Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Plays — Othello

one px

Essays on Othello

🎭💔✍️ othello essay: dive into the drama.

Othello, the magnificent Shakespearean tragedy, is like a rollercoaster ride of emotions! 😱💔 Exploring this timeless masterpiece in an essay can unlock a world of insights and ignite your imagination 🔥. By delving into the depths of Othello's themes, characters, and plot twists, you can unravel the complexities of human nature and society. It's an opportunity to showcase your analytical skills and showcase your love for literature. So, buckle up and embark on an Othello essay adventure!

Othello Essay Topics 📝

Othello argumentative essay 🤔💬.

An argumentative essay on Othello requires you to take a stance and defend it with solid evidence from the play. Some intriguing topics to consider:

  • Is Othello a victim of racism or his own insecurities?
  • Did Iago's evil nature drive Othello to his tragic downfall?
  • Should Desdemona be held responsible for her fate?

Othello Cause and Effect Essay 🌪️🤯

In a cause and effect essay, you'll explore the ripple effects of certain actions or events in Othello. Here are some captivating topics to ponder:

  • The consequences of Iago's manipulation on Othello's relationships.
  • How jealousy leads to destruction in Othello's world.
  • The impact of societal norms on Othello's tragic fate.

Othello Opinion Essay 🗣️😮

Opinion essays allow you to express your personal viewpoint on specific aspects of Othello. Here are some thought-provoking topics to spark your imagination:

  • Is Othello's jealousy justified or exaggerated?
  • Should Othello have trusted Desdemona despite the rumors?
  • What role does gender play in the tragedy of Othello?

Othello Informative Essay 📚📖

Informative essays aim to educate readers about various aspects of Othello. Here are some enlightening topics to enlighten your audience:

  • The historical context of Othello: Shakespeare's portrayal of race and society.
  • The symbolism of the handkerchief in Othello and its significance.
  • The evolution of Othello's character throughout the play.

Othello Essay Example 📑

Othello thesis statement examples 📜💡.

Here are a few thesis statement examples to inspire your Othello essay:

  • Thesis: Othello's tragic downfall is a result of his vulnerability to manipulation by Iago due to his insecurities about his race and age.
  • Thesis: The handkerchief symbolizes trust, fidelity, and betrayal in Othello, highlighting the fragility of relationships.
  • Thesis: Othello's jealousy is fueled by societal expectations and gender roles, leading to the tragedy that unfolds.

Othello Essay Introduction Examples 🌟

Here are some introduction paragraph examples for your Othello essay:

  • Introduction: Othello, a play filled with love, deception, and revenge...
  • Introduction: In the realm of Shakespearean tragedies, Othello stands as a poignant exploration of love, jealousy, and the destructive power of manipulation. As we venture into the depths of this timeless masterpiece, we are transported to a world where trust is fragile, and motives are concealed. Othello's journey, from a celebrated Moorish general to a tragic figure consumed by jealousy, invites us to contemplate the complexities of human emotion and the consequences of unchecked suspicion.
  • Introduction: Othello, the Moor of Venice, is a character whose name echoes through the annals of literary history. In our exploration of Othello's tragic tale, we confront issues of race, trust, and the corrosive force of jealousy. As we delve into this gripping narrative, we are challenged to dissect the motives of its characters and the underlying themes that continue to resonate in today's society.

Othello Essay Conclusion Examples 🔚📝

Here are some conclusion paragraph examples for your Othello essay:

  • Conclusion: As we bid farewell to the tragic world of Othello, we are left with a profound exploration of human nature, jealousy, and the consequences of deceit. Shakespeare's timeless masterpiece continues to captivate and haunt our hearts, reminding us of the enduring power of storytelling.
  • Conclusion: In the final act of Othello, we witness the devastating aftermath of jealousy and manipulation. The tragic downfall of Othello, Desdemona, and others serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the destructive potential of unchecked emotions. As we bid farewell to this tale of love and betrayal, let us carry forward the lessons learned from the characters' fates, recognizing the enduring relevance of Shakespeare's exploration of the human condition.
  • Conclusion: Othello, a masterpiece of tragedy, leaves an indelible mark on our understanding of human nature. Through the twists and turns of its plot, we are confronted with the consequences of jealousy and deceit. As our journey through this timeless work comes to a close, let us reflect on the enduring power of literature to illuminate the complexities of the human soul and the fragility of trust.

Homosexuality in Othello

Essay on iagos hate in othello, made-to-order essay as fast as you need it.

Each essay is customized to cater to your unique preferences

+ experts online

Theme of Deception in Shakespeare's Othello

"othello" and "o": comparing themes of jealousy and power, the jealousy in othello: literary analysis, misogyny in othello by william shakespeare, let us write you an essay from scratch.

  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours

Othello: Desdemona as a Representation of Power and Possession

The role iago played in othello's downfall, the othello’s downfall and its causes, identity in william shakespeare’s othello, moor of venice, get a personalized essay in under 3 hours.

