sample
Haven't found the Essay You Want?
For Only $12.90/page

Othello Essay Topics & Paper Examples

William Shakespeare’s Othello

William Shakespeare is a talented dramatist, actor and poet whose popularity remains unsurpassed until today.  Until now his plays are still being performed not only in Western countries but also in Asia and in other non-English speaking countries as well.  (“William Shakespeare 14)  Indeed he is recognized as one of the greatest dramatist of all time. William Shakespeare’s birth place is the town of Stratford-upon-Avon.  His exact date of birth is not accurately known since there are no existing records.  However, based on his baptismal record which is on April 26, 1564 appearing in the parish register of Holy Trinity Church, his birth date could probably be April 23, 1564.  This is because the baptism of children during William Shakespeare’s…

Othello

There is no doubt that whatever Shakespeare wrote found its way to the top as a literary piece of genius. His command over language and ability to portray emotions and thoughts through mere words has made him immortal in English literature. Shakespeare uses a variety of aides to make his play the flawless specimen it is. The most striking symbol in Othello is Desdemona’s handkerchief that circulates throughout the play. Because Othello gave it to Desdemona as a first gift, the handkerchief functions as a token of his love, which Desdemona cherishes (3. 3. 1). Iago convinces his wife to steal it from Desdemona because he knows that it has a lot of sentimental value and that Othello will be…

Othello and Racism

In conjunction with Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, Othello is said to be one of the four great tragedies written by Shakespeare and consequently a mainstay of what is said by most critics to be the peak of Shakespeare’s theatrical talent. Othello is exceptional in the midst of Shakespeare’s grand catastrophes. Not like Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, which are put up in opposition to a setting of political affairs and which resound with propositions of widespread individual apprehension, Othello is situated in a clandestine world and centers on the infatuations and private lives of its chief figures. Othello basically is the central character as well as the hero of the play under consideration. Being a Christian Moor and general…

Othello

In Shakespeare’s Othello, we see the protagonist Othello being deceived due to his openness of nature and credulity. When Iago estimates Othello’s character as follows, “The moor is of a free and open nature, / Those thinks men honest but seem to be so. / And will as tenderly be led by the nose/ As asses are. ” (II. i. 387-90). We see that it is this trait of his which strained his relationship with his beloved Desdemona. The great tragedy of Shakespeare, Othello, starts with a marriage which was based on a very strong bond of love between Othello and Desdemona. From the early part of the play itself, it is evident that Othello has a slight feeling about…

Othello

The Jacobean era in which William Shakespeare first wrote Othello, eventually published in 1622, is one which is rightly remembered as being held to strict, dogmatic codes of sexuality and gender-power structures. On the threshold of Queen Elizabeth’s crowning, England under King James continued to be a strictly patriarchal society, with the realms of war and diplomacy being fully impenetrable to women. Considered the primary means to demonstration and execution of power, such venues were perceived to have held sway over all manner of social order. From a cosmetic vantage, it appears through characters such as Brabantio, Othello and Iago that Shakespeare acknowledges a sociological structure which largely keeps women beholden to these powers of men. However, through its intricate…

Othello

The narrative of Shakespeare’s Othello is driven by the skillfully interwoven elements of doubt, speculation and posturing that are present and intensified throughout. Though the play is filled with sympathetic characters, Iago and Roderigo being the only two whose intentions are known to the audience as malicious, each character is uniquely flawed and the playwright makes this apparent in even the most pedestrian exchanges.  As the focal point of the plot’s manipulation of its well-intended characters and the unseen catalyst of the ire rising between friends and lovers with no true trespasses toward one another, Iago is brilliant at exploiting such imperfection.  Iago uses the highly charged convergence of race and sexuality to act upon his own jealousies. Acting upon…

Analysis of selected passages from Othello by William Shakespeare

When William Shakespeare made use of the stylist devices he thus tried to paint a multi-dimensional image of his perceptions that he extended in his characters till the limits of reality and belief. And to design variety in this frame of multi-dimensionality Shakespeare not only expressed through the words in the lines which the characters uttered rather the formation of the words and the lines also revealed certain patterns that could be decoded to detect even more subtle reasons and justification behind those expressions. Such flow and expertise of expressing the conceptions cannot be taught easily through the science of writing rather it required the unschooled instinctive ability like Shakespeare’s to play with the words with a unique skill of…

