Friday, November 6, 2015

  • Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, main idea
  • In Act 4 of Othello, by Shakespeare, Shakespeare demonstrates the dangers of placing too much trust in others.
  • Supporting ideas and explanations to prove main ideas
  • Throughout the book, most characters seek aid from Iago. Little do they know, Iago has ulterior motives for helping each person seeking his assistance. Roderigo, Cassio, Othello and even Desdemona go to Iago for advice. They have no reason to suspect that Iago manipulates them and pits them against one another.
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea
  • Shakespeare shows in Othello, Act 4, all characters are overtrusting in Iago.


  • Topic sentence: title, author,correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays___(Main Idea)________ because ___________ .
  • In Act 4 of Othello, by William Shakespeare, the idea that one should never be too trusting is properly conveyed through the characters’ opinions of Iago, and the result of this trust.
  • Claim 1:
    • Set-up
    • When in doubt, all characters seek aid from Iago. Roderigo, Lodovico, Othello and Cassio all trust him. Roderigo goes to him for advice on how to court Desdemona. Othello goes to Iago for advice on what to do with Desdemona. Desdemona, after being mistreated by Othello for reasons unknown to her, also asks Iago for advice.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  “ quotation” (Shakespeare 1.2.13-17).“Alas, Iago, what shall I do to win my lord again?” (Shakespeare 4.2.175-176).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove claim: explain quote, connect to claim
    • Desdemona goes to him second, just after her maid. Little does she know that he is responsible for her mistreatment. She shows that she truly trusts Iago. Similarly, when Roderigo went to Iago, he ended up doing hours of grunt work and got a sword in his chest as a result of following Iago’s advice.
  • Counterclaim 1: However, some may argue that it is not that people misplace their trust in Iago, but that they ask Iago the wrong questions.
  • Set-up
    • Iago is a seasoned general of war. His experience would qualify him to give tactical advice in war time.  Although he can have opinions on people’s relationships, other people should not have assumed that he would be a good advisor for their personal lives.
    • Evidence: Lead-in  “ quotation”
    • “Every day thou daff’st me with some device, Iago, and rather, as it seems to me now, keep’st from me all conveniency than suppliest me with the least advantage of hope.”(Shakespeare 4.2.1)
    • Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: explain quote, connect to claim
    • Roderigo is calling Iago out for regularly deceiving him in this quote, but Iago responds with more deception. Roderigo is constantly tormented and sent on wild goose chases due to Iago’s “advice”. Roderigo had originally asked Iago to help him  win over Desdemona from Othello. He was tasked with shouting at senators, engaging in combat and making a fool out of himself. If Roderigo had asked anyone different or used his own head, he may have saved himself a lot of trouble.
    • What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? (use rebuttal progression language)
    • But it’s more complicated than that. Iago is always making himself available for advice and taking advantage of his social status. One cannot deny that Iago has great military experience, but that does not make him incapable of giving sound advice or make him the “wrong” person to talk to. People could have gone to him as a friend, but they more likely went to him because he wanted them to. Iago is manipulative and forces everyone to go to him, because he had drawn them away from each other. From the very beginning of the story, Iago tries to shape other people’s feelings and actions. For example, he wants Brabantio to be bitter towards Othello, he states, “Call up her father, Rouse him. Make after him, poison his delight, Proclaim him in the streets,” (Shakespeare, 1.1.3). Iago easily achieves Brabantio’s angry reaction. In another scene, Iago gets Cassio drunk on purpose. “If I can fasten but one cup upon him with that which he hath drunk tonight already, he'll be as full of quarrel and offense as my young mistress' dog,” (Shakespeare, 2.3.3) Iago is an evil genius who manages to manipulate other characters’ thoughts and actions to achieve his own goals.
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea
    • In Othello, through the interactions and subsequent actions between Iago and Desdemona, Roderigo, Lodovico, Othello and Cassio, Shakespeare demonstrates how misplaced, blind trust can lead to deceit and unfortunate outcomes.