Shakespeare Performance: "Othello" Journals

Journal #1: Iago’s Soliloquy, Deep Analyzations, and Director’s Notes

"I have rubbed this young quat almost to the sense, 

And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio

Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,

Every way makes my gain. Live Roderigo,

He calls me to a restitution large

Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him

As gifts to Desdemona.

It must not be. If Cassio do remain

He hath a daily beauty in his life

That makes me ugly. And besides, the Moor

May unfold me to him—there stand I in much peril.

No, he must die. But so, I hear him coming."------Iago (Act 5, Scene 1)

In the first four lines of this soliloquy (except, "Live Roderigo"), are spoken to the audience because these lines are the hints to the next proceeding plan of Iago. These lines gave the audience background info that they need to know in order to get a clearer understanding of Iago’s plan. These lines are his thoughts about the next step of the plan, it would be unnecessary if he talked to himself about it, because he already knows what is going to happen next. It is common sense that he is talking to the audience as Iago allows the audience experience the tension of the play as his evil plan proceeds to another level. Aside of a small section of this soliloquy to be toward the audience, a large portion of the soliloquy was targeted toward himself, Iago. The thoughts of the character reflects upon the situation he was in. Iago was analyzing Cassio and Rodrigo as the actor puts himself in Iago's shoes. It is in a  psychological state now. This portion of the soliloquy was the most personal thoughts of the Iago himself. The last line, "But so, I hear them coming," is to shift the focus from himself to the audience. This line is also a stage direction and an attention shift for the audience to know that Cassio will soon enter the stage. Aside from the target audiences, the actor needed to face in each portion o the soliloquy, stage directions are also important. For example, 

"I have rubbed this young quat almost to the sense, 

And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio

Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,

Every way makes my gain.”

In this portion of the soliloquy,  Iago refers to Othello as a “young quat.” It means that Othello was so easily to be tricked into the plan like a young child. Iago thinks that the plan proceeds well and he could absolutely get what he expected from his plan. When the actor said these lines, he should act fulfilling and have a delighted facial expression. In the quote, "Every way makes my gain,” the actor should show Iago's confidence and cocky attitude by putting more power on the word, “I.” But, the actor should feel cautious after the short delightfulness as he then, put doubts in his own plan.  

"Live Roderigo,

He calls me to a restitution large

Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him

As gifts to Desdemona.

It must not be."

This portion of the soliloquy means that Iago wants to kill Roderigo because Roderigo was a witness and his acquaintance. He was worried that Roderigo would told Othello about his evil plan because Roderigo suspects that Iago didn’t gave his jewels to Desdemona. So, in this moment, the actor should feel a bit anxiousness once he said, “Live Roderigo,” and continue with a softer tone that conveys a sense of wariness. The actor should said the line, “It must not be” with a louder voice because it would attract more attention of the audience as Iago proceeds to another character, Cassio.       

"If Cassio do remain

He hath a daily beauty in his life

That makes me ugly. And besides, the Moor

May unfold me to him—there stand I in much peril.

No, he must die."

The last five lines of this soliloquy means that Iago want Cassio to die because Cassio’s handsomeness and his honesty would make Iago, himself, look bad. Cassio would be an obstacle for Iago because Cassio may have a chance to clear up the misunderstandings between Desdemona and Othello. During this portion of the speech, the actor need to read the lines faster during the second to fourth line. Then, the actor should stop with a short sigh. After, the sigh, the actor should said the last line in a strong voice that expresses his [Iago] confidence and certainty of his plan.


Journal #2: Secondary Character (Emilia)’s Views on Cheating Compared to Desdemona, and Strategies to Analyze Minor Characters 

"In troth, I think I should, and undo ’t when I had done. Marry, I would not do such a thing for a joint-ring, nor for measures of lawn, nor for gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty exhibition. But for the whole world? Why, who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? I should venture purgatory for ’t." Emilia-----(Act 4 Scene 4)

In certain circumstances, Emilia believes that cheating is appropriate. She will not do it for objects of value but only for the sake of her husband. It shows that Emilia wants to win back Iago's love, even if she need to sell off her body to other men. In her heart, she doesn't really cares about the shame or the consequences that might put on her husband's reputation. Emilia only cares about her love for Iago, even if it is the wrong path to go or in turn, make Iago and her relationship worse.  As long as she knows that what she did is right for the sake of Iago’s love, she doesn't care. She will blindly follow the path she choses. Emilia believes that cheating is just a weapon to bring up her husband's position, rather than a ugly selfish practice. But, Desdemona had a totally different and innocent viewpoint than Emilia. 

"I have heard it said so. Oh, these men, these men!
Dost thou in conscience think—tell me, Emilia—
That there be women do abuse their husbands
In such gross kind?"-------Desdemona (Act 4, Scene 3) 

Contrast to Emilia's perspective, Desdemona will not cheat on Othello for any particular reason and she was so native to even be surprised to know that some women cheated on their husbands. I think this is the cause of the true love between Desdemona and Othello that made Desdemona have such native thoughts as she is, herself, dwell in Othello's love. Therefore, she doesn't have thoughts of ever cheating on her husband. In Desdemona’s eyes, she sees Othello as a kind husband and she put every husband in the world as to have the same kindness as him. On the other hand, Emilia have thoughts on cheating on Iago because her marriage with Iago was already cold. 

Based on the a character viewpoint on my secondary character’s standpoint on a single idea, I could understand the character's motivations better when I concentrated on the huge contrast between my secondary character to the other characters. Also, the character’s "aside" scenes reveal their true character. I could contrast and compare of what the character thinks and what he or she actually said to other characters in the story, in order to analyze this character in depth. 


Journal #3: How does Othello’s past life influence the story?

My role in the play,“Othello,” was Othello. He was a Moorish general and was in charge of the war in Cyprus. In the beginning of scene one, Iago and Roderigo expresses their hatred toward Othello because of his race and his ill decision to let an inexperienced soldier, Cassio to be their commander. Othello’s favorite person was Desdemona because she doesn’t mind Othello’s race and eloped with him. During the years of Othello’s marriage or before, Iago suspects his wife, Emilia has slept with Othello and seeks for revenge. Iago set up an plan to make Othello believe that Desdemona was cheating on him. Othello fell into Iago’s trap as Iago had shown evidence of Cassio and Desdemona’s affair. Othello then, strangled Desdemona. 

Ones’ past life influence a character’s personality and behavior because both Othello and Desdemona are people with a pursuit of love. Though undergoing with hardships during their marriage and their acceptance in their own society, they are still together. If they were to betray each other then the "hurt" will be stronger than couples who have a smoother marriage. So, when Othello was suspicious about Desdemona's betrayal, he is is blinded by only on the love that will end instead of if Desdemona really cheat on him or not. Since, he was a Moor, he have more than enough reasons for why Desdemona would cheated on him. He probably also thinks that the only person who won't mind of his race would actually one day finally felt that his race will made her look bad, be an heartbreaking betrayal than any other. To Othello, Desdemona didn't also betrayed his love but his race as well. Othello believes the fact that Desdemona gave their token of love to Cassio is a great dishonor toward their love. A love that could be easily thrown away or disappear. So, he didn't act a little suspicious as Iago said that Desdemona cheated on him. 


Journal #4: Preparation for Scene Eight Performance 

During my performance in Scene eight of Othello, I had a lot of emotional, mental, and other aspects that I would add between the lines to fully portray my character, Othello. For example, after Othello killed Desdemona and Emilia storms in, Othello said, "That! What?" As Othello, I would sound puzzled and panicked about Desdemona’s cry because Othello was certain about her death before Emilia came into the room. So, I needed to feel panicked with the word “That.” But, I also want to distract Emilia from seeing the dead Desdemona. 

