Thursday, May 30, 2013



Ø  Each time you change an idea in your work, you need to put in a full stop then start a new sentence.
Ø  If you don’t want to use a full stop, you need to use a joining word to join the two ideas together correctly. (It was really hot last Tuesday so Mum took us to the beach.)
·         If the word has been shortened, but the abbreviation ends with the last letter, you DON’T have to use a full stop. Dept- Department   St- Street
·         You DON’T have to use a full stop after measurements.  Kilogram- kg  centimetre- cm
·         You DON’T have to put a full stop after dates.  March- Mar   September- Sep
·         When giving the initial of a person’s name, you DO put in full stops.  Mr. S. L. James  Mrs L.V. Langford
·         You DON’T use full stops to shorten the name of a country.  United States of America -  USA
·         You DO use full stops when writing qualifications.  Bachelor of education-  B. Ed.

Ø  Use exclamation marks at the end of a word or sentence to:
o   Show we feel strongly about something
o   Say something urgent
o   Give a command
Ø  Colons usually introduces:
o   A list of things
o   An explanation
o   A quotation (when a writer repeats someone’s words to make a point)
Ø  Semicolons are used like a joining word to combine two sentences that are similar in meaning.  (Tom never goes to the movies; he prefers to hire videos.)

Ø  Use when you want a brief pause without talking about something new.
·         Use to separate lists of words
·         DON’T put a comma before the word and.
·         Use to separate the first part of a sentence from the rest. Helps to make the meaning clear. If I don’t feel better by tomorrow, I won’t be going to work.
·         Use to separate extra information from the rest of the sentence.  Our house, which we have just bought, is near the beach.   The commas allow for the added information which isn’t needed for the sentence to make sense.
·         Use when speech is about to be introduced.  The doctor said, “I will call you when I receive the X-rays.”
·         Use when a person is spoken to directly, you use a comma to separate their name from the instruction.  Amy, please come here.        Please come here, Amy.

Ø  The apostrophe is used in two ways:
  1. To show what belongs to something or someone (possession).  The book belongs to John= John’s book
  2. In a contraction. When two words are shortened to one.  He is= He’s
  • DO NOT use apostrophes anywhere else. DON’T be tricked into using an apostrophe just because you see an ‘s’ at the end of the word.
  • DON’T add the apostrophe to the object that belongs to someone or something: the cats whiskers’ (incorrect).   The cat owns the whiskers so the apostrophe should be attached to the cat NOT the whiskers of the cat: the cat’s whiskers (correct).
Ø  A contraction is when you make two words into one.  I am= I’m
·         Always leave the 1st word as it is but remove a letter or letters from the 2nd word.  Use an apostrophe to show where the letters were.
v  ONE EXCEPTION:  Will not DOES NOT become willn’t.  USE won’t. 
o   The contraction it’s (it is) is easy to remember but what about the word its?
o   It’s= it is:  it is wrong to say the dog wagged it is tail.  You would use its in this instance.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013



Iago's capacity for cruelty seems limitless, and no motivation for his actions seems enough to explain the incredible destruction he wreaks on the lives of the people he knows best. Is Iago pure evil? 


The Evil Iago of Shakespeare's Othello

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The Most Evil Iago of Othello


"How shall I murder him, Iago?"   This one line, spoken by Othello, in Shakespeare's play of the same name speaks volumes of the evil and deceitful nature of the character being spoken to, Iago. The ability to turn a noble, self controlled, respected man such as Othello into a raving, murderous lunatic can only be had by an evil man such as Iago. Iago is conniving, vengeful, vain, ruinous, dishonest, egotistical and paranoid. This makes him one of the most evil men in all of literature.


The first of many examples of Iago's villainy occurs in scene one of act one. His vain ego has been hurt. Othello has chosen a "bookish theoric" to be his lieutenant instead of Iago. Iago has this to say of Othello's choice:


Forsooth, a great arithmetician,

One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,

A fellow almost dammed in a fair wife,

That never set a squadron in the field

Nor the division of a battle knows

More than a spinster--unless the bookish theoric,

Wherein the togaed consuls can propose

As masterly as he. Mere prattle without practice

Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had th' election;

And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof

At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds

Christianed and heathen, must be beleed and calmed

By debitor and creditor. This countercaster,

He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,

And I--God bless the mark!--his Moorship's ancient.