Expert-written essays crafted with your exact needs in mind

The Power of Jealousy in Shakespeare’s Othello

The symbolic role of handkerchief in othello, the negative effect of jealousy in othello, a play by william shakespeare, desdemona: a strong and willful lady, the motif of jealousy in othello, a play by william shakespeare, how iago’s jealousy leads to the tragic events in othello, jealousy in the characters of william shakespeare’s othello, the metaphor of silence and speech in othello, evil and immoral characters in the play "othello" by william shakespeare, iago's detachment from humanity in othello, death as a sacrifice: "othello" by william shakespeare, the theme of opposition and contradiction in othello through the character of iago, juxtaposition of settings in othello by william shakespeare, the significance of emilia's character in othello, racial stereotyping in othello through the use of light and dark imagery, things are never as they appear: manipulation in othello, portrayal of different types of jealousy in shakespeare’s othello, sexual politics and gender discourse in othello, othello’s inevitable destruction in shakespeare’s play, lago's character and how he achieved his goals in the othello's play by shakespeare.

1603, William Shakespeare

Play; Tragedy

Othello, Desdemona, Iago, Michael Cassio, Emilia, Roderigo, Bianca, Brabanzio, Duke of Venice, Montano, Lodovico, Graziano, Clown

The play is primarily based on a story from an Italian novella called "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio. Shakespeare took inspiration from this source material and adapted it into his own version, adding depth and complexity to the characters and exploring themes of jealousy, betrayal, and manipulation.

In the tragic play "Othello" by William Shakespeare , the story follows the powerful and respected Moorish general, Othello. Othello secretly marries Desdemona, a Venetian woman, despite objections from her father, Brabantio. Othello's ensign, Iago, harboring deep resentment and jealousy, manipulates events to destroy Othello's life. Iago plants seeds of doubt in Othello's mind, insinuating that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him with his lieutenant, Cassio. Consumed by jealousy, Othello becomes increasingly suspicious and tormented by his thoughts. Iago's cunning manipulations lead Othello to believe in the alleged affair, pushing him into a spiral of rage and despair. Othello's doubts intensify, leading him to confront Desdemona and ultimately strangle her in a fit of madness. Upon discovering the truth and Iago's treachery, Othello takes his own life in a moment of devastating realization. The play concludes with Iago's exposure and punishment for his deceitful actions.

The play "Othello" by William Shakespeare is set in the late 16th century, primarily in the city of Venice and later on the island of Cyprus. Venice, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, serves as the initial backdrop for the story. Its opulent palaces, canals, and bustling streets create an atmosphere of grandeur and sophistication. The Venetian setting reflects the cultural diversity of the time, with characters from various backgrounds and ethnicities. As the plot progresses, the setting shifts to the island of Cyprus, where Othello is stationed with his troops. Cyprus offers a contrasting environment to Venice, characterized by its remote and isolated nature. The island's rugged landscape and military camp create a tense and confined atmosphere, amplifying the dramatic events that unfold. Both settings play a significant role in the play's themes and conflicts. Venice represents the veneer of civilization and societal expectations, while Cyprus represents the raw emotions, passions, and darker aspects of human nature. The contrasting settings highlight the clash between appearances and reality, order and chaos, and ultimately contribute to the tragedy that unfolds in "Othello."

1. Jealousy and Betrayal: The theme of jealousy lies at the heart of the play, as Iago manipulates Othello's trust and fuels his insecurities, leading to tragic consequences. Betrayal is also explored as characters deceive one another for personal gain, highlighting the destructive power of envy and deceit. 2. Racism and Prejudice: Othello, a Moorish general, faces discrimination and racial prejudice throughout the play. Shakespeare examines the destructive effects of racism, as Othello's character is systematically undermined and ultimately destroyed by the racist assumptions and stereotypes held by others. 3. Appearance versus Reality: The theme of appearance versus reality is prevalent as characters wear masks of virtue and honesty while concealing their true intentions. Othello's tragic downfall is a result of his inability to discern truth from falsehood, emphasizing the dangers of misjudgment and manipulation. 4. Love and Obsession: The play explores various forms of love, from passionate romance to obsessive possessiveness. The intense love between Othello and Desdemona is contrasted with Iago's twisted obsession with destroying their happiness, shedding light on the complexities of human relationships. 5. Gender and Power: Shakespeare examines gender dynamics and the societal expectations placed upon women. Desdemona's character challenges traditional gender roles, while Emilia, Iago's wife, highlights the subjugation of women and the consequences of male dominance.

