Other Lesson Plans
Act One, Scene One
arithmetician: archaic a mathematician
bumbast: archaic bombastic
coursers: archaic horses
deluding: misleading, deceiving
epithites: archaic lazy, worthless vagrants
fadom: a unit of length
forsooth: archaic in truth, certainly
gennets: Spanish horses
kindred: archaic relatives
lascivious: sexual, lewd
nonsuits: archaic rejects, refuses
profess: to admit
provender: archaic feed for domestic animals
purse: archaic money
treason: an act of disloyalty
trifle: to toy, to tease
tupping: archaic having sex with someone
1. Why is Iago so upset?
Iago has been passed over for a promotion to lieutenant, although he believes that he is well-qualified and deserves the post. According to Iago, the man who was chosen, Michael Cassio, is nothing more than an “arithmetician” who has “never set a squadron in the field.” In other words, he may be good with numbers, but he has no battlefield experience.
2. What does Iago mean by, “In following him, I follow but myself”?
Iago plans to pretend to serve Othello, but in reality, he will pursue his own ends. He praises servants who line their pockets and then become their own masters and “such a one do I profess myself.”
3. What is the thematic significance of Iago’s statement, “I am not what I am”?
Iago makes it clear in the beginning of the play that he has subversive plans and that he is not what he appears to be. Although Iago will pretend to be Othello’s friend and servant, his “allegiance” is part of his plot to ruin Othello.
4. Why do Iago and Roderigo wake Brabantio in the middle of the night? Why is Brabantio initially displeased when he sees Roderigo?
Iago and Roderigo wake...
(The entire section is 892 words.)
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