Othello Questions and Answers
1 .Discuss how Othello’s love for Desdemona changed into mistrust in the story.
Ans. Othello was a brave soldier. Desdemona was the fair and beautiful daughter of Brabantio. They I loved each other whole-heartedly. After many misunderstandings Brabantio accepted Othello as his son-in-law. Othello trusted Cassio, a young Florentine soldier, very much. He had engaged Cassio in his love affair with Desdemona as a sort of go between.
He had promoted Cassio to the rank of Lieutenant. Iago, a senior officer became furious. Wild with envy, he implanted the seeds of jealousy in Othello’s mind. Iago stole and dropped the strawberry spotted handkerchief given to Desdemona by Othello on Cassio’s way. Pointing out it in Cassio’s hand lago proved Desdemona’s infidelity. All these evidences against Desdemona changed Othello’s love into mistrust in the story.
2 Give a character analyse of lago.
Sketch how lago has been characterized in ‘Othello’.
Ans. Shakespeare’s portrayal of Iago in ‘Othello’ is the that of an antagonist, a sinister villain. When Othello promoted Cassio to the prestigious rank of lieutenant, Iago a senior officer, who considered himself worthy of the post of lieutenant became envious for his deprivation. He took a terrible scheme to ruin Othello, Cassio and Desdemona by taking the advantage of Othello’s nobility and integrity.
Iago had a rare quality to study human psyche. He provoked Cassio to be drunk at Cyprus. He engaged his wife to steal Desdemona’s handkerchief. His evil motive is to prove Desdemona’s infidelity. He implanted jealousy on Othello’s mind. He devised a secret plan to destroy Othello by making him believe that his wife had an unfair relation with Cassio.
Othello accused Desdemona of being untrue to him. He strangled innocent Desdemona. At last, realising his own faults Othello killed himself. Iago is devoid of conscience with no remorse while his egoism is absolute.
3 .What led Desdemona to marry Othello?
Ans. Desdemona was the fair and nice looking only daughter of the rich senator, Brabantio. Many noblemen of the best families dreamt to marry her. But the noble lady worshipped the heart more than the appearance and complexion of man. Othello, a noble moor from north Africa was a brave soldier. The misfortunes and hardships of his carly life made Desdemona sympathic towards Othello. When Brabantio invited Othello to his house, Desdemona listened to him in wonder.
As a nice storyteller Othello depicted about his adventures, strange stories of battles. He also told her the stories of deserts, caves, mountains high enough to touch the sky and race of people in Africa. Later, he has risen to become a general. Gradually, her fascination had turned into love and affection. One day when Othello implored Desdemona to marry him, she agreed.
4.Why did Othello decide to kill Desdemona and himself?
Ans. General Othello loved his wife Desdemona with all his heart. But Iago, one of his sub-ordinates who was a crafty fellow. He plotted to vitiate their relationship. Iago wanted to take revenge against both Othello and Cassio as Othello promoted Cassio to the rank of a lieutenant. Iago had been able to convince Othello that his wife was unfaithful and had a secret relation with Cassio.
Othello fell prey to this conspiracy and in a rage killed Desdemona by suffocating her. But after this, injured Cassio came to him to tell about lago’s plot to kill him and to destroy Othello’s life. Hearing this Othello became almost mad in repentence for killing his innocent wife and instantly committed suicide with his own weapon.
5 How did Othello overcome the fury of Brabantio after marrying Desdemona?
Ans. Othello secretly married Desdemona without taking any consent from Desdemona’s father, Brabantio. When he came to know about it, Brabantio became furious. He complained to the duke that Othello had won the heart of his daughter by sorcery and witchcraft. When Othello was summoned before the senate to speak against the complaint in self-defence, he talked about his genuine love for Desdemona.
He spoke so eloquently and with so sweetness that the duke himself was very much impressed. He remarked that her own daughter would have been impressed with such eloquence. Thus the complaint of Brabantio was not accepted by the senate. Brabantion was compelled to accept Othello as his son-in-law.
6 Give a character sketch of Othello.
Ans. In Shakespearean tragedy ‘Othello’ protagonist Othello is a gentle, noble and brave general. He is a black Moor having lots of war experiences and adventures. His art of story-telling charmed Desdemona, the beautiful and nice looking daughter of Brabantio, the senator. He married Desdemona secretly. He loved and trusted his wife whole heartedly.
When Othello has promoted Cassio to the rank of lieutenant, Iago starts planning against Othello, Desdemona and Cassio to accomplish a total destruction to all of them. The clever and revengeful lago implants the germs of jealousy on Othello’s mind. His soft and tender feelings about Desdemona gradually faded away. There reigns only sheer hatred and inhuman qualities of a beast.