1. Imagery: Shakespeare skillfully uses vivid imagery to create powerful visual and sensory impressions. For example, in Act 1, Scene 1, Iago describes Othello and Desdemona's elopement as "an old black ram / Is tupping your white ewe," employing the contrasting images of a black ram and a white ewe to convey the scandalous nature of their relationship. 2. Soliloquy: Soliloquies allow characters to express their inner thoughts and feelings to the audience. One notable example is Othello's soliloquy in Act 5, Scene 2, where he reflects on his decision to kill Desdemona, saying, "It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul," revealing his internal struggle and justifying his actions. 3. Foreshadowing: Shakespeare employs foreshadowing to hint at future events and build tension. In Act 3, Scene 3, Desdemona tells Othello, "The heavens forbid / But that our loves and comforts should increase / Even as our days do grow," foreshadowing the impending tragedy and the deterioration of their relationship. 4. Irony: Irony is used to create a contrast between what is expected and what actually occurs. For instance, when Iago says, "I am not what I am," in Act 1, Scene 1, it is an ironic statement, as he presents himself as trustworthy while plotting Othello's downfall. 5. Symbolism: Shakespeare employs symbolism to convey deeper meanings. The handkerchief, a symbol of fidelity, becomes a significant object in the play. Its loss and subsequent manipulation by Iago symbolize the erosion of trust and the unraveling of Othello's marriage.

In 1995, director Oliver Parker released a film adaptation of "Othello" starring Laurence Fishburne as the titular character. Fishburne's portrayal emphasized Othello's dignity and inner conflict, earning critical acclaim. Another notable film adaptation is Orson Welles' 1952 version, where Welles himself took on the role of Othello, showcasing his powerful presence on screen. "Othello" continues to be performed on stage worldwide. Notable theatrical productions include the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2015 production, featuring Hugh Quarshie as Othello, and the 2007 Broadway revival, with Chiwetel Ejiofor in the lead role, receiving critical acclaim for their compelling interpretations. Othello's character has also been explored in literary adaptations and reimaginings. For example, in 2001, author Sena Jeter Naslund wrote the novel "Ahab's Wife," where she includes a fictional encounter between Othello and the protagonist. These adaptations offer different perspectives and delve into the complexity of Othello's character. Othello's story has inspired numerous musical compositions. One notable example is the opera "Otello" by Giuseppe Verdi, which premiered in 1887. Verdi's powerful music captures the intense emotions of the characters and brings Othello's tragic tale to life.

1. Literary Influence: "Othello" has had a profound influence on subsequent works of literature. Its exploration of themes such as jealousy, betrayal, and the destructive power of manipulation has inspired countless writers. For example, Toni Morrison's novel "A Mercy" draws parallels to "Othello" in its exploration of race and power dynamics. The play's tragic elements and psychological depth have also influenced works like James Joyce's "Ulysses" and D.H. Lawrence's "Women in Love." 2. Psychological Exploration: Othello's tragic descent into jealousy and manipulation has made the play a subject of psychological analysis. The character's inner conflict and the manipulation he falls victim to offer rich material for the study of human psychology, particularly in relation to themes of trust, self-doubt, and the destructive nature of unchecked emotions. 3. Social Commentary: "Othello" addresses issues of race, identity, and prejudice, making it a powerful tool for social commentary. The play's examination of racial stereotypes and the destructive consequences of discrimination still resonate today. Othello's position as a black man in a predominantly white society has been explored and analyzed in the context of race relations, colonialism, and social injustice. 4. Performance and Theater: "Othello" has had a lasting impact on the world of theater and performance. The character of Othello presents a unique and complex role for actors, requiring both physical presence and emotional depth. The play's themes and dramatic tension continue to captivate audiences, leading to numerous adaptations, productions, and reinterpretations on stage. 5. Language and Imagery: Shakespeare's masterful use of language and vivid imagery in "Othello" has had a lasting impact on the English language. Phrases like "green-eyed monster" and "the beast with two backs" have become part of the cultural lexicon. The play's powerful speeches and soliloquies have been studied, quoted, and admired for their beauty and poetic expression.

1. "Othello" is believed to have been first performed around 1604. While the exact date is unknown, it is widely believed to have premiered at the Court of King James I in London. The play was met with great success and has since become one of Shakespeare's most acclaimed tragedies. 2. "Othello" has contributed several phrases and expressions to the English language. One notable example is the term "the green-eyed monster," used to describe jealousy. This phrase has become a popular way to convey the destructive nature of envy. Additionally, the phrase "wear my heart upon my sleeve" originates from the play, referring to openly displaying one's emotions. 3. Traditionally, the character of Othello has been played by a white actor in blackface makeup. This casting practice has faced criticism and controversy over the years, as it perpetuates racial stereotypes and limits opportunities for actors of color. In recent times, there has been a growing movement towards authentic casting, with actors of African descent portraying the role to offer a more nuanced and authentic representation of Othello's racial identity.