Othello as a Tragic Hero

One of the most obvious focal point of disagreement about Othello is whether Othello was a tragic hero or not according to the classic conception of a tragic hero; whether his characterization, personal attributes make him fall into the domain of Aristotelian concept of tragic hero; Whether or not he possessed a tragic flaw. To Swinburne, Othello was “the noblest man of man’s making”. (Swinburne)But T. S. Eliot, on the other hand spoke unfavorably of his “cheering himself up”, (153) and came out with a celebrated critical term “Bovarysme”. Robert H. Heilman (1956) comes very close to restating the Eliot position when he says; “Othello is the least heroic of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes. ” (p. 166) The identification of Othello’s hamartia…

Othello

The language of sin is not just а theologically freighted way of talking about morally bad acts; it points to а deeper flaw within human life as we experience it, а perversion of outlook and desire that we may come to recognise but cannot fully evade. Overview According to а view going back to Aristotle (and probably earlier); someone who acts out of а mistaken belief about а relevant matter of fact may not be morally culpable for what would otherwise be а bad action. For example, а doctor who administers an antibiotic without realising that his patient is allergic to it is not guilty of murder if the patient subsequently dies, assuming that the mistake in question is а…

Shakespeare’s Othello

Answer to Q.# 1: The first scene of Act I serves as a part of exposition of a play. It acquaintances us with the major characters and situation and indicates its theme. In Othello Iago’s evil intention and conspiring nature is revealed, as much as his hatred for the Moor who denies him the promotion and chooses for his lieutenant an arithmetician, “a bookish theoric” (1.1.24) So the Iago’s motive for villainy is revealed to the audience. Then the rest of the story is his single-minded pursuit of Othello’s ruin by poisoning his mind with jealousy as he confesses to Roderigo that he is one of those who “Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,/ And, throwing but shows of…

Othello

In the play of “Othello”, Shakespeare skillfully uses the opposition of light and darkness to express the ironic conflict of race and Othello’s internal conflict propelled by his sense of otherness and jealousy. By doing so, Shakespeare challenges the audience’s traditional associations of light and darkness. He also allows us to see the how internal conflict could lead to one’s complete destruction. Shakespeare uses the opposition of light and darkness to express the racial conflict in “Othello”. Literally, light and darkness can be represented as white and black. The time period during which the play is set has an Elizabethan audience who made general associations with these two colours. White was generally associated with fairness and nobility; whereas black was…

Othello

William Shakespeare’s Othello is a play of love, murder and angst. Through the use of powerful scenes and great acting, Parker is able to portray Othello as the true hero that he is not made out to be. Fishburne is the right and only choice for the casting of Othello due to his powerful and emotional performance. Othello’s final speech at the end of the film convinces the audience that he has died for some kind of greater good. From the beginning of the movie, Lawrence Fishburne’s portrayal of Othello is nothing but flawless. His portrayal of the character is one that William Shakespeare himself would have been proud of. He is powerful yet humble throughout the whole movie, even…

Desdemona as a Victim in the Tragedy of Othello

Desdemona as a victim in The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare William Shakespeare is widely known for his famous plays, sonnets, and other works including the tragedy. In The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, many characters are unjustly victimized. Throughout the play, Othello’s wife, Desdemona, is a victim of many false statements that lead to her ultimate death. In the beginning, Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, believes that Desdemona is a victim under a spell of the Moor Othello. As the play progresses, Othello, who is overcome with jealousy, falsely accuses Desdemona of having an affair with his lieutenant and best friend, Michael Cassio. After acquiring “proof” that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair,…

Othello (How Is He Lead to His Demise)

Shakespearean writing are ones of which, with a few strokes of a pen, can achieve more than novelists can achieve in a full length novel. Shakespeare’s writing is complex and includes great measures of love, hatred, loyalty, deception and betrayal. These traits of his texts are all evident in Othello. In Act 1, Othello is perceived as a noble moor. With Shakespeare’s invention of the manipulating and cunning Iago, the multi-layered use of Othello’s mothers handkerchief, and Othello’s past military training being resurfaced due to Iago’s lies, all lead Othello to his demise. Deception and betrayal are two of Iago’s worst traits when he is outranked by Cassio. Iago’s capacity for cruelty appears limitless, and no motivation he gives for…

Othello Study Guide Questions

1.Describe the sensory details of the opening scene: sights, sounds, smells, etc. The opening scene takes place during the night in a street in Venice. Iago and Roderigo are loudly conversing with each other. 2.Why do Iago and Roderigo wake up Brabantio? Why is Brabantio angry? Why does Iago slip quietly away once Brabantio comes down? Iago and Roderigo wake up Brabantio to spoil his happiness by telling him the Desdemona ran off with Othello. Brabantio is originally angry because he had told them not to come around him house, but is even more angry when he finds out that Desdemona is missing. Iago quietly slips away because he doesn’t want anybody to know that he isn’t loyal to Othello….

