Thursday, June 11, 2009

In reference to book by Tillyard, E.M.W. The Elizabethan World Picture. New York: Vintage Books, 1959.

In lieu of following the structure of the previous entries, I am going to summarize Tillyard’s book with interpretations interspersed in an attempt to procure an understanding of the text. Tillyard organizes the book in a succession of ideas that build upon each other, much as the concepts discussed.


Elyot in Governor explains that order prevents chaos, maintaining stability (11-12). Hooker defines human law as a derivation of God’s law (divine law) and reason (14). Elizabethan chaos is defined not as “confusion on a large scale,” but as “cosmic anarchy before creation and the wholesale dissolution that would result if the pressure of Providence relaxed and allowed the law of nature to cease functioning” (16). After finishing the book, I can see the freakish pressure that this would have placed on people of the time – if one link in the chain is “off,” then the entire chain is in danger of nonexistence. In his work, Shakespeare defines order in terms of the chaos threatening to destroy it (17). Shakespeare relates life to a cosmic order: sun – planets – life forms = royalty – kingdom – citizens.


In a phrase that sums up the Elizabethan view on sin, Tillyard pens, “It was far easier to be very wicked and think yourself so than to be a little wicked without a sense of sin” (18). Immediately Iago comes to mind – he is wicked and knows it. The perception, as I understand it, was that God created all, man fell through Adam, man rose through Redemption (Christ). Stability (order) appears achieved through a balance of religious faith (believing) and sinning (living). I am still a little fuzzy on this Elizabethan ideology.

Universal Order:

1. Chain of Being – “unimaginable plentitude of God’s creation, its unfaltering order, and its ultimate unity” (26)

2. Series of corresponding planes

3. Dance

Chain of Being:

The chain of being was best related through Jean Martin’s translation of Raymond de Sebonde’s Natural Theology. The chain as conveyed in pages 27-28 is as follows:

1. existence (inanimate class – elements, liquids, metals). Virtue of components is present as water is nobler than earth, gold is nobler than brass, and ruby is nobler than topaz.

2. existence of life (vegetative class). Virtue: oak is nobler than bramble.

3. existence of life and feeling (sensitive class)

a. creatures that have touch, but no hearing, memory, or movement (shellfish, parasites)

b. creatures that have touch, memory, movement, but no hearing (ants)

c. higher animals – have all four (dogs, horses)

4. existence of life, feeling, and understanding (man – “little world or microcosm”)

5. spiritual class (angels)

6. God

All classes have quality that exceeds the class above it except for angels. The noblest forms of each class are identifiable, such as fire – inanimate, rose – vegetative, lion – sensitive. Abundance is key to the chain.

Links in the chain:

The Elizabethan notion of the chain of being is that every level of the ladder is made up of the elements and of the entities or parts below it in the chain. Tillyard mentions that a fiery heaven would have been the highest perfection because fire was the noblest element. As a means of rationalizing the connection between the elements and the divine, ether became known as the fifth element. Although the Elizabethans referred to the “air” between the clouds and heaven, it was difficult not to think of ether in terms of its nickname for hard liquor – as if you could “drink” your way to spiritual place (I know, warped).

Astrology and Fate worked on the chain additionally in “that the stars sway the mind to certain states by acting on our physical predispositions” (57). Conversely, “’Fate will be overcome, if thou resist it; if thou neglect it, it conquereth’” (57). This implies that the stars ply on a person’s weaknesses to control our feelings and attitudes that drive our actions. If he resists passionate feelings and utilizes reason, he will not become “fortune’s fool” as Romeo does.

As a visual aid to assist me in remembering the connection to the elements, I am including the chart. The “personality” portion of the chart is from







Cold & dry

Introspective, sallow, thin



Cold & moist

Sluggish, pallid, corpulent, lazy



Hot & moist

Optimistic, red-cheeked, corpulent, irresponsible



Hot & dry

Short-tempered, red-haired, thin, ambitious

Tillyard summarizes the scale of creation as:

· Beasts – “excel in sensible capacity . . . ,” are “. . . content with the mere necessities . . . ,” and “. . . have an instinctive sensuous perception”

· Angels – “instinctive intellectual perception”

· Plants – “excel in the faculty of growth”

· Stones – “excel in durability, and the best of them are the hardest and the most brilliant”

Corresponding Planes:

There are five planes in the chain of being:

1. divine and angelic

2. universe or macrocosm

3. commonwealth or body politic

4. man or microcosm

5. lower creation

Elizabethans looked for correspondences within the same plane (numbers, items, etc.) Correspondences were also made within the chain of being where noble equality of an item in the chain existed when compared with an item of equal nobility in a corresponding plane (for example in Three Moral Treatises, a poem by Thomas Blunderville, God – sun – prince – reason – justice).

