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Othello Essay Topics & Paper Examples

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…

Othello: Pathos

Shakespeare has used pathos in vast ways to support character development and to build the readers or audiences’ relationship with the characters. Shakespeare makes his readers feel sympathy for certain characters by the way the antagonist treats them. In Othello, Iago used Roderigo, tricked Othello, and mistreated the female characters in the play. Iago helps develop the theme of jealousy throughout the play by exploiting some of the major characters. The truths about some characters are shown clearly to the audience which helps them establish their opinions and feelings about them. Shakespeare uses pathos to get his reader’s point of view of a character. In the beginning of the play, the audience was able to discover that Iago was misusing…

Othello

Q: In a tragedy, conflict and suffering draw out the true nature of the chief characters inch by inch (John Russell Brown) –What do we learn in this way about the ‘true nature’ of Othello? Illustrate your points with evidence from the play. Humans are like wet sponges- it takes a squeeze to reveal what is truly inside us. The opening of ‘Othello’, paints the Moor as a dignified and controlled man, full of deeply rooted morals and religious beliefs. But through Iago’s lies and deceit, his squeeze of the sponge, Othello is led to believe there is a great conflict in his life, that of Desdemona being unfaithful to him. This knowledge, which Othello is rather too quick to…

Significance of Act III in Othello

Act 3 is often called the “temptation scene” as Othello’s trust in Desdemona is seduced away by Iago. It is a pivotal act which builds on previous events and foreshadows future events. The audience can clearly see the development of the character Othello from a calm, noble man to one’s whose jealousy is so strong he pledges to kill his wife. There is also a clear development in the themes that were hinted previously in the play such as jealousy and revenge. This act represents a clear development in the character of Othello, who in previous scenes was conveyed as an eloquent and powerful figure respected by all those around him. But as Iago plants the seeds of doubt in…

First Impression of Iago

My first impression of Iago is that he’s a manipulative and hypocritical man who tries to make up for the lack of success and happiness in his life by destroying that of others. In Iago’s first appearance in the play, he’s seen manipulating the wealthy but foolish Roderigo into giving him money. He claims to be taking this money to buy extravagant gifts to woo Desdemona on Roderigo’s behalf, but he keeps the money for himself. “Iago, who hast had [Roderigo’s] purse/ As if the strings were [his]” is clearly taking advantage of the jealous suitor of Desdemona (I. i. -3). As Roderigo is threatening to drown himself, Iago says to him, “If the/ balance of our lives had not…

Othello Essay – Character’s and Their Obesessions

Many characters in Shakespeare’s Othello become obsessed with the current state of a relationship. These obsessions then eventually lead the characters to failure when the obsessions become a goal, instead of something that occupies their mind. The transitions from an obsession to a goal can be seen through the actions of Othello, Iago, and Desdemona. Othello’s path to obsession begins with Iago planting seeds of doubt into his mind, which convinces Othello that Desdemona is being unfaithful. He says to himself, “She is gone. I am abused, and my relief/Must be to loathe her” (3.3.283-84), and later claims that he “will withdraw/To furnish [him] with some swift means of death/For [Desdemona]” (3.3.492-94). These lines reveal that although there has not…

Interracial Marriage in Shakespeare’s Othello

Racial prejudice against the outsiders existed during the Elizabethan Age and Shakespeare attempted to create a parallel world in his tragedy Othello, The Moor of Venice where he captures a wide array of reactions towards a Black Muslim by the white majority Christians in Venice. The racial discrimination has been latent in their minds for a long period and the interracial marriage of Othello and Desdemona acts as a catalyst resulting in a volcanic eruption like calamity in the society through a prototype villain Iago. The institution of marriage is often looked at as a means of enhancing the bond within a community and when an outsider attempts to become a part of a closed community then he is perceived…

