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Published: 24/11/2020
KS4 KS5 | Plays
2 pages

Power play and first impressions in Act 1 Scene 1

Explore the power dynamics established in Act 1 Scene 1 of Othello through close study of language choices. A useful activity for KS4 or 5 students to help consider character motivations, relations and themes at the start of Shakespeare's tragedy. Includes a power continuum task and detailed analysis of word choices. 

Sample content

Read through the conversation between Iago and Roderigo in full up to the entrance of Brabantio. The two characters are mid-argument and soon begin discussing Iago’s anger at missing out on a promotion to someone he feels is his inferior, Michael Cassio.

Use your analysis from the first activity to help you respond to the following questions:

  1. How does the image of purse strings immediately suggest the relationship between Iago and Roderigo?
  2. How does Iago speak about Othello (the ‘he’ who has denied him a promotion) and Cassio? How does his attitude towards these characters reveal his own personality?

See other resources: Othello

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