|Political issues faced by the Venetians at the start of the scene:
||– A sailor tells them that the Turkish army are setting off to invade Rhodes instead of Cyprus (which was unexpected – possibly to mislead the Venetians) – Then another messenger says that the Turks have joined with more forces and are now heading back to Cyprus – Othello is told to prepare for war
|What are Brabantio’s accusations?
||– He says to Othello he daughter has been ‘abused’ and ‘stol’n’ against her will. Apparently, this has all been done by ‘spells and medicines bought of mountebanks’ (dubious dealers) – Degrading to Othello – ‘this Moor’- He says Othello caused Desdemona ‘to fall in love with what she feared to look on’ – Accuses him of using witchcraft or black magic
|How does Othello defend himself from Brabantio’s accusations? What is your impression of Othello?
||– Remains calm and collected – Admits to using magic, but if Brabantio allowed him to explain, he would show that he just used words and natural types of everyday magic- Not saying Brabantio is wrong- Says ‘Rude am I in my speech’. Putting himself down, saying he’s as articulate as Brabantio (flattery). Underplaying his abilities – Says ‘I won his daughter’ (Fair and square. She is an object now in my possession)
|How is the courtship of Desdemona and Othello described?
||– Desdemona kept coming back ‘with a greedy ear’ (wanted to hear Othello’s stories)- Othello says Desdemona ‘loved me for the dangers I had passed/And I loved her that she did pity them’- Othello says Desdemona is ‘half the wooer’ (flirtatious, even though Brabantio seems to think she’s sweet and innocent and ‘blushed at herself’)
|What impact is created by Desdemona’s ‘divided duty’ speech?
||– Desdemona’s loyality is split between Brabantio and Othello- Loyalty has moved from father to Othello (‘I am hitherto your daughter, but this is my husband’)- Says that her mother had to become loyal to Brabantio as she has to Othello (guilt-tripping, crafty) -Speaks fluently and articulately – Admits she has to be a submissive wife (‘My heart’s subdued/Even to the very quality of my lord’)