Hand gestures, such as a huge amounts of finger-pointing are essential to this scene. For instance, when Emilia said, "O lady, speak again! Sweet Desdemona! O sweet mistress, speak!" I would point to Desdemona when I said, “She turn'd to folly, and she was a whore,” because I want to addressed the audience that I was describing Desdemona. Since, Emilia was unconvinced about Desdemona’s affair, Othello would said this line with an angry tone. I would stressed out the word, "she", "false" and "water" in the line, “She [Desdemona] was false as water,” in order to make these three words stand out because Othello want to make his point more convincing and urgent to Emilia. 

I will pause between, "Thy husband" and "knew it all." to create a highlighted point or focus that the audience should pay more attention to in the following things that will be happening in this scene. I will walk forward when I say, "Thy husband" to Emilia.

I will speak toward to the audience when I say, "an honest man he is." and look at Desdemona with a disgusted face when I say, "hates that slime that sticks on filthy seeds." Then, I would express a sense of frustration when I say, "He, women, I say thy husband; dost understand the word?” I will place my hand to my chest while saying,"My friend," and  points to Emilia when, I said, "Thy husband" and spread my hands wide in the air, when I say, "honest, honest Iago."

When I say, "Ha!" I rolled my eyes and turn my back towards Emilia. During this scene, I will use a sword as a prop. I point my sword towards Emilia when I said, "Peace, you were best." When Emilia backs toward the sword, I need to act surprised and frustrated. . With all of these preparations, there are certainly things that stand out. For example, the moment when Othello and Emilia will argue while walking around Desdemona. Also, the time when Emilia will act fearless while she is walking toward Othello's sword was a powerful moment for Emilia. Some great components to the scene was the fact that our group have speaks to multiple audiences. For example, "Out and alas, that was my lady's voice." will be toward the herself. The phrase, "Help!Help! Help!" will be toward the the people outside of the room, and the sentence, "speak again Desdemona,....speak." will be the Desdemona. I am noticed that Emilia is fearless while Othello put his sword tip toward her. So, I want to act like I was falling back (walking backward) while Emilia is approaching forward. This represent a sense of power for Emilia and a sense of cowardice toward Othello to point a sword on a women. 


Journal #5: After the Performance 

During the scene when Emilia found out that Desdemona was killed by Othello because of Othello’s jealousy and her husband, Iago’s evil plan, she said, “Thou hast not half that power to done harm as I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt! As ignorant as dirt! Thou hast done a deed, I care not for thy [Othello] sword. I’ll make thee known, though I lost twenty lives.” This quote shows how loyal Emilia is with Desdemona. Even though Emilia wants to put lesser distance between Iago and her relationship. She didn’t think twice about betraying Desdemona and stand on Iago’s side. This action shows that she was a women who stand in the right and doesn’t took personal matters in distorting the truth. In the performance, I want to show Emilia’s fearless and loyal side by giving her a stronger presence than Othello. I gave advice to Imani, casting as Emilia, to slowly walked forward while I, as Othello, backs off with a speechless and surprised expression. 

This quote also shows Othello’s state of mind after killing Desdemona. The fact that Othello strangled his beloved women (even if he suspects Desdemona to be cheated on him), but he also point a sword on Emilia. As a warrior, Othello puts his sword, a weapon to kill furious men on the bloody battlefield to a defenseless women. It shows that he is in a state of frustration and he totally lost his audacious former self to his jealousy. This is important because it shows just how deep Othello fell prey to the “green eyed monster.” It was a huge transformation of Othello’s former self to his dark side. When Emilia said the line, I need to be confused because I believed in Iago, so Emilia’s views are alien to me. I backs off, not because of Emilia’s sworn upon her life that Desdemona was not guilty and Iago is the mastermind of the tragedy, but because of Emilia’s fearless attitude in Othello’s presence. 

My group’s performance goes well in some aspects. I [Othello] tried to put on a surprised face when Emilia moves toward my sword. This is a breakthrough for Emilia’s character in past plays. Aaron (the Shakespeare instructor) said that he never saw Othello being backed down by Emilia before. Some of the things that doesn’t go as expected was the position of the characters. When, Emilia enters the door, I actually bumped into her because the setting of our rehearsals was in a different place. Some things that we are proud of was the emotions and the tone of our voices. For example, when I said, “She [Desdemona] was false as water.” I said it in an angry and eager tone because Emilia was in disbelief to the fact that Desdemona was unfaithful. But, he still wants to make Emilia believe what he believes. As for Emilia, she talked to different targeted audiences in one sentence. For example, when Emilia said, “Speak, Sweet Desdemona, Speak!” She was talking to Desdemona. When she said, “Help!Oh! Help!” she yelled to the people outside of the room (toward the door). 

The things that could be done differently in the scene was that I could put in more emotion and reactions when Emilia is saying the opposite of what Othello expects and intended to hear. I should put my hand on my forehead when I was irritated by Emilia’s unreasonable arguments.           

The play let me understand more about Emilia. Her loyal personality was not what I expected as Iago’s wife. Before the rehearsals, I thought that Emilia will be on her husband’s side when she found out that Iago was behind all of the abnormalities and the death of Desdemona. Since, she claimed to sacrificed her body in exchange for her husband’s future. It, then seems like Emilia was centered around Iago’s affections throughout the scene. But, during this scene Emilia actually stand to what is right and actually was vey loyal to her mistress.    

Jiwon Choi: Negative Space Art

  1. Negative space is the space around and between an object. The negative space is the background image. When you draw negative space art, you would shade in the space around the image and leave the object white. 
  2. I found my negative space when I was cutting out the image by knowing the basic image. I knew that the outline of image would be the positive space and the rest of the image is the negative space. In my still life drawing, I found my negative space because I know that the negative space is the background. Therefore, the actual object is the positive space. I knew that that means the spaded space had to be the background. 
  3. It helps an artist to see the negative space because this gives them a better view of the object. This is a basic technique in art, and artists need to know the basic technique in art to portray art more realistically. 
  4. Seeing a negative space enhances drawings because it shows us something that we never focused on; the balance of black and white. 

Othello Journals: 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?


Before Iago begins talking to himself, he and Othello are talking. Then he begins to talk to himself going on and on about Cassio and Bianca's relationship. He talks about how Bianca is a prostitute and gets clothes and food from being like this. He goes on to say that Cassio gets all fizzy and giggly inside, when she is around. I thought that at first Iago and Othello were going to talk about Cassio and Bianca's relationship together, but then Othello disappears, and Iago is just venting on how he feels about their relationship to himself, he wishes people were there but just wants to get it out. 

Journal #2:

In Act 3 scene 1, Emilia is talking to Cassio and he is begging to speak to Desdemona. Finally, Emilia lets them talk, and they have a intense conversation involving Othello and Cassio's relationships with them, they agree that their husbands are acting weird, for no obvious reason. In the play, Emilia is kind of like an extra person who is just there. She didn't come into the play until like midway through. She was like an extra set of eyes and ears through the whole thing. She always had something to say, and I'm not convinced that people actually care what she has to say and listen to her. She sees everything that is going on first hand, and that gives her a better opinion on it. For the most part, I think that every character sees Emilia the way she sees herself. They see her as annoying and always butting into everything thats going on. They don't hate her or tell her to go away or anything, but they don't listen to her either. They just see her as an extra, like she sees herself, but that doesn't really bother her. When we watch Emilia on her own, I noticed a lot of different things. I noticed her before as like a semi-important person who people really valued and cared for. Although when I looked into her more on my own, my opinion changed. It was so strange that now she came off as a nobody, who really didn't make too much of a difference in "Othello". 

Journal #3: 

Throughout Desdemona's life she didn't have many struggles or things that she had to spend hours trying to fix or figure out just the right thing to say or do. Her dad was always very protective and led her in the right direction for everything. She never had the chance to make her own decisions, so when it became time for her to decide what to do about Othello and the handkerchief she was lost. She wanted to tell the truth but she also still wanted Othello to be able to trust her. She blurted out that she hadn't lost the special gem of his mother in anticipation that she would be able to find it within a timely matter. Unfortunately, she had no idea where it was. If Desdemona was raised differently I don't think she would have ran into a problem like this where she was lost and confused on whether to lie or tell the simple truth to someone who loved her. 