Cosmic Dance:

All parts of the chain and corresponding planes are in continuous harmonious motion (a dance) with each other. I see this as creation and order.

In a final note, playgoers of the Elizabethan era had the pleasure and advantage of knowing and living the information Tillyard conveyed. A lot of Shakespeare that I have difficulty understanding would have been second nature to the Elizabethan person, allowing that person to give more attention to other qualities of the play. By applying the ideas in Tillyard’s book in my studies of Shakespeare, I am able to obtain that same advantage of the Elizabethan playgoer.

In reference to an article by Knowles, Richard. “Cordelia’s Return.” Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 1 (Spring, 1999), 33-50.

Knowles attempts an explanation of Cordelia’s return with armies of France to redeem her father, King Lear. Knowles studies the restraints of time and various techniques that Shakespeare may have used to overcome time. He also delves into the questions of how Kent and Cordelia informed each other of his/her intentions – letters not being read or sent before events occurred as an objection.

I first have to convey an annoyance in Knowles writing. After appropriate segues into quotations of other scholars, he pens, “Here is Virginia Gildersleeve in 1912” (44) and “Here is Granville-Barker again:” (45), and “Here is Alan Howard . . . “ (50). “Here is . . . “! Aaaaagh! Opening a quotation with that phrase is equivalent, in my mind, to “my paper is going to tell you . . .,” an essay opener that also grates on me. I stress to my freshman English students that good style builds credibility, and bad style kills credibility. When in a rush, I falter in writing in good style, but in a formal, published document, I hope that I and all good writers would strive for the best in style. (Okay, rant over).
I like Knowles approach to the dilemma of explaining Cordelia’s return. By breaking it down into one rationalization based upon time, a second on motive, and a third on method, he effectively covers all angles of the predicament. In one area of his essay, I thought that he fails to account for the compression of time in King Lear. I asked myself, “How many real days have passed before Kent was imprisoned?” and “How many real days is Kent in prison?” Thankfully, Knowles later discourses on “double time” and the amount of the story that occurs offstage.
Knowles notes that Cordelia has several possible motives for her return. He identifies several including: France’s “choler” brought on by the treatment of his wife, France’s retaliation for losing the dowry in his marriage to Cordelia, Cordelia’s intuition of her sisters’ radical treatment of her father, and (Cordelia learning of Lear’s downfall from spies) her true concern in restoring her father to his throne. I, as Knowles in his conclusion, feel that Shakespeare has left an ambiguous motive on purpose. If the motive were clearly depicted in the play, it would detract from the suspense and from the dominant plot. Cordelia’s motive is hinted in her discussion with Lear about returning to assist him, but scholars and critics argue the point (how could she have known?).
I feel the answer to Cordelia’s motive and her upheld virtue lies in the compression of time combined with the theory of “double time.” I do not think that either model independently fits King Lear, but I do think that somehow a combination of the two will work (wow – a thesis is born – I will need a combination of both in my own life in order to get this one worked out). Concisely, the suspense of Lear requires the compression of time, hinting at, or even alluding to, offstage events. The logic of the plot requires “double time” where the offstage events, which naturally would occur at a slower pace in reality, are compressed to simulate simultaneity with onstage events. A combination of both models allows the plot to dramaturgically flow naturally and retain the suspense. An audience member would “lose” a couple of hours because so much action is packed into a short amount of time. Mentally the audience viewed the compression of a few weeks into a few hours, but physically, because of so much action, a four-hour play feels like it only took two hours. When done well, this strategy would enable sitting through a Lord of the Rings movie. When done poorly, it would account for the loss of 3 ½ hours of your life wasted watching The Titanic. Unraveling the mystery of time allows for the multiple correspondences between Kent and Cordelia alluded to in the play. This also permits the reality of the spies traveling back and forth between Albany, Cornwall, Gloucester, Dover, and France. Logic then concludes that Cordelia is well informed of events, and she and France are honorable in their intentions of leading a French invasion.
Knowles mentions in following the events of Lear, the audience “must rely on only its own attentiveness” (43). Shakespeare must have thought so too. Leaving mysteries up to the audience’s interpretation creates a broader spectrum of meaning for the play – a sense of universality.

