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Reference Guide

Othello - Reference Guides

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TM permacharts Othello Just The FactsCharacters ILLIAM SHAKESPEAREHARACTER SKETCHES WC Born 1564; died 1616 ameDescription N OthelloProtagonist Professional soldier; servant to Venice Moor; Moslem Negro from North Africa Middleaged; history of battles fought over the Playwright, author, actor, and poet years Man of action; not inclined to fancy speech (e.g., he comments on his rude language several times) Man of honor (e.g., when a man Usually credited with 37 plays and 152 sonnets oses his honor, he must win it back) A barbarian (according to Iago); he relies on his battle instincts instead of his reason (passionate, l Plays are divided into the early plays(e.g., The Taming of the Shrew), hottempered) Gentle and romantic (e.g., he tells a poetic story about Desdemonas courtship; early on, there is much love and devotion for his the comedies (e.g., The Tempest), the histories (e.g., Henry V), wife) His tragic flaw is jealousy; it causes him to believe Iagos accusations regarding Desdemonas behavior, which is the driving force of the he tragedies (e.g., Othello), the problem plays(e.g., Measure for t ain plot Believes that things are the way they seem (e.g., he is not suspicious of Iagos deception) A stranger who never fits in (hired as a m Measure), and the romance plays(e.g., The Winters Tale) mercenary to fight someone elses war) Naive about women (e.g., he admits to being a shy, cautious lover; he is easily fooled by Iago on the THELLO O virtues of Venetian women) Written around 1604 DesdemonaBrabantios daughter, Gratianos niece Young and white; she disobeys her father by eloping with Othello Love for Othello is based on his eeds of courage (war record); she does not know him very well when they marry Innocent of Othellos jealousy; unaware of the cause d Based on Hecatommithi(1565) by Giraldo Cinthio Faithful to her husband to the very end (e.g., she cannot accuse her husband of her own murder) Passive; receiver (and often undeserving) Draws upon Philemon Hollands English translation of Natural History(1601) of other characters actions (she is a victim of circumstance) by Pliny IagoAntagonist Othellos ancient (ensign), and about 28 years old; Emilias husband Mysterious man (motivations for his actions are unclear); TRAGEDY ctions could be based on purely evil intentions, jealousy, revenge or some other unknown cause Master at pretending to be something that a Protagonist dies due to conflict with antagonist he is not (e.g., he caused many people, including his wife, to believe that he was an honest man) Cunning and crafty (e.g., he fools Othello and Roderigo very easily); intellectual and intelligent (e.g., he knows how people will respond in certain situations, and he can adapt to different In a tragedy of character, the tragic hero is dominated by a fatal flaw in his haracters) Amoral; he never thinks twice about his actions as long as he is serving his own needs (e.g., he has no remorse for Desdemonas c haracter, which leads to his downfall c fate) Malicious and evil (e.g., he enjoys doing wrong); cynical (e.g., he has contempt for all things decent) Covetous and harmful; he is Tragic hero is held in high standing, making the downfall more tragic for the extremely proud (e.g., anything that damages his selfesteem must be avenged) Egotistical; he respects no one except himself (e.g., he mocks audience thellos trusting nature, Cassios honesty, and Roderigos gullibility; he treats his wife like a shrew) O assioOthellos servant and officer (lieutenant) Professional soldier; immensely loyal and worthy of Othellos praise (e.g., he tries to win back Othellos C respect) Attractive and amicable (he is a good, decent man) No principal actions (e.g., once he is demoted, he tries to get Desdemonas Themes help) Faults are youthoriented (e.g., he is rash, impatient, unable to commit to Bianca, and unable to handle his liquor) RoderigoSoldier (a bad one) Comes across as a fool (e.g., he assumes that he can buy Desdemona; he believes that Desdemona is cheating because JEALOUSY ago tells him) Serves Iago with the hope of winning Desdemonas love (e.g., he gives Iago money and jewelry to pass along to Desdemona, I Jealousy is a popular Shakespearean theme; in this play, it is portrayed in its which the latter never does) Killed by Cassio and Iago after a failed ambush of the former at the request of the latter Never achieves full destructive power happiness; he is only a tool (e.g., he is easily controlled by Iago) Iagos jealousy of Othello (along with his innate evil) prompts the former to EmiliaIagos wife; Desdemonas servant Experienced woman of the world (especially in the realm of sex) Coarse and hardboiled; she has a low plot the downfall of the latter pinion of men Gentle and loving to Desdemona (e.g., she is willing to risk death for her) Giving Desdemonas handkerchief to Iago is her o Iagos jealousy of Cassios position (which he covets) causes the former to only wrongdoing (done in ignorance); she only wanted to please her husband Respect for that which is right (e.g., she denounces Iago and lso plot against the latter; plots are intertwined (Cassio and Othello) a points him out as the evil man, even though she will lose him for doing so) Iago uses sexual jealousy to inflame Othellos passions and anger BrabantioDesdemonas father, Gratianos brother; Venetian nobleman and senator Bitter and resentful due to Desdemonas love for Othello e.g., he fears that she was drugged and kidnapped by Othello, not thinking that she eloped) Accepting of Desdemonas love, but not gracious ( Jealousy is considered to be Othellos tragic flaw (it is the primary cause of (e.g., he does not allow Desdemona to stay in his home while Othello is in Cyprus) Disappointed and hurt due to Desdemonas actions his downfall) Duke of VeniceRoyal character Appoints Othello to lead the Venetian forces against the Turks Admires Othello (e.g., he tries to calm Brabantio regarding his Roderigos jealousy of Othello (regarding possession of Desdemona) leads to feelings towards Othello and Desdemona) his ultimate downfall GratianoBrabantios brother, Desdemonas uncle Along with Lodovico, he discovers Cassio, who was wounded by Roderigo Bianca and Emilia exhibit signs of jealousy LodovicoBrabantios kinsman Serves as a witness to important events (e.g., he finds Cassio injured after Roderigos attack) Desdemona and Cassio do not show jealousy; however, they are both affected by people who are jealous BiancaCassios mis
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