Sunday, October 4, 2015

Caylor S/R for Act 5 of Othello

Summary:

Act 5 of Othello, by William Shakespeare, correctly portrays revenge and how it can backfire, both in the Renaissance period and today. The failure of Iago’s plan is the age old story of how well thought plans can backfire, both today and in the past. Othello’s killing of his wife, later to find his wife was truly innocent, was another representation of the failure of revenge. Revenge can easily backfire with even the best of plans, and Shakespeare’s Othello demonstrates this through Iago and Othello’s failures.


Response:
William Shakespeare’s Othello correctly portrays the idea of how revenge can backfire, because of Iago’s failure to successfully remove Cassio from his position.
Iago, having wanted to orchestrate a situation in which Cassio is fired and Iago retained Cassio’s position, set up a situation in which Cassio and Roderigo fought, with the hopes of having one kill the other. Iago speaks to himself, “Now, whether he kill Cassio, or Cassio kill him, or each do kill the other, every way makes my gain,” (Shakespeare 5.1.13-15). In the event that Cassio dies, he will be praised by Roderigo and receive Cassio’s position. If Roderigo dies, Cassio will be fired and he could receive Cassio’s position. However, when Roderigo dies and Cassio is wounded, he is found that he helped orchestrate Roderigo and Desdemona’s murders, as well as Cassio’s attempted murder, and is carried off to jail.
However, the revenge that Iago seeked for Othello selecting Cassio instead of him did come. Othello, ashamed of killing Desdemona, killed himself over it. “I kissed thee ere I killed the. No way but this, killing myself to die upon a kiss,” (Shakespeare 5.2.420-421). Othello’s love for Desdemona turned into jealousy with rumors of Cassio, and when it is revealed she never cheated and Iago was lying, he dies with his wife, for he feels there is no way to go on. Iago’s revenge does in fact successfully trick Othello into killing his wife and himself, so Iago did not totally fail.
Although, while it might be said that Iago did not fail in attaining revenge against Othello for choosing Cassio as lieutenant instead of him, and Othello did in fact kill himself and his wife because of that, Cassio did not quite receive revenge. Cassio is in fact promoted, taking Othello’s spot in rule over Cyprus, and the only cost is a severed leg. At first, Cassio was fired, but he then regained a position even higher than he started with, all due to Iago’s attempt on revenge. Had Iago not intervened, he likely would not have caused Cassio’s promotion or anybody’s death, and all would have gone well.
Act 5 of Shakespeare’s Othello correctly portrays the idea of revenge and how it can backfire, showing Iago and how he managed to cause three deaths, and get carried off to jail himself.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Blanchard Obolsky / Caylor S/R for Act 2 of Othello

Othello Act II Summary Response Outline
Summary:
  • Topic sentence: Shakespeare’s Othello exemplifies how thoughtless decisions can lead to devastating consequences.
  • Supporting ideas to prove main ideas: At the opening of the act, the lieutenant of Othello, Michael Cassio, is standing guard while Cyprus celebrates the end of the war and Othello’s marriage. Iago joins him and entreats him to drink some wine. Cassio, who knows he is not good at processing alcohol, decides to enjoy a drink anyways. It is not long before he is inebriated and accidentally stabs Montano, who was only trying to break up the fight between Cassio and Roderigo. Othello arrives soon after, and, upon hearing of Cassio’s foolish actions, strips him of his lieutenancy. Shakespeare thus displays the dangers of careless deeds and how they can have serious repercussions.


Response:
  • Topic sentence:  Othello, by WIlliam Shakespeare, correctly portrays how misogyny is prevalent throughout the men of the play, because the men mock women for being inferior to them.
  • Pick a Side
  • Claim 1: Iago mocks women in his poems, and claims that what he says is the truth.
    • Set-up Iago, Desdemona, Cassio, and Emilia are gathered together after arriving in Cyprus. Iago, having being asked by Desdemona to describe women, elucidates,
    • Evidence: Lead-in If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit, the one’s for use, the other useth it,” (Shakespeare, Act 2.1, 144-145).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove claim  Iago thus claims that if a women is both beautiful and smart, she would use her beauty to get what she wants. This assumption automatically surmises that women are shallow and will use their looks to get what they want.


