Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Othello Thesis

My Thesis:

Even though Othello wrongly accused Desmonda, she still showed great love for him by not ratting him out for her soon to be death, by sticking up for him, and being faithful.

I picked this topic because it was of my interest as to why she still loved him so, after all of the hateful things he had said and done to her. After all of this she still managed to show great love for him, and let everyone know it during her final words. To me there is only so much that you can take of verbal abuse and accusations. She didn't even seem to care about that fact that he just listened to his friend, and didn't even bother to go and ask her for himself. This astonishes me, because I know that if I was in her position, I wouldn't feel as if I was in a marriage, but in a high school fling. It just makes no sense to me at least. Then again, maybe she had such strong feelings for him that nothing he could ever do would ever change the love that she had for him. That is something so rare that it is rarely found in modern today. Here are some examples that prove that Desmonda was still in love with her husband despite his accusations:

Act 4, scene 2, 176:
Desmonda says,
"What shall I do to win my Lord again?"

This is a really good example of how she loves him so. First off she is proving that she would do anything to win him back, and to prove that she is innocent, and is completely faithful to him.

Act 4, scene 3, 12-15:
Desmonda says,
"He says he wil return incontinent, and hath commanded me to go to bed and (bade) me to dimiss you."

This is just another example showing how she would follow anything that he tells her to. She would do anything for him, because he is her true love.

Act 4, scene 3, 59-61:
Desmonda sings,
I called my love false love, but what said he then?
Sing willow, willow, willow.
If I court more women, youll couch with more men

Basically, this is a song that Desmonda is singing to Emilia about her relationship with Othello. Even though she loves him so, she is worried as to why he is acting wierd to her.
Act 4, scene 3, 88-89:
Desmonda says,
" Beshrew me if I would do such a wrong for the whole world."

Right here Desmonda is talking about when she was called a whore by Othello. She is asking Emilia if she really is this, and if she is then to "breshew" her.

Act 5 scene 2, 49:
Desmonda says,
" They are loves I bear to you."

This is talking about when Othello asks her about the sins in which she has commited, and she states that the only sin of wrong would be that she has loved him too much.

act 5, scene 2 , 51-55:
Desmonda says,
"That death's unnatural that kills for loving. Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip? Some bloody passion shakes your very frame. These are protents, but yet I hope, I hope they do not point at me."

This shows that she believes that if he does love her as she loves him then he would not point his sword at her.

act 5, scene 2, 73-76:
Desmonda says,
"And have mercy too. I never did offend you in my life, never loved Cassio but with such general warranty of heaven as I might love. I never gave him a token. "

Here she is trying to convince him of her love for him, and to prove that she never did anything with Cassio, and that he himself is the only one who she has ever given herself to and has loved.

act 5, scene 2, 151-153:
Emilia says,
"O, who hath done this deed?"
Desmonda says,
"Nobody. I myself. Farewell. Commend me to my kind Lord. O, farewell."

This is the moment in which Desmonda could have told on her husband for killing her, but instead she told Emilia that she did it herself. Therefore sticking up for her husband. This is where I find it every interesting and is one of my favorite parts of this act.

Act 5, scene 2, 165-166:
Emilia says,
"Thou art rash as a fire to day that she was false. O, she was heavenly true."

This is after the fact that Desmonda is dead, and is when Othello is finally finding out that his wife was truly faithful to him. Here Emilia tells him that she was only just heavenly true to him the whole time.

Overall, these are just a few of the examples that help to support my thesis. I could say that from this it is easy to conclude that Desmonda was truly, truly in love with her significant other, and would do absolutely anything for him. It's just sad how everything had to work out in the wrong for her, because she was total faithful and a good wife to Othello.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

O v. Othello

O: Summary(my opinion)