This position is one Iago expected, not only because of his seniority in battle, but also because of his seniority with Othello himself.


Iago clearly shows his vengefulness when he tells Roderigo: “Call up her father.Rouse him, make after him, poison his delight...”   His intent is to sow the seeds of dissent between Othello and Brabantio, believing it will ultimately get him his revenge. The idea of ruining Othello is beginning to consume Iago.


Still another example of evil shown by Iago is when in an attempt to incense hatred between Roderigo and Cassio he tells Roderigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio. The reasons for this lie are twofold. Firstly, to anger Roderigo to the point of murder and lastly to begin the process of Othello's discrediting of Cassio and distrusting of Desdemona. Iago cites the example of the "paddling" of the palms and states this paddling is the prologue to the "history of lust and foul thoughts". In discrediting Cassio, Iago achieves a small piece of his "peculiar end", that is his being placed in the position of lieutenant and the setting into motion of the distrust of Desdemona, and the subsequent ruining of the life of Othello. With this plan in play, another piece of Iago's puzzle falls into place.

Iago shows himself to be a madman, driven by the psychosis of revenge, in this soliloquy taken from act two scene one:


That Cassio loves her, I do well believe 't;

That she loves him, 'tis apt and of great credit.

The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,

Is of a constraint, loving, noble nature,

And I dare think he'll prove to Desdemona

A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too,

Not out of absolute lust--though peradventure

I stand accountant for as great a sin--

But partly led to diet my revenge

For that I do suspect the lusty Moor

Hath leaped into my seat, the thought whereof

Doth like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my innards;

And nothing can or shall content my soul

Till I am evened with him, wife for wife,

Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor

At least into a jealousy so strong

That judgment cannot cure...


Iago has clearly convinced himself that Cassio and Desdemona are mutually in love. Iago also says Othello is of a "constant, loving, noble nature" and will "prove to Desdemona a most dear husband". These comments show Iago's thoughts to be non-linear at worst and confused at best. His statement of love for Desdemona is a tribute to his view of people being mere pawns in his game of chess, his belief that Othello "hath leaped into my seat" (slept with his wife) a sign of his paranoia.


In scene three of act three Iago shows his duality when acting the friend of a man he truly, deeply and utterly hates, Othello. Cassio, in an attempt to gain reinstatement elicits the help of Desdemona. As Cassio finishes his meeting with Desdemona, Othello approaches and Cassio makes a hurried departure. Iago draws this to Othello's attention in the following dialogue:


Iago:   Ha? I like not that.

Othello:   What dost thou say?

Iago:  Nothing, my lord; or if--I know not what.

Othello:  Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?

Iago:  Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it,

            That he would steal away so guiltylike,

            Seeing you coming.


His duality is further shown later in the scene when asking Othello of the relationship between Cassio and Desdemona, and of the part played by Cassio in Othello's wooing of Desdemona. Iago then states "For Michael Cassio/ I dare be sworn I think that he is honest." all the while planting the idea of Cassio's dishonesty and Desdemona's infidelity. The proverbial "icing on the cake" happens when Iago joins an enraged Othello on his knees, vowing his loyalty in obtaining his sacred revenge against the pair.


Iago's lies become the "straw that broke the camel's back" in scene one of act four when he asks questions of whether infidelity could be a "kiss in private" or "to be naked with her friend in bed...not meaning any harm". These questions enrage Othello to the point of a seizure. When Othello awakens he is given no reprieve as he allows himself to be hidden by Iago on the premise that Iago will prove all he has been saying. Iago then engages Cassio in a conversation about his mistress, Bianca. Othello can not hear the whole conversation and so believes Cassio to be speaking of Desdemona. When the conversation is over, Othello asks "How shall I murder him, Iago?". This utterance signifies the removal of all doubt from the mind of Othello. Iago has almost achieved his "peculiar end".


In act five, scene two, the final scene of the play, Iago has succeeded in his diabolical plan. He has traded "wife for wife" as Othello has smothered, albeit regretfully, Desdemona. When discovered by Emilia, Othello confesses, saying it was Iago that persuaded him to murder her. Emilia tells Othello too late of the lies told by her husband and she dies at the hands of Iago for her confession. Iago's lies have come to a crescendo and Othello realizes he has been deceived. Othello then commits suicide and we find, in this case, in order for love to conquer all, evil must triumph. As is the case oftentimes in real life, there is no happy ending.