Journal #4:

My character, Iago, doesn't move much, because for most of the scene he is just talking, but towards the end he has to hide and while he is hiding he shouts something that could jeopardize his life, but since he is in hiding, he screams it and is fine. I have to bring in a coin like maybe make a big coin and lie it to my pants so that you can see it. I'm having that coin, because during my part Roderigo is talking about how he has a coin and like a coin purse with it. It's not a big important part of the story, but it's something that adds a relation between the text and the acting. The thing thats going to make my group stand out is that we have memorized most of our lines and we have spent a lot of time going over and over what we are going to do. We have planed where we are going to stand and then where we are going to move throughout the whole scene.  

Journal #5: 

My character, Iago says a lot in our performance and much of it is important but one line really stuck out to me. While he is hiding from Brabantio he shouts “Zounds sir, you’re robbed, for shame put on your gown! Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe! Arise I say!” He was tell him to wake up and put his robe on and that now at this very moment Othello (black ram) could be having sex with Desdemona (white ewe). That is important because Brabantio didn’t know about Othello and his beloved daughter, so when he heard this he was very angry and upset. Iago and Brabantio knew each other, so thats why Iago was hiding from him while he was screaming this revealing information. During this whole scene, Roderigo is scared of Brabantio and if very timid, but on the other hand Iago is blankly going out and saying what needed to be said. Though, when he hides and shouts this, it makes it seem like he is scared of what Brabantio might say to him, but really he’s not, he just doesn’t want Brabantio to seem him since he knew him. 

My groups performance did go really well in my opinion, I wish I could have remembered my lines better and not have looked at the paper as much, because I think that would have made it much better, since my other group members memorized all of their lines. Because they memorized all of their lines, it freed them up to move around the stage more and have more emotion and interaction with the audience. Preforming the play really helped me understand better, since I am a visual learner it was easy for me to just watch and act out what was going on instead of just hearing or reading the words. It is much easier for me to understand, when there is interaction and moving and things of that sort of thing it laid out everything in my head for me, because while reading the book in class and listening to the audio, I knew what was going on but I couldn’t visualize anything, but with the acting and the scene I could. 

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. 

Negative Space Reflection

1. Negative space the space around and between an object or image. The object is usually light colored (white) and the surroundings of the object are darker(black). 

2. I found the negative space by copying the template on the paper. After doing that I was able to cut out the drawing. then the surroundings of the actual object was cut out and placed on the opposite side of the paper so it could be joined as one big drawing.

2a. After drawing the object I shade in the parts that were empty(white). The surroundings and between the object. 

3. It lets you see the actual object. It shows contrast between the empty space and object. Using negative space makes the drawing look better. 

4. Using negative space does enhance the drawing. It lets you see every aspect of the object and what it actually looks like if you were to see the actual object. 


Negative Space Reflection

A. Negative space is typically the space surrounding an object. It is a way of displaying the shape of an object using just two colors and without drawing details with pen or pencil. In other words it is the background.

B. In my tree I was able to identify the negative space because I could see the outline of the figure and from there I was able to identify which was the positive and negative space. By having the capability to differentiate between the two I could move on to the more minor details such as branches, roots, and the grass. What helped me the most was thinking of the piece like a mirror, because whatever happens on one side is always reversed on the other and that all the pieces cut off of one were placed on the other.

       My still life was my very first negative space drawing. It took me a while to catch on because it was hard for me to see the space in only two colors, white and black. I started off by defining the positive space and from there I was able to shade in the background.

C. An artist needs to be able to define the shape of their subject as clearly as possible. After all having well formed objects is the beginning to every good art pieces. To be able to do so you need at least a basic understanding of how negative and positive space relate and how to be able to see their subject through that lens.

D. Having a clear outline of a shape and being able to see where the background begins makes an art piece much more appealing and pleasant to look at. There is a balance between positive and negative space that we do not always notice. I think that it is very important not to only focus on the positive like we tend to do, but also pay attention to the background.

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Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 9.38.50 PM
Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 9.38.50 PM
​(first vantage point)
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​(second vantage point)
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Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 9.29.39 PM
​(final vantage point)

Othello Journals

Journal #1

Act 2

Scene 1

Lines 163-173

"She that was ever fair and never proud, Had tongue at will and yet was never loud, (Iago shakes his hand in a motion when he says "never" -- to indicate he is drawing the line; saying she is never loud) (He is on a rant to Desdemona -- moving all these gestures at a quick pace) Never lacked gold and yet went never gay, (He brings hand around neck as if he had jewelry around him -- to show she was always presentable wearing gold/shakes his hand in a motion when he says "never" (again)) Fled from her wish and yet said “Now I may,” (Iago runs out of breath and takes a slight pause) She that being angered, her revenge being nigh, (He is looking towards Desdemona with a soft, sincere voice) Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly, (Iago raises his hand to show the serious emotion he is containing) She that in wisdom never was so frail (He taps his finger on his head -- indicating the brains/knowledge that he is referring to) To change the cod’s head for the salmon’s tail, (He looks at one hand, then looks at the other -- showing the two options: cod's head or the salmon's tail) She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind, (Iago brings his hand to his head again in a stern voice, while making eye contact with Desdemona) See suitors following and not look behind, (Iago continues to be on a rant. He is making motions fast, trying to collect words quickly. He is on the verge of running out of breath) (Iago turns his head around slightly and softly gestures his hand behind him) She was a wight, if ever such wights were—" (He looks at Desdemona and raises voice. His voice becomes stern and solid. He stops in the middle of his sentence because he is interrupted by Desdemona)

Journal #2

Emelia has been in scenes where she usually pops up when certain situations happen. For example, in act 3, scene 1, page 113, Emelia is talking to Cassio. He wants to speak to Desdemona and is asking for permission from Emelia. They end up all having a conversation about Cassio and Othello's relationships. As well as how Emelia and Desdemona's husband’s are acting. Emelia also appears in this scene later on in the play where she is trying to convince Othello that nothing is going on between Desdemona and Iago. In act 4, scene 2, page 193, Emelia and Othello are having a back and fourth conversation about Desdemona. This causes Othello to demand Emelia to bring Desdemona in the room so they can discuss it.

Emelia is trying to be as helpful as possible throughout the whole play. I think she is consistently trying to communicate with her fellow peers about all the situations that came up. She seems to be that extra person hanging around that perfectly ties into the moments when the characters need a second opinion. Or, when Emelia feels like butting into the situations, and speaking her voice. 

I feel like all the other characters can see Emelia as the same thing that she sees herself. The characters communicate back with Emelia and you see some fluid conversations between them in the play. This shows that sometimes what Emelia is saying is relevant. However, they could also see her as someone who isn't necessary and hasn't tied into any of the events.  The characters in the play see her as a very bittersweet character. The things that she says can either help or hurt everyone. This is because Emelia tends too say or do too much or too little. For example, Emelia was pretending that she didn't know what Desdemona was talking about when they were on the topic of the handkerchief, when she should of told Desdemona what was really going on. 

We can try to focus on how she says all the things that she does. I feel like the tone of what she is saying and her body language will come in a lot of use. If Emelia is trying to be secretive, sneaky, and blunt, she might talk in a slow, soft, or low tone. If Emelia is trying to get her opinion across to someone and convince a character (like Othello), her voice might be loud and her body movement might be drastic. Since Emelia is a minor character, I don't think it would be obvious things that give away what she is trying to portray. If we focus on her physical addition to the stage rather than any other factors of her character, that might help us figure out what Emelia is really thinking. 

