1)What led Desdemona to marry Othell? [Annual Exam. = 2015,2018]
Ans. Desdemona was a beautiful and gentle lady. Many suitors craved her but Desdemona had chosen Othello, a Moor, a dark complexion nobleman. She regarded the heart more than the appearance and complexion of a man. He was a valiant soldier who was raised to the rank of General. Othello was a great traveller. He used to narrate the adventurous stories of battles, encounters, his captivation by the insolent enemy, savage nations etc. Desdemona used to listen to the stories with rapt attention and gradually fell in love. She even indirectly accepted her love for him after the end of the stories. She was fascinated by Othello’s heroic deeds and art of storytelling and decided to marry Othello.
2)How did Othello overcome the fury of Brabantio after marry Desdemona? [Annual Exam. = 2016]
Ans. The marriage of Othello and Desdemona was privately solemnized. When Brabantio came to know about it, he became furious. He appealed to the Duke against Othello accusing him of casting spell and witchcraft to seduce gentle Desdemona and married her daughter without taking the consent of her father. Othello was called upon to the senate for his defence. He narrated a simple story of his love with artless eloquence. The duke was impressed. The duke confessed that Othello’s honest art of wooing and the skill of telling a soft tale had won the heart of Desdemona. Desdemona also confirmed the statement of Othello and Brabantio could not but accept him as his son-in-law. In this way, Othello overcame the fury of Brabantio.
3)Discuss how Othello’s love for Desdemona changed into mistrust in the story. [Annual Exam. = 2019]
Ans. Othello and Desdemona loved one another very much. In their love affair, Cassio helped them. Othello promoted Cassio to the rank of lieutenant. This was the cause of Iago’s offence. Iago was senior to Cassio and thought to be befitting for the post. Fierce with anger, Iago planned a scheme of revenge. He instilled a seed of jealousy and suspicion in Othello’s mind. He provoked Othello that Desdemona was unfaithful. She had illicit relation with Cassio. Shrewd Iago used his wife to steal and drop the handkerchief in Cassio’s way. Then he informed Othello that he had seen the strawberry spotted handkerchief in Cassio’s hand. In this way, Othello’s love for Desdemona changed into mistrust.
4)What role did the handkerchief play in bringing about Desdemona’s ruins? [Annual Exam. = 2020]
Ans. The handkerchief played a significant role in bringing about Desdemona’s ruins. It was Othello’s first gift to Desdemona. A charmer gave the Handkerchief to Othello’s mother and instructed her to preserve it carefully as it would maintain a happy conjugal life. Iago claimed that he had seen Cassio wiping his face with that strawberry spotted handkerchief. Othello became restless. It made Othello suspicious that Desdemona was unfaithful. She had a secret relation with Cassio. It was the treacherous villain Iago who employed her wife to steal and drop it in Cassio’s way. When Othello asked for the handkerchief and Desdemona was unable to show it, his suspicion intensified. Finally, out of fierce anger, he stifled her to death.
5)Why did Othello decide to kill Desdemona and himself? [Annual Exam. = 2017, 2014]
Ans. Othello decided to kill Desdemona because he thought that if she would alive, she would betray more men like him. Iago, the treacherous villain, contrived a plan to turn the gentle qualities of the innocent lady into her destruction. He cunningly convinced Othello that Desdemona was unfaithful. She had an illicit relation with Cassio. Othello was entrapped by the conspiracy and stifled her by covering up in the bedsheets till death. As soon as Desdemona was killed, wounded and bleeding Cassio came in and disclosed the crime of Iago showing the letters. It was a thunder stoke to Othello. He could not tolerate the extreme anguish of killing such an innocent and faithful wife and killed himself.
6)Sketch how Iago has been characterised in Othello. [Annual Exam. = 2019]
Ans. Iago has been characterized as a treacherous villain in the play Othello. He was a malicious person. When Othello promoted Cassio to the rank of lieutenant, he was scornful at Cassio. He had another unjust suspicion that Othello was too fond of his wife Emilia. So, he devised a plane of revenge to destroy them. In Cyprus, Iago lured Cassio to drink. He made him drunk and involved him in a scuffle. Othello demoted Cassio from his rank. Thus, Iago’s first scheme was successful. He implanted a seed of jealousy and suspicion in Othello’s heart. He provoked Othello regarding the secret relation between Desdemona and Cassio. The handkerchief episode shows her shrewdness. Desdemona and Othello were the victims of his contriving stratagem. When his treachery was disclosed, he was executed with strict punish.
Read more about: ‘Othello’ – Questions and Answers (S.A.Q.), Class 11, WBCHSE