Summary Response Outline
- Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, main idea
Act one of the Tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare proves that people often have underlying intentions contrasting what they outwardly portray.
- Supporting ideas to prove main ideas
In the concluding pages of act 1, Iago describes how he plays the other characters, using them to get what he wants. He plays Roderigo, Cassio, and Othello. All these characters see Iago in the way that he portrays himself to them, however none of Iago's pawns are exposed to the real Iago or his true intentions.
- Explanation of ideas
In the concluding lines of act one, Iago outwardly expresses his two faced intentions to the reader by indicating friendship towards Othello then going behind Othello’s back to verbally share his hatred for him.
- Concluding sentence: restate main idea
William Shakespeare highlights the concept that first impressions are not how you should judge someone, and that one’s personal view of their acquaintance may contrast that person’s true intentions.
- Topic sentence: Act 1 of Othello by William Shakespeare demonstrates how people often put on a mask to portray themselves differently based on who they are talking to.
- Claim 1: Iago betrays both Othello and Roderigo by seemingly portraying his trust to both, but deceiving both of the men behind their backs.
- Set-up- When Othello and Iago enter the Duke’s counsel, Iago reassures Othello that he will be able to win Brabantio’s approval of his marriage to Desdemona. In other words, Iago is essentially acting as a friend to Othello and falsely presenting his trust to him.
- Evidence: Lead-in- As Iago continues to act as a friend to Othello, he encourages him, “Those are the raised father and his friends. You were best to go in.” (Shakespeare 1.2. 33-34).
- Explanation of quotation to prove claim- Iago reassures Othello that he will get his desired outcome and is filling Othello with positive thoughts. By doing this Iago expresses camaraderie towards Othello which contrasts what Iago later says when he is alone. Iago is assessing his situation involving Othello by himself when he bitterly states, “But for my sport and profit, I hate the Moor.” (shakespeare 1.3. 429). William Shakespeare utilizes dramatic irony here to reveal Iago’s two faces to the reader because only the reader is able to see how his two faces are betraying both Roderigo and Othello.
- Counterclaim 1: However, .... Although it may seem like Iago is pure evil, one might consider that Iago does have everyone's best interests at heart. He demonstrates some effort to please people, so it is not uncommon to see the good in Iago despite his outward evilness.
Iago talks Roderigo out of suicide, potentially proving that beneath his layers Iago does have a good heart with positive intent.
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation”
When Roderigo expresses his desires to drown himself, Iago talks him out of it saying, “come, be a man! Drown thyself? Drown blind puppies and cats.” (1.3 375-380 Shakespeare.)
- Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim
Shakespeare portrays the good in Iago when Iago convinces Roderigo not to drown himself. Iago considers Roderigo a friend and therefore talks Roderigo out of suicide, which is what any good friend would do.
- What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? Use the rebuttal progression
Many think that Iago does has people’s best interest in mind and is a trustworthy person. After all, Iago has not directly caused harm to anyone and did try and talk Roderigo out of suicide. This position seems reasonable at first glance, however at closer glance Iago’s true intentions slowly start to reveal themselves. The only reason Iago is talking Roderigo out of suicide is to aid his own plans and not at all for the sake of his friend’s well-being. Iago is setting multiple people up for failure by portraying false trust to their faces then going behind their back and doing things that will, in the long run, cause them harm.
- Concluding sentence: restate main idea
Overall, Iago’s false portrayal to Roderigo and Othello proves that people and their intentions aren't always what they seem.