Jaime Christmas- Othello Journals Benchmark

Jaime Christmas 

Gold Stream 


Journal 1: Soliloquy Analyzation  

Act 4 Scene 1 Lines 70-79

“Bade him anon return and here speak with me,

The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,

And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns

That dwell in every region of his face.

For I will make him tell the tale anew

Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when

He hath, and is again to cope your wife.

I say, but mark his gesture. Marry, patience,

Or I shall say you are all in all in spleen,

And nothing of a man.” 


In this soliloquy Iago is speaking with Othello. Iago is setting up the plan to prove to Othello that Desdemona is in fact sleeping with Cassio. During this entire speech Iago is quick and on his toes. Othello and him are both awaiting Cassio’s appearance with evil intentions for him. In the first sentence Iago’s eye contact with Othello is direct. He continues to speak low and swift so Othello can hear everything that he is trying to say, and understand it without giving away to Cassio that they may have been speaking previously. Starting at line 77, Iago slows down the pace of his speaking greatly and lowers his voice slightly, so it will require Othello to listen closely. Iago tells Othello to keep himself calm, because not only will his cover be blown by his outbursts caused by his anger towards Cassio, but Iago will think that Othello has no self control, therefore he is not a real man. This is a point that Iago didn’t want to lose through communication, and a serious point he wanted to get across.

Journal 2: Character Analyzation 

In Act 3 Scene 1, Emilia comes to Cassio with bad news about his chance of being reinstated into the military. First hand Cassio sees nothing, he only has a brief conversation with Iago about how he wants to clear his name with Desdemona, by getting through Emilia. By this point in the play, the only person Cassio has spoken with about his job is Emilia. He only hears what Emilia has told him which is what Othello supposedly said. When concentrating only on what Cassio knows and what he says up to this scene, we can clearly see that he's not trying to start any trouble. Cassio just wants to clear his name so he can get back to work, and out of the dog house with Othello

In Act 4 Scene 1, Iago and Othello are plotting against Cassio, so Iago can prove to Othello that Cassio was in fact cheating with Desdemona. When talking to Iago, Cassio thinks that they're going on about how pathetic Bianca is because he thinks that she's in love with him. The thought is so ridiculous to Cassio that he stifles a laugh. Cassio then hears second hand from Iago that there were rumors of him marrying Bianca and he says that he would never marry a whore. While all of this is going on Othello believes that they are speaking of Desdemona. When only reading what Cassio is saying we know that there are just severe miscommunication between him and Othello, because they are talking about completely different people. If Cassio really knew who Iago was speaking of he wouldn't have said those things. 

Journal 3: Character History

Iago’s entire life was already completely set up for him before he even entered the world. His cookie cutter lifestyle was to have no speed bumps or interruptions of any kind. His parents believed that “you get out of anything what you put in.” So, of course, he did as well. Iago’s parents didn’t want to hear of any other plan that he had besides what they had already came up with. If he even uttered a word of something different they shut him out entirely. He began to learn that, if he wanted a different lifestyle, he would have to lie to his parents so that they wouldn’t question what he was up to. If they thought Iago was at the library, he was probably somewhere trying to figure out a way to get out of trouble that he’s gotten himself into. The idea of rebellion was looking better and better everyday, but Iago didn’t know a way he could do that without disappointing his parents. He then realized they never had to know. Lying became a form of survival, a life source. There was no other way he could please everybody and do what he wanted except by completely manipulating the truth. But this habit soon became less of a tactic to do things that he really desired, and more of a game.

Journal 4: Performance Prep 

For my scene, the very first scene of the play, I'm responsible for setting the tone of everything Iago is thought to be. Which is being sneaky, and conniving while creating the idea that he is the most honest man around. I will be bold with my actions and powerful with my voice because Iago is fairly confident in everything he does. I don't know if I'll have access to this, but I really wanted to use a cape in my performance. I always see the stereotypical bad guy in a cape, and I think it would just go exceptionally well with Iago's character. Something that's going to make our scene stand out from others is that we're starting from outside and going in to create the illusion that we are walking around outside, just going for a casual stroll. People in the audience will be able to get a better feel of where we are, and what our objective is, if we move around instead of just standing in place up on stage. 

Journal 5: Post Performance

“Why, there’s no remedy, ‘tis the curse of service: Preferment goes by letter and affection and not by old gradation, where each second stood heir to th’ first. Now sir, be judge yourself whether I in any just term am affined to love the Moor.” -Iago Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 36-41 

This quote is important to the play because it sets up why Iago feels cold to Othello. There is an insight on why Iago doesn’t feel the need to bend to every one of Othello’s whims. I showed the importance of this line in the play by having an accusing tone while talking to Roderigo, because although he is not blaming Roderigo for not getting the job, he’s still trying to show Roderigo why it doesn’t make sense for him to respect or do things for Othello. 

Our groups performance did go as expected. There weren’t many stage directions so as long as our lines were okay, there weren’t many opportunities for mistakes. I’m proud that everyone had nice control over their lines and that they put in their greatest amount of effort to start off the play and set the tone for it. If we were to perform it again, I would change the way  the room was set up and walk down the middle of the isle to a corner of a room this would create the illusion that we were walking down a path and arriving at Brabantio’s house. 

The play didn’t really change a lot of my understanding of the play, though it made me get a better handle on the chronological order of things. But as far as the details of what everyone was saying, I didn’t really get a better insight of that with the performances.