Thursday, September 17, 2015

Summary Response Act 2 of Othello Joe Miserlian and John Henke

  • Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, main idea
  • Supporting ideas to prove main ideas
  • Explanation of ideas
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea

Act 2 of Shakespeare's play Othello construes revenge and its power. Iago continues plotting the downfall of Othello by scandalizing Othello’s lieutenant, Cassio. Iago succeeds and Cassio gets discharged from his lieutenancy. Iago continues scheming his avowal of revenge in Act 2 of Othello.

Response: Othello, by Shakespeare, correctly portrays how revenge can dominate someone’s life because of Iago’s quest for retribution and his hunger for vengeance.
  • Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, agree/disagree (correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays), because ___________ and ______________
  • Claim 1: Iago’s lust for revenge has devoured him.
    • Set-up After Othello arrives in Cyprus, and everyone has left for land but Iago and Roderigo, Iago convinces Roderigo that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. He persuades Roderigo that if he wants Desdemona, they have to discredit Cassio. Following Roderigo’s departure, Iago reveals his plot of Othello’s downfall. Iago says to himself that his reason for this dastardly plan is, “to diet my revenge” (Shakespeare 2.1.285), and declares,  “Nothing can, or shall, content my soul till I am evened with him” (Shakespeare 2.1.289-290).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove claim
Iago’s pursuit of retribution has consumed him. If nothing satisfies him, if he will refuse every happiness until Othello is vanquished, he is finished. The man Iago once was is gone, and he was lost the moment Iago chose to diet his revenge over life.   

  • Counterclaim 1 & Set-up: However, Iago shows Cassio a way to earn back his lieutenant ship.  After Othello fires Cassio, Iago comforts him and creates a plan for him. Because Desdemona is Othello’s wife, she has a lot of influence in his decisions.  Iago believes that Cassio can convince Desdemona to persuade Othello to return Cassio’s rank.  Iago explains to him,
    • Evidence: Lead-in  “Confess yourself freely to her [Desdemona], importune her help to put you in your place again” (Shakespeare 2.3.309-310).  Iago tells him that if he shows Desdemona that he cares about her, she will urge Othello give back his rank.  Iago becomes a friendly comrade by helping Cassio.  Even though Iago once desired Cassio’s position, he aids Cassio in re-securing his station. At the end of their conversation, Iago still calls Cassio lieutenant, “You are in the right. Good night Lieutenant”(Shakespeare 2.3.323). Iago truly wants Cassio to earn back his job because he thinks Cassio deserves it.

  • What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? Rebuttal Progression

At first glance one could think Iago supports Cassio. It is easy to understand how someone could interpret Othello in such a way. Iago does indeed give advice to Cassio after his downfall, but it’s more complicated than that. After Cassio goes to follow Iago’s advice, Iago clearly states he sends Cassio to Desdemona not to help him, but to make it seem like Cassio and Desdemona are in an affair, “For whiles this honest fool plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes and she for him pleads strongly to the Moor, I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear: That she repeals him for her body’s lust” (Shakespeare 2.3.343-347).  Anyone could see how Iago craves revenge. Iago not only plans to use Cassio and Desdemona, but his wife as well. “My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress: I’ll set her on” Shakespeare (2.3.372-373). This means Iago’s wife is dirt to him, and it conclusively shows how Iago has been devoured by revenge if he continues to use his wife, the one person he should love above all others, in a scheme of retaliation. Othello, by Shakespeare, portrays the severity of revenge as it possess lives and drives one’s vengeful nature.  

1 comment:

  1. Great work: spend a bit more time on your summary. spend more time on quotation explanations- what is the quote saying and then connecting it to the point of the paragraph. Missing one lead in to a quote.