Benchmark Journal #1
"Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,
A huswife that by selling her desires
Buys herself bread and clothes. It is a creature
That dotes on Cassio, as ’tis the strumpet’s plague
To beguile many and be beguiled by one.
He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain
From the excess of laughter. Here he comes.
As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad.
And his unbookish jealousy must construe
Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behavior
Quite in the wrong. —How do you now, lieutenant?"
During this section, Iago talks to the audience, as well as at one point to Cassio. These are 2 completely different audiences, and would need to talk differently and face totally different places in order to show exactly who it is that he's directing that part of the soliloquy. From "Now I will question Cassio", to "Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behavior Quite in the wrong" he should be facing the audience, and talking in a way in which he does not want everyone else to hear, especially considering the fact that Cassio is walking over to him and he would not want him to hear. After the final part, he would turn his body towards the incoming Cassio, and talk to him directly, in a normal tone in order to not only be heard, but to make sure that everything seems completely normal and casual.
Benchmark Journal #2
An important scene in which he occurs in is the first act, scene 1, in which Iago and Roderigo "inform" Brabantio of Desdemona's departure, and eloping with Othello, aka the Moor. Another scene in which Brabantio is in is Act 1, Scene 2. In this scene Brabantio talks to, and accuses Othello of putting a spell on Desdemona.
First Hand Observations: During Scene 1, Brabantio sees Iago, and Roderigo telling him how his daughter ran away with the Moor. At this time it seems as though Iago and Roderigo are "doing the right thing" for him, and his daughter. They seem to be doing him a favor. During Scene 2, Brabantio witnesses Othello defending himself, and at this point Brabantio believes Iago and Roderigo over anything, and is not willing to listen to Othello. Brabantio is getting 2 different stories, and believes that Othello actually put a spell on Desdemona in order to make her fall in love with him.
Second Hand Observations: During Scene 1, Iago and Roderigo tell Brabantio that his daughter has ran away with a black man, known as the Moor. They are telling him that he has "lost his soul", and has been disrespected as well as dishonored by his daughter, who ran away to get married. During Scene 2, Othello tells Brabantio that he loves, and really cares for Desdemona, and yes that they are indeed married, but he only put the simple spell of dramatic love on Desdemona, which isn't actually a spell.
Understanding Character's Motivation: The way that we could understand the character's motivations better when we concentrate only on their scenes is, focusing only on their scenes allows us to understand exactly what it is that they themselves were thinking, as well as the different things that would cause them to think this way. Normally we read the entire story, and think about everything that is going on, and often do not understand why they may do the things that they do, not thinking about the fact that they do not know all of the things that are going on around them, unlike we do.
Benchmark Journal #3
When Emilia was young she never had very many friends. She was an only child, of a somewhat poor family, with a maid mother, and a lumberjack father. Over her childhood she was pretty happy, and somewhat of a normal child, that is until the day that changed it all. When she was 13 years old she walked home alone one day, due to the strange occurrence of her mother not showing up at her school to pick her up. But Emilia had memorized her way from the school to her house so she walked home without much of a problem. Once she got home though she quickly realized why it was that her mother did not come and pick her up. When she got back she found her father standing over her mother's dead body, having murdered her. From this point on she no longer truly trusted any man that is until she met "honest Iago". He made her feel like things could be different, and that not all men were completely terrible. She reached a true peak of happiness when she met the fair, and beautiful, Desdemona. Immediately upon meeting her she was infatuated by her beauty, not aware of the fact that this infatuation came solely from Desdemona's resemblance to Emilia's mother.
Benchmark Journal #4
It took a while to develop my character, and separating her from myself, especially considering I'm a guy, playing a girl. When it comes to my tone of voice when I go to play her, I understand that I do not need to try to actually sound like a girl, I just need to act as if I am traumatized after finding my mistress murdered by her husband. Their are a few different movements that I will do, such as moving my arms while talking, but this will simply be due to the fact that it's what I naturally do while talking, and it is also what I see a lot of other people doing; especially females; do while they are angry.
When it came to expressing this anger and pure emotion with props, I personally am not taking the same approach to props as some other groups are. Especially not like the other groups with guys who are playing girls, who have decided to stuff their shirts. I personally plan on wearing a bandana, and an apron. This is due to the fact that my character, Emilia, is basically somewhat of a maid, so the apron is obvious, and the bandana is their to somewhat symbolize the strength she exudes throughout the play, especially during my scene when confronting Othello. With that said, there are a few things that I believe, will make my group’s presentation stand out from the others. The main thing being my energy once I begin to play my role. Another thing that will make my group standout is the simple fact that we have a female playing a male role, and a male playing a female. This is completely opposite and will make ours different than every other group, besides the one other group who is also set up like this. Something that we have agreed on as a group for our scene is the simple movement around the "stage", as well as the set up of our bodies for the most climatic part of our scene.
Benchmark Post-Performance Journal
The entire Gold stream production of Othello is finally over, and I personally am proud of the entire class, especially the lonely group of Nia and I. Our scene; in which Emilia discovers Desdemona murdered, and Othello having killed her; is one of the most dramatic, and important scenes in the play. There are many lines, that come from Othello, as well as Emilia, that are of importance to the play, but the one that stands out the most to me is; “ If he say so, may his pernicious soul rot half a grain a day! He lies to the heart: she was too fond of her most filthy bargain.” This line is said by Emilia and has more importance than it actually seems. At this point in the play, Emilia has just realized that Iago is responsible for the entire murdering of Desdemona as well as his overall sociopathic ways throughout this time frame. At this point she knows that her own husband had used her, and she cannot take it. This is also the point in which Othello knows for sure that Desdemona did not actually cheat on him, and his only reaction is to pull out his sword on a woman, and threaten to kill her as well. This simple line has much deeper meaning than the text would imply. During my performance, I personally portrayed this in an angry manner as well as with disgust. This line, as well as my group’s entire scene, went exactly as we planned overall. Although there were very few mistakes that we came across, we pushed through, and gave an overall amazing performance, and I am very proud of us. The only thing that I could say I would have done differently is simply trying harder to memorize our lines, simply so that our papers would not have been in the way, and we would have been able to express ourselves better. This entire process allowed for me to truly dive into the play, and understand things in it, that I may not have understood the first time reading it. Like some of the things that were said in the Shakespearean language, I did not completely understand the line; “Cassio did top her; ask thy husband else. O, I were damn’d beneath all depth in hell, but that I did proceed upon just grounds to this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.” Said by Othello during our scene, but after rehearsing it, and listening, and paying attention to the context around that line, I was able to understand what was being said throughout that line, and how it related to everything else in the scene. In this quote Othello is saying, that Iago knew everything that was going on, and it was his Iago’s fault that everything happened with Desdemona, and that he did it because he believed he was justified. This overall experience was amazing for me, and I was happy to be able to be a part of this entire process.