The movie O, is a more modernized version of Othello, that was made for students like us to be able to better understand the writings of William Shakespeare. In this version, all of the characters are in high school, and it is portrayed through a basketball team. Basically, there is deception, lies, betrayols, several murders, and a suicide. This all occurs behind due to one student, Hugo. He is jealous of his friend O, who is the only african american student at his school, yet his father seems to show more love for this young man, than for his own son. To hugo, this is hurtful. Hugo decides to manipulte all of his friends into ruining O's life. He does this by using O's girlfriend Desi. O and Desi are a pretty close couple, viewers know this by the scarf that O gives her. Hugo starts up this lie saying that she is not a virgin and was sleeping around with one of their buddies. At first O doesn't believe it, but after a while, his mood changes and he finally believes his buddy. Together Hugo and O plot against Desi and their basket ball buddy. Their plan ends up messing up and several others are killed including: Desi, her roomate, Hugo's accomplise, and then O commits suicide. Overall, this movie really helped me to take in the Othello story and apply it to todays lifetime. It really did help me alot to put everything together, and made everything make much more sense.

Othello: Summary(my opinion)

The story of Othello is alot like the movie, just in the historic times. The difference is that it is placed on an island and they are in the military. It basically shows the same deception that Iago does upon Othello, as well as all of his other friends too. The one big difference is the hankershief and that everyone in the play are already married. In the movie the hankerchief was O's grandmothers and he was supposed to pass it down to the one that he loves. In Othello, the hankershief symbolizes virginity I believe. At least this is what Shakespeare leads his readers to believe. Cassio, which is was the lutienant who had his job taken away is the guy in which Othello believes is sleeping with his wife. One of the reasons that Othello believes Iago's manipulative lies are because he steals the hankercheif and gives it to Cassio. This instantly makes Othello believe all of Iago's comments about them sleeping together.

In Comparison:

Overall, I feel that watching the movie really helped me to better understand the Othello play. Without help, it is pretty hard to understand, but the movie helped to clarify anything that I was having problems with. I still feel sort of unsure of why exactly Othello believed Iago over his wife. If someone is your wife then you should at least respect them enough to come to then with any conflict in which you may have. The play leads me to believe that maybe they didn't have that strong of a relationship to begin with. If you truly love someone you will abide in their trust and not believe others over them. It doens't hurt at least ask, but accusing without even speaking a word to your significant other show complete disrespect. Why did Othello not have enough trust in his wife?

Another question that I have would be that why did Shakespeare decide to write suck a sorrowful story. I know that all of his plays portarys sorrow, but why? Also, I wonder what the deal is with the birds in the movie? It just doesn't make any sense to the plot or purpose of the story. Maybe there is something that I'm just missing, but it sort of confuses me. It could be possible that maybe the birds are Hugo's symbol of how he feels. I believe that at the end of the movie, that his final speech included the talk of the birds. He mentioned that he would fly away like the birds and be free. It could be a possibility that the birds are his symbol, and are his way of relating to something.

For the most part these are my only questions that I have thought of thus far. Overall, I feel that Othello and O are very close versions, just one is made to the modern day, so we can better understand what Shakespeare was really getting at in his play.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Life of Sir Thomas More

This specific website helped me to find major events that occured in More's lifetime. Sir Thomas More was born on February 7, 1478 in Milk Street, London. More went to Oxford to contiue his education under the instruction of Thomas Linacre, and William Grocyn. At Oxford he studied Greek and Latin literature. He became a barrister in 1501, which is considered to be a lawyer of England. More's lifelong friend was Desiderius Erasmus. Together they did many different writings of literature. One major thing that More did was help Henry VIII in the writing of Defence of the Seven Sacraments. He resigned from the law in 1532 because of ill health, but some say that it is because of his dissaproval of Henry VIII view on the church. For the most part this is a summary of what I learned by reading about More's lifetime. Although it was a good website, I still felt like I could have learned alot more. Overall this was a pretty good website, just left me a little uninformed. Overall, I would rate this website a 5 out of 10.

