Thursday, September 10, 2015

Annie Baker and Anastasia Dorval Summary Response Outline, "Othello" Act 1

Summary Response

  • Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, main idea
Act 1 in Shakespeare’s Othello captures Iago’s rage, Rodrigo’s despair, and Othello and Desdemona's love for one another.
  • Supporting ideas and explanations to prove main ideas
In scene 1 Iago is already stirring up trouble for Othello when he wakes up Desdemona’s father and lies to him about Othello’s actions. At the end of the act Rodrigo is in despair because he thinks Desdemona does not love him and he contemplates suicide. Desdemona herself explains her love for Othello in front of the Duke to save him in scene 2.
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea
Act 1 of Othello introduces us to the characters, their hardships and begins both external and internal conflicts.

  • Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb,correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays___________ because ___________ .
Shakespeare’s Othello accurately portrays how women were perceived as objects that one could own, because women were referred to as possessions you could claim, and they weren’t entitled to the right of speech.
  • Claim 1:
Women were viewed as property because they were thought of as being lesser than men.
    • Set-up
Brabantio, convinced by Iago and Rodrigo, believes that Desdemona has been stolen from him.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  “ quotation” (Shakespeare 1.2.13-17).
Brabantio informs the Duke about his daughter having been stolen from him, he utters, “She is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted”(Shakespeare 1.3 73).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove claim: explain quote, connect to claim
Brabantio uses the word stolen; he doesn’t use the word kidnapped. Stolen is a word that one generally uses when referring to personal objects or possessions. Knowing this, Shakespeare illustrates his views of women being lesser objects through Brabantio’s use of “stolen” indicating that Brabantio considers Desdemona as one of his possessions.
  • Counterclaim 1: However, ....
However, women were treated with respect.
    • Set-up
Othello is accused of stealing Desdemona from Brabantio, in front of the the Duke.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  “ quotation” (       )
Othello asks for Desdemona to speak on his behalf, “And let her speak of me before her father”(Shakespeare 1.3 136).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: explain quote, connect to claim
Because of Othello’s respect for Desdemona, he asks the Duke to let Desdemona speak on his behalf. Shakespeare contrasts Othello’s request to have Desdemona speak with Brabantio’s mistreatment of Desdemona to show Othello’s regard of Desdemona as a person, and not as an object.  

  • What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? (use rebuttal progression language)
At first glance it seems valid to say that since Desdemona is highly respected by Othello, that other female characters in the book are highly respected as well and not just seen as property. This seems reasonable because if one woman in the book is treated well then it only makes sense that other women would be treated good as well. However, it is too early in the book to know that all women are not perceived as just being property, and finally we were only introduced to one female character in the first act of “Othello”.
A common view is that women are treated as lesser than all men. This is reasonable considering that women are perceived as property throughout the text. However it is more complicated than that. Desdemona is treated with the utmost respect from Othello, but Shakespeare portrays the idea that Desdemona does not have the same respect for Othello, when she refers to him as “the Moor.”
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea
Shakespeare’s “Othello” demonstrates how women were thought of as property because most of them did not have say over a man’s life, and they were referred to as mere possessions.

1 comment:

  1. Good summary-make sure to use subject agreement especially in your first few sentences. Also, make sure to avoid opinion statements such as " so beautifully "

    Good work on your response. Make sure your citations are punctuated correctly (Hirsch). Also, make sure to extend the thinking in your rebuttal. You have a lot of evidence to move your argument forward here. Do so.

    Make sure your conclusion is one sentence as it should be a concluding sentence.