Sunday, September 28, 2014

Act 4 Summary Response

Act 4 Summary Response

In Act 4 of William Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello becomes much more convinced that Desdemona cheated on him, which causes reactions that make their relationship begin to crumble. First, Iago goes into extreme detail describing Desdemona and Cassio together, which causes Othello to have an epileptic fit. He then stages a conversation between himself and Cassio, making it look like they are talking about Desdemona. Once Othello sees this, he decides he is going to kill Desdemona. He confronts Emilia about the affair, and she denies it. When Desdemona enters and also denies it, Othello gets very angry and hits her. Desdemona becomes very confused, and doesn’t know why Othello is so mad at her. He storms off, and she tries to get answers from Iago and Emilia. In this act, once Othello believes Desdemona is cheating on him, their relationship begins to fall apart.

In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello should not believe what Iago tells him, because Iago deceives him through his words, with no evidence. As part of his plan to get revenge, Iago makes the affair between Desdemona and Cassio seem awful. He went into the details of what they were doing together, knowing it would upset Othello. He talks about Desdemona betraying him, and he tries to make it seem as though it isn’t a very big deal, knowing that Othello will think the worst. When Iago is talking to Othello, he says, “Or to be naked with her friend in bed/ An hour or more, not meaning any harm” (Shakespeare 4.1.5-6). When he says this, he speaks as though it isn’t very serious, but he knows Othello will dig at it in his mind. Iago is trying to completely convince Othello of the affair, and by saying things that make Othello visualizes, it works perfectly for him.
Although it may not be true, Desdemona unknowingly makes Othello believe the affair is real. She is trying to get Cassio is position of lieutenant back, and though it may be purely because of friendship, with the thought of the affair in his mind, Othello twists her kindness into something more. When Desdemona is talking to Lodovico, she mentions how Othello and Cassio had a falling out. Lodovico asks, “...Is there division ’twixt my lord and Cassio?” To which Desdemona responds, “A most unhappy one. I would do much/  T' atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.” (Shakespeare 4.1.253-255). Even though Desdemona may be saying this out of care for a friend, when she says she loves Cassio, Othello takes it more literally. She is giving him a reason to believe what Iago told him, without knowing what she is doing to her relationship.
At first glance, it may seem as though Othello has plenty of reasons to believe the lies Iago is telling him. This position seems reasonable, because of the strong friendship demonstrated between Desdemona and Cassio throughout the play, however, if one looks deeper into the situation, they would see the depth of Iago’s deception. Othello would have no problem with their friendship if Iago hadn’t planted the idea of the affair in his head. Once he starts to believe it, every little thing comes to his attention. Iago has been deceiving everyone from the start, and it all compiles together to create this misunderstanding between everybody. In conclusion, Iago is wrongfully making Othello believe that his wife is cheating on him.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Olivia and Tyla Othello Act 2 Summary Response

Olivia and Tyla

Othello Act 2 Summary Response

Summary: In Act 2 of William Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago ruins Cassio’s reputation. He first turns Roderigo against Cassio by convincing him that Desdemona and Cassio are in love. Then, Roderigo, at Iago’s prompting, insults Cassio, leading to a fight between them, in which Cassio is determined guilty and Othello fires him from his position as lieutenant.

  • Topic sentence: Othello, by William Shakespeare, presents an interesting scene between Cassio and Desdemona in Act 2, during which Cassio shows great respect for Desdemona by holding her hand and praising her, which Iago claims is a sign of Cassio’s love for Desdemona.
  • Claim 1: Despite Iago’s insistence otherwise, Cassio is not in love with Desdemona.
    • Set-up When Cassio greets Desdemona as she comes ashore, he praises and compliments her, but only out of respect and not the true love you would see between a husband and wife.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  He says, “Oh, behold,/ The riches of the ship is come to shore!/ You men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.” After kneeling to the beautiful lady, he continues, “Hail to thee, lady, and the grace of heaven,/ Before, behind thee, and on every hand/ Enwheel thee round.” (Shakespeare 2.1.91-96).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove claim This may seem at first to indicate that Cassio really does love Desdemona, but it pales in comparison to the way Othello greets her. He exclaims, “Oh, my fair warrior! ... If after every tempest there were to come such calms,/ Let the wind blow till they have wakened death,/ and let the laboring bark climb hills of seas/ Olympus high, and duck again as low/ As hell’s from heaven!” (Shakespeare, 2.1. 197-205) Othello would go through anything for Desdemona, but Cassio expresses no such dedication.
  • Counterclaim 1: However, it is true that Cassio could be in love with Desdemona.
    • Set-up After Desdemona arrives, she and Cassio seem to have a flirtatious relationship as they speak. It could be taken as friendly, but to others it may look like they have a more serious relationship than they let on.
    • Evidence: Lead-in Helping to defend Desdemona, Cassio says, “He speaks home, madam. You may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar,” and he takes Desdemona’s hand (Shakespeare 2.1.180-181).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim Cassio taking Desdemona’s hand could be seen as friendly, but he takes her hand in union, to show that he supports her. It is a way of showing the others that they are a team, and it displays his affection for her.
  • What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument?
At first glance, it may seem that Cassio has real feeling for Desdemona. This position seems reasonable because of the way he acts towards her. He kisses her hand, and holds it to show union; however, it is more of a friendly thing. He is acting as a gentleman, and showing her respect. Cassio doesn’t show the kind of affection that someone in love would present.
  • Concluding sentence: Although Cassio is very friendly to Desdemona, his actions are purely through kindness and respect, not love for her.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Olivia and Tyla Othello Summary Response