In reference to article by Snyder, Susan. “Mamillius and Gender Polarization in The Winter’s Tale.” Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 1 (Spring, 1

Mamillius’s sickness and death may have been a result of pulling him away from his mother too early. The custom of the time dictated that a male child wore a coat (a unisex dress) until approximately age seven. During the first childhood period (before age seven), the boy required a maternal touch and was predominantly in the company of women. The boy was to be nurtured and cared for by women until his rite of passage – breeching, the replacement of the coat for breeches and a sword. At approximately seven, or when mature enough, the boy was removed from contact with women, except for “an ancient and sad matron attending on him in his chamber” as in the case of Sir Thomas Slingsby’s son (3). The boy was then trained in becoming a nobleman. Most scholars argue that Mamillius was between the ages of nine and eleven, but Snyder effectively argues that he was probably five, too young to be breeched and withdrawn from his mother and the waiting women.

Wow! The boy/girl separation of the Elizabethan era exposes some subtleties carried on in contemporary society. This topic fascinates me – I am in awe of the partition between male and female. The boy child is nurtured until he is ready to take the step toward manhood. Snyder notes that Edward VI, among others, was excited to become breeched. Some even did not want to wait. Mamillius fell sick and died when separated from the women. If he really was five, Snyder’s research dictates that he was still in the weak and vulnerable stage. It was not until seven that boys were considered tough enough to be removed from nurturing. Tough enough to receive a sword at seven as well. I am also surprised that the boy is kept away from his mother after he is breeched. I assume that any further association with his mother would “over-nurture” the boy and turn him effeminate. If the boy is supposed to be toughened up after breeching, any involvement with the mother could hamper that – leaving him weak. It is interesting that the same nurturing that can cause damage after the age of seven is vital before the age of seven.
Snyder uses the mother-son bond to explain the death of Mamillius – separation anxiety. The characters blamed various reasons: Leontes – Hermione’s dishonor, Paulina – the unwarranted dishonoring of Hermione, and a servant – anticipation of Hermione’s death (separation anxiety?). The servant comes closest in blaming Mamillius’s death on a form of separation anxiety. Snyder faults Leontes for taking away the child at a time that he still requires the nurturing and attention of his mother. The servant suggests that Mamillius’s grief of his mother’s pending death (a permanent separation) resulted in a sickness leading to his own death. If Mamillius had been past the breeching age (seven or older), logic would dictate that he would have been strong enough consciously to handle his mother’s expected death. Snyder’s theory about Mamillius being five years old makes the most sense under these conditions.

In reference to article by Kidnie, Margaret Jane. “Text, Performance, and the Editors: Staging Shakespeare’s Drama.” Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 51

Kidnie discourses on editors’ revisions of stage directions and the effect on staging the performance and on the reader of the text. Her conclusion asserts that the nebentext (side text – including stage directions) is as important as the haupttext (dialogue). Any modification made to the stage directions not only alters the performance, but also restricts the reader’s interpretation of the text.

Kidnie essentially plays devil’s advocate to other scholars’ theories. I can see that on one side, the stage directions are there to be followed. In some plays, the writer demands that the play only be commissioned if the director adamantly follows all stage directions perfectly. In my opinion, this is excessively anal. I tend to belong to the other faction that looks at stage directions as suggestions. If stage directions are viewed in this manner, various productions will have an original appeal to them. My belief on stage directions made the article a difficult read. If the stage directions are viewed as suggestions, who cares if they may have been modified? A suggestion is open for acceptance anyway. The job of the director is to decide how to effectively block the scene so a performance will run fluidly. The director is responsible for interpreting the action of the scene and deciding if any modifications need to be made. If a script requires a player to enter from upstage left and the stage does not allow for an entrance at upstage left because of space or design of the set, then the obvious thing to do is modify.
I do agree that the stage directions are important, but I do not believe they should be held at an equal value to that of the dialogue. One of Kidnie’s examples included discourse by Michael Warren about a possible missing stage direction in the quarto text of King Lear. Lear may die anywhere during the speech, but is not given a definitive time to die. That’s great! It allows for interpretation, as it should. Changes in dialogue, in my opinion, should be given strict care. There are times when a word here or there needs to be altered to appease the director, but that should be minimal – in fact, most play contracts forbid altering dialogue.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In reference to article by Holland, Peter. “Modernizing Shakespeare: Nicholas Rowe and The Tempest.” Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 1 (Spring,

