IV, scene iii, foreshadow her death.
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