"Othello" remains a timeless and significant work in literature, making it an important subject for essays and academic discussions. Shakespeare's masterful exploration of themes such as jealousy, deception, race, and power continues to resonate with audiences across generations. The character of Othello, a Moorish general in a predominantly white society, raises critical questions about racism, discrimination, and the manipulation of prejudices. Additionally, the play delves into the destructive nature of jealousy and how it can lead to tragic consequences. Writing an essay about "Othello" allows scholars to analyze the complexity of characters like Iago, whose malevolent machinations drive the plot. It offers opportunities to discuss the portrayal of women in the play and the theme of women's agency in a patriarchal society. Furthermore, exploring the play's language, literary devices, and poetic techniques showcases Shakespeare's genius as a playwright. By grappling with the moral dilemmas and psychological depth of the characters, an essay on "Othello" opens doors to deeper insights into human nature, society, and the enduring power of Shakespeare's storytelling.

"She loved me for the dangers I had passed, And I loved her that she did pity them. This only is the witchcraft I have used." "I kissed thee ere I killed thee — no way but this, killing myself to die upon a kiss" "Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial" "Men in rage strike those that wish them best" "But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at: I am not what I am"

1. Chandler, M. (1987). The Othello effect. Human development, 30(3), 137-159. (https://www.karger.com/article/Abstract/273174) 2. Shakespeare, W. (2019). othello. In One-Hour Shakespeare (pp. 231-302). Routledge. (https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429262715-11/othello-william-shakespeare) 3. Neill, M. (1989). Unproper beds: Race, adultery, and the hideous in Othello. Shakespeare Quarterly, 40(4), 383-412. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/2870608) 4 . Neely, C. T. (1977). Women and Men in" Othello";" what should such a fool/Do with so good a woman?". Shakespeare Studies, 10, 133. (https://www.proquest.com/openview/91053b700d876bd2b3be478cb40742b1/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1819311) 5. Cipriani, G., Vedovello, M., Nuti, A., & Di Fiorino, A. (2012). Dangerous passion: Othello syndrome and dementia. Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 66(6), 467-473. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1440-1819.2012.02386.x) 6. Siegel, P. N. (1953). The Damnation of Othello. PMLA, 68(5), 1068-1078. (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/pmla/article/abs/damnation-of-othello/F3193C55450F83F4EFACB0DDF5983B0E) 7. Poulson, C., Duncan, J., & Massie, M. (2005). “I Am Not What I Am”–Destructive Emotions in an Organizational Hierarchy: The Case of Othello and Iago. In The Effect of Affect in Organizational Settings (Vol. 1, pp. 211-240). Emerald Group Publishing Limited. (https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1016/S1746-9791(05)01109-0/full/html) 8. Bristol, M. D. (1990). Charivari and the Comedy of Abjection in" Othello". Renaissance Drama, 21, 3-21. (https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/rd.21.41917258?journalCode=rd) 9. Nowottny, W. (1954). Justice and love in Othello. University of Toronto Quarterly, 21(4), 330-344. (https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/utq.21.4.330) 10. Braden, W. S. (1990). The Properties of" Othello,". Philosophy and Literature, 14(1), 186-187. (https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/1/article/417219/summary)

Relevant topics

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • A Raisin in The Sun
  • Macbeth Ambition
  • A Modest Proposal
  • The Alchemist
  • Of Mice and Men

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy . We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

No need to pay just yet!


We use cookies to personalyze your web-site experience. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy .

  • Instructions Followed To The Letter
  • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
  • Unique And Plagiarism Free

othello essay 400 words pdf

by William Shakespeare

Othello essay questions.

How is Othello's race a factor in the play?

Othello ascends to the rank of the Venetian military, a city - much like Elizabethan England when the play was written - rife with racism. A general in the army, Othello holds a distinguished place in the Duke's court due to his victories in battle, but not an equal one. He suffers barbs and preconceived notions, yet Othello is esteemed and wins the love of the daughter of a nobleman. However, Brabantio is enraged by Othello's marriage to Desdemona and claims Othello used magic to compel her to run to his "sooty bosom". Race is a factor in the tragedy both in those who seek to destroy Othello, and the victims of the schemes - Othello and Desdemona. Perhaps the most pernicious form of race as an instrument of division is Othello's own view of himself as an outsider, which makes him more susceptible to Iago's plan.

How does Shakespeare's use of language reveal character?

Often Shakespeare uses verse lines written in iambic pentameter to illustrate nobility. It is illustrative of Iago's duplicitous nature that he tends to speak in verse when he is with Othello and in prose for his soliloquies. One way in which Iago is a master in manipulation is his tendency to use Othello's own words to disguise his active role of instigator and make it seem that any dark thought came not from him but Othello's own mind. Othello's speech is very sophisticated at the beginning of the play, and in his soliloquy at the close of Act V, but when he is consumed with jealous rage, his eloquence falters. Shakespeare uses dialogue to convey the innerworkings of his characters.

Othello is often called a tragic hero. Discuss his heroic qualities as well as his flaws which lead to his demise.

At the beginning of the play Othello is presented as an honorable man of noble stature and high position. In the end it is his misguided attempt to maintain that honor which brings about his, and Desdemona's, demise. However, Othello is not simply the victim of a plot. Iago is able to engineer Othello's downfall in part because of Othello's own insecurities. His pride blinds him to his weaknesses, and he puts his faith in Iago over the word of his love, Desdemona. Othello is obsessed with his reputation, and ends up killing his wife to save face. Only to a flawed man would murder seem like a solution to a problem of reputation. Othello is spurred on by lies and misrepresentations, but he brings about his own undoing.