Othello

In the play Othello written by Shakespeare, the issue of racism is addressed. Othello, the protagonist of the play, is African American or black. “According to Lois Whitney, many of Othello’s specific attributes probably derive from Shakespeare’s reading of Leo Africanus, whose Geographical Historie of Africa which was translated and published in London in 1600”(Berry, 1990). Many critics have different views on this. “If Shakespeare depended upon Leo Africanus for such details, he must have been much more interested in racial psychology than critics such as Bradley or Heilman suggest”(Berry, 1990). One of the most prominent features of this Shakespeare play is the numerous references to Othello’s skin color made by multiple characters however some critics tend to ignore or…

Othello Act 3 Scene 4

This unhappy scene focuses on Desdemona; she has become an innocent victim of Iago and Othello. From the moment he enters, Othello takes on the role of a persecutor. His first words in line 30 “O Hardness to dissemble!” not only comments on what he thinks is Desdemona’s “false seeming” but also reveals how difficult it is to control his feelings when he is in Desdemona’s presence. He proceeds to describe Desdemona’s hand as “hot” and “moist” in line 32. This is an allusion to a belief in the time, that when someone’s hand was “hot” and “moist” they were of a lustful nature. At this point Desdemona is perplexed by Othello and makes the grave mistake of trying to…

Andrew Davis Othello

Explain how Andrew Davies’ 2001 film version of Othello appeals to a contemporary audience, shedding light on 1604 play and expanding your knowledge of it. Davies 2001 film version of Othello appeals to a contemporary audience, shedding light on the 1604 play through the use of new filming techniques, the implementation of a new storyline (the Death of Billy Coates) and the use of modern language which appeals more too today’s audience. Filming techniques appeal to a contemporary audience as they capture the audience’s attention, engage us more as viewers and entertain the audience more in an interacting way. Techniques such as short sharp editing, camera sweeping and close ups are us in Davies 2001 film to grab the attention…

Othello, in Love?

Was the relationship of Desdemona and Othello true love? Throughout the entire, through secrets and lies and murder even until the end one of the biggest questions that arose was the vitality of Othello Desdemona’s love. Although some readers of Othello have argued that Othello and Desdemona’s love was true, a closer examination of the way she shows empathy for him when he tells her stories reveals that he is only in love with the attention she gives him because it alleviates his own personal insecurities. By examining the abruptness of Othello’s jealousy and judgment of Desdemona’s possible infidelity, it is revealed that he has deeply rooted insecurities. After Iago tells Othello of the possible infidelity that has occurred, Othello…

The Significance of Emilia in Othello

In Shakespeare’s “Othello”, Emilia is considered one of the minor characters. She is the wife of Iago and the lady in waiting to Desdemona. Emilia makes a crucial contribution to the play as a whole. She contributes to the characterization of a couple of key characters and adds to the dramatic irony of the play. She plays an essential role in the escalation of the dramatic action. She also adds to some of the themes of the play. Emilia contributes to the characterization of both Iago and Desdemona. Emilia enters the play in Act II, Scene i when she and the party arrive in Cyprus. Iago speaks to her rudely and treats her disparagingly in front of the others; “Come…

Othello

Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ is the study of how a seemingly successful Venetian general, is skilfully manipulated by the cunning Iago, who by exploiting Othello’s insecurities transforms his identity into a jealous murderer. At the beginning of the play, Othello’s identity is that of an assiduous black general who fought exceptionally hard to gain respect in a white dominated society. In marrying Desdemona, Othello adds to his identity by being a lover and husband and his identity is portrayed to be interconnected to his love for Desdemona. Iago is jealous of Othello’s high standing and greatly respected identity and therefore undermines Othello’s confidence in his wives faithfulness and turns his identity into an irrational jealously. Shakespeare utilises a number of key techniques…

Manipulation and Prejudice in Othello

The tragic play ‘Othello’, written by William Shakespeare, is one where the direct impact of themes such as jealousy, prejudice, and manipulation bring about the downfall of the protagonist Othello, a moor who is both a successful military leader in the city of Venice and the lover of the ‘Sweet Desdemona’. The Antagonist, Iago, weaves webs of deceit and denigrations on almost all of the characters and is portrayed as the puppet master, controlling the characters to his own end. The imagery associated with the central theme of jealousy suggests destructive, terrifying and perhaps unnatural qualities of this emotion. It is ‘the green-eyed monster, which doth mock / the meat it feeds on’. There is a strong sense of devouring…