  • Counterclaim 1: However, Othello clearly admires Desdemona, and is devoted to her in a way that goes above and beyond what most husbands in that time period would have felt.  
    • Set-up Othello, disembarking from his ship, is elated at being with Desdemona again. Upon seeing her, he declares,
    • Evidence: Lead-in  It gives me wonder great as my content
To see you here before me. Oh, my soul’s joy!
If after every tempest come such calms,
May the winds blow till they have wakened death,
And let the laboring bark climb hills of seas
Olympus-high, and duck again as low
As hell’s from heaven! If it were now to die,
'Twere now to be most happy, for I fear
My soul hath her content so absolute
That not another comfort like to this
Succeeds in unknown fate,” (Shakespeare, Act 2, 199-209).
    • Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: Othello lionizes Desdemona, despite the fact that he has just arrived in Cyprus on important business. A man of his position is needed to help keep the peace and ensure public stability, and here he is saying that the mere presence of this woman makes him more happy than words can say. If Othello was a misogynist, he would have gone straight to work in Cyprus, or would have admonished her for some biased fault like Iago.
    • What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? Rebuttal progression
At first glance, the idea that Othello believes Desdemona to be his equal appears to be almost blatantly obvious. It cannot be denied that Othello’s love for Desdemona is first and foremost in his mind, but loving a person and considering them your equal are two very different ideals.
In a way, Othello did not think of Desdemona as exactly equal. After he dismissed Cassio as his second-in-command, he spoke to Desdemona when she asked what was going on.
“All’s well (now), sweeting. Come away to bed... Come, Desdemona. ‘Tis the soldier's life,” (Shakespeare, Act 2, 269-276). Here, Othello seems to not think Desdemona worthy of knowing what was going on between the men, as beliefs of that time period often stated women should not be involved in a man’s business or conflict. Additionally, there’s this underlying subtext of “You are my wife. You are here to please me, and so let us go do just that.” Desdemona isn’t there because Othello believes her to be vital to the war effort; she’s there because she’s there to perform the simple tasks of a perfect wife.
Women - wives especially - were considered to be possessions in the setting of Othello - it was just the conventional belief of the time. They were like pieces of land; they could be used for profit, military gain, or for religious reasons. Misogyny was a fact of life, just as racism is in parts of America today.
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea

Shakespeare’s Othello put forth a staggering example of how prejudice against women was a major issue and a commonality for the time period.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blanchard Obolsky / Caylor S/R for Act 1 of Othello

Othello Summary Response Outline
Our Summary:
Topic Sentence:
Shakespeare’s Othello demonstrates how jealousy and a lust for revenge can lead a person to manipulate a friend.


Supporting Details:
The play begins with Iago and Roderigo swearing their hatred of the Moor, who has replaced Iago with Cassio as Othello’s right hand man, and stolen Desdemona from Roderigo despite his attempts to woo her. Using Brabantio’s prejudice against Othello and Desdemona, Iago and Roderigo try to manipulate him into landing the Moor and his newly wed in trouble, but to no avail. Othello and Desdemona head to Cyprus to fight back against the Turk army. Iago tricks Roderigo into selling all his land for money, and follow Desdemona to Cyprus. In this way, Shakespeare lets readers catch a glimpse into the mind of twisted Iago, a man who is not afraid to twist his friend Roderigo and his foes Brabantio and Othello alike to meet his own ends.