What motives, stated and implied, does Iago have for taking revenge on Othello?

Iago's stated reason for taking revenge on Othello is that he has been passed over for Cassio's post. But is this enough for him to "hate the Moor"? It is clear that he is jealous of Othello's ascension in the court and successful wooing of Desdemona. Othello's race and status as an outsider also seems to fuel this rage, as well as the rumor that Othello has slept with Iago's wife, Emilia. None of these motivations, however, seem to add up to inspire the violence that unfolds. Iago remains one of the most purely evil of Shakespeare's villains.

Discuss how loyalty is presented as a positive and a negative quality throughout the play.

Othello's lack of loyalty is what incites Iago's plan for revenge. Iago's ability to fool Othello that he is loyal while secretly plotting his demise is what makes his revenge effective. It is Othello's belief in Desdemona's lack of loyalty that seals their fates. In these ways loyalty, when misconstrued, can be dangerous. However Desdemona's loyalty to Othello even in her death and Othello's loyalty to her once his mistake is revealed are seen as ennobling aspects of their characters.

Compare and contrast the jealousy of Othello to that of Iago.

One major theme in Othello is revenge - Iago's revenge on Othello and Othello's revenge on Desdemona. They both believe death will bring justice. Iago's revenge is cooler, plotted out over time where Othello's is an act of heartbroken passion. Iago wears his lack of morals as a badge of honor where it is Othello's moral code that leads to his tragic end.

Although Othello is the title character in what way is Iago the main character?

Often in Shakespeare's plays such as Hamlet or King Lear , the title character is the main character and protagonist. In Othello this is not the case. Iago has almost 20% more lines than Othello, and has more asides with the audience. While it is Othello's decisions and actions that provide the dramatic structure for the play, it is Iago who sets in motion those decisions and spurs him to action. Othello is the tragic figure of the play, along with Desdemona, and it his characteristics that lend itself to most of the themes - jealousy, race, trust. However, Iago is the character who drives the plot.

How does Desdemona's dying assertion that she killed herself effect how you see her character?

From a modern feminist viewpoint Desdemona may be judged harshly for answering Emilia, when she asked who has mortally attacked her, "nobody; I myself. Farewell." Furthermore, she seemed resigned to her fate at the hands of her husband. While contemporary audiences may interpret these actions as unfathomable, they highlight the goodness of her character. Desdemona is described by others in the play with words that symbolize goodness - light, white, fair, delicate, alabaster. By the end of the play, Desdemona begins to symbolize goodness itself, so her reaction to her murder becomes another element in Othello's tragic end. Desdemona still loves Othello, though he is mistaken, and she goes to her death professing her husband's reputation. A modern audience may wish for a response that is less melodramatic, but that is not the world that Shakespeare has created in this play.

In what ways do Othello's suicide strengthen or undermine his heroism?

Though suicide is not usually the chosen end for a heroic figure, it is Othello's only escape from the crimes he has committed. Though the victim of Iago's trickery, Othello is still the author of his own demise. For Desdemona's death to be answered by anything less than his own would have felt false.

Describe how Othello's pride leads to his fall.

At the beginning of the play Othello is proud of himself and his achievements, but when Iago looks to punish Othello for his perceived slight, it is his pride that he preys upon. The belief that Desdemona has tainted his honor ignites Othello's rage, but it is his pride that blinds him to the fact that the evidence of her acts are lies invented not by a loyal friend but an enemy bent on his destruction.

GradeSaver will pay $15 for your literature essays

Othello Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Othello is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

what attributers of the green eyed monster jealousy are made painful apparent as the scene progresses

Jealousy is the green-eyed monster in this scene. In Act 3 scene 3 Othello pretty much displays his jealousy,

desdemonas speech here confirms the masterly nature of iagos plot with what words does she assure cassio that she will do her best to get him reinstated

What is your question here?

why does othello ignore the cries for help?

Othello is hurdling towards self-destruction: sadly, by the deaths of people closest to him. Like tragic heroes such as Macbeth, Othello's senses are dull to tragedy and screams of terror. Roderigo and Cassio fight, and both are injured; Othello...

Study Guide for Othello

Othello study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About Othello
  • Othello Summary
  • Othello Video
  • Character List

Essays for Othello

Othello essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Othello by William Shakespeare.

  • Iago and Edmund: The Silence and Complexity of Evil
  • Unity in Shakespeare's Tragedies
  • Inevitability and the Nature of Shakespeare's Tragedies
  • Witchy Women: Female Magic and Otherness in Western Literature
  • Racism in Othello

Lesson Plan for Othello

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to Othello
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • Othello Bibliography

E-Text of Othello

Othello e-text contains the full text of Othello by William Shakespeare.