Olivia and Tyla

Othello Act 1 Summary Response
In Act 1 of William Shakespeare’s play, Othello, Iago’s scheme to destroy Othello begins to take place. He reveals Othello’s and Desdemona’s marriage to Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, and then pretends to warn Othello about Brabantio’s anger. In this process, he pretends to help Roderigo, acts like a friend to Othello, and “helps” Brabantio protect his daughter, but  all for his own purposes.

In Act 1 of Othello, the character Iago is portrayed as a very deceitful person. He lies to many of the other characters to get back at Othello for choosing Cassio as lieutenant over himself. He is manipulative because he is friendly with everyone, but really sees everyone as a way to get what he wants.
  • Claim 1: Iago uses his understanding of the human mind to turn people into tools.
    • Set-up He is the servant of Othello, and was hoping to become lieutenant, but Othello chose Cassio over him. This enraged Iago, making him determined to get revenge on Othello by revealing his secret marriage to Brabantio. To further anger Brabantio, he exaggerates the situation unnecessarily.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  When Iago and Roderigo go to Brabantio’s house and wake him up, Iago says, “Your heart is burst. You have lost half your soul. / Even now, now, very now, and old black ram / Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!” (Shakespeare 1.1.96-98)
    • Explanation of quotation to prove claim The harsh wording and the way Iago compares Brabantio’s daughter to an animal is meant to anger Brabantio, and it does. Iago is exaggerating what is going on with Desdemona, so that Brabantio will get angry at Othello, and assist in Iago’s plan to get revenge.
  • Counterclaim 1: However, one could say that he was just trying to warn Brabantio for the sake of his daughter.
    • Set-up Although Iago seems deceitful, it could be that he really does have Brabantio’s best interests in mind. His exaggeration could be an honest result of alarm, and his only goal may be to warn Brabantio of Othello’s actions.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  When Brabantio does not believe what they are saying about Desdemona, Iago continues to warn him by saying, “I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.”(Shakespeare 1.1.129-131)
    • Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim It could seem that Iago is simply warning Brabantio of the situation his daughter is in. He only exaggerates out of his own alarm, and so that the message gets across and Brabantio can go rescue his daughter quickly.
  • What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument?
At first glance, this explanation can seem reasonable. It can not be denied that readers do not know Iago’s heart, and he could be helping Brabantio rescue Desdemona out of his own good will. However, it is much more likely that Iago is purposefully making Brabantio angry so that he will be able to use Brabantio’s anger for his own purposes. His strong, harsh words and extreme exaggeration prove that.
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea

Iago does not warn Brabantio out of good will, but rather warns him in a way that he knows will turn Brabantio into a tool that he can exploit.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Olivia and Tyla Bully Summary Response Outline

Olivia and Tyla

Bully Summary Response Outline
  • Topic sentence:  The documentary “Bully”, directed by Lee Hirsch, demonstrates the effects of bullying.
  • Supporting ideas to prove main ideas
Throughout the film we see the lives of teenagers change through the actions of others.
  • Explanation of ideas
Some have committed suicide, and others took less desperate measures to change their situation. Lee Hirsch makes it obvious that a difference has to be made.
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea
Viewers are inspired to be that difference.

  • Topic sentence: In “Bully”, directed by Lee Hirsch, the audience realizes how little bullying is recognized as a serious problem due to adults dismissing it as trivial.
  • Claim 1: Parents don’t understand the depth of what their kids are going through.
    • Set-up Alex Libby is one of the many kids who get bullied. He tells his parents a little about what is going on, but they don’t realize how serious it really is, until one day, the producers of the film show them what happens on the bus.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  Once she saw the footage, Alex’s mom said, “I never would have guessed in a million years that it was that bad” (Hirsch).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove claim Alex’s parents didn’t perceive the extent to which he was bullied. After they learned what was happening, they were shocked and went to the school to put an end to it.
  • Counterclaim 1: However, Alex’s parents were asking him if anything was going on, and he never revealed the details of the situation.
    • Set-up Alex’s parents were concerned about what was happening on the bus, and they asked Alex about it. But when asked, he said that it wasn’t serious and it wasn’t really an issue.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  As Alex told his father about the actions of one of the boys on his bus, he insisted that “...he’s just messing around”. His father replied, “That’s not messing around” (Hirsch).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim His father was trying to figure out what was going on, and he asked Alex about it. But Alex just said that the bullies were just messing around, and it wasn’t a big deal. His father was trying to understand and help him, but Alex was just shutting him out.
  • What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument?
At first glance, it may seem that the parents are doing all they can to help, and Alex is pushing them away, because the parents do ask about the situation. However, the parents still could have done more by confronting a teacher sooner, or talking to the bus driver.

  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea “Bully” displays the importance of recognizing bullying and working to solve it.