Analysing Cassio in Act Two of Othello

Pg forty seven: *Cassio is talked about earlier than he is seen.

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-Initially, Shakespeare presents Cassio from somebody else’s perspective, so as to place a specific view of Cassio in the minds of the audience before he is actually seen.

~ The Third Gentlemen states, ‘…yet he looks sadly,/ And prays the Moor be protected; for they had been prated/ With foul and violent tempest.’

*This Demonstrates Cassio’s loyalty for Othello and his genuine concern for him.

Pg forty eight: *Cassio enters

*What was stated about Cassio’s fear for Othello is confirmed;

~ Cassio: ‘…Oh let the Heavens/ Give him defence in opposition to the weather,/ For I actually have lost him on a harmful sea.

-Therefore the audience recognise Cassio as a caring, loyal Lieutenant.

-This again develops our adverse opinion of Iago, as we heard him converse negatively of Cassio in Act One, and now discover his feedback to be false.

*Line 20 brings an interruption to the form of iambic pentameter with Cassio’s phrases, ‘What noise?’

-This attracts consideration to what he’s saying and so what is happening: the arrival of Iago, Desdemona, Emilia and Rodrigo.

*Line 31 demonstrates Cassio’s extravagant use of language; in describing Desdemona.

~He states, ‘…he hath achiev’d a Maid/ That paragons description, and wild fame:/ One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens’.

-This flamboyant language makes the viewers question Othello’s reasons for appointing Cassio as his lieutenant, above Iago. Othello may’ve chosen Cassio as he’s more articulate and would go nicely with the half higher in that sense, somewhat than based on his capability.

Pg 49: *Cassio explains that regardless of the troopers and Othello being mortal, ‘The Divine Desdemona’ has guided them residence safely from the tough seas that one might have expected to take their lives.

*Line 14 sees an interruption within the rhythm, as there are only 5 syllables on the line, adopted by a line of 6 syllables. *One may also argue that line 14 begins with an inverted foot:

~’She that I spake of:’

-This would be Shakespeare’s technique of drawing attention to Desdemona on this passage, as she is the subject being discussed. This emphasis is possibly in order that the apparent energy of the love between Othello and Desdemona is magnified by Cassio, which will show ironic in a while, when Iago inclines Othello to imagine that Desdemona is committing adultery with Cassio.

-This passage once again demonstrates Cassio’s behavior of utilizing extravagant and flamboyant language, as quickly as once more in reference to Desdemona.

*Line 24 sees yet another interruption in the rhythm, because it has only three syllables, and an inverted foot.

-This is to attract attention to the activities occurring: the arrival of Desdemona, Iago, Rodrigo, and Emilia.

*Cassio exhibits his caring persona, as he reassures Desdemona of Othello’s safety;

~’He’s not but arriv’d, nor know I aught/ But that he’s well, and shall be shortly right here.’

Cassio’s speeches often include broken strings:

~’This likewise is a friend

See for the news:’

-From this we will deduce that he must communicate with haste and speed, in order to not let the rhythm be unnecessarily interrupted. This adds to the reality that he’s extraordinarily articulate and well spoken.

Pg 50: *Cassio addresses Iago as ‘good Iago’, which conveys his trusting nature, and the high esteem in which he holds Iago.

-This demonstrates Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony, as we all know that Iago is plotting to convince Othello that Iago is having an affair together with his wife, whereas Cassio believes in Iago’s supposed good nature.

-This in flip summons sympathy for Cassio throughout the audience, as we wish him to not be so good-natured in direction of Iago, growing our constructive view of Cassio.

Pg 52: *Cassio continues to praise Iago, wrongly;

~’…you may relish him/ More in the soldier, than in the scholar’

Pg 54 *Iago speaks of his plan to convince Othello of his wife’s fictional affair with Cassio.

~’I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip’

-Again this arouses sympathy for Cassio within the audience, in addition to additional creating the audience’s negative opinion of Iago.


Pg 57 *Cassio and Othello’s faith in Iago is bolstered;

~’Iago is most honest’

Pg fifty eight *We see the interplay between Iago and Cassio, and witness Cassio’s plan for revenge being put into action, as he leads Cassio into praising Desdemona.

~’She is certainly perfection’

-The kind right here has changed to prose, and so could not have the fluency of earlier dialogue. This would make the audience discover more of what is being said, as there is not any common rhythm, and so sure phrases or phrases can be emphasised by the pure rhythm enforced.

-This consequently inclines the audience to witness Iago’s manipulation of Cassio’s phrases. Therefore seeing his plan put into motion.

-This makes the audience pity Cassio, as they witness him being weak to Iago’s revenge scheme.

Pg 60 *Whilst Iago if executing his plan and attempting to get Cassio drunk, Cassio reveals his loyalty to and reward for Othello, as he toasts;

~’To the well being of our General’

-This proves somewhat ironic, as Iago is executing his plan to try and show Cassio is having an affair with Othello’s spouse, therefore attempting to expose him as disloyal, while Cassio is declaring his loyalty to Othello simultaneously.

Pg 61 *Cassio realises he’s accomplished incorrect in his place as Lieutenant, and attempts to make Iago conscious of his place;

~’The lieutenant is to be saved before the Ancient’

*Iago’s plan develops as he convinces Montano that Cassio is commonly drunk earlier than bed, and inclines Montano to query Cassio’s capacity as Othello’s Lieutenant, and Othello’s personal judgement;

~’Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature/

Prizes the advantage that seems in Cassio,/ And appears not on his evils’

Pg 62 *Cassio aids Iago’s plan by drunkenly shouting verbal abuse at Rodrigo, in entrance of Montano, resulting in a struggle between himself and Montano.

-here we see how simply Cassio is manipulated by Iago, which inclines the audience to sympathise with him, and Othello when he enters, as he too seems engulfed by Iago’s scheme.

*Iago’s intelligence is exhibited, as he continues to outwardly present emotions of friendship and loyalty in path of Cassio, while actively deceiving him.

~’I had somewhat have this tongue cut from my mouth,/ Than it should do offence to Michael Cassio.’

*Cassio stays loyal and friendly to Iago, not blaming him for what he’s liable for: Cassio’s drunkenness, and consequently the next battle.

~’My status, Iago, my reputation.’

-This develops the audience opinion that Cassio is extremely trusting, as even after the night’s events, he doesn’t think to suspect Iago of foul play, however quite turns to him, foolishly, for recommendation. This trusting nature of Cassio’s is his flaw, and what causes him to take Iago’s advice, aiding Iago’s revenge plan. The viewers may view Cassio as rather innocent at this level, as he fails to see, although many do, what has been carried out to him by Iago: he’s been stripped of his dignity and esteem.

Pg 68 *Cassio’s ultimate words of the Act are; ‘Good evening, trustworthy Iago’, which demonstrates his vulnerability in being manipulated by Iago, and his remaining loyalty to him.

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