Iago is, for the literary world, evil incarnate. He lies and deceives with half-truths, to achieve his revenge, causing distrust and ultimately murder and suicide. This makes Iago one of the most evil, but most memorable characters, if not in all of literature, at least in all of Shakespeare.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Evil Iago of Shakespeare's Othello." 18 May 2015


use these words in your analytical essay

double entendre

Friday, May 17, 2013



The Merchant of Venice is a satiric play for several reasons. The entire play was set in favour of an audience that hated Jews and believed that even the most inhumane treatment was well-deserved. Labelled as "killers of Jesus Christ", the Jews were hated by Venetians; in this case,  the merchant Antonio, for charging usury and for being a Jew. Shylock the Jewish money-lender in the play, received harsh treatment from Antonio for being "thrifty". He disgraced Shylock publicly by speaking badly about him, calling him a "cut throat dog", spitting on his clothes and in his face and by kicking him like you would a stray dog. (Act One, scene Three). After all this, Antonio approaches Shylock about borrowing money to which Shylock replies, “Hath a dog money? Is it possible that a dog can lend three thousand ducats?"  Without remorse, Antonio, one of Shakespeare’s "protagonists" in the play, responds by telling Shylock, "I am like as like to call thee so again, to spit on thee again, to spurn thee too." 
Shylock again suffers abuse at the hands of Christians when his only daughter Jessica elopes with Lorenzo, Antonio's friend, taking from him; bags of ducats, jewels and precious stones, even his treasured turquoise ring, which he received from his wife before she died. He is mocked and ridiculed when Solanio, Antonio's friend, refers to him as "the dog Jew" and telling of how Shylock ran through the streets of Venice crying for his ducats and his daughter, with boys following mockingly. (Act two, Scene Eight).
Finally, the play is satiric because, having suffered all the things mentioned above, Shylock is taken to court and stripped of his dignity, his possessions and most importantly, his religion, when Portia, disguised as a lawyer, brilliantly accuses him of attempting to kill Antonio in the signing a bond that demands a pound of his flesh, should he forfeit his loan. Shylock was left dejected and ridiculed for his vice.

A Brief Evaluation of Comedy
The Merchant ofVenice

    A successful comedy needs basic elements and ingredients to be distinguished. In addition, it should make allowance for the audience who judge it. In consequence of ideological and psychological make-up variations, a comedy could be defined as a tragedy and vice versa. Looking to The Merchant of Venice, we find that it is a tragic-comedy that raises serious questions disguised in parody and irony. To be able to realize comedy in the play, there are some elements that should be discussed.

    Once the word comedy comes to mind, the first thing to think of is laughter. In the play, there are many situations that make the audience laugh through parody, irony, misidentification and slapstick. Regarding the scène of Launcelot Gobbo Shylock's servant who decides to mock his father's blindness, we find a good deal of comedy. Launcelot plays the role of a clown; he raises laughter from his frequent misuse of words and exaggerated movements which is considered slapstick. In addition, we laugh at Gobbo who misidentifies his own son.

    Parody and irony exist strongly in many situations. One of them is the ring scene when Portia and Nerissa act as if they are shocked with their husband's abandonment of the rings and they refuse to believe that they were given to the lawyer and his clerk. Irony exists when Portia says that her husband is not like Gratiano who gave away his wife's ring. In fact, she was joking as she was the lawyer who took the ring. Audiences laugh at this scene knowing that the truth that Bassanio gave away his ring as well. Knowing the truth, Portia tried to play the fool on her husband and that is when irony arouses laughter.

    An element that standardizes the quality of a comedy is illogicality or fancy. As seen through the play, it is clear that there are many illogical events taking place. Firstly, the equivocal relationship between Antonio and Bassanio that leads to further complication. Secondly, the undiscoverable disguise of Portia and Nerissa in the court scene. Last, but not least, the funny happy ending when three happy married couples and a merchant who has his wealth back are found. All these events happen only in fancy and that is why the dues ex machine technique is used to end the play happily when an unexpected person, Portia, comes in the time of no hope and gets Antonio out of the hot water. All in all, it is fancy and illogicality that make the audience able to laugh.

