Summary Response Outline
- Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, main idea
Shakespeare's Othello demonstrates the prejudice inequity against women.
- Supporting ideas to prove main ideas
Within Othello, the women, Desdemona and Emilia specifically, are suppressed by male figures in the play.
- Explanation of ideas
Desdemona and Emilia suffer an amount of hostile animosity because of the bias against their gender. Iago verbally degrades them and uses Desdemona as a pawn in his manipulative plan.
- Concluding sentence: restate main idea
Sexism and prejudice are problems Shakespeare portrays in the second act of Othello, The male characters demean and unfairly discriminate against Emilia and Desdemona because of their gender.
- Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, agree/disagree (correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays), because ___________ and ______________- Othello by William Shakespeare, portrays the prejudice and undermining of women through Iago’s display of his intent to use Desdemona as a pawn.
- Claim 1: Iago takes advantage of Desdemona’s kindheartedness by telling Roderigo of his plan to use her to make Othello jealous. Iago is going to makes sure that Othello spots Desdemona and Cassio together so he will assume that they are having an affair. Othello assuming this will guarantee that Cassio will not gain his position back- the position Iago hopes to undertake.
- Set-up As Iago fills Cassio with false confidence about getting his lieutenancy back, he hints that Desdemona is the key to returning Cassio’s reputation to its former state.
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” Iago indicates
“She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested” (Shakespeare 2.3.319- 322).
- Explanation of quotation to prove claim Iago displays discrimination towards Desdemona by indicating that women are kind and vulnerable, so Desdemona will be easily manipulated into giving her good word of Cassio to Othello.
- Counterclaim 1: However, ....
However, although Iago's harmful actions against women could be interpreted as sexism, his manipulative ways are not specifically targeted towards women. He uses almost all the characters as pawns in his plan.
Iago menaces and manipulates, but his cruelty does not exclusively victimize the female characters.
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” ( )
As Iago speaks to the audience he broadly states,
“Or, failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,
If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb” (Shakespeare 2.1. 220-230).
- Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim
Iago exhibits cruel and manipulative thoughts towards many characters, the Moor in this case, not exclusively female figures. He expresses his manipulation of a large variety of characters, he shows that he is not sexist, just cruel.
- What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? Use the rebuttal progression
Although it is a common thought that Iago’s derogatory persona is directed at all characters, regardless of gender, at closer glance one begins to see how Iago is specifically targeting women. In act 2, scene 1 Iago jumps on an opportunity to openly express his opinion on women. Desdemona thinks that Iago is simply messing around, but there are no jokes when Iago states that women are only there to “suckle fools and chronicle small beer” (Shakespeare 2.1. 71). Iago constantly slanders women and allows his negative prejudice to take control of any decent judgement that he still has. Furthermore, Iago cynically sneers that women are only active in bed, implying that women are prostitutes.
- Concluding sentence: restate main idea
Overall, Shakespeare's Othello demonstrates the sexism occurring against women all around us. Othello show the prejudice surrounding women, Iago degrades Emilia and Desdemona in a way that is cruel and unfair to them.