Project #89419 - No title requires

Read:

Othello (Folgers Shakespeare edition) by William Shakespeare

Othello: "Reading Shakespeare's Language," pp. xiv-xxiv;
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, acts 1-5, pp. 3-265.

 

Instruction:

Othello Essay: After reading Othello, you briefly tell a friend about what happens at the end of the play. Your friend, a business and marketing major, cracks, "Sounds like Iago should have done a cost-benefit analysis before he began." After reading up on what a cost-benefit analysis is (see below), you decide that you will write one up on Iago's behalf and give it to your friend. Your essay will be graded on the sophistication of your analysis; on your grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics; and on your ability to use and cite passages from our texts in support of your analysis. Please use MLA guidelines to format the essay, to document the quotations used in the paper, and to create a works cited page. Please take a look at the using quotations handout and the English 102 Essay Requirements before submitting your work.

A cost/benefit analysis is designed to consider the pros and the cons of enacting a policy. For example, if you want to buy five new desktop computers for your private company, you will want to weigh the costs of the computers, the software, the Internet hookups, the retraining time of employees, etc., against the benefits of higher productivity, fewer software problems, faster Internet connection speeds, etc., to see if purchasing the computers will be worth the investment. If the costs are higher, then you will not likely purchase the computers. If the benefits are higher, then you will likely purchase the computers. As you can see, this form of writing is important to making personal and financial decisions.

For this assignment, you will be asked to do four things:

1) State what you believe to be Iago's goal for his course of action in the play
2) Summarize more completely for your friend the action of the play
3) Set forth two benefits that Iago achieved, or hoped to achieve
4) Set forth two costs that arise from Iago's actions

This paper is worth 100 points, should be at least 500 words in length, and must be organized in the following manner:

* Begin the essay with a salutation (Dear Jane, Dear John, or whatever the name of your friend is).

* The introductory paragraph must be addressed to your friend, explaining the reason why you are presenting him/her with the analysis (please also give the title of the play and the author's full name). It then must set out what you believe to be Iago's goal. This paragraph should be no more than 3-4 sentences.

* Your first body paragraph should summarize what happens in the play. While you should pay attention to how the other characters act, your focus should be on those actions that Iago takes to further his goal. This summary should be about 100-150 words long.

* The next two body paragraphs must analyze the two benefits of Iago's course of action, either actual or desired benefits. The benefits can be monetary, physical, personal, emotional--whatever pertains most strongly Iago's goal. Make sure, however, that you discuss the biggest benefits, and since it is Iago's goal we are considering, make sure that the benefits somehow apply to him directly. Each of the benefits must be explored in a separate paragraph and must include enough development to adequately set them out. Use quotes from the play to identify and explore the benefits. Use MLA guidelines for parenthetical citations as set out in the course materials.

* The next two body paragraphs must analyze the two biggest costs of Iago's course of action. The costs can be monetary, physical, personal, emotional--whatever pertains most strongly to his goal. Make sure, however, that you discuss the most serious costs, and since it is Iago's goal we are considering, make sure that the costs somehow apply to him directly. Each of the costs must be explored in a separate paragraph and must include enough development to adequately set them out. Use quotes from the play to identify and explore the costs. Use MLA guidelines for parenthetical citations as set out in the course materials.

* Finally, write a conclusion that tells your friend whether the costs outweigh the benefits or vice versa. Your essay must therefore be seven paragraphs in length. You must also include a works cited listing at the end of the essay.

If you are not sure how to proceed with this topic, here are four steps that should help you get started.

1) Read the play carefully, especially those scenes when Iago speaks directly to the audience. He states his motivations and goals to us that he does not reveal to the other characters. It is in these scenes that you will discover what his goal might be. Also, look carefully at the scenes during which Iago is deceiving one of the other characters. He is looking for immediate results to his actions that you should be aware of.

2) Brainstorm a list of costs and benefits. How much time and energy does Iago invest in his plans? Who gets hurt, either directly or indirectly, because of his actions? Who benefits? What would Iago stand to gain or lose by not taking any action? Does Iago succeed in his goal or not, and what are the costs/benefits of his success or failure? Don't just use the first two costs and the first two benefits that come to mind. They may not be the best that you can think of. Create a list of as many as you can. Be evenhanded in your approach. Don't leave out choices because you have already made up your mind one way or another and you don't want to consider the best points from the other side.

3) Weigh the costs and benefits in the list you have created. You might even assign a point or dollar value to each cost and benefit--for example, ten points to the most serious, zero to the least. Once you've weighed all the points, pick the two of each that score the highest (these scores will not be used in the essay; they are simply meant to help you choose).

4) Compare the costs and the benefits. Look at the scores you gave to each. Are the numbers higher for the costs or for the benefits? Whichever side scored higher should determine the decision you make in your final paragraph.

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 11/01/2015 12:00 am
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