    The type of character is also one of the important elements that help the audience to laugh. Comic characters are usually flat and sort of caricature with no parallel in life. This type gives the audience an emotional distance which enables them to laugh and not lose their identity as in a tragedy. A stark model of that is Shylock's character that is presented as another Jewish comic stock villain character. This Jew villain is wearing the famous Jewish gabardine, acting miserly, lending money in usury and having a cruel nature. Such make-up forbid identification and consequently forbid any sympathy towards Shylock, so he is laughed at.

    A question that is highly significant is: for whom is it a comedy? The Merchant of Venice was first presented in the 16th century England where Jews were tyrannized and patriarchy was dominant. As result, the play was pretty successful as the audience accepted the mocking on Jews and laughed at it heartily. Regarding Shakespeare's neutralization towards the patriarchal system, men and women laughed at the upside-down rolls of Portia and Bassanio. Back to our present time, the play won't receive a big success as comedy in many countries, especially those of Europe and America because of the anti-Semitic impeachments the play confronts. It would be accepted only in countries that have conflicts with the State of Israel, the home intolerant Jews.

    In conclusion, The Merchant of Venice has a great deal of comedy that manages to entertain the audience through a light-hearted plot.                   





The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, is a play about r…………, j………….., d……………and f……………………in the s...............century. Set in V.............. and B......................., the plot is about S……………, a wealthy Jew, lending one of his enemies, A…………….., three thousand ducats. Although A…………… a rich m………………., all his resources are in his s……, trading to distant countries. Because A……………… wants to help out his friend B………………., he has no choice but to ask S……………for a loan. He overlooks the fact that it may lead to his d…………..

The play highlights the gap between C…………………..and J……………. Shylock the Jew seems fixated on m……….. and b………………. rather than human relationships. The C………………… characters seem to have different priorities….(CONTINUE WRITING, EXAMINING THE CONTRAST OF CULTURES IN THE PLAY…)


SHYLOCK: Few characters created by Shakespeare embody pure evil like the character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Shylock is a usurer and a malevolent, blood-thirsty old man consumed with plotting the downfall of his enemies. He is a malignant, vengeful character, consumed with venomous malice; a picture of callous, unmitigated villainy, deaf to every appeal of humanity. Shylock is the antagonist opposite the naive, essentially good Antonio, the protagonist; who must defend himself against the "devil" Shylock.

ANTI-SEMETIC: Is The Merchant of Venice an Anti-Semitic Play? The Merchant of Venice features a Jewish character who is abused and slandered by nearly every character in the play. Throughout the play the behavior of these characters seems justified. In this way, The Merchant of Venice appears to be an anti-Semitic play. However, The Merchant of Venice contains several key instances, which can be portrayed in a way that criticizes anti-Semitism. The first instance occurs in Act 1, scene 3 when the audience realizes that Shylock has every right to be extremely angry with Antonio.
HATE AND LOVE: The Merchant of Venice is a play both about love and hate. Shakespeare illustrates the theme of hate most prominently through the prejudices of both Christians and Jews and their behaviour towards one another. The theme of love is shown amongst the Christians, in the love of friendship and marital love. The themes are emphasised in the settings of the play, Belmont symbolising love and Venice symbolising hate. As .well as this the immorality of various characters can be seen in their motives for love and hate
PREJUDICE: William Shakespeare's satirical comedy, The Merchant of Venice, is an examination of hatred and greed. Prejudice is a dominant theme in The Merchant of Venice, most notably taking the form of anti-Semitism. Shylock is stereotypically described as "costumed in a recognizably Jewish way in a long gown of gabardine, probably black, with a red beard and/or wing like that of Judas, and a hooked putty nose or bottle nose.

PREJUDICE, Racism and Anti-Semitism in William Shakespeare’s play, "The Merchant of Venice" Throughout William Shakespeare’s play, there is a strong theme of prejudice. Portia has to deal with prejudice against her sex, the Prince of Morocco has to deal with prejudice against his race but the character that is most discriminated against is Shylock. He is hated for being a Jew and a money-lender, but Shakespeare has not made Shylock a character easy to sympathise with. He appears to be mean and cruel and it seems as though he loves money above all things.

DECEPTION: Appearances may be deceptive and it is the use of the outwardly deceptive three caskets from which Portia's husband will be decided which shows the danger of judging by appearances. This theme of deception is used throughout the play to mislead and confuse so things may not always be what they seem. Shakespeare uses deception to enhance the unfolding drama and involve his audience more fully in the play - the audience is party to deceptions which the characters themselves are unaware of.

