Thursday, September 10, 2015

Othello Act 1 S/R

Drake Hampton
LinZi Fuller
Othello Act 1 S/R
  • Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, main idea:
The tragedy, Othello, written by Shakespeare, tells a story of a well educated black man, Othello, in Venice who married a white woman, Desdemona, without the consent of her father.
  • Supporting ideas and explanations to prove main ideas:
Brabantio is shocked when he finds out from Iago and Roderigo that Othello had “taken advantage of Desdemona.” Enraged and wounded because Desdemona deceived him, Brabantio drags Othello into court during the middle of night hoping to punish Othello. He is hurt that Desdemona did not tell him and that she hid what she had done. Brabantio was in disbelief that Desdemona would do such a thing so he assumed that she was bewitched. Brabantio certainly felt that he was betrayed by Desdemona.    

  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea
Othello, written by Shakespeare, not only a tragedy but a conflict of social mores between races and genders, is filled with jealousy and betrayal between friends and comrades. While it was socially unacceptable for Desdemona to be with Othello, because he was black, she was determined to remain loyal to Othello.  

Summary Response Outline


  • Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb,correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays___________ because ___________ .

The first act of the tragedy Othello, written by Shakespeare, correctly demonstrates how it is possible to be completely honest yet deceptive. During the court trial, Othello honestly tells the entire story and yet was deceptive because he secretly married Desdemona and was worried about the consequences and didn’t tell anybody until they were found out.  

Claim 1: Othello was deceptive because he was secretive in his actions with Desdemona until he was forced to reveal his marriage.
    • Set-up
Othello and Desdemona hid their relationship from Brabantio and the public. When Brabantio accuses Othello of “stealing” his daughter, Othello agrees to go to court with Brabantio.

    • Evidence: Lead-in  “quotation”
Brabantio cluelessly yells to Iago and Roderigo “How did thoust know ‘twas she? -O, she deceives me. Past thought!-- What said she to you?--Get more tapers. Raise all my kindred.-- Are they married think you?” (1,1,184-189)

  • Explanation of quotation to prove claim: explain quote, connect to claim
Brabantio had no idea that Othello and Desdemona were married or were in any way connected. They knew that what they had done was not socially acceptable and would at least result in uncomfortable consequences thus they were deceitful when they hid the truth about their marriage.

  • Counterclaim 1: However, Othello was completely truthful during the trial so he was honest.
  • Set-up
During the trial, Othello admits to nothing but loving Desdemona. Desdemona then comes forward and vouches for Othello. After the trial, Othello is told he must go to war. When Desdemona hears the news, she requests to go with Othello to Cyprus to be with and help him.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  “ quotation”
Othello says to Brabantio and the court, “This only is the witchcraft I have used” (Shakespeare 1.3 9-10)
    • Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: explain quote, connect to claim
Othello explains how he and Desdemona both have real feelings for each other. He tells the whole story and does not leave out any details. He tells Brabantio and the court of how he shared some of his sorrows with Desdemona and she loved him for them and he loved her for loving them.

What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? (use rebuttal progression language)
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea

Although Othello was honest when he and Desdemona were exposed, he was still deceitful because he refused to reveal to the public that he Desdemona had gotten married.

Strong Verb List:
Tells, explains, compares, describes, gives, presents, lists, shows, defines, demonstrates, acknowledges, evaluates, classifies, adds, explores, confuses, advises, expresses, defends, asserts, features, depicts, assures, furnishes, encourages, blames, identifies, entertains, confirms, names, illustrates, confronts, offends, invites, considers, offers, judges, contrasts, predicts, misjudges, critiques, proposes, praises, demonstrates, provides, recommends, denounces, traces, simplifies, discourages, answers, solves, endorses, asks, suggests, entices, captures, supports, enumerates, classifies, teaches.

Rebuttal Progression:
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 that Othello is devoid of blame because he was honest in court.

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?]

This position seems reasonable because Othello did not try to hide anything in court. He wanted to tell Brabantio about his relationship with Desdemona and how they loved each other and decided to get married.

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...

While this view seems plausible at first glance, we should look closer at the fact that Othello and Desdemona’s marriage was kept secret and was done without Brabantio’s blessing. The reason that they hid their relationship from the world was because it was wrong in the eyes of the world. They were not honest with the people they knew because they did not tell them about their marriage.

1 comment:

  1. Good start to your summary, but your summary should focus on a big idea not a plot point. Use the plot to prove the main idea.

    Good response, but where is the why to your response topic sentence? Spend more time on setting up situation of quotations as you set-up far beyond what the quote reveals- stick to what your point is. you are missing a lead ins to your quotations. Your claim/counterclaim quotation explanations need more development. You need to fix the citations as well (Shakespeare 1.1.23-33). Also, make sure to use strong verbs. Push forward thinking in your rebuttal. Use the rebuttal progression model to help you in this process and put that into the outline in the strength/flaws section.

    Concluding sentence: It should also be one sentence and connect to our response topic sentence.