Othello Benchmark

Benchmark Journal #1 


That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it;
That she loves him, 'tis apt and of great credit:
The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,
Is of a constant, loving, noble nature, 
And I dare think he'll prove to Desdemona
A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too;
Not out of absolute lust, though peradventure
I stand accountant for as great a sin,
But partly led to diet my revenge, 
For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
Hath leap'd into my seat; the thought whereof
Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards;
And nothing can or shall content my soul
Till I am even'd with him, wife for wife, 
Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,
If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on, 
I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb—
For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too—
Make the Moor thank me, love me and reward me.
For making him egregiously an ass 
And practicing upon his peace and quiet
Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confused:
Knavery's plain face is never seen tin used.

I think he definitely is talking to himself, but also he is sharing his thoughts with the audience so that they know his heartfelt decisions. Making in the beginning he could be pacing around,thinking to himself, and just tapping his hand on his head. But in the middle of it, he could be looking up to the sky/.ceiling because he may be in pain at the fact that this is happening. "Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards;And nothing can or shall content my soul.Till I am even'd with him, wife for wife, Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor At least into a jealousy so strong.That judgment cannot cure."Reading this quote can make me imagine his in vain at the thought of jealousy, and he can "talk to a high power" of how nothing can make him feel content with his soul. He could be asking higher power for something to make him feel a little satisfied.


Benchmark Journal #2 Investigating Perspective

When Emilia grew suspicion upon Iago's plan to kill othello, there were many ways she saw this coming. For one in the scene's of when Cassio asked Emilia "Give me advantage of some brief discourse with Desdemona alone.", she let it happen but was also curious of why he wanted to do so.

Another instance is when Iago so willingly and desperately wanted Emilia to fetch the handkerchief for him and steal it from desdemona (not knowingly) and give it to Iago.Iago takes it from her when she does see him, and she makes her swear not to tell anyone about his/her whereabouts.

We can see that in the first couple of scene's she is described as young, and she is Iago's wife. She is also the attendant of Desdemona. Being the smart intelligent woman she is, she gives much advice to her friend desdemona of the laws of relationships and men. Such as the speech she gave her. Iago uses her friendship with desdemona to get to her steal her handkerchief and later put it on Cassio's property to make it look like they had an affair and this would be "proof" that they had an "affair". Emilia didn't wanna do it, so he took it from her). 310-320


Benchmark Journal #3 Events during the Play

The Duke of Venice:

I think The duke is a wise man. He decided that instead of just sentencing Othello to death, he made the wise decision of letting Desdemona speak for herself and confess her love towards Othello. He told Brabantio that if he let her love Othello, maybe they will all be happy.There wasn't really much said of the duke, or so many clues to say who the duke was, but he also was the one who appointed Cassio Governor of Cypress since Othello was recalled from it. This shows his responsibility towards the rulership of Cypress because he knew that if Othello was going through all of these "trials" and disappointments and ups and downs in his life, then he is to busy to be looking over this area and people. This leads me to think, that he is a responsible man, (who should be since he is the duke of venice). His decisions depending what they should do with Othello in this scene is also very important, since he is responsible for what happens. He runs the house in this scene,no one else does.


Benchmark Journal #4 Actions

Im bringing Power, since The duke of Venice is the most powerful in the room. He runs the courtroom so  he has to act very powerful and high.

I would wear a cloak with a cain maybe, and also i would probably wear a fancy hat. 

To have certain gestures to show what we are doing, such as bowing down and hand kisses, and also acting elderly and old.


Journal #5 Analysis 

“What in your own Part can you say to this” Fetch Desdemona Hither”-Duke.

I thought this was very important for the play because it describes the responsibility that the Duke has. He has to sentence anyone who is unjust, and make the decisions in the court. But instead of just sentencing the Moor to death, he orders for the guards to go get Desdemona, to hear her side of the story. He wasn’t racist like everyone else int he room was, and he was definitely wasn’t drawling to conclusions. This shows that he probably has been through this before, and using his knowledge from his past experience to get to the solution of this conflict.

I wasn’t there for the performance, but when i practiced my lines with my group, I realized that the Duke is a very powerful man. He is like a judge in medieval times, but he delivered a powerful presence towards the court and the people. For me this meant that i would have to act manly(since he was a man), but a powerful man. Perhaps walking slowly with a cloak on, rod in my hand, and stroking my beard. When the Duke says “Fetch Desdemona Hither”, i imagine him saying it with a wave of his hand as if he is ordering his peasants around. Practicing it had made me realize that becoming the Duke, wasn’t an easy task. Being the Duke was fun, however, since I was the most valued in the room, I had to act like w as of high value. Changing into someone the total opposite of me is hard. Im personally to myself at times, and laugh all the time. The Duke was to be taken seriously, so i had to hide my smile and put on a facade. I was a gentlemen, who took into consideration other’s side of the story, instead of jumping to conclusions.

My understanding of my character and every other character in the play Othello, made me realize how every action and every word that someone says out there mouth is extremely important on how they act. Just the smallest gestures mean so much, a touch on the leg, a kiss on the knee, a bow... the smallest things can be considered a huge act of respect or disrespect. There are so many sneaky and clever people in the plays of Shakespeare, and the way he wrote Iago was very intriguing in a way. He always had a plan B, just incase someone said something wrong that wasn't in his maniacal plan. The language, both verbally, and bodily functions can be a big influence o how the play would turn out. Just like the Shakespeare instructor mentioned to our class when he visited said, There wasn’t any “queues” or lines that gave the “signal” to make an action. They were the professionals deciding on their own what to do, who to talk to, and where to go. Its all in the wording, and the wording is what you make of it.