Peter Holland reflects upon Nicholas Rowe as one of the first editors of Shakespeare. Holland discusses, in his words, “the stages by which Rowe arrived at his mode of modernization and the implications of the set of conventions he established, especially as it affects punctuation” (24). The vehicle Holland uses in his exploration is Rowe’s 1709 edition of The Tempest.

Holland’s initial examination is that of which folio Rowe used in his edition. Because a 1708 trial edition of The Tempest had been found, Holland was able to compare the 1708 and 1709 editions to the folios to determine which folio is the likely origination of the 1709 edition. The differences in spelling and punctuation between F2 and F4, the folios that Rowe had readily available in his work, are subtle, but amazing. Rowe followed F2 closely in his 1708 edition, but consistently modernized F4 in his 1709 edition. Tracking through several word variations between 1708, 1709, F2, and F4, Holland agrees with his fellow scholars that the 1708 edition followed F2, and the 1709 edition follows F4. It makes clear sense to me that if Rowe came across a copy of F4, that it would already have some modernizations beyond F2 and would be the wise choice to utilize.
Rowe tried to clear up some confusion in Shakespeare’s language by changing “Butt” in 1.2.146 to “Boat.” As Holland points out, “an emendation that no one would now accept but which shows Rowe trying to make sense of a word he could probably see only as inappropriate” (28). I am intrigued that editors and typesetters played with the language of Shakespeare while retaining the meaning of Shakespeare.
Holland notes that Rowe changed the heading from “Actus Primus. Scæna Prima.” to “ACT I. SCENE I.,” moving Shakespeare’s work from classical work to contemporary work. This appears to be a small alteration, but aides in associating Shakespeare’s work with modern works.
Holland reveals that Rowe makes the largest impact on The Tempest in repunctuating the text. Holland notes that while most scholars worry that the original text has been distorted by repunctuations of editors, typesetters, etc., Rowe – a successful dramatist – “was well aware of the tension between print and speech” (30). Rowe used semicolons to break up large passages and long dashes to indicate leaps in thought. The manner in which editors used punctuation to create a pause for the actor is easy to accept, but the notion that editors, typesetters, etc. “sprinkled” the passages with punctuation (“eye-driven punctuation,” as Holland puts it) is unbelievable.
Holland continues his demonstration of Rowe’s punctuation by comparing it to Oxford’s punctuation. Of the passages displayed, Rowe’s 1709 edition closely parallels that of Oxford. Over the years I have read of the continuing complaints of scholars about the changes made to Shakespeare’s works, and I must agree with any editing that modernizes the text while retaining the meaning. The only fear of modernization that I have is that Shakespeare’s poetics have been negatively affected – destroying the rhythm, necessary figures of speech, or flow of the verse. From what I have read and studied of modern Shakespeare, I am confident that every effort has been made to prevent such instances from occurring.

In reference to article by Lupton, Julia Reinhard. “Creature Caliban.” Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 1 (Spring, 2000), 1-23.

Lupton introduces her essay with various definitions of creature. She then discusses the relationship of Caliban with the likes of Adam and Leviathan – the extremes between human and creature. Throughout her article, Lupton follows the creation of Caliban not only through the composition of Caliban, but also the capacity for change in Caliban.

