- Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays___________ because ___________ .
- Claim 1:
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” ( )
- Explanation of quotation to prove claim: explain quote, connect to claim
Act 1 of Othello, written by William Shakespeare, correctly portrays the idea that jealousy can overtake someone’s life and choices. Iago shows this after he has discovered that Othello has chosen Michael Cassio to be his lieutenant instead of Iago himself. Iago feels that this was a poor choice because Cassio has no experience in battle, and is “Mere prattle without practice” (Shakespeare, 1.1.27). Iago tells Roderigo, “For when my outward action doth/demonstrate the native act and figure of my heart in compliment extern, ‘tis not long after but I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at. I am not what I am,” (Shakespeare, 1.1.67-71) Iago is showing Rodrigo that his plan is to pretend to be Othello’s friend but really be trying to destroy him. Iago is also jealous of Cassio because Othello chose Cassio over Iago to be his lieutenant. Iago may think subconsciously believe that Cassio has something that Iago does not, which causes jealousy. He uses this jealousy to fuel the idea of revenge for Cassio as well as Othello. Roderigo is also jealous of Othello because he has won Desdemona’s heart. Shakespeare already has portrayed, even in act 1, that this jealousy has taken over Roderigo’s life. His jealousy has already allowed Iago to convince him to sell out Othello and Desdemona to Brabantio, Desdemona’s father. Also, after Desdemona tells her father and the Duke that she truly loves Othello, he is so distraught and jealous that he plans to commit suicide, which in the end is only thwarted by Iago.
- Counterclaim 1: However, ....
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” ( )
- Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: explain quote, connect to claim
However, Iago shows that his jealousy of Othello and Cassio do not always influence his actions. Sometimes he shows genuine concern for his friend, Roderigo. Rodrigo is overcome with sadness at the notion that Desdemona does in fact love Othello, and wants to drown himself. Instead, Iago talks him out of it, “Come, be a man! Drown thyself? Drown cats and blind puppies. I have professed me thy friend, and I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables of perdurable toughness,” (Shakespeare, 1.3. 378-381). Iago shows that jealousy doesn’t rule his life and choices by taking time to talk his friend out of suicide, demonstrating that he does have interest in what happens to Roderigo. Iago forgot about his jealousy of Othello and Cassio in his genuine concern for his friend.
- What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? (use rebuttal progression language)
- Concluding sentence: restate main idea
One might think that Iago doesn’t let jealousy rule his life because he also cares for Rodrigo, and readily admits him to be his friend. One cannot deny that Iago does show his caring for Roderigo, especially when Rodrigo is planning to commit suicide, by talking him out of it. Roderigo wants to drown himself because Desdemona has proven that she really does love Othello. He crafts Roderigo a plan to win Desdemona after she falls out of love with Othello. While this view seems reasonable at first, one hasn’t taken into account the implied fact that Iago is creating a plan to plot revenge on Othello and Cassio, and is using Roderigo as an instrument to exact this revenge. This is proven after Iago is finished talking to Roderigo about how he should wait for Desdemona with money, so after she falls out of love with Othello, she would go into Roderigo’s arms. Shakespeare shows the readers that his plan uses Roderigo in an instrumental way, which means that he can’t let Roderigo die. Jealousy of Othello and Cassio is the only reason why Iago is being kind to Roderigo. Jealousy overtook Iago’s life and made Iago into a person that only cares about his friend because he needs Roderigo for his plan to work. In act 1 of Othello, Shakespeare correctly portrays, through character traits and development, how jealousy can overtake someone’s life and actions, as well as cloud their judgement.