Othello Analysis

Jealousy is defined as feeling and/or showing envy of someone for their achievements and advantages. Jealousy is known to be one of the world’s worst emotions, except jealousy is not an emotion. Jealousy is a deadly disease and should not be considered an emotion proving that while in a jealous state there is a complete loss of control. A person in the jealous state is completely incapable of controlling their emotions, behaviour and their intellectual process making them vulnerable in all situations. The play Othello written by William Shakespeare proves to be one of the most profound pieces of literature includes many characters that are diagnosed with the deadly disease that is Jealousy. “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; /It…

Response to Othello

In the play Othello, originally written by William Shakespeare but reproduced by Michael Lynch and James Beggs, the overall entertainment value differed tremendously amongst its viewers. To determine the entertainment value, one must look at the theme, subject, individuality, and the verisimilitude of the play. I think the theme of Othello is that love is a powerful feeling that can easily be deceitful. In Othello, Desdemona and Othello both share a love for each other in which seems unbreakable, yet when others begin to feel jealous the feeling of love amongst others in the play becomes a lie. The subject of the play, Othello, is betrayal and loyalty. In this play, it had revealed ironically that one’s loyalty might cause…

Othello and Oedipus

Othello: the Moor of Venice and Oedipus are masterpiece tragedies that were written by great authors of yesteryear including William Shakespeare and Sophocles. These books are laden with varied themes which are still applicable today as they are still played in both community and professional theatres worldwide. Othello was a renowned general in the Venetian army whose military exploits were widely acclaimed whereas Oedipus was the new sovereign of the city of Thebes. While these two great men share a lot in common, the differences between them also abound. The most significant trait that both characters share is that they are heroes. The deeds they carry out are great and daring and they both possess tremendous strength. Case in point…

William Shakespeare’s Othello

Distrust, deceit, and death define the tragedy of William Shakespeare’s Othello. The love between Othello and Desdemona is destroyed by the betrayal and hatred of Iago for the Moorish soldier’s fortune and position. Throughout Iago’s deceptive maneuverings emerges a motivation that is based in a skewed and obsessive perception of his own place in the world. This perception is based in large part on his views of racial and moral superiority to to Othello, despite being the black soldier’s servant. This racist hatred, like all forms of hate, acts as a poison that affects and destroys each person it touches. Othello and Desdemona suffer the most directly, being both the targets and the objects of Iago’s deviance, but theirs are…

Othello – Trust Between Lovers

Our topic is trust between lovers. What is trust? When your friend is spreading some rumor about your lover and your other friend, who would you trust, your lover or your friend? Trust is to believe in someone and give trust to him or her. You put your whole soul and belief to trust them. Trust is like a paper, once it is crumble it will not be perfect again. Trust plays an important role in Othello, because it started as trust and ends with trust. In Othello, the author used handkerchief as a symbol of trust. Every time the owner loses the handkerchief and another lover has the handkerchief, the other couple bonds a strong trust within the circle….

Destroy Othello

Iago feels that he was passed over for a promotion to lieutenant and resents Cassio, the new lieutenant. He also harbors a potential grudge against Othello, who promoted Cassio. Iago explains to Roderigo that Cassio was appointed despite the fact that three important Venetians had asked Othello to promote Iago. Iago states “I know my price, I am worth no worse a place” (1. 1. 11), which shows that he felt that he deserved the promotion. He resents that he has fought alongside Othello several times in battle, yet Cassio a mere “counter-caster”(1. 1. 31), who has never served in battle, was made lieutenant. He holds Othello responsible for his being passed over, and mocks Othello’s race and character. Iago’s…

Perhaps Othello

Perhaps Othello cannot be regarded as the greatest of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, but many readers and viewers have found it incredibly exciting, logical, and most intense of all of Shakespeare’s plays. When performed, Othello is implacable in its drive toward tragedy, drawing spectators into the greatly shocking play of a husband quickly pushed to murder his blameless wife. Moreover, the Afro-American warrior Othello – the only black character in Shakespeare – becomes a husband of a white woman. Thus, the tragedy also touches on important issues that have become pressing in present period: racial prejudice and attraction to the “Other” (Othello Study Guide). Othello also allows readers to consider such important human issues as the nature of sexual jealousy and…

Imagery in the plays Oedipus Rex and Othello

In any literature, themes and images play an important role in the reader’s understanding of what the literature would be discussing. Some images and symbols have universal meanings and these help readers relate the meaning of these images with the theme of a specific literature (Blue 2001). In many known literature, images and symbols are known to be the central theme of the story. The plays Othello and Oedipus Rex evidently make use of recurring images to reveal the central theme of the play. Oedipus Rex reveals blindness as a recurring symbol throughout the play. Usually, the Greeks associate clear vision to wisdom and insight (SparkNotes Editors. ). But in the story of Oedipus Rex, blindness is the main reference…