"Othello" Act 2 Summary Response Outline
- Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, main idea
- William Shakespeare's "Othello" Act 2 portrays how jealousy and greed can be motivation to manipulate other people to seek revenge.
- Supporting ideas to prove main ideas
- This act demonstrates how jealousy and greed control the actions of the character Iago. Iago is jealous of Cassio’s place as lieutenant, a position he desperately wanted. His jealousy leads him to take steps of revenge against Cassio and ultimately Othello.
- Explanation of ideas
- In Shakespeare’s "Othello", Iago is portrayed as a scheming character determined to seek revenge. Iago convinces Roderigo that he should pick a fight with Cassio in hopes of getting him demoted which would result in less competition for Desdemona. Rodrigo willingly goes along with the scheme due to his strong feelings for Desdemona.
- Concluding sentence: restate main idea
- Shakespeare’s "Othello" clearly illustrates the drastic measures people will take to seek revenge and how the powerful emotions of jealousy and greed can impact one’s behavior.
(Claim, counter claim, rebuttal)
- Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, agree/disagree (correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays), because ___________ and ______________
- Act 2 of Othello by William Shakespeare distinctly portrays Iago as a character filled with jealousy and greed because it details the steps he is willing to take to cause the downfall of other characters in the play.
- Claim 1: Iago is a character motivated by jealousy and revenge.
- Through Act 2 of "Othello", Shakespeare shows Iago manipulating other characters into doing tasks that allow Iago’s master plan to take effect. Iago manipulates Roderigo to get in a fight with Cassio to make Cassio look bad. This ultimately helps Iago exact his view of justice on Othello, as well as Cassio, and Iago stops at nothing to see it through.
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” ( )
- Iago tells Roderigo, “Provoke him that he may, for even out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to mutiny, whose qualification shall come into no true taste again but by the displanting of Cassio. So shall you have a shorter journey to your desires by the means I shall then have to prefer them, and the impediment most profitably removed, without the which there were no expectation of our prosperity.” (Shakespeare 2:1 295-302)
- Explanation of quotation to prove claim
- Iago is encouraging Roderigo to provoke Cassio so the people of Cyprus will turn against him which Iago hopes will get Cassio removed as lieutenant. Iago is telling Roderigo that to get what he wants, he must get Cassio out of the way. Iago is making Roderigo think he is doing this for himself and not for Iago.
- Counterclaim 1: However, ....Although Iago is a deceptive character, one still sees times when he displays the truth and is capable of kindness.
- Jealousy and greed are emotions that can be easily overcome and do not have to control your future actions or prevent you from displaying kindness. Act 2 of "Othello" by William Shakespeare may seem like it displays Iago as a heartless fiend who will stop at nothing to exact his revenge on those he hates. However, Iago does care for other people and can show them kindness.
Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” ( )
- Iago gives Cassio a pep talk after he loses his lieutenant position. “Come, you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen. But since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.” (Shakespeare 2.3 318-321)
- Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim
- Iago is telling Cassio that he is being too hard on himself and that he wishes none of this had happened to Cassio. Iago is encouraging Cassio to ask for his position back. This is something a good friend would say to cheer you up after something bad happens.
- What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument?
- Rebuttal Progression:
Many think that negative emotions such as jealousy and greed could not be more powerful than the positive emotions we feel. Afterall, so many of the movies we have watched as kids always have a happy ending. Readers cannot deny that most people like happy endings and prefer to feel positive emotions such as relief, happiness, and thankfulness. However, negative emotions can also cause people to take extreme measures, especially when it comes to seeking revenge. Therefore, some people like to see people who have harmed them suffer. People like things to be fair and when they have been harmed, people like Iago tend to want retribution for the person who has harmed them. Therefore, some may say that Iago’s kindness is just him manipulating people to achieve what he wants and that he does not care about anyone but himself.
- Concluding sentence: restate main idea
- Many pieces of literature, including Act 2 of "Othello" written by William Shakespeare, portray jealousy and greed as powerful forces which can cloud your judgement and make a person take extreme actions while seeking revenge.