Lupton throws out ideas that appear to be incredulous, but brings in the support two to three pages later. This style makes for a difficult read because she creates doubt first and then proves her point before repeating the cycle. After absorbing her entire argument, I like the way she started with the Latin breakdown of creature as “creat- indicating the ordered composition of humanity and the –ura¬ signaling its risky capacities for increase and change, foison and fusion” (2). Lupton rightly describes a creature as a slave to its Creator, but equates Prospero with Caliban’s creator. Prospero does become Caliban’s master, but cannot be seen as his creator. Prospero facilitates the learning process of Caliban, yet is not responsible for the origin of Caliban.
Prospero describes Caliban as an “earthen creature,” giving Lupton the liberty to compare Caliban to Adam. She tries to directly link Caliban to Adam through a “thing made of earth” philosophy, raising, however, an objection to her own statement later in the same paragraph stating that Caliban “bears no obvious resemblance to his Creator” (8). In this passage, referring to God as the Creator, Lupton relies on the Biblical theory that man is created in the image of God. Two thoughts come to mind: 1) Caliban cannot be equated with Adam because Caliban is not human and does not resemble Adam, meaning Caliban cannot resemble his Creator, and 2) Because God does not take a form, it is implied that every and all beings are created in his image (God is in all) – in this case, Caliban does bear resemblance to his Creator. Either interpretation leaves a hole in Lupton’s argument. Through an erroneous argument, she is right in both cases.
Lupton contradicts herself when she states that Caliban is a creature “without a reflex toward the Creator and also without recourse to a subjective or sexual relation” (13). She later discourses on Caliban’s attempt to rape Miranda and “desire to have ‘peopled . . . / This isle with Calibans’” (18). I agree that Caliban is destined to be alone, but his dialogue shows that he has a desire to leave a legacy. Leaving a legacy would add meaning and legitimacy to Caliban’s life (reminiscent of Shakespeare’s theme in the “young man” sonnets). Lupton then notes, “Caliban shares Adam’s sexual passion, but like Leviathan, never finds a mate” (21). In doing so, she has conceded that Caliban does have sexual desires, and he could have had a sexual relationship with a human. However, she draws a comparison of Caliban to a monster, Leviathan – away from any comparison of Caliban to a human. Her logic shows that because Caliban is commanded not to have sex with Miranda, his only female option on the island, he is associated with Leviathan, a male beast that has no possible female counterpart anywhere in the world. The loophole rests in the possibility that Caliban could have had sexual relations with Miranda. Lupton’s process could be applied to a priest – is he a monster to be compared to Leviathan because he has been commanded not to have sex?
After seeing a performance of The Tempest, I was interested in studying more about Caliban – who he really is. Lupton answered a few questions for me while raising even more questions. In reading this article, the disagreements that I have in Lupton’s views forced me to create my own views on Caliban, and I thank her for inducing that effect in me.

In reference to article by Werstine, Paul. “A Century of ‘Bad’ Shakespeare Quartos.” Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 3 (Autumn, 1999), 310-333.

Werstine discourses on the memorial-reconstruction hypothesis that the “bad” quartos were reconstructed from memory by an actor/reporter. He analyzes W. W. Greg’s work on the Quarto The Merry Wives of Windsor as the memorial-reconstruction of the Host. Werstine then applies Greg’s methodology to Hamlet, Henry V, and Romeo and Juliet in order to destroy the validity of the memorial-reconstruction hypothesis.

Werstine makes a great argument that the memorial-reconstruction hypothesis of Greg is a failed attempt. However, Werstine smugly likens one of Greg’s fallacies of taking a “few strong correlations of Q with F as evidence that the whole of Q was the Host’s reconstruction of F” to that of a car owner assuming that because his carburetor is light enough to lift, the car owner may pick up the whole car. This one instance tainted his credibility, even if slightly, for the rest of the article.
Werstine focuses on the memorial-reconstruction hypothesis as an assumption that the “bad” quarto is a reconstruction of the play by an actor/reporter – that the “bad” quarto is based on a stage performance. He aptly shows the flaws in the works of Greg, Gray, Wilson, Hart, Nosworthy, and others. While Werstine is against the notion that an actor reported the lines from a performance because of the lack of correlation of lines between Q and F, he bases this argument on the assumption that the actor/reporter must have been honest in his report. Human nature allows for the possibility that the actor as reporter (most scholars agree that the actor/reporter portrayed the smaller roles) may spice up his character(s)’s lines or give his character(s) the better lines. That possibility allows for changes in lines or the order of lines. Another option not accounted for by Werstine is the chance that the actor/reporter, being a lesser actor, may not have been very good at remembering lines.
The one scholar to whom Werstine gives kudos is Nosworthy. Werstine commends Nosworthy’s postulation that an actor listened more carefully to lines while he was offstage so he would make his entrances. Werstine offhandedly notes, “. . . his [Nosworthy] are the only terms on which the hypothesis can be sustained” (323). This, the only objection Werstine lists to his argument, secures only three sentences including a comment that editors who support memorial-reconstruction are embarrassed by Nosworthy’s idea. Nosworthy’s concept deserves more attention than a sarcastic pat on the back followed by a “kick me” sign.
While reading Werstine’s essay, I reflected upon the notions of Lukas Erne that the quartos are the performance documents and the folios are meant to be read. The only contradictory element I found in Werstine was mention of Q Henry V by T.W. Craik that “Q’s cuts are ‘inept’ and ‘irrational,’ and ‘Its text could not be acted’” (329). Werstine also includes dialogue of William Poel, who, when directing Hamlet from the Q, had to replace imperfect lines from the Q with those from the F.
I am disappointed that Werstine did not definitively answer all of the questions he posed in his essay. He stands by his thesis that the memorial-reconstruction does not support the assumption that the “bad” quartos were based on stage performances (or actors rehearsing their lines). He leaves me with the feeling of “I said it, ha! It must be so.”