Journal #3

Cassio was always a fair and sincere man. He always wanted the best for others and tried to avoid drama as much as possible. He tended to never really get what he wanted. He was always chasing after women who had no interest in him. Cassio was consistently turned down by all different types of women. Whether he had friends to support him or even a wing-man, Cassio had no chance. He was always a nice man; sometimes too nice. He never knew what was always right in front of him, whether it was good or bad. He tried to stay away from all the drama between friends and peers but it never really worked out.

  It all started when Cassio fell madly in love with a girl in middle school. Day after day, Cassio would sit and cry over her. The girl had no interest in Cassio from the day she met him. From that point on, Cassio felt that he would never be happy because of this one girl disappointing him. He then assumed that all the others would disappoint him too. Then along came Othello, Desdemona, and the others, which caused him to rediscover what he already knew: disappointment. Before meeting them and after, Cassio saw that he was just someone that was meant to sit in the crowd, watch, and wait till something or someone came his way. 

Journal #4

During my performance as Cassio, I am going to try to act as sincere and heartfelt as possible. Cassio is upset with Bianca in the scene because of the handkerchief. I am going to be making a lot of gasp noises, throwing my hands in the air, and talking loudly yet genuine at the same time. This is because I want to convince Bianca to not leave me (Cassio). 

In my scene, I am going to have a sword with me. The sword represents who I play (because I am apart of the military in the play). Also, in this scene, my actions aren't as dramatic as the others; all I am doing is talking to Bianca. Therefore, the sword is a sweet, soft, yet necessary touch to my role in the scene. I say this because it adds on to  the actual person Cassio is playing. He is a lieuteant. The sword adds some power to his character without the prop taking over and distracting the scene. 

My group's presentation is going to stand out because we have some dramatic conversations going on in our scene. Iago is trying to be sneaky while Othello ease-drops on my conversation as Cassio with Bianca. Bianca is furious with me, and I'm trying to convince her that what she thinks is wrong. Our group has agreed that we all have something dramatic to say, and we are going to use that to the best of our ability. Whether it is with the way we talk, walk, or simply appear on stage; each of us are trying to get our point across to one and other. We are going to use all the tools we learned in class, to bring the scene alive. 

Journal #5

“How now, my sweet Bianca! How now! How now!”. I had a very limited amount of lines. However, this line stood out to me the most because the was the line that I saw and felt the most emotion in. This line gave me a view and hint on how sincere and willing Cassio is as a character. He is really caring, and only wants the best for everyone. He was one of those characters who was noticeable enough to be labeled as a main character yet he wasn’t one of the more dramatic ones. Cassio was always trying to mend situations and be the peace maker. Bianca was really mad at him for the wrong reasons and Cassio was trying his hardest to make sure she didn’t storm out the room. This line showed me his true characteristics that made him who he is. I feel like this line was important in my performance because it gave me a chance to use a lot of emotion. I got to be that character that is basically innocent and is one of the fair players in the game (or in the play as you could say). I delivered this line by acting sad, surprised, and somewhat begging towards Bianca. I was offended and disappointed in her that she was willing to say such foolish things. I was trying my best to make her stay. 

The performance went as I planned. No matter how many times we practiced, there was some characters that lacked emotion more than others. This is what made me think that the show must go on whether they put in the emotion needed or not. Overall, I was happy with the finishing product. I am proud of the effort we all put in and how well we used the time given to use to practice. We brainstormed even the slightest ideas to improve our scene that made all the difference for the better. If I was to do this performance again, I personally wouldn’t of changed anything for myself. I am proud of the way I performed. However, as a group, I would have wanted more emotion and a little more projection in our voices for some of the characters. All in all, I’m happy with what performance I was apart of. 

Performing the play really improved my understanding of the play. Simplifying and compressing the play, highlighting all the main events, really gave me a clear timeline of the whole plot of Othello. I got to see who was the good and who was the evil. I also got to see which characters were more important than others. I witnessed so many different things when seeing the live performances. All in all, it was just helpful because I already knew what was going on in the play before we started acting it out; the live performances just took my understanding to a whole new and improved level. 

Leah Kelly: Benchmark Journals

Journal #1:

Text from Othello, said by Iago, Act 5 Scene 1:

(aside) I have rubbed this young quat almost to the sense,

And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio

Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,

Every way makes my gain. Live Roderigo,

He calls me to a restitution large

Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him

As gifts to Desdemona.

It must not be. If Cassio do remain

He hath a daily beauty in his life

That makes me ugly. And besides, the Moor

May unfold me to him—there stand I in much peril.

No, he must die. But so, I hear him coming.


Throughout most of this soliloquy by Iago, he seems to be talking to himself.  However, I think that he is also giving the audience a view into his plot. I think that this would have been said in a quiet sort of anger throughout. Specifically, a pause and a sly smile after '...and he grows angry." in line 13. After that, he would use hand gestures for the audience to see how "he kill Cassio or Cassio kill him", and then a maniac laugh after "every way makes my gain." The rest of this soliloquy by Iago is simply said to himself in a very dramatic manner and in a very suspicious, plotting and evil tone. However, the last line of the soliloquy seems to be there specifically for the audience as well as for fellow actors whenever this was being performed. As Aaron said in class today, there was barely any time for the actors to work with their scripts, so this line also acts as a cue for the actors doing this play as well.


Journal #2

Bianca: Act 3, Scene 4 is when we first meet her. She also appears in Act 5, Scene 1.

1. Bianca observes that Cassio gives her a handkerchief, although she does not know whose it is, and asks him to copy the embroidery pattern. From her point of view, she is doing nothing wrong because she does not know the story or the plot behind this handkerchief.

2. When Cassio is stabbed, Iago says "Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash to be a party in this injury," (line 87-88), indicating Bianca as the "trash". Basically , he is saying that Bianca has to do with the plan behind Cassio's stabbing. Then when he asks where Cassio dined that night, he asks Bianca if she is nervous to answer that, because he knows that Cassio was at her house, again indicating that he is trying to shift suspicion from himself onto her for Cassio's wounds.

3. If Bianca had known what was going on the whole time and if she had known the significance behind the handkerchief and the plot of Iago, she would not have taken the handkerchief. But since she was only present in the places that she was, she did not know the evil plot of Iago. If she had, she would have tried to resolve it. Therefore, when Iago asks her if she is nervous and she hears blame in his voice, she is shocked because she sees no possible way that she could have done anything wrong.


Journal #3


"Come, Emelia my love, let us go for a walk through the town," I said.

"My dear, spending time with you is always a joy," Emelia replied, "Where shall we walk?"

"Wherever the wind takes us. Maybe, we will be able to see my dear friend, Othello. I hear that he has been recently married!"

As we began to walk, I pondered what it would be like if we saw Othello and his bride. I’d heard from rumors of her fair and beautiful nature, a wonderful woman. I shook the thought aside as I cast my eyes towards my own wife and took her hand as we began to walk. It was a cool evening, I could feel the warmth drain from the air as the sun sank beyond the horizon. We were walking through the town when I heard a call from behind me, "Iago, is that you?"

"Othello, my dear friend!" I replied, as I cast my eyes to the woman standing beside him.

"Iago, this is my wife, Desdemona."

As she brought her eyes up to meet mine, it felt electric. Immediate heat rose to my face as I looked into the eyes of the most beautiful woman I had ever met in my life. I felt a surge of hatred for Othello who had married this perfect woman. I wanted her to be mine.

"Pleasure to meet you, sir," she said.


Journal #4

1. In the beginning while trying to convince Cassio to drink, I'm going to be saying it in a convincing and persuading tone. Also, when I am talking to myself about my plot to get Cassio drunk, Aaron suggested that I actually talk to the audience so it's like I'm letting them in on my little secret, so I'll be doing that. Lastly, when Othello questions me about how the fight between Cassio and Rodrigo began, I sort of step back but when I say the line " yet, I persuade myself...." I'm going to take a step in like I'm sharing a secret.

