Summary Response Outline
- Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, main idea
By the second act of Othello, a five act tragedy written by Shakespeare, the four main characters are already deeply wound in a web of love, jealousy, revenge, and treachery inspired by pride and self conceit.
- Supporting ideas and explanations to prove main ideas
In act two Iago is like a chameleon because he changes his persona depending on who he is with and what he thinks they want to hear. He does this to deceive and manipulate them hoping to achieve his desired result. Through Iago’s soliloquies, asides, and actions, the viewer gains insight into Iago’s manipulative nature. He reveals his scheme to set up an affair between Cassio and Desdemona. Iago intends to be a saint in Othello’s eyes for offering him information of the affair. Iago uses these deceptions to bring about the downfall of Othello and Cassio.
- Concluding sentence: restate main idea
In Othello, Shakespeare accentuates how people wear masks to hide their pride and jealousy and achieve their goals.
- Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb,correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays___________ because ___________ .
The second act of the Othello, accurately depicts the power that pride and jealousy have over Iago’s actions because of his commitment to bring about the downfall of Cassio.
Iago is motivated to defame Cassio by his jealousy of Cassio’s position as Lieutenant.
Othello and Desdemona go to bed and Iago reveals in a soliloquy that he plans to get Cassio drunk. Iago hopes that when Cassio is intoxicated, he will make rash decisions that will force Othello to relieve Cassio of his position. Iago is jealous of Cassio’s position so once Cassio is drunk he orders Roderigo to fight Cassio.
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” (Shakespeare 1.2.13-17).
Iago attempts to persuade Cassio and says, “Come, lieutenant, I have a stoup of wine; and here without are a brace of Cyprus gallants that would fain have measure to the health of black Othello” (Shakespeare 2.3.30-33).
- Explanation of quotation to prove claim: explain quote, connect to claim
Iago ruins Cassio’s reputation in order to remove Cassio from his position. If Cassio is relieved of his duty, Iago will fill the vacant position he deserves. Iago allows jealousy to rule his actions and will stop at nothing to remove Cassio from his post.
- Counterclaim 1:
However, to defame Cassio, Iago tempts Cassio with wine out of revenge so that when he gets drunk, he is forced to exploit his relationship with Desdemona.
Iago gets Cassio drunk and hopes that he will make rash decisions that will force Othello to relieve Cassio of his position. Iago hopes that after Cassio is relieved, he will take his advice and seek Desdemona’s assistance to regain his former stature. Cassio does all of this to hurt Othello.
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” ( )
Iago thinks to himself, “If I can fasten but one cup upon him, With that which he had drunk tonight already, He’llo be as full of quarrel and and offense As my young mistress; dog. Now my sick fool Roderigo” (Shakespeare 2.3.49-53).
- Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: explain quote, connect to claim
Iago is completely consumed with revenge like Montresor was in “Cask of Amontillado”. Iago wants revenge on Othello for awarding Cassio the title of Lieutenant. Iago lusts after revenge so much that he ruins Cassio’s reputation and sets the stage to hurt Othello. Like Montresor, Iago craves revenge because his pride was wounded by being looked down upon by someone.
- What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? (use rebuttal progression language)
1st step: Describe a "naive response" or an opposing interpretation of your position. A "naive view" is a view that you personally disagree with or a view that misses something important. But don't use the word "naive." Say something like…
I used to think that...
A common view is that...
At first glance...
Many think that....
X argues that...
Critics of ____ propose...
Many think Iago is merely motivated by his jealousy of Cassio’s position as Lieutenant to defame Cassio.
2nd step: Briefly explain the logic or reasoning of this "naive view." Answer the question, "Why would someone think this way? Why would they find their answer or solution logical or reasonable?" Why did I think this way? Say something like...
We cannot deny that...
This way of making sense of the position makes a degree of sense [why?]
This position seems reasonable [why?]
I can understand why someone might interpret X in this way [explain how so]
These conclusions seem compelling [why?]
We cannot deny that Iago was jealous of Cassio because Cassio had what Iago wanted.
3rd step: Provide a transition that indicates that you are going to contrast this "naive view." Say something like...
But it's more complicated than that...
This interpretation is helpful, but it misses an important point...
This interpretation raises a fundamental question...
While this view seems plausible/reasonable at first glance, we should look closer...
However, it’s more complicated than that because although Iago was jealous of Cassio, his real focus was revenge on Othello. When Othello made Cassio Lieutenant instead of Iago it wounded Iago’s pride because he thought he was better suited than Cassio. Iago’s actions indicate that Iago hates Othello because he wanted Othello to be punished. Another example of how wounded pride can be a motivator for revenge is the character Montresor in “Cask of Amontillado.” Montresor hated Fortunato because of how Fortunato insulted his pride. Montresor also wanted Fortunato to be punished. Like Montresor, Iago is pursuing revenge and is very determined to have his way.
- Concluding sentence: restate main idea
In the second act of Othello, Iago’s behavior is a perfect example of how people allow jealousy and revenge to rule over their actions.