Response:
  • Topic sentence:  In Shakespeare’s Othello, Shakespeare correctly portrays the idea that Iago is manipulating Roderigo.
  • Pick a Side
  • Claim 1: Roderigo is manipulated into selling all of his land and following Desdemona to Cyprus.
Set-up: Roderigo is told by Iago to put money in his purse (sell all his property) and follow Desdemona and Othello to Cyprus. Roderigo, agreeing to Iago’s plan, leaves to go sell all of his land. As soon Roderigo leaves, Iago mutters to himself,
Evidence: Lead-in “Thus do I ever make my fool my purse. For mine own gained knowledge should profane if I would time expand with such a snipe but for my sport and profit..” (Shakespeare, 1.3, 426-429)
Explanation of quotation to prove claim: Iago, thus gloating to himself, reveals that he plans to use Roderigo for money and for getting his own revenge against Othello. He makes it clear to the audience that he has no friendly feelings towards Roderigo, and that he thinks Roderigo is nothing but a means to an end - and a rather idiotic one at that. Roderigo has no idea that Iago is using him; instead, he believes that Iago is trying to help him win over Desdemona.
  • Counterclaim 1: However, Iago does show some concern for Roderigo, and prevents him from trying to take his own life.
    • Set-up Iago, alarmed by his friend’s suicidal lamentings, intercedes and cries,
    • Evidence: Lead-in  “O, villainous! I have looked upon this world for four times seven years, and since I could distinguish a benefit and an injury, I never found a man that knew how to love himself.” (Shakespeare, 1.3,353-355)
    • Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: Iago comes to his friend’s rescue and tries to persuade his friend from drowning himself. He cheers Roderigo up by theorizing that Desdemona only loves Othello for his body, and that soon enough she will grow tired of it and long to have Roderigo instead. If he follows the newly wed couple to Cyprus, reasons Iago, Roderigo would be sure to capture the fair Desdemona for himself.
    • What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument?
    • Some may say that Iago’s concern for Roderigo is genuine. While readers cannot deny that rather than letting Roderigo drown himself, Iago tried to talk him out of it, Iago is also being very manipulative and is working for many of his own interior motives as well. He mocks Roderigo’s pains over Desdemona, convincing him it is only a temporary feeling. Instead of simply killing himself, Iago persuades him to sell all of his land and follow Desdemona and Othello to Cyprus. Iago does not show any concern over the fact that his friend is suicidal, but rather is disdainful, saying, “If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why, thou silly gentleman!” (Shakespeare, I.3, 348-349). A person who is concerned about the welfare of his friend would not mock him; he would try and comfort him. Iago is only using Roderigo in order to kill Othello; it doesn’t matter to him whether he lives or dies in the end.
  • Concluding sentence: restate main idea

Shakespeare’s Othello is a powerful example of how Iago has been pushed into manipulating his own friend Roderigo  in order to have his revenge against Othello.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Redo Blanchard Obolsky / Caylor S/R for Bully

Redo is in light blue
My Outline
Topic Sentence: Lee Hirsch’s movie Bully illustrates the devastating effects bullying has on an individual and their family.
Supporting Ideas to Prove Main Ideas: Lee introduces the audience to several youth who admit that they are being bullied and to adults who have either lost a child to bullying or know those who are struggling with it on a daily basis. The bullies’ victims are depressed and withdrawn, and struggle to move past the physical and mental abuse they are put through. Many do not trust adults, who have done little to nothing to stop the bullying and to guarantee the safety of the children, forcing their parents to watch helplessly as their children suffer. In the end, many snap and try to commit suicide or lash back at the people who have been hurting at them. Those that are successful ruin their futures, leaving their families mortified and grieving. Bully unveils how bullying wrecks havoc on the lives of youth and their family.

Response Outline
  • Topic Sentence: Bully, an emotionally-charged and eye-opening movie by Lee Hirsch, correctly portrays how bullying is a serious issue in public schools that is not being addressed.
  • Claim: Bullying is a serious issue in schools that is not being addressed.
    • Set up In the documentary, the assistant principal of Murray County Middle School is seen reprimanding a child - not the bully, but instead the bully victim. Despite his protests that the bully threatened to knife him, the assistant principal tells him,
    • Evidence ...
    • “Just shake hands and let it go...He’s apologized, hasn’t he? You’re being the bully now.”(Assistant Principal, Hirsch)
    • Explanation of quote ...
    • Instead of confronting the bully about threatening to hurt a fellow student - which is a case of malicious intent, a criminal offense - she warns the victim to either let the matter go or face more trouble.  
  • Counterclaim: The teachers did confront the bullies responsible for beating up Alex on the bus.
    • Set up: After the filmmakers showed the administrators the footage, the administrators proceeded to remove the bullies from the bus.
    • Evidence:
    • The second assistant principal confronted each of the students, warning them;
    • “You are to stop beating up on Alex on the bus, is that understood? I’m putting you on a suspension, and this incident will go into your permanent disciplinary record.” (Second Assistant Principal, Hirsch)
    • Explanation: The second assistant principal did proceed to discipline the instigating students and keep them off Alex’s bus for a year, showing they that they did take action.


