Quarter Four Benchmark

Max Amar-Olkus

Gold Stream 

Ms. Larissa Pahomov

Journal #1:

She that was ever fair and never proud,

Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,

Never lacked gold and yet went never gay,

Fled from her wish and yet said “Now I may,”

She that being angered, her revenge being nigh,

Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,

She that in wisdom never was so frail

To change the cod’s head for the salmon’s tail,

She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind,

See suitors following and not look behind,

She was a wight, if ever such wights were—


In the beginning Iago would be in a crouch position with a huge smile on his face. Possibly somewhat seductive to catch Desdemona's attention. At the end of each line he would give an arm gesture to emphasize his point. When he says the line about the woman showing self restraint he would back off away from Desdemona and almost make it seem like she is not the one he is talking to. This would show his subliminal opinions about her and also make her follow him to hear what he's saying. When he says the line that signifies the woman being too smart to do anything stupid he would be very close to Desdemona. His face very close to hers, he would then taps her on the nose to emphasize his point. Before his soliloquy gets cut off abruptly, he would be looking admiringly into the audience as if to be dreaming about this woman.

Journal #2: 

My character is Bianca.

An important scene that Bianca appears in is the one in Act 4, Scene 1. This is when Iago is talking to Cassio about "his woman", and makes Othello think he is bragging about Desdemona. This causes many problems for everyone, except for Iago. It causes Othello to further obsess over the idea of his wife cheating on him even though Desdemona isn't even the one Cassio is talking about. Problems arise for Cassio because it makes him look bad to Othello. 

At this point, Bianca has not seen Cassio for a week's time and is very irritable. She observes firsthand the end of the conversation that was previously happening about her with Cassio, Iago, and Othello. We can understand her motivations while focusing on just this scene by seeing how upset she is at Cassio for giving her another woman's handkerchief. She has motivation to break up with him if he didn't come to meet her that night.

Journal #3:

When Roderigo was just a small boy he decided that he would want to be in the military. All of his heroes were great warriors. He was a frail boy, and was always getting beat up at military school by his peers. "You can never be a great fighter," they would say to him. He wanted to prove them all wrong through hard work and perseverance. He was not able to do this. 

When he was 14, his parents' relationship became strained. They eventually split up, after about a year of passive aggressiveness. Roderigo and his sister chose to live with their father, because women had no rights in that day. His sister was older, and was never home. She was always with her new husband. Roderigo promised her that he wouldn't tell their father about her relationship. When their father finally found out, he was crushed. Not by the news of her being married, but the fact that she did not tell him. Roderigo vowed to never let this happen to another old man. This is why he wanted to tell Brabantio that Desdemona was with Othello. 

Journal #4: 

My character, Roderigo, will be portrayed as a very weak man. This shouldn't be too hard for me because I am also a very weak man. I will use a very timid voice for most of my performance. The only time I will use a different tone will be when my character is putting on the illusion of confidence and strength. Roderigo will take very small strides while walking and have an almost cartoonish and angry gait in scene two when he has to fight Cassio. I have practiced stage combat for that scene. I will bring an umbrella as my prop. In the first scene, I will use the umbrella as a complement to the surrounding and give the illusion that it is raining. I will use the umbrella in the second scene as a weapon. I think my group's presentation will stand out because we are all very energetic and outgoing. We are able to convey the seriousness of the scene without making it droll and boring. We have worked on blocking a lot as a group and I am confident that our scene will be top-notch. 

Journal Post Performance: 

“Tush! Never tell me. I take it much unkindly

That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse

As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.”

This line is important to the play because it really shows Roderigo’s character. He is weak and offended that Iago would use information against him. He does not realize the risk of dealing with a man like Iago. Iago takes advantage of almost every other character in this play and uses the things they tell him against them. This line exposes Roderigo’s weakness to Iago. This line set the tone for my character and I delivered it with a slight attitude at first. 

My group’s performance went a little bit better than expected. We had rehearsed in a different setting than the classroom stage so we had to adjust our blocking slightly on the spot. I am proud that we were able to make our performance work, and I think that it went well with the following ones from our peers. I would have liked to have memorized my lines, but because I had such a short amount of time, I could not do that. 

My understanding was changed after performing because we had the modified scripts, which helped very much. Going through the script worked better for me than reading the play. I think this is because the scripts showed the key elements to the play and drew the focus to the events that were the most important. Personally, I feel that Shakespeare’s writing tends to dance around the main idea he is trying to convey. For me, acting out the a Shakespearian play is always more helpful for my understanding. Interacting with other characters has always been an eye opener for me because I am able to actually understand where my character is coming from and his intentions or goals. I think this project was very useful for my understanding of Othello. When I first read it I was somewhat lost but by the end of the unit, I had a steady comprehension of the play.