King Lear vs. Forrest Gump

In Lear 3.2, Lear taunts the storm like Lt. Dan of Forrest Gump. “Is that all you’ve got!” Lt. Dan yells from the top of the mast. Lear yells at the storm with the same “bring it on” attitude. Forrest is equated with the Fool – the baser man. Forrest brings his ship out of the storm with a huge catch of lobster and is on his way to riches (wealth and Lt. Dan’s respect) as the Fool seeks to bring the King out of the “storm” (his maniacal depression) and back into riches (dignity and respect).

In reference to article by Kim, Lois. “Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 36no1. 195-7. Spr 2005.

Kim gives a critical review of Lukas Erne’s Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist. Kim mostly agrees with Erne’s assertion that Shakespeare wrote for both the page and the stage. Kim questions Erne’s proposal that Shakespeare’s intention was to elevate his literary reputation.

I have a personal interest in this topic also, having had many discussions on this matter with a colleague, Jane, who is several years my senior. Jane adamantly states that Shakespeare wrote his plays for the stage, and they should be discussed in terms of performances only. I, however, have been intrigued by the poetics of Shakespeare’s works – noticing that the text is enhanced by the performance and vice versa.
I enjoyed reading through Kim’s description of Erne’s argument because I agree with what Erne says, even where Kim disagrees with him. Erne stabilizes his point that Shakespeare wrote for the page by showing that other prominent playwrights of the day published their works. He dispels the notion that Shakespeare published out of necessity for cash – Shakespeare was wealthy at the end of the century.
Erne also “challenges Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, Editors of the Oxford Complete Works (1988), for insisting that Shakespeare’s longer plays . . . were performed in full” (Kim). Erne produces evidence that Shakespeare’s longer plays “were abridged for performance,” implying that the longer plays were meant for reading (Kim).
Erne also mentions Frances Mere’s work Palladis Tamia (1598) in which Shakespeare is held in the same esteem as writers such as Sidney, Spenser, and Drayton. I was also surprised to learn, as Erne points out, that two literary anthologies in 1600 included “excerpts from Shakespeare and other playwrights alongside excerpts from Spenser and Sidney” (Kim).
Erne also makes a distinction between the “bad” quartos and the folios – asserting the shorter “bad” quartos also lacked poetic lines found in the folios. I agree with his conclusion that the “bad” quartos are more likely what was performed (it was a common practice for actors to recite their lines to a scribe while rehearsing – a practice Erne feels resulted in the quartos) while the folios display the full poetic version.
This notion leads me to believe that Shakespeare’s last plays were shorter so the poetic language of the full plays could be seen and heard on the stage.
The next time I discuss Shakespeare with Jane, I will be more prepared to back my argument that Shakespeare is meant for the stage and the page.

Othello - Impetuosity

Impetuosity seems to be a recurring theme in Shakespeare’s plays. Othello contains several instances of impetuosity. Roderigo is so bent on revenge upon Othello for stealing Desdemona away from him that he jumps at any idea concocted by Iago without first considering the consequences of the action. Brabantio throws a tantrum before the Duke and other Senators about the marriage of Desdemona to Othello without first asking Desdemona to explain herself. Othello demotes Cassio without asking Cassio about his version of the incidents. Emilia takes Desdemona’s handkerchief to Iago without getting a reason that he needs it. Othello goes into a jealous rage because of Iago’s manipulations, and he does not ask Desdemona or Cassio what is going on, only accuses them. Othello kills Desdemona, and Iago kills Emilia. There are more, but this is the basic list.