GENDER: In Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, the scene opens to reveal a society controlled by men. Men, who live in the foreground of Venetian society, wield their power in business, government, and family life. In the background, women conduct their lives quietly. They are subservient to their husbands and fathers and are regarded as helpless and in need of male guidance in areas of decision making. Though in Shakespeare’s time such a societal structure was largely acceptable, the modern reader views the subjugation of women with aversion, and the ways in which Shakespeare presents the female characters in this play perhaps show that he too was not entirely comfortable with the unbalanced scale of power between men and women.

GENDER: The Effects of Cross-Dressing in The Merchant of Venice   Shakespeare challenges the assumption that men hold more power than women do. He subtly hints that the power men posses is superficial when Jessica dresses like a boy, and later when Nerissa and Portia disguise themselves as men. Masculinity is merely a costume that can be donned or doffed at will; therefore its associated power can be removed and redistributed as well. Shakespeare emphasizes gender barriers, yet also challenges them to show their inconsistencies. JEWS

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Deconstructing a political cartoon on three levels -- literal, inferential and evaluative.


This 2012  political cartoon, drawn by Pope, one of Australia's foremost political cartoonists, includes excerpts from a famous colonial poem, My Country, by Dorothea McKeller. It targets and criticises the then Queensland Labor Government using the Premier, Anna Bligh, who had just lost government in a landslide victory for the opposition, the Liberal National Party, headed by Campbell Newman. Both political figures are caricatured in the cartoon, with a backdrop of the recent Queensland floods. The cartoonist uses satire to entertain readers in what could be seen as a trivial way, but it is trivial comedy for serious people, as it portrays negative views about the results of Anna Bligh's policies which have left her with many empty seats (in Parliament).

Most political cartoons lean towards the bitter and cutting  Juvenalian style of satire, rather than the Horatian witty, gentler style.. The poem, caricatures and backdrop combine to lampoon Bligh's foolishness, strongly criticising her flawed policies.

Many satirical techniques can be identified immediately through the visual effects of the cartoon -- exaggeration, parody and incongruity. Anna Bligh, the figure in the tree clinging for dear life, is the caricatured figure of a woman who has lost her hold on Queensland. Her features are exaggerated and easily recognisable. The message of the cartoon is that she desperately wants to save the seats for her party from the 'flood'. representing the votes from the citizens, whereas Campbell Newman is portrayed as being as happy as a 'fish' swimming freely in the water after receiving a 'flood' of votes.

As Australians, we can definitely tell that the poem written in the cartoon is a parody of the colonial era poem, My Country, once studied by every Australian school student. The original poem eulogises Australian landscapes, and this excerpt is a reversal of the original. It obviously criticises Anna Bligh for the way she liked to 'spin' policies to the Queensland people, but now the people are 'spinburnt.' Instead of 'sunburnt', the writer uses the technique of parody and replaces this word with 'spinburnt', which refers to how much Anna Bligh has used spin in political speeches, lying to the people about the true state of politics and policies in Queensland. Satire here is used as 'an antidote to being lied to', as John Clarke, well-known Australian comedian says. So the purpose behind Pope's cartoon is to expose the lies and spectacular defeat of Anna Bligh's government: 'Her stuff ups and her sell offs' have left her 'up a tree.' 

Further reference to the political cartoon shows the exaggeration of 'groaning' infrastructure which portrays her failed attempt to repair the damage caused by the Queensland floods, even though she put a positive spin on the rebuilding program during the floods. 

The cartoon may make a serious situation look trivial, and the Brisbane floods were anything but trivial, but Pope was exposing what he considered vice and folly in Bligh's government. His use of satire reveals his desire to denounce the Labor Government's reckless policies and applaud the change in society which began with Bligh's defeat.

Satire is a lesson, parody is a game, but it is a serious game, and Australians are free to satirise people and events as we see them without punishment. Satirists write texts both to entertain and educate readers with their comments and opinions about people and events in society, hoping to bring about change. The two satirical texts share this feature although they were written in two different eras. This political cartoon shows how satire is not just trivial comedy, it continues to bring about change in society by its message, using wit as a weapon. 

Monday, May 13, 2013