Monday, October 5, 2015

Act 5 S/R

Drake Hampton
English 9 Honors Smith

Summary:(no opinion, no personal words, state in your own words)
  • Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, main idea
In Act 5 of Othello, Shakespeare illustrates how willing people are to believe even the most dubious of suggestions.
  • Supporting ideas to prove main ideas
In the beginning of Othello, Othello and Desdemona have a very healthy trusting relationship. After Iago implants his rancorous ideas into Othello, all hell breaks loose and Othello begins to deeply resent Desdemona and eventually murders her.
  • Explanation of ideas
Othello was ripe for the putrefaction of Desdemona’s image. Othello felt inferior to people like Cassio because of his race and isolated upbringing. At an early age, Othello lost his innocence because of hardship and misery that he endured as a child. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Othello didn’t believe that people were naturally good. In the book, Motivating Learning in Young Children, Martha Carlton says, “Children who receive the right sort of support and encouragement during these years (childhood) will be creative, adventurous learners throughout their lives. Children who do not receive this sort of support and interaction are likely to have a much different attitude about learning later in life” (Carlton 1). In other words, what people learn and experience in the early years of their life greatly impacts their world view.

  • Concluding sentence: title, author, restate main idea
People are gullible and Shakespeare makes this point very clear in Othello as he reveals how Iago, an underhanded swine with a personal vendetta against Othello and Cassio, manipulates his friends and betrays their trust by pitting them against each other.

Response: (no personal words)
Topic sentence: title, author, agree/disagree (correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays), main idea because ___________.
In Othello, Shakespeare accurately captures human nature with Iago’s treachery and dishonesty, Desdemona’s innocence and love, and Othello’s anxiety and rage.
  • Claim 1:
Humans are by nature, good.
    • Set-up situation of quote: What is going on in the story?
Othello and Desdemona are in a state of blissful love. They never fight, argue, or assume the other one is being dishonest. They assume that humanity is good. Iago is like Satan in the Garden of Eden. The serpent in Eden offers Adam a reality where he is just as good as God and Adam chooses to believe it. Iago offers Othello an alternate reality where Desdemona is unfaithful and Othello chooses to believe it. It is the downfall of both of them.
    • Lead in, “quote” (Citation).
Desdemona swears that she is truthful and pleads with Othello, “have you mercy, too. I never did offend you in my life, never loved Cassio but with such general warranty of heaven as I might love. I never gave him token”(Shakespeare 5.2.73-76).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove claim: explain what the quote says, connect to the claim
Othello was very stressed, he felt inferior to Cassio, and he was not in the right state of mind. Othello was easy to tempt because he trusted Iago like Fortunato trusted Montresor in Cask of Amontillado. Othello was self-conscious and frightened of Cassio. Iago’s poisonous ideas were full of holes, or darkness. Humans are not afraid of the dark, but what we fear lies within it. Othello was very afraid of the darkness in Iago’s assumptions. While Othello was by nature good, he allowed himself to be corrupted by Iago. Have you ever held a newborn baby? How could anyone say that by nature, they are not good? A newborn baby is without sin, it retains complete innocence, and it has no knowledge of wrong. In the perfect environment it continues to remain good and innocent. For a person to be evil, something bad has to occur to make them evil. Iago is a terrible person and has done atrocious things that are shunned even by the scum of humanity.
  • Counterclaim
Humans are by nature, bad.
    • Set-up situation of quote: What is going on in the story?
Iago’s scheme has almost succeeded but is in shambles. Desdemona is dead, Emelia knows what he did, Roderigo is dead, Cassio is badly wounded, and Iago is under the eye of suspicion.
    • Lead in, “quote” (Citation).
In one of Iago’s soliloquies earlier in the book, he says, “... I hate the Moor; And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets 'Has done my office. I know not if't be true; Yet I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety” (Shakespeare He even goes so far to use his wife like a pawn without any regard for her when he remarks, “Villainous whore!” (Shakespeare 5.2.273) and, “Filth, thou liest!” (Shakespeare 5.2.276).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: explain what the quote says, connect to the counterclaim
After Iago insults his wife, he stabs and kills her. Iago is incapable of seeing the good in anyone or anything. Iago has never been a good person and never will be one. Iago is not capable of love, being loved, and being around people that love him because he is evil at the roots. Iago is a materialistic, hedonistic, devil. If Iago can be this evil it is not possible for human nature to be good. Desdemona was also with sin because even when she was honest in the eyes of her father she was deceiving him by being with Othello. Even when someone is whole, like Othello, they can be easily tainted by sin. Iago shattered Othello’s innocence because he was evil.
Proposal Paper
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 argue that human nature is good, whole, and innocent.

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 seems very plausible when you take an example like a baby. Babies are innocent, good, perfect, and loving. There is nothing evil about infants.

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, babies grow up. Evil enters their lives. When we are babies we do not sin, but we can not yet think for ourselves. Hitler was not evil when he was a child but he attempted to eradicate an entire race from Earth. As children we deceive our parents time after time until we learn our lesson. Young boys have carnal and violent desires. This is clearly demonstrated in The Lord of The Flies. In the Garden of Eden when the serpent tempted Adam and Eve, it was Adam and Eve’s choice, not the serpent’s.It is said that people aren’t afraid of the dark but what lies in it. What we see in the dark is not real, but what we imagine comes from our minds. Even our thoughts are evil. Sin is a part of human nature

  • Concluding sentence: restate title, author, position, main idea and because

In Othello, Shakespeare very accurately evaluates the good and evil in human nature with the most satanic character from all of his plays, Iago.


Carlton, Martha, Ph.D. "Motivating Learning in Young Children." Motivating Learning in Young Children. National Association of School Psychologists, 2003. Web. 04 Oct. 2015.

1 comment:

  1. Summary:reduce quantity of information- this should be a summary not a full briefing; don't use outside sources in summary- simply relate what has happened in section as it connects to the main idea. Concluding sentence properly punctuated.

    Response: title, author, position main idea and why; set up, lead in, and citations; explanations of quotations: explain quote, connect to claim/counterclaim- I am not sure what you are doing or where you are going with the argument. Stick to the text and proving your argument from your claim- where does it ever say anything about Othello feeling inferior to Cassio?; rebuttal: follow progression as it connects to the text Othello- where are you proving your claim?

    personal words
    proofread and punctuate titles correctly throughout