Themes of Othello

The incompatibility of military heroism and love; the danger of isolation- Othello is the perfect soldier, but his directness means he is unable to understand the subtleties of political life and affairs of the heart. Jealousy Jealousy 1: The play opens with a discussion of jealousy. Iago is upset because Othello selected Michael Cassio as his lieutenant. He is jealous of Cassio’s position both in the military and with Othello’s service. This initial jealousy is the catalyst for the play’s sequential plot of mixed jealousy and destruction. Jealousy 2: Brabantio is partially jealous of the Moor for stealing his daughter’s love. He no longer may be the most important man in Desdemona’s life. Jealousy 3: The lovesick Roderigo has trouble…

Othello: A Man of Love and Passion

In this age of epic, fantasy, scientific fictions and other creative stories, people are sometimes bound to forget the best things found in the past, the origin of everything that we are enjoying now. One of the best examples is the literary masterpieces that can be found way back a long time ago. William Shakespeare’s works are considered one of the best ideas of all time. His works might have been millenniums ago, but are still passed generations to generations due to its all time effect and appeal to all the people at any age. Some of his famous works are the forbidden love of Romeo and Julie, the power of Macbeth, and of course, the Othello. Othello is a…

Literary Villains: Iago and Krogstad

In “Othello” and “A Doll House”, the two plays resulted in destruction of two families due to one’s jealousy and revenge. The antagonist in “Othello” is Iago who served as Othello ancient in the play was against him from the start. Iago had several motives for plotting against Othello, because they did not give him the rank of Lieutenant and he did not approve of the marriage between Othello and Desdemona. In “A Doll House”, Krogstad was an employee of Mr. Helmer and he knew that he was going to lose his job. These two characters had motives, which resulted in them to develop plots that were not similar, but they both had the same life-altering outcome and were successful….

Othello and Reputation

Othello is tragedy written by William Shakespeare, that demonstrates the power and strength of reputation. The play describes how Othello and Desdemona attempt to build a life together, disregarding their difference in age and race. Although soon after their marriage, an envious Iago uses cunning lies to sabotages their once healthy relationship. Reputation plays a vital role in this play; it enables or restricts certain characters, inevitably opening the doors to the tragic ending. Iago uses his reputation for honesty to gain the trust of certain characters, only to use it for dishonest purposes. Firstly Iago uses his honest reputation to manipulate Cassio, causing him to lose his position as Othello’s lieutenant. When Iago states, “ I know my price,…

Iago Manipulates

In the play Othello, written by William Shakespeare, the antagonist Iago manipulates other characters. He makes them act in ways that benefits his plan of destroying Othello by making him believe that his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with his lieutenant, Michael Cassio. In the beginning of the play, Roderigo who is in love with Othello’s wife, Desdemona, comes to Iago for help. Iago manipulates Roderigo by promising him Desdemona’s attention and love if he “put money in thy purse,” as Iago says. Roderigo gives money to Iago in the mistaken belief that Iago is using his money to help him get to Desdemona, but Iago is using it to finance his own plan. Roderigo is a desperate character…

Male Perspective of Love in Literature

Compare and contrast the ways writers use form, structure and language to portray the male perspective of love in Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ and the Poetry of Robert Browning. The male perspective of love is interesting to look at when looking at different texts in comparison. Although they have been written in different literary movements male characters portray very similar attitudes and reflect the same aspects towards love and relationships. This essay concerns the male perspective of love, however it is important to analyse the factors that cause these interpretations of love that the writers have created for the male characters. For example a reoccurring perspective is the need for dominance over their significant other for example in…

Hamlet and Othello

The two plays by William Shakespeare, Hamlet and Othello, reflect the Renaissance philosophy, with its most important schools- Platonism, Aristotelianism and Humanism, especially in their treatment of human nature and human condition. The works of the two philosophers – Plato and Aristotle, which formed the basis of the two movements that took the names of their initiators, were reinterpreted by many scholars of the Medieval and Renaissance period, and of the later periods. Platonism and Aristotelianism were opposed philosophies in their first articulation. The Platonists believed that there is a world of abstractions, the pure world of ideas. The characteristics of the material objects, formed an abstract world, which was moreover, the true word. For example, the Platonist school of…