2. I'm going to bring in a toga for me to wear. Also, I'll bring in a wine glass so that I can taunt Cassio while urging him to drink.

3. I think that our fight scene is what is really going to make us stand out-- Aaron helped us a lot to block it out and how to get the right sound effects, convey the right emotion, and just make it great all around. I'm excited!


Journal #5:

            I think that the most important line in my scene is my last line after I have delivered a soliloquy when I say “So will I turn her virtue into pitch, and out of her own goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all.” This is so important because it locks in the suspicion that the audience has had about Iago plotting this entire conspiracy against Othello. While performing this line, since it was the last line of the play, I took a small pause before the line to make it more dramatic and then said it full of passion!

            Overall, I really loved performing with my group. It went better than I expected actually, because when we got in front of the whole class, everyone sort of calmed down and we focused on performing it correctly and remembering all of the points of interest and acting techniques that Aaron had told us about. I’m very proud of the way that our scene flowed and especially the way that we blocked out the entire thing. If we had to do it over again, I honestly don’t think that we would have done much differently in terms of our performance. The only major thing that I can think of to improve the overall quality would be to memorize our lines so that we didn’t need to hold our papers with us.

            While performing the play, I understood the entire structure of the play more than I had in the book—mainly the way that Iago plotted, what Desdemona saw, why Othello was angry, and the relationship between Iago and Emelia. Also while performing/watching this being performed, I realized how many different emotions this play brings out in the audience—anger, humor, betrayal and disbelief.


Q4 Benchmark-Performing Othello

Performing Othello - Pierce Luck

Journal 1

That’s not amiss,

But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?

-Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,

A housewife 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 un bookish jealousy must construe

Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behavior

Quite in the wrong.—How do you now, lieutenant

  First, Iago was having an intense monologue with Othello for a couple of lines. Now Iago talks to the audience about how he felt of how he asked Cassio of Bianca.  You can tell he was talking to the audience because he talks about Cassio in a very despiteful way. You know this because Iago isn’t brave enough to confront Cassio he would rather manipulate problems. Also, you can tell that he was because after he's done monologuing about Cassio (it says entering Cassio). There was a couple of pauses to show the importance on the tone in Iago's voice. Finally, In the final piece to the monologue, Iago still is talking about his plan, showing to us that he must be talking to the audience because he wouldn't talk about his plan to his enemies. But you can tell that it quickly changes from audience to Cassio when he directs a question towards him.  

Journal 2

Roderigo  Act 2 scene 3/Act 5 Scene 1

     In act 2 scene 3 of Othello, Roderigo saw a drunken Cassio pursuing to kill him. Rodrerigo was in total fear as he cries, and weeps for help. In this scene, Roderigo is very confused of why Cassio is so angry at him, and so confused on why he wants to kill him. Roderigo saw Montana defending him and from this he was relieved because he was not the one fighting Cassio. He was told from Cassio that he is a villain. Rodrego is a true character who only wants Desdemona's love.  In act 5 scene 1 of Othello, he saw his target Cassio from a far distance away. He took his sword out to kill Cassio. He saw a seemingly trustworthy Iago, behind him for support. He was told by Iago that he will give him back up after he stabs Cassio. But he doesn't know truly why he is attacking Cassio. He was manipulated by Iago's words, and Iago gave him reasoning for it. Iago doesn't care of any of their lives.Rodrego only wants the doesn't want all this violence in his life. 

Journal 3 

  Othello had a hard life as an only child of a single parent household. He went to a royal school academy where he was sort of a jock, but was tormented by his teachers. His teachers didn't like him, and devised a plan to get him suspended and permanently banned from the school. They only true reason behind this was because Othello was a growing proud black man who would grow into power. The teachers knew Othello was easy to persuade, so they tried to take advantage of that weakness.They saw the progression of the young Othello, and knew he would have a powerful role under the Duke.They set schemes and bribed other students to influence Othello into trouble. The temptation was great for Othello but he overcame most of his troubles. As he was always being sent to the Dean’s office, where he had to talk his way out of trouble. But to do this he had to show a lot of confidence and poise in his voice. One of the teachers tried to say that he influenced one of the girls to be his girl-friend which wasn't true. Othello spoke proudly to his teacher that accused him and explained how he got his girl and got the girl to also explain that she loved him. This experience helped him in the play.

Journal 4 

  During my performance, I am bringing a very strong protective voice to the play. I will talk in a way that protects me. In the play I would bow before the Duke, I would use hand motions, I get on one knee to convince the Duke of my innocence, and I also walk off with Nomi (Desdemona) on my arm. I am going to bring a scarf tomorrow for the presentation. I am bringing a scarf because my group and I thought it would fit with my character in this scene. It shows my nobleness. I think our subtle actions and our voices will really make our group standout. We all captured our characters essence in our play

Journal 5

    In the performance I played the black general Othello. I feel that the line,  “I do beseech you, send for the lady to the sagittary, ad let her speak of me before her father: If you do find me foul in her report, the trust, the office I do hold of you, not only take away, but let your sentence even fall upon my life”. This line is important to the play because Othello speaks out of term to the Duke of Venice as he pleads his case. Before he even begin to yell and defend himself from the accusations of poisoning the young Desdemona’s mind to fall in love with him, Othello says I beseech you meaning no disrespect. Right after that line he kind of orders / asks the Duke to send for Desdemona, so he would have proof ad would be able to plead his case in front of the Duke and in front of Desdemona’s father Brabantio.  This scene is important because Othello’s fate is in Desdemona’s hands at the time because Othello said to the Duke that if Desdemona says otherwise than he would take it upon his life and take a death punishment. In the play I first was calm as I was talking to the Duke but my actions and words began to increase in intensity. I began to speak louder to plead my case and I also did many had motions to the crown would know how animated Othello actually was. Our group gave tremendous effort and I thought we played our roles to our fullest potential. We all planned together and it turned out exactly how we practiced it. I’m proud of our delivery in our lines and really taking the roles of our characters. I really wouldn’t do anything differently, maybe I could have just memorized my lines that would have made me capable of doing more actions. Performing the play helped me visual the placing of the characters in the play. Like when Iago was being mysterious he would hide behind something and it was nice to see that live. 

Alexis McCormick; Gold Stream; Benchmark Prep Journal:

Alexis McCormick 

Gold Stream 

Benchmark Prep Journal

Benchmark Prep Journal number one:


“And what’s he then that says I play the villain?

When this advice is free I give and honest,

Probal to thinking and indeed the course

To win the Moor again? For ’tis most easy

The inclining Desdemona to subdue

In any honest suit: she’s framed as fruitful

As the free elements. And then for her

To win the Moor—were’t to renounce his baptism,

All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,

His soul is so enfetter’d to her love,

That she may make, unmake, do what she list,

Even as her appetite shall play the god

With his weak function. How am I then a villain

To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,

Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!

When devils will the blackest sins put on,

They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,

As I do now: for whiles this honest fool

Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes

And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,

I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear,

That she repeals him for her body’s lust;

And by how much she strives to do him good,

She shall undo her credit with the Moor.

So will I turn her virtue into pitch,

And out of her own goodness make the net

That shall enmesh them all.”

This soliloquy is found in act two, scene three, when Iago is talking to himself about Cassio trying to arrive back in Othello’s favor, and how Othello would do anything to keep Desdemona’s love. It is easy to say that Iago is talking to himself in this section, but also Iago could be talking to the devil from the line saying; “Divinity of hell! When devils will the blackest sins put on They do suggest at first with heavenly shows As I do now.” This quote is saying that the argument that is happening at this point could be something the devil himself would be in, and or talk about. Back then, whomever was playing Iago’s role at this point would understand that they have to look and act devious from the line saying “And out of her own goodness make the net That shall enmesh them all.“ Iago at this point is basically saying, how his big plan is going to work and how he is going to trap everyone. From what we learned in class today about the actors back then, and how they didn’t know what their lines were about. As well as what actions they had to do. They would figure it out from the last sentence or this big quote.