Driven with a sort of anguish and hatred he commits the most serious mistaken and the heinous crime in his life. He puts his beloved wife-Desdemona to death by stifling. At the end discovering both Desdemona and Cassio’s innocence, Othello being tormented kills himself with a sword and falls upon the lifeless body of his dear wife.
7 What was the reaction of Brabantio after getting the secret news of his daughter’s marriage? How did Othello get rid of the adverse situation? [2+3=5]
Ans. Othello’s marriage to Desdemona in a secret manner was a bolt from the blue to Brabantio, a rich and noble Senator. He got bewildered and then became outrageous at their impudence to marry without his consent. Immediately he pleaded to the Duke and accused Othello, the Moor of stealing his innocent daughter, Desdemona away from him by means of casting spell and witchcraft.
In the mean time, the Senators called upon Othello before them for self-defence. He gave a detail explanation how he succeeded to win his lady’s love. Othello often visited to Brabantio’s house as he desired his presence. As a good story-teller he narrated his real life stories as well as his adventures in the worst situations. The sad tale of Othello attracted Desdemona. Subsequently, Desdemona’s pronouncement about her disposition to marry Othello removed all the doubts against Othello. At last, Brabantio accepted Othello as his son-in-law unwillingly.
8 .Describe the character of Desdemona.
Ans. Desdemona is a central character in Shakespearean play ‘Othello’. She was a pretty and fair young lady with blue blood. Her father is a rich Senator of Venice.
She provides more importance to simplicity, innocence and heroism than external appearance of men. She admired the black Moor Othello for his heroic adventures. She enrages and disappoints her father when she elopes with Othello. Thus, she goes against the traditional Venetian customs by marrying Othello instead of one of his rich Venetian suitors.
She accompanies Othello to Cyprus. There Othello is manipulated by the ensign Iago. He believes Desdemona’s infedility in love with Cassio. Finally, she is killed by her husband after being strangled. The sad demise of Desdemona arouses sense of pity and gloom.
9 What role did handkerchief play in happening Desdemona’s destruction ?
Ans. Othello, the tragic hero gifted the strawberry spotted handkerchief to her beloved wife Desdemona. It belonged to his mother. The handkerchief had a special significance and symbol. The envious Iago made a conspiracy and took entry with a revengeful motif to ruin Othello, Desdemona and Cassio. He used his wife Emilia who was engaged as Desdemona’s maid to steal the handkerchief from her. The handkerchief was dropped at Cassio’s way.
In this way, Iago implanted the germs of jealousy in Othello’s mind. He made Othello suspicious about the illegal relation between his wife and Cassio. The handkerchief represents Desdemona’s fidelity. When he disbelieves Desdemona’s faithfulness. The furious Othello gets the handkerchief in Cassio’s possession, and outrageous Othello brutally murdered Desdemona by strangling.
10 Why did Othello kill his wife and himself?
Ans. Othello was a noble Moor. He had risen to the rank of general from a mere soldier. On the other hand, Desdemona was a nice looking young woman whose father was a noble and rich Senator. When Othello had promoted Cassio to the rank of lieutenant Iago, a senior officer became furious. Wild with envy, Iago designed to ruin Othello, Desdemona and Cassio. So he planted the seeds of Jealous in Othello’s mind. Iago took the advantage of Othello’s ‘trust’ on him.
First the cunning Iago set to work to make Cassio completely drunk on the victory against the Turks. Then, he tried to make Othello believe that there was an illegal relation between Cassio and Desdemona pointing out the strawberry spotted handkerchief at Cassio’s hand. Othello became mad and out of fury he took revenge on Desdemona stifling with her bed clothes till she was dead.
At last Othello understood Iago’s wickedness. After realizing both Desdemona and Cassio were innocent, Othello lifted his sword and drove it through his own body. He kissed Desdemona’s cold body once before his sad and tragic end of his life.
11 Who was Cassio ? What role did he play in the love affairs between Othello and Desdemona? [1+4=5]
Ans. Michael Cassio was a young, handsome and energetic Florentine soldier in the play ‘Othello’. He was supposed one of the worst victims of Iago.
Cassio was a man of good spirit, romantic and articulate. Othello, the Moor was afraid of the fact that he was incompetent to get the favour of woman. On the other hand, Cassio possessed the quality. So, Othello hand engaged him in their courtship. He played a significant role in this regard as both Othello and Desdemona believed him their true and genuine friend. After their marriage Cassio paid his visit to their house frequently.
Othello, a man of strict principle liked his free and eloquent speech. Desdemona valued him as a true friend. Even after their marriage Othello and Desdemona would talk and laugh with Cassio as they did before. Cassio was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
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