Theme Of Deception in “Othello”

Throughout “Othello”, the theme of deception plays an important role. The arch-deceiver in this play is Iago. Iago’s repeated deception moves the play forward to the climax and ultimately to the tragic ending. Although deception is always meant to deceive, the degree of deception varies upon the context of the situation. Another character that exhibits deception is Desdemona. The deception shown by Desdemona has a different intention as compared to Iago’s. Iago wants to get revenge on Othello. The intentions of Iago are hurtful and evil. An example of this is when Iago says to Othello, “She did deceive her father, marrying you” (III.3.238). Iago wants to hurt Othello by placing doubt in his mind that Desdemona could be unfaithful….

Othello and the theme of friendship in the play

Friendship is a special bond between two or more people. This relationship is built on the basis of trust, loyalty and honesty. In the play Othello, Shakespeare demonstrates these qualities through many of his characters to portray their deep friendships. However as the play progresses these friends turn into foes as many problems occur in their friendships and lead to many tragic events. The negative qualities that tore these friendships apart are distrust, selfishness and jealousy that led many of the characters to their tragedies. In the play Othello, Shakespeare demonstrates that there are many causes of the problems that occur in certain friendships. In Shakespeare’s Othello, many friendships showed a lack of trust which resulted into many tragic events….

Shakespeare’s Othello

Othello’s destruction by Iago is inevitable due to a combination of Iago’s plotting and Othello’s character flaws. Iago’s cunning character in Shakespeare’s play has identified Othello’s vulnerability through flaws of jealousy, trust, poor judgement, naivety and love for the fair Desdemona. Iago’s pure hate for the Moor leads to the success of Othello’s downfall through Iago’s manipulative and conniving plotting. Perhaps without Iago’s clever plotting Othello might have had a chance to communicate with and learn to truly know Desdemona before his weaknesses were ignited. However the reality is that Iago did successfully plot Othello’s downfall and is simply unavoidable with the combination of both the scheming and Othello’s flaws. Othello’s love for Desdemona is so pure and new that…

Love Is Not Bliss (Romeo & Juliet + Othello) A Thesis

One of the reasons that the works of Shakespeare are so renowned is simply for the fact that he can beautifully create moments of happiness, sadness, glory, agony, misery, love, betrayal – and anything else which may fall in between (Krakauer 09). There are numerous situations in real life in which one person may fall deeply in love with another, but it will eventually turn out that it was never to occur in the first place. When it comes to Shakespeare, love is never meant to blossom in the plays Romeo and Juliet, and Othello. In the very first act of Romeo and Juliet, for example, we learn that there is a feud between the Montagues and the Capulets. Two…

Use of Imagery in Oliver Parker’s Othello

The symbolism with the chess pieces is very relevant to the issues of the play. It is used to symbolize Iago’s control over the main characters. Othello, Desdemona and Cassio and represented by a black king, white queen and white knight respectively. When Iago has finished his soliloquy, he drops the pieces into water. This is done to symbolize the inevitable demise of all 3 characters. The first time we see the chess pieces they are alone on the middle of chessboard with Iago looking over them. This symbolizes Iago’s control over the situation and how he is the instigator of the tragedy. This is the major event of symbolism in the movie, however, there are some other examples: The…

Two interpretations of Othello

Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello has been brought to the stage hundreds, thousands of times with many different interpretations and readings due to its vast history of literary debate and analysis. Its thematic concerns are expansive and open to interpretation: they range from tragedy, love, power, jealousy, trust, class and race, and the actions of its characters often provoke controversy and harsh criticism, from Othello’s “fatal flaw” of envy, to Desdemona’s trivial persistence and Iago’s sinister and deadly plotting. Modern audiences, too, have certain expectations and ideas about the play, and it is vital, when producing a play like Othello to take these expectations into consideration. For these reasons, I am proposing two potential readings, or interpretations of the play, a feminist…