Benchmark Prep Journal number two:

I am going to be investigating Brabantio’s perspective in act one, scene one. In this scene Iago and Rodreigo are telling Brabantio that his daughter is sleeping with the moor, also known as Othello. At first in this scene Brabantio was woken up from his sleep from screaming from the two men, yelling about the moor and Brabantio being robbed. At first Brabantio was confused and about what the men were talking about because he didn’t understand what they meant of him being robbed. What they actually mean is that Othello, robbed his daughter; Desdemonda’s love. Brabantio does not believe the words coming from the man's mouth until one of them gave him a proposition which was: “Sir, I will answer anything. But, I beseech you, If’t be your pleasure and most wise consent (As partly I find it is) that your fair daughter

At this odd-even and dull watch o' th' night Transported with no worse nor better guard But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier, To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor, If this be known to you and your allowance, We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs. But if you know not this my manners tell me

We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe That, from the sense of all civility,

I thus would play and trifle with your reverence. Your daughter (if you have not given her leave) I say again, hath made a gross revolt, Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes In an extravagant and wheeling stranger Of here and everywhere. Straight satisfy yourself. If she be in her chamber or your house, Let loose on me the justice of the state For thus deluding you.” -Roderigo. Roderigo is saying that if your daughter is not in her room she is with the Moor but if she is then go ahead and kill him for his horrible lies. Brabantio is second guessing and still believes that theses words were still lies until he checks  his daughter’s room. After reading the first scene it's understood that Brabantio is shocked and is upset that his daughter would do such a thing. Brabantio is very upset and throughout the rest of the act he try’s to make up several situations on why Desdamona is doing this to him.

Benchmark Prep Journal number three:

The scene that my group and I had is where, Cassio reunites with Bianca and gives her the handkerchief that he found in his chamber. Bianca gets upset because she thinks that Cassio got the handkerchief from one of the women he was cheating with. The only reason why Bianca is leading to conclusions on the cheating line is because she was cheated on several times before. The first man she fell in love with cheated on her after two long years of on and off relationship. The man after her first love was more of an on and off type of guy but they said they were only seeing each other but she found out that he also lied to her. He would buy things for both Bianca and the said girl. With those memories that Bianca had with the last man in her life, she thought that because Cassio was giving a gift he, "found in his room", that he was then cheating. The previous men in Bianca's life made her have second thoughts about any men in her previous and future life.

Benchmark Prep Journal number four:

This journal it is more of a built list, so the actions I am going to be doing as my character as Bianca is to throw the handkerchief down and run off. The tone in my voice is going to be very upset and full of much anger. The props I am going to be using are a type of cloth for the handkerchief and dollars bills because my character is into that type of stuff. The reason why I believe my group and are presentation will stand out is because we are going to speak loud and clear and we are going to make the scene that we are performing over the top just like the real thing. My group and I decided that we need to put a lot of action into the performance while we speak and we also agreed that we would speak as if it was the real thing, like professional actors.

Benchmark Post-Performance Journal 

In scene six, the character I played was Bianca. During this time in the play, Bianca was full of anger, and she was very upset. She thought that Cassio was cheating on her because he gave her a fount handkerchief that she believed came from another women he was sleeping with. After reading my lines over and over again I soon believed the the line I felt that set the whole scene, mood, and emotions was when Bianca said, “This is some minx’s token. There; give it your hobby-horse: where-so-ever you had it.” This line made me think to react on a high level voice full of rage and anger basically almost about to cry. She then runs out very upset out of anger.  

I believe that my group did pretty well, knowing that one of our cast members has a very low voice, and the others are shy. The only thing that I thought didn’t go as planned was that we didn’t memorize the lines as much as we liked. We planned to have most of our lines down packed so we would look more professional, but it didn’t go as planned. Also, I stumbled on my words a little bit. I was just so worried about getting everything right, that I got scared and whined up messing up. 

After performing our scene, I felt as though I interpreted “Othello” by Shakespeare, a lot better and more easier. The reason for that is because of the deeper understanding of the many different characters and their stories. Throughout the short acting classes where we had to perform with just our groups. I started out really slow. In other words, I did not know what I was doing. After a few days, with the help of Mr. Aaron and Ms. Pahomov, I soon was able to feel Bianca’s emotions. I think with all the small activities that were led up to the actual performance day helped me get more into character.  

Julian Makarechi- Othello Journals


Quote with additions (all additions will be in parenthesis)

I have rubbed this young quat almost to the sense,

And he grows angry. (Make facial expressions demonstrating how aggravated he is. Speak with a bit of annoyance or attitude. Try to make the audience know that you are irritated by this problem. Avoid long pauses to show how much you do not like this situation.)

Now, whether he kill Cassio

Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,

Every way makes my gain. (Right now you have to assure the audience that you have things under control, and that even if you are annoyed you still have everything planned out correctly. Lower your voice a little to sound calm, composed, soothing and carefree.) Live Roderigo,

He calls me to a restitution large

Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him

As gifts to Desdemona. 

It must not be. (Have larger pauses and a small tremble in the voice showing that you are a little bit worried because you know that it could be hard for you to reach your goal.)  

If Cassio do remain

He hath a daily beauty in his life

That makes me ugly. (Face another side of the audience, just to separate your thoughts on the two characters. You want to show a hint of jealousy so maybe you could pout or act frustrated that you do not have the same skills as he does. Raise your voice with anger when you say the word "ugly".) And besides, the Moor

May unfold me to him—there stand I in much peril.

No, he must die. (When saying these lines act alert and aware of what could go wrong. During the line"No, he must die" be very determined.)  But so, I hear him coming. 

-Iago, Act 5 Scene 1


Character: Bianca

Important scenes: Act 4 Scn 1, Act 5 Scn 1


Since Bianca is not aware of Iago's plan or the meaning of the handkerchief, she is very confused and does not understand why people are acting so rude towards her. It aggravates her that she is surrounded by such madness and randomness. She does not enjoy the harsh words that she is receiving from Cassio and is starting to get suspicious but also confused about the situation. Bianca gets to the point where she is sick and tired of his disrespectfulness and wants Cassio to give back the handkerchief or else she will leave. She sees personally that she must lay down the law and give Cassio the option of doing the right thing and going to dinner with her. She is not afraid to let him know that she does not mind getting rid of him. The other characters like Cassio and Iago call her a whore or strumpet at times. They use those terms to reference or call her, even right in front of her. In their minds she is useless and they do not value her opinion. She is told that she is a whore and to stop getting in the way. They do not tell her what is going, which makes her the odd one out. 


At the age of 8, Othello was separated from his mother and was forced to be a slave. All his life he had been used to hardship from the people around him, but his older sister helped him be strong and to never stop fighting. His sister, Sandra became the only person Othello could rely on, especially when his mother left. He was super protective of her and would make sure no guy looked at his sister in any dirty way. A few days after Othello's 18th birthday, Sandra was kidnapped by some guys who were from the North and he never saw her again. Without her, he was alone and he did not know what to do or how to control himself. He would never forgive the people who took the most important person in his life away from him.  Because he lost the two most important women he had in his life, he made sure to always protect any other woman he loved. After losing his sister, he decided to flee from his master and join the army. He fought with the South and made sure he could get his revenge. His determination and anger made him one of the best soldiers. As time went by, he kept on improving and becoming smarter than the other officers ahead of him. He ended up surpassing those officers and becoming a general after nine years. 