Rebuttal ..
There are those that would point out that the teachers did take actions against the bullying. It is true that the teachers did confront the bullies and told them that they needed to stop, or they would face criminal charges. While this may be true, it should also be taken into consideration the fact that the school teachers have admitted that they cannot keep the children safe, and the victims of bullying say that the intervention did little or nothing to stop the bullies. In the film, Alex admits,
“I don’t really trust the teachers to do anything about the bullying on the bus.” (Alex, Hirsch)
The fact that students do not trust the teachers to do anything about the bullying shows the teachers and administration are not doing what they should to stop bullies. If the students do not feel safe and secure in their own school building, it just shows that the schools are not the haven they should be. Schools were built in order to prepare students for adult society. If the adults in the building turn a blind eye to clear cases of abuse, then that teaches students to disregard the morals needed for a happy, safe life. In addition, bullying causes victims to go into reclusion, lash out at the bullies, or take their own life. Tyler Long took his own life after “he got to the point where enough was enough.” (Tyler’s dad, Hirsch)
“Why, in God’s name, would some counselor, some teacher, some law enforcer not have come out and say something?” (Tyler’s parents, Hirsch) his parents ask at a community meeting. Other parents also come forward and admit their own children have been bullied, and that the school district has done little or nothing about it.
Concluding sentence: restate main idea. The documentary Bully  by Lee Hirsch accurately portrays how, in many public schools, the administration and teachers refuse to address bullying and its effects on the students.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Blanchard Obolsky / Caylor S/R for Bully

Blanchard Obolsky/Caylor Summary Response Outline for Bully
My Outline
Topic Sentence: Lee Hirsch’s movie Bully illustrates the devastating effects bullying has on an individual and their family.
Supporting Ideas to Prove Main Ideas: Lee introduces the audience to several youth who admit that they are being bullied and to adults who have either lost a child to bullying or know those who are struggling with it on a daily basis. The bullies’ victims are depressed and withdrawn, and struggle to move past the physical and mental abuse they are put through. Many do not trust adults, who have done little to nothing to stop the bullying and to guarantee the safety of the children, forcing their parents to watch helplessly as their children suffer. In the end, many snap and try to commit suicide or lash back at the people who have been hurting at them. Those that are successful ruin their futures, leaving their families mortified and grieving. Bully unveils how bullying wrecks havoc on the lives of youth and their family.

Response Outline
  • Topic Sentence: Bully, an emotionally-charged and eye-opening movie by Lee Hirsch, vividly shows how bullying is a serious issue in public schools that is not being addressed.
  • Claim: Bullying is a serious issue in schools that is not being addressed.
    • Set up In the documentary, the assistant principal of Murray County Middle School is seen reprimanding a child - not the bully, but instead the bully victim. Despite his protests that the bully threatened to knife him, the assistant principal tells him,
    • Evidence ...
    • “Just shake hands and let it go...He’s apologized, hasn’t he? You’re being the bully now.”
    • Explanation of quote ...
    • Instead of confronting the bully about threatening to hurt a fellow student - which is a case of malicious intent, a criminal offense - she warns the victim to either let the matter go or face more trouble.  
  • Counterclaim: The teachers did confront the bullies responsible for beating up Alex on the bus.
    • Set up: After the filmmakers showed the administrators the footage, the administrators proceeded to remove the bullies from the bus.
    • Evidence:
    • The second assistant principal confronted each of the students, warning them;
    • “You are to stop beating up on Alex on the bus, is that understood? I’m putting you on a suspension, and this incident will go into your permanent disciplinary record.”
    • Explanation: The second assistant principal did proceed to discipline the instigating students and keep them off Alex’s bus for a year, showing they that they did take action.
  • Rebuttal
    • There are those that would point on that the teachers did take actions against the bullying. It is true that the teachers did confront the bullies, and told them that they needed to stop Alex or face criminal charges. While this may be true, it should also be taken into consideration the fact that the school teachers have personally admitted that they cannot keep the children safe, and the victims of bullying say that the intervention did little or nothing to stop the bullies. 
    • In the film, Alex admits “I don’t really trust the teachers to do anything about the bullying on the bus.”
    • Later in the movie, we find out that he has gone to the administration before because the bully was slamming his head under the seat months before the filmmakers arrived, and the administration told him to stop slamming Alex’s head under the seat, but that didn’t stop the bullying from occurring later on. Although the bully stopped slamming his head in the seat, the bully started stabbing Alex with a pencil and pressing his face into the seat in front of him instead, seen in the documentary in the video. 
  • Concluding Sentence: restate main idea
    • The documentary Bully by Lee Hirsch accurately portrays how, in many public schools, the administration and teachers refuse to address bullying and its effects on the students.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Goals

My goal for first semester in English is to grow in thinking abstractly by being open to new ideas and participating in discussions.