  • List of Characters

Wikipedia Entries for Othello

  • Introduction
  • Date and sources
  • Themes and critical approaches

othello essay 400 words pdf

Website navigation

The Folger Shakespeare

Othello - Entire Play

Download othello.

Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

  • PDF Download as PDF
  • DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers
  • DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers
  • HTML Download as HTML
  • TXT Download as TXT
  • XML Download as XML
  • TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis) Download as TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis)

Navigate this work

In Venice, at the start of Othello , the soldier Iago announces his hatred for his commander, Othello, a Moor. Othello has promoted Cassio, not Iago, to be his lieutenant.

Iago crudely informs Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, that Othello and Desdemona have eloped. Before the Venetian Senate, Brabantio accuses Othello of bewitching Desdemona. The Senators wish to send Othello to Cyprus, which is under threat from Turkey. They bring Desdemona before them. She tells of her love for Othello, and the marriage stands. The Senate agrees to let her join Othello in Cyprus.

In Cyprus, Iago continues to plot against Othello and Cassio. He lures Cassio into a drunken fight, for which Cassio loses his new rank; Cassio, at Iago’s urging, then begs Desdemona to intervene. Iago uses this and other ploys—misinterpreted conversations, insinuations, and a lost handkerchief—to convince Othello that Desdemona and Cassio are lovers. Othello goes mad with jealousy and later smothers Desdemona on their marriage bed, only to learn of Iago’s treachery. He then kills himself.

Stay connected

Find out what’s on, read our latest stories, and learn how you can get involved.

Guide cover image

36 pages • 1 hour read

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Before You Read

Act Summaries & Analyses

Character Analysis

Symbols & Motifs

Important Quotes

Essay Topics

Discussion Questions

Why do you think Shakespeare chose to write Othello as a Moor and Desdemona as a Venetian? How do their respective races affect the plot? Support your answer with evidence.

In Act I, the Venetian Senate asks Othello to defend Cyprus against the Turks. All of the play’s major characters sail to Cyprus, but a storm stops the Turkish fleet in Act II, eliminating the reason for Othello’s journey to Cyprus. Why do you think Shakespeare moved the action of the play to Cyprus, rather than leave his characters in Venice?

Which character does Iago have the easiest time manipulating, and why might some characters be more susceptible to his manipulation than others?

blurred text

Don't Miss Out!

Access Study Guide Now

Related Titles

By William Shakespeare

Guide cover image

All's Well That Ends Well

William Shakespeare

Guide cover image

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Guide cover image

Antony and Cleopatra

Guide cover image

As You Like It

Guide cover placeholder

Henry IV, Part 1

Guide cover placeholder

Henry IV, Part 2

Guide cover image

Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 3

Guide cover image

Julius Caesar

Guide cover placeholder

Love's Labour's Lost

Guide cover image

Measure For Measure

Guide cover image

Much Ado About Nothing

Featured Collections

Audio Study Guides

View Collection

Banned Books Week

British Literature

Elizabethan Era


The Tragedy of Othello: Critical Analysis — Othello Critical Essay

Introduction, critical analysis, works cited.

The Tragedy of Othello is a powerful piece of art written by William Shakespeare. The tragedy is well-known around the world. If you are assigned to write critical analysis of Othello, check this essay example to learn more about the drama, and its characters.

The stage directions in the Tragedy of Othello are realistic. The drama is based on the three characters namely Othello, Lago, and Desdemona. However, the directions are based on the modest approach to a drama that is located in two diverse worlds known as the Venice and Cyprus.

Given that the play had no subplot, the play directions tend to budge in terms of place, time, and action once the theme is shifted to Cyprus. The stage directions are the realistic forms of domestic tragedy. However, it does not require supernatural instructions to hook the audience.

The language used to give directions to the audience is natural and restrained. The dialogue reflects the reality of a society that is under pressure from the usual hassles of life. The dialogue simply involves a husband, wife, and a scoundrel. This is a short critical analysis examining the play from multiple perspectives. That is, how I experience it as a silent reader and as a text for public performance.

The drama is ahead of its time. The play presents the audience with a tragic hero of color. The dialogue sounds natural and does not involve the provocation of laughter in the audience. The imagination of the audience is captured by the fact that the drama involves interracial marriage that was unfathomable in those days.

Further, the drama involves a bed in which murder is eventually committed. The murder is committed on stage. The dialogue is made very realistic by the presence of the villain who appears to possess more lines than the disastrous hero. All the meetings were bold, contentious, and very modern.

The characters in Othello are acting like normal people pursuing everyday undertakings. Othello becomes the victim of a domestic calamity. He is the victim to an envious monster of jealousy (Langis 61). He finds it hard to adjust to the marital existence having been in the armed forces for long. In fact, he turns out to be a chauvinist and protective. Although he is good in the military, he is bad at home. Othello appears to be an awful husband. The play shows that Othello is always imploring for a brawl. Just like Simpson, he murders the wife after being informed that she has been cheating on him.