On Tuesday, Leah, Dylan and I will be performing Scene 2. There are three speaking characters in our scene: Iago (played by Leah), Cassio (played by Dylan) and Othello (played by me). Roderigo will also take part in this scene (played by Max) but has no lines; he will just be struck by Cassio. As Othello, I will have speak with a lot of diction and authority to show how noble and high up I am. When I first enter I am going to be very concerned, confused and angry when speaking to Iago because I am not okay with Cassio attacking Roderigo. Later, when I end up firing Cassio, I will speak with care when I tell him the bad news but also be very serious to show him that what he did was wrong. Some of the actions I will do will be to always turn to the person I am speaking to and use my hands to show my emotions. For example, when I first come in and am alarmed by the situation, I will be waiving my hands and pointing. Then, when I fire Cassio, I will put my hand on his shoulder as a sign of compassion. My tone of voice will be very high and angry when I rant to Iago about what happened. 

As a group, we organized everything; when people walk in, what actions to do and how to interact with each other. I think the thing that will make our presentation memorable is when Dylan speaks in a drunk tone and beats up Max. Also, we are all friends so I think people can tell the great connection we have on stage. As for a prop, I will be wearing an old WWII soldier’s helmet to show Othello's power as a general. This will add to my act and show more authority. Originally, I wanted to use a handkerchief for my prop but it was not relevant in the story yet. 

Post Performance Journal:

- “Cassio, I love thee, but never more be officer of mine.” (Scene 2, read by Othello).

I feel like this is important to the play in many different ways. First of all, it shows that Othello is taking charge and can acknowledge problems. This lets the audience know that he has authority and is not afraid to use it. This scene marks one of the first interactions between Cassio and Othello, where the Moor starts to dislike Cassio because of his actions. I also think that the line  above shows that sometimes Othello knows how to do things in certain situations and how to be classy. There were three main things that I did when I said this line in our performance. 

First, when I said: “Cassio, I love thee,” I put my hand on Dylan’s (Cassio) shoulder to show him that I do actually feel that way and care. As I continued to say: “but never more be officer of mine,” I spoke in a very serious tone to let him know that he really messed up and that I am upset. Lastly, before I left the stage I saluted Cassio out of respect and bid him farewell.                                                                                              

- I think that our performance went as we had planned and we did well. We were all able to really become the character and act from his perspective. I am proud that all that time spent rehearsing and brainstorming ideas of how to be more creative and to get  the audience’s attention worked out. Before getting up there, we all agreed on what actions to do at certain moments so that we could make our scene more realistic. I must say that I expected us to do well and be confident but not this much. I thought that Leah was very articulate and determined. Also, Dylan did a great job at acting drunk but still not going too far. The part where he is fighting with Max (Roderigo) was very entertaining and useful. Maybe, if I were to redo it, I would ask everyone to have their lines memorized (so it would be more professional) and use more props so that we could be more interactive.

- I definitely had more fun watching my classmates acting and me performing to the class than reading from the book. I thought that doing this project helped us not only to learn more about the play and understand what it looks like acted out, but it also taught us how to act and the meaning behind Shakespeare’s writing. This whole process helped me understand  how to read this type of writing and take its clues for stage directions. 

Cassio es Magnifico

To A Charming Señorita

Tchaikovsky, Op. 39, No. 18

The great composer Tchaikovsky generally did not fare too well financially. He was very lucky to have the support of a very wealthy noblewoman, Nadezhda van Meck. They never actually met. She just believed in his music. Her money made it possible for Tchaikovsky to write his greatest music without having to worry about where his next meal was coming from. He wrote this song for her.


Othello Journals


Act II, Scene I, page 9

(aside) He takes her by the palm. Ay, well said, whisper! [Iago is quiet and wry. He is looking at Cassio and Desdemona, but not speaking to them; he is speaking to himself. With the second sentence, he smiles on the exclamation.]

With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. [Iago is still talking to himself, however now he sounds much more sinister/forceful. With the force comes hand gestures.]

Ay, smile upon her, do, I will give thee in thine own courtship. [To Cassio, though Cassio can't hear him. This line should be spoken slowly with much emphasis; Iago should be tense with excitement.]

You say true, 'Tis so, indeed. If such tricks as these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had been better you had not kissed your three fingers so oft, which now again you are most apt to play the sir in. [Still to Cassio. The built up excitement escapes in these lines - they should be spoken rapidly and forcefully. Continuing the feeling of excitement, Iago should be wide-eyed, increasing in tone, and leaning/taking a step towards Cassio.]

Very good, well kissed, and excellent courtesy! ’tis so, indeed. [Iago is back to a calm, articulate way of speaking. Throughout these lines he should be facing Cassio but not focused on him; Iago is talking to himself.]

Yet again your fingers to your lips? Would they were clyster-pipes for your sake! [Iago is back to talking to Cassio. For the first sentence he is smiling and talks with a mocking, incredulous tone (Iago thinks Cassio is a dunce). The second sentence, he is outright laughing at Cassio and Cassio's eminent demise. Extra emphasis on the last "your".]



[Note: D--- refers to Desdemona]

Act 3 Scene 3, Emilia is present when Cassio and Desdemona talk about Cassio’s position and then, in the same scene, she finds Desdemona’s handkerchief.

Act 3 Scene 4, Emilia says she doesn’t know anything about D----’s handkerchief when asked about it.

Act 5 Scene 2, Emilia is talking with Othello after he killed D----; she tells him he killed for nothing.

Emilia saw the role of the handkerchief unfold - she had a crucial part in this, as well. She also saw some of Iago’s plot for the other characters, and this is also where her connection to the handkerchief and Desdemona crop up. However, Emilia is not one of the major characters, and it is not apparent if she was receiving information from others. At the end, though, she did learn that Roderigo died and Cassio was attacked. She was also told by Othello that Iago was the one who was the informational source about Desdemona’s supposed infidelity.

Emilia had split loyalties for the vast majority of the play. This is seen especially in Act 3’s scene 4. She obviously has some sort of friendship or attachment to Desdemona - Emilia comforts her and gives advice when D---- is having problems with Othello. At the same time, Emilia did pick up the handkerchief for her husband, Iago. She also stays quiet about her brief possession of the handkerchief, possibly to keep Iago out of the fire.


Originally from Africa, Othello’s history and skin color set him apart from the rest of the Venetians in Othello. He was separated at an early age from his family and home in northern Libya (near Tripoli) by a group of radical fighters opposed to the Ottoman conquest of the area. He stayed, unwillingly, with that group for several years. Eventually he was sold into slavery, due to the radical group’s volatile nature. When Othello was a teenager he found himself close enough to the coast to take a ship to Italy - where he eventually won for himself a position in the military. He managed to survive and even prosper under such conditions.  His good name and relatively high standing in the military are even bigger achievements when the prejudices against him are taken into account. The bias and prejudice Othello had to face, which surely involved misinformation about him, probably led to his staunch opposition to gossip (at least, until Iago came along). Because of his background and skin color he was not accepted by many people. This can be seen by characters referring to him as ‘The Moor’, instead of an actual name. Also, throughout the play Othello was referred to as valiant and  other such terms; his bravery possibly stemmed from his living through the horrors of his younger years.


The prop for my character (Othello) is a foam sword. I picked a sword for several reasons: Othello is a general with combat experience, so it makes sense that he would stay armed; Othello seems very insecure due to the near constant discrimination against him, as well as his horrid beginnings- a sword is a symbol of power and masculinity. Keeping one by his side would both sooth his ego and let others know that he is the Bossman. For the reasons stated above, when Othello feels in charge and powerful, he is very cordial. When his vulnerabilities are not mollified in such a way, I think he becomes unstable.

Because Othello is so very insecure, when Iago begins lording the 'knowledge' that Desdemona may be sleeping around Othello hates not being in the know. And because Othello is unstable, when Iago dances around the issue it is possible that Othello would be on the edge of physically threatening Iago with the aforementioned sword. Other than that, my Othello would sound super-exasperated when talking with Desdemona (because she would be nagging him =[ ).

As a team, we worked out how our props would tie into the scene. This also relates to how we deliver our lines, so hopefully our dialogue will be well articulated.


Why, why is this?

Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy,

To follow still the changes of the moon

With fresh suspicions? No, Iago,

I’ll see before I doubt, when I doubt, prove,

And on the proof there is no more but this:

Away at once with love or jealousy!

