Act 1 of Othello Summary and Response- Anna and Tina
Topic Sentence: Act 1 of Othello by William Shakespeare attempts to portray betrayal through the story of a biracial couple.
Supporting Ideas: Othello and Desdemona’s relationship tests the boundaries of betrayal especially when close friends and family are involved.
Explanation: After Iago and Rodrigo discover the elopement of Othello and Desdemona, they hurried over to Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, and explained the situation. Brabantio is enraged when he finds out and demands that the matter be taken up with the Duke of Venice. In the end, the Duke sides with Othello and declares that the state will have no influence in the matter of this frowned upon relationship, much to Brabantio’s dismay. Brabantio disowns Desdemona and she decides to follow Othello to war. Meanwhile Iago is secretly planning their demise because he believes he was betrayed by Othello. Iago convinces Roderigo to follow the couple to war and unknowingly carry out Iago’s evil plan.
Conclusion: In Act 1 of Othello by William Shakespeare the issue of betrayal arises around a biracial couple and their loved ones.
Topic Sentence: Act 1 of Othello by William Shakespeare correctly displays the power of betrayal because it can have lasting effects on friendships and relationships.
Claim 1: Betrayal can influence relationships greatly as shown in Act 1 when multiple relationships were affected in a negative way. Othello and Desdemona are seen getting married at a secret wedding by Iago and Roderigo who immediately tells Desdemona’s father, Brabantio. Iago and Rodrigo claim Othello has stolen Desdemona and they say crude comments to fuel Brabantio's anger. Iago is using racism to manipulate Brabantio’s emotions about the situation and make him hate Othello. Iago believes he was betrayed earlier on by Othello and he wants revenge. Iago exclaims, “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!” (Shakespeare 1.1.97-98). Iago wants Brabantio to hate Othello for ‘stealing’ his daughter. He does this by using race to create a visual image and add more drama to the situation.
Counterclaim: However Iago may not have been so much as betraying Othello as he was being loyal to a senator of Venice, Brabantio. Iago felt that he needed to make the situation known to people with power like Brabantio. Whether Iago was betraying Othello is besides the point. Iago believed that Brabantio needed to know about his daughter and the Moor. “Let’s shout up to Desdemona’s father… However real his happiness is, it will vanish in light of this.” (Shakespeare 1.1.3). Brabantio simply believes he is doing the right thing rather than concocting an evil plan to get back at Othello for giving away his position, which he considered was rightfully his.
Rebuttal: A common view is that Iago is loyal to Brabantio and is not being purposefully deceitful to Othello. One might think this because Brabantio is a senator of venice and deserves respect. However, it is it more complicated than that. Iago knowingly created more anger and tension between Othello and Brabantio. He created visual images, dramatic scenes of betrayal by Othello, and a newfound distrust of Desdemona and her decision making. He also makes a point of bringing up Othello’s race and makes several crude comments that would make any father angry, especially Brabantio. Brabantio began to feel that Othello had stolen Desdemona away from him, and all because of Iago and his help from Roderigo. Iago’s evil plans appeared to be working. He was turning Desdemona’s father against her new husband, despite the fact that the two had been friends for years.Conclusion: Act 1 of Othello by William Shakespeare portrays the effects of betrayal on relationships and friendships by telling the story of a biracial couple.