Typically, this would be the reaction of a husband convinced that the wife has been cheating on him. Such incidents have been happening in the society. Thus, this appears as the main theme of incompatibility in the armed forces of heroism and love in the drama. That s, it involves the risk of isolation. The killing of Desdemona is an evidence of the frustration that Othello is going through after being cheated and convinced by Lago to trust that his wife was cheating on him.

Lago cannot convince the audience in whatever he says given that the audiences have insight into his character though it is not evident to the actors. He pretends to be morally upright so that his intention of ensuring the downfall of Othello is well covered. By planting the handkerchief in Casio’s house, it is an indication of conspiracy between him and the wife (Lankey 6).

The stage businesses are illustrations of what take place in real life. The visual plainness displayed on the stage according to the stage directions focuses directly on the actors and a fascinating account of retaliation, gullibility, and jealousy. The catastrophic downfall of the noble warrior is a common phenomenon in many societies plagued by jealousy and vengeance. Lago at times hilariously expresses his intentions for the murderous abhorrence of Othello.

By acting as a director and producer in charge of staging the tragedy of the Othello, I would ensure the actors bring out the rhetoric of the drama. However, before the action of the drama, Brabantion had been kind to the Moor (Horman 112). He allowed Othello and his daughter to discuss more about him since he was mesmerized by his slave stories. Upon the revelation that the Desdemona had eloped with Othello, his feeling altered abruptly.

He started wondering where he would find and arrest him. However, the rhetoric does not come out clearly even when he is called a thief in the street. Instead, Othello is accused of abusing Desdemona. In deep rhetoric, Brabantio states that his house is not a grange. This meant that he does not keep horses. In fact, this is founded on the fact that the daughter had eloped with a man of color. I would insist that the actors should bring out the rhetoric clearly to sensitize the audience about racism.

Numerous elements would probably catch my attention as a critic of the play. The geographical symbolism represented by the two locations of the play would be important. For instance, Venice is represented by Lago while Cyprus represented by Desdemona. Othello represents the third location called Turks.

This emerged upon considering that the location was only mentioned as a war zone with the other two characters. Venice was at the time of writing the play one of the most influential and cosmopolitan European cities. Indeed, it is symbolic of the white Christian European morals.

The Senate and the Duke ran the city. These were symbols of power and order. On the contrary, Cyprus is very unpredictable and natural. It was isolated from the colonial government. Besides, it is an armed forces premeditated target for both Turks and Venetians. The island is very symbolic of Desdemona. There is struggle to dominate her between Othello and Lago.

Othello involves a variety of actors. In fact, actors such as Othello, Lago and Desdemona dominate the play. In the play, the setting incorporates jealousy and gullibility while such traits rule the society. The short critical analysis examines the play from multiple perspectives. That is, how I experience it as a silent reader, and how I experience it as a text for public performance.

Horman, Sidney . When the Theater Turns to Itself: The Aesthetic Metaphor in Shakespeare, Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 1981. Print.

Langis, Park. Passion, Prudence, and Virtue in Shakespeare Drama, West Newton: Continuum, 2007. Print.

Lankey, Julie. Othello , Cambridge City, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.Print.

  • Play’s Plot Explored
  • Act 1 Scene 1
  • Act 1 Scene 2
  • Act 1 Scene 3
  • Act 2 Scenes 1-2
  • Act 2 Scene 3
  • Act‌ ‌3‌ ‌Scenes‌ ‌1-2
  • Act‌ ‌3‌ ‌Scene‌ ‌3
  • Act 3 Scene 4
  • Act‌ ‌4‌ ‌Scene‌ ‌1
  • Act 4 Scene 2
  • Act‌ ‌4‌ ‌Scene‌ ‌3
  • Act‌ ‌5‌ ‌Scene‌ ‌1
  • Act 5 Scene 2
  • Characters Analysis
  • Important Quotes
  • Essay Samples
  • Topics‌ for‌ ‌Essay‌
  • William Shakespeare
  • The Downfall of Othello
  • Othello and Desdemona in "Othello" by Shakespeare
  • Othello and Oedipus Rex Characters’ Traits
  • Analysis of the Play ‘Romeo and Juliet’
  • Analysis of Legally Blonde play
  • Critical Analysis of the Plays: The Three Sisters and Happy Days
  • Portrayal of the American Dream in the 20th Century Theatre
  • The Art of Children Theater
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2018, December 19). The Tragedy of Othello: Critical Analysis — Othello Critical Essay. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-analysis-of-the-tragedy-of-othello/

"The Tragedy of Othello: Critical Analysis — Othello Critical Essay." IvyPanda , 19 Dec. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/critical-analysis-of-the-tragedy-of-othello/.

IvyPanda . (2018) 'The Tragedy of Othello: Critical Analysis — Othello Critical Essay'. 19 December.

IvyPanda . 2018. "The Tragedy of Othello: Critical Analysis — Othello Critical Essay." December 19, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-analysis-of-the-tragedy-of-othello/.

