Thursday, October 1, 2015

Act 4 S/R-Tina Hayes

Summary:
Topic Sentence: Act 4 of William Shakespeare’s Othello demonstrates how revenge is a useful tool for someone who is looking to cause chaos.  
Supporting Ideas: Iago uses Othello’s abnormal behavior to further his plot for revenge.
Explanation: Iago continues his plot to take revenge on Othello by placing vivid images of Desdemona and Cassio having an affair into Othello’s mind. Othello quickly becomes angry at Desdemona and his anger messes with his judgement and reasoning. Othello acts on his anger and attacks Desdemona in public and in front of Lodovico, who traveled to Cyprus from Venice.
Concluding Sentence: In Act 4 of Othello by William Shakespeare, Iago continues his plot of revenge on Othello by using Othello’s behavior to cause chaos.

Response:
Topic Sentence: Act 4 of Othello by William Shakespeare correctly portrays the power revenge has on the creation of chaos and distrust.
Claim: Act 4 shows both Desdemona and Othello’s perspective on Iago’s falsities, but Othello appears to be more affected by the rumors. Iago continues to make Othello believe that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. The more Iago talked to Othello, the more certain Othello became that Iago was telling the truth. Othello became increasingly suspicious of his wife and he questioned everything she said to him. A friend of the couple’s, Lodovico, even witnessed Othello slapping Desdemona and verbally attacking her in public. Othello, fueled by his anger and Iago’s vicious lies, exclaims, “Lie with her? lie on her? We say “lie on her” when they belie her! Lie with her—that’s fulsome. Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief! To confess, and be hanged for his labor. First to be hanged, and then to confess—I tremble at it. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion without some instruction. It is not words that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips. Is ’t possible? Confess!—Handkerchief!—Oh, devil!—” (Shakespeare 4.1.43-52). Iago’s plot seems to be working in his favor. Othello’s trust in Desdemona is gone and Iago even has Othello planning to kill Cassio, which will provide Iago with the opportunity to be Lieutenant. Othello is creating chaos all over the place with his unusual behavior and anger. Desdemona is very upset because she doesn’t know what is going on with her loyal husband, and Othello refuses to believe that Desdemona is innocent, no matter what she tells him. Iago will stop at nothing to get the ultimate revenge on Othello, and by creating chaos in Cyprus and showing Othello that Desdemona has a bad side, his plan is going very well.
Counterclaim: However, Iago could truly believe that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Otherwise, Iago has no reason to create chaos by telling Othello what is going on in Desdemona’s life. Since this is the case, Othello’s actions are justified now that he has a reason to attack Desdemona and act out. His wife is supposed to be faithful to him, but she then goes and has an affair! Lodovico simply witnessed a marital feud about a private subject. Iago explains his views to Othello by saying, “ Good sir, be a man, think every bearded fellow that’s but yoked may draw with you. There’s millions now alive that nightly lie in those unproper beds which they dare swear peculiar. Your case is better. Oh, ‘tis the spite of hell, the fiend’s arch-mock, to lip a wanton in a secure couch, and to suppose her chaste. No let me know, and knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.” (Shakespeare 4.1.79-87). Iago knows that Othello will not be the first man to be cheated on by their wife, and he attempts to reassure Othello of this. Iago provokes Othello into finding out the exact truth of Desdemona’s affair with Cassio. So Othello handles the situation by striking out at Desdemona in public because he is so angry at her. Iago put these thoughts in Othello’s head because he doesn’t want his friend to be ignorant when it comes to his wife like most men in the world are.
Rebuttal: A common view is that Desdemona is in fact having an affair with Cassio and Iago is just trying to keep Othello informed so he doesn’t appear to be a fool. This position seems reasonable because, Cassio does have Desdemona’s prized handkerchief. However, we should look closer at Iago’s motives for telling Othello about Desdemona’s “affair.” So far, Iago has not shown Othello any concrete proof of the affair. He appears to be speculating because Cassio now has Desdemona’s handkerchief in his possession. This calls into question whether or not Iago has an ulterior motive to take revenge on Othello by creating chaos and distrust.
Conclusion: Act 2 of Othello by William Shakespeare portrays how the creation of chaos is beneficial to someone who is taking revenge.