This next website had a very helpful timeline. It listed all of the major events in More's life through a timeline, and for a reader that is a lot easier to understand than reading about each of these events all jumbled up. Fromt this website I learned that he was married to a girl named Jane Colt, in 1505, who he has 4 children with. She passed away in 1511, and he married again a month later to Alice Middleton. Also, this site gives me a little more information as to why More really did resign. It states that he didn't support Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine and Anne Boyln. More was convicted of treason and was beheaded on July 6, 1535. As you can tell it seems that I learned quite a bit from this website. I liked this one alot better than the first one. Once I finished reading, I felt as if I had recieved just enough information about More. Overall, I would have to rate this website a 8 out of a 10.

This website was fairly plain and boring, but had great amounts of information. Unlike the other first two, this website talks a little bit more about his personality, and actually describes him as a person. For instance they mention that More is "a man of singular virtue and of a clear unspotted conscience." After reading the information on this website I felt as if I knew him better as a person and not only as someone who was well known for his writings. Even though this website is sort of bland and is alot of reading, I enjoyed it mostly because I felt better informed about More's actual personality, and what he was really thinking when he did his writings. Overall, I would say that I rate this website a 7out of 10.

This next website was also very helpful in the sense that it was about More's trail against treason. Even though the other websites talk a little about his trial, this website only really talks about the trial, and goes into great detail. I also learned that right before More was executed he said his closing statment: "I very well remember the case and if I were to decide it now, I would make the same decree." This statement was mentioned in the other websites, but the actual quote was not said. This website was quite interesting, because it helped me to find out the real reasons to More's trial and issues with Henry VIII. Overall, I would rate this website a 8 out of 10.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

My Thesis

While reading the Wife of Bath(WOB) Prologue and Tale, I have learned quite a bit about the WOB's personality. I feel that Chaucer wants his readers to be confused about his writings, therefore he makes it so people have to come up with their own opinion about the WOB. Sitting through the British Literature class, and hearing everyones different opinions, and how they felt about her, helped me to come up with my own opinion. I have come to a neutralized conclusion, for I feel that she should be considered both good as well as bad.
Throughout the Tale and Prologue, I came to find several lines that could help to support my opinion that she is a "bad" person. One of which is where Chaucer gives evidence to support that the WOB is a cheater. She states, "Have though ynogh what thar reache or care. How myrily that othere folkes fare?"(ln. 329-330). Basically in this line the WOB is telling the readers, that as long as she gives her husband all that he wants, then why should it matter if she gets more? Also she brags quite a bit about her classy look and her clothing style(ln. 356). The WOB states in the beginning of the Prologue that she likes to give charity, but only if she is the first to give (ln. a450-a451). If she is not the first to give, then she gets angry and doesn't want to give any money anymore (ln.a450-a451). Pretty much what she is saying here is that she cares about her image and wants to make sure that people see that she is doing good. One of the biggest reasons that most readers could have a set opinion on the WOB being bad would be the simple fact that she was married five times. Even after her five marriages, she still continued on to find another one. These are just a couple of examples that I found to support that the WOB could be looked at as a "bad" person.
On the otherhand, there are several lines which show that the WOB should be considered a "good" person as well. First off, it must be taken into consideration that she was wedded for the first time at age 12 (ln. 4). This is a ligitamite excuse for her having as many husbands as she did, for maybe marriage is where she found comfort, because it was all she was known to. Although there is reason to believe that she is a liar, there is just as much evidence to show that she was truthful as well (ln. 194-195). The WOB states that she does not go and sleep around with other men, because she is faithful. She states, "That in his owene grece I made him frye, For angre and for verray jalousye," (ln. 487-488). Another example of her being a "good" person would be where she states that her and Jankyn were in love, and had redemed their love for one another (ln. 718). These are just a few of the many examples that exemplify that the WOB was indeed a "good" person.
Overall, this is how I have come to my own opinion on the WOB behaviors and characteristics. With this evidence that I have shown great reason to believe that she is neither good nor bad person, but both. Not everyone is perfect, and the WOB is definitely not perfect that is for sure, but she still has her moments when she shows that she actually does care. The WOB is a different character for sure, but I believe that is exactly what Chaucer wanted. I feel that he wanted his readers to be have to sit down and look at the good and the bad of her personality. Therefore, I feel that with my information I have fully informed and backed up my own personal opinion on this matter.