This line is important because it is a snapshot of Othello’s view on justice and insinuations. At this point in the play Othello has not yet become dependant on Iago’s ‘guidance’ and information. He is telling Iago to stop telling him love-gossip to make him jealous. This line is also important for its stark contrast from Othello’s next line, where he is telling Iago to bring him more information. It is also particularly important to our performance because it shows my Othello’s transition from violent anger to something calmer and more controlled. This change in emotion may be reason as to why Othello’s lines are somewhat contradictory; he was filled with (self-)righteous anger and so he insisted that he isn't swayed by gossip. But then, when his mind cleared a bit, he realized he was interested in what Iago was insinuated about Othello's wife, and decided to ask for more information. As such, I tried to deliver the first part of the line with as much power and vehemence as possible, and the second part like I was trying to cover up a tentative attitude (because Othello still loves appearing to be in control).    

My group's performance did go as expected; though Richard and I did put a lot more effort in to the class performance versus the practices. I'm super proud of my group, since we really pulled through to become comfortable with the shakespearean language. I'm also proud of myself for actually articulating with inflection and energy. It is usually very difficult for me to present in front of a whole class, so I see this as progress =]

Performing the play forced me to really flesh out the characters and analyze why they acted the way they did. When we just read Othello as a class, I didn't look much deeper at Othello's personality and past; this benchmark, with the journals included, made me figure out what the scenes would actually sound like. Also, just watching the entire class perform, I really figured out the plot of Othello. There were some parts that were a bit spotty when I just read the lines in the book.  

Negative Space Reflection/Blog:

​Negative space drawings are darings where one specific object in the drawing is shaded black while the rest is left white. I could figure out which object should be shaded in my cut out (the tree, in this piece the shaded or 'black' part would be the orange background) because when we started our projects we had a reference sheet with the picture we where creating. So I traced the borders of my tree and cut out the inside of the shaded lines. Creating a stencil, so then I took my green paper and put it under my self made stencil, tracing the lines. Turning my green paper into a sketched picture of a tree. Then all I did was cut out the tree accordingly. Once all that was done I pasted my pieces on according to the opposite side of the paper which you can see in the picture below. For my sketches in my book (the pencil sketches) I drew my chair and my cup then I just shaded my background to define the negative spaces. Negative space helps the artist's eye see all aspects of the sketch they are working with. A classic example of this is Rubin's Vase. This is just a picture of a yellow vase with a white background. Although- if you make it a negative picture by coloring the vase white and the background black you see that it is really an optical illusion, with two faces looking at each other. In short it gives you a full unadulterated view of what your working with. Seeing in negative space in fact enhances the artist's and viewer's comprehension of the art. I say this because you can look at something in color and you see whats there, but if you take the color see each little pen stroke, detail, and quirk giving the work more personality and originality. 
Photo on 5-2-13 at 4.21 PM
Photo on 5-2-13 at 4.21 PM
Photo on 5-2-13 at 4.11 PM
Photo on 5-2-13 at 4.11 PM
Photo on 5-2-13 at 4.20 PM
Photo on 5-2-13 at 4.20 PM

Othello Journals Q4

Journal #1

She that was ever fair and never proud,

Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,

[turns to face Desdemona]

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,

[turns away from Desdemona and raises head to talk to God]

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,

[lowers head and faces audience]

See suitors following and not look behind,

[looks behind at Desdemona before finishing speech]

She was a wight, if ever such wights were—

Since Iago is talking to Desdemona about herself, he can face her after the line "Had tongue at will and yet was never loud". Iago can continue his speech by directly talking to the gods after "She that being angered, her revenge being nigh," and return after the line "She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind,". Iago can move his body to face the audience to talk directly to them about Desdemona, rather than himself. To finish off his speech, Iago can face Desdemona, closing with the line "See suitors following and not look behind," while facing her directly.

Journal #2

Emilia is a character that is also deceived by Iago's lies and falls into his plan. Her most important scenes include Act 3 scene 1, and Act 3 scene 2. In the beginning, Emilia is fooled by Iago and told to get Desdemona's handkerchief in order to proceed with his plan. Emilia is completely unaware of Iago's plan and goes along with it. She is taken advantage of and abused by Iago verbally who says she slept wth Othello behind his back. She is told by Iago that he needs the handkerchief but is not told what for. This leads her to finding Cassio stabbed by Iago and she flees to Desdemona to report what happens, only to find Desdemona dead and Othello in her place. She explains Iago's plan out to Othello who realizes what he'd done and challenges Iago when he finds them. Emilia sacrifices herself to cover Desdemona's pride as her husband kills her. I think analyzing Emilia's scenes individually gives us a clear sight of her understanding about everything around her and what she sees, not just what we see.

Journal #3

Othello was born and raised in North Africa by his slave mother and father. He grew up there before being transferred into slavery. As Othello grew, so did his power. Years past before Othello escaped his enslavement and got out of the country. He travelled around the world before landing in Venice and became the Venetian military captain. He stayed in his position as captain which lead to the beginning of the story.

This leads up to the story because it gives Othello's character some backbone and reason about why people act how they do around him. His race and birthplace creates racial tension between Othello and several characters which creates racism. This influences Othello's actions because Iago uses Othello's outsider status to take advantage of him and lead him to thinking evil thoughts.

Journal #4

For the performance, I am going to be playing Othello. This requires me to come out of my comfort zone and be louder than usual. My part as Othello also requires more acting than I'm used to. Since my scene includes Othello and Iago talking about Desdemona and her secret cheating, this makes Othello angry and playing as him requires me to be pacing back and forth as if I am angry. I also have to get loud when Othello is particularly angry at what Iago is saying.  In the way of costumes and props, Othello nor Iago have any items in the scene so we don't need anything on stage. As a group, Leah and I decided to work together and interact with each other as if our characters would. This allows us to become our characters more and act out how our characters would be in the scene.


“Never, Iago. Like to the Pontic sea,

Whose icy current and compulsive course

Ne'er keeps retiring ebb but keeps due on

To the Propontic and the Hellespont,

Even so my bloody thoughts with violent pace

Shall ne'er look back, ne'er ebb to humble love

Till that a capable and wide revenge

Swallow them up. Now, by yon marble heaven,

Within these three days let me hear thee say

That Cassio’s not alive.”

In this scene, Othello is being deceived by Iago to kill Desdemona to get revenge on her. In the quote, Othello is saying that his revengeful thoughts are like a violent, coursing river that will never stop or look back, only moving forward to swallow up who ever it is after. I think this quote is important to the play because it is giving an example of what Iago has done to Othello and how his plan is playing out easily. Iago has tipped Othello to the point where he is willing to kill Desdemona for what Iago said she has done.

For my group's performance, I think everything went as planned, despite the number of days we had to practice. My group had a small scene which made it easier to practice in the time period we were given and I also think it went well because the group was so small which made it easier to communicate and connect with my partner. Looking back on it, I think we did a good job of acting out the scene with no costumes or props to get into character. The one thing I would change is the scene that we had. I thought our scene was a little boring but was important to follow the other scenes performed before, in order to make sense of the story.

Negative space drawing

What is negative space?

a. Negative space is the space around an object.

Explain how you found negative space in 1. your cut out?, 2. in your still life drawing?

The way I found negative space in my cut out was a little hard. I look at the opposite color and then I started to cut out what it was suppose to be a reflection of the original picture. The way I found negative in the still life drawing was kinda difficult, because I didn't know how to draw the pictures exactly.

Why does it help an artist to see in negative space?

c. I think that negative space could help an artist because they can observe the actual picture to more space and length, it helps define the object and help create interest and contrast. 

Does seeing in negative space enhance drawings, why or why not?

d. Seeing in negative space enhance drawings because it gives objects their own space to express what they are and also it kind of adds emotions into it.