1. IvyPanda . "The Tragedy of Othello: Critical Analysis — Othello Critical Essay." December 19, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-analysis-of-the-tragedy-of-othello/.


IvyPanda . "The Tragedy of Othello: Critical Analysis — Othello Critical Essay." December 19, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-analysis-of-the-tragedy-of-othello/.


  1. PDF Grade 12 Literature Setwork

    QUESTION 12: OTHELLO - ESSAY QUESTION Othello is responsible for his own tragic fate. Assess the validity of this statement. Your response should take the form of a well-constructed essay of 400-450 words (2-2½ pages). [25] QUESTION 13: OTHELLO - CONTEXTUAL QUESTION Read the extracts below and then answer the questions that follow.

  2. othello-essay-400-450-words.pdf

    othello-essay-400-450-words.pdf - Google Sheets ... Loading…

  3. Shakespeare's Othello: Essay Samples

    Comparison and Contrast of the Driving Force of Plot in Medea by Euripides, Othello by William Shakespeare, and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Genre: Essay. Words: 568. Focused on: Heroism in Medea by Euripides, Othello by William Shakespeare, and The Epic of Gilgamesh. Characters mentioned: Othello, Iago, Brabantio, Roderigo.

  4. PDF Dbe Examination: Nsc / Sce English Hl Paper 2 Drama

    Your response should take the form of a well-constructed essay of 400-450 words (2 ... OTHELLO - William Shakespeare QUESTION 12: OTHELLO - ESSAY QUESTION Below is the basis for answering this essay. Use the following as a guideline only. However, also allow for answers that are different, original and show evidence of

  5. Shakespeare's Othello: A+ Student Essay Examples by

    Essay grade: Good. 1 page / 731 words. In Shakespeare's Othello, Iago plots Othello's destruction when he is passed over for a promotion. Iago tells Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him and provides circumstantial evidence for this. Othello becomes full of anger and jealousy and kills Desdemona.

  6. 115 Othello Essay Topics & Examples

    115 Othello Essay Topics & Examples. Updated: Mar 2nd, 2024. 15 min. Most Othello essay samples analyze the plot, thesis, and characters of William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. The tragedy is based on n Cinthio's story 'Un Capitano Moro.'.

  7. 92 Exceptional Topics for Othello Essay

    92 Exceptional Topics for Othello Essay. by IvyPanda® Updated on: May 21st, 2024. 13 min. 9,027. Shakespeare's Othello is an extraordinary play that incorporates a huge variety of themes and symbols. You can find examples of allusions and imagery that are intriguing to analyze.That's why our team prepared this list!

  8. Shakespeare's Othello essay, summary, quotes and character analysis

    Timeline. Master Shakespeare's Othello using Absolute Shakespeare's Othello essay, plot summary, quotes and characters study guides. Plot Summary: A quick review of the plot of Othello including every important action in the play. An ideal introduction before reading the original text. Commentary: Detailed description of each act with ...

  9. Othello Essay Questions

    Shakespeare uses dialogue to convey the innerworkings of his characters. 3. Othello is often called a tragic hero. Discuss his heroic qualities as well as his flaws which lead to his demise. At the beginning of the play Othello is presented as an honorable man of noble stature and high position.

  10. Othello Critical Essays

    A. Iago tells Cassio he will keep Othello away as Michael Cassio speaks with Desdemona. B. Iago engages in conversation with Othello regarding his thoughts. C. Iago plants thoughts of jealousy in ...

  11. Othello Suggested Essay Topics

    Suggested Essay Topics. PDF Cite Share. Act I, Scenes 1-3. 1. Explain how Iago uses his power of persuasion with Roderigo, Brabantio, and Othello to create his scheme to undo the Moor. 2. Contrast ...

  12. Othello Critical Evaluation

    Critical Evaluation. Although Othello has frequently been praised as William Shakespeare's most unified tragedy, many critics have found the central character to be the most unheroic of ...

  13. Othello

    In Othello, William Shakespeare creates powerful drama from a marriage between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona that begins with elopement and mutual devotion and ends with jealous rage and death. ... PDF Download as PDF; DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word ...

  14. PDF Writing with Shakespeare

    Writing With Shakespeare Othello essay prompt. "Pre-writing" stage: Having read and analyzed your assigned essay on Othello—and also having "performed" as its author—you are familiar with what that piece of scholarship says. You could, in other words, paraphrase it. (If this is not true, it is time to re-read the essay again, with ...

  15. Othello Essay Topics

    Essay Topics. 1. Why do you think Shakespeare chose to write Othello as a Moor and Desdemona as a Venetian? How do their respective races affect the plot? Support your answer with evidence. 2. In Act I, the Venetian Senate asks Othello to defend Cyprus against the Turks. All of the play's major characters sail to Cyprus, but a storm stops the ...

  16. Othello Essays 2010 2018 .pdf

    Critically assess the validity of this statement in a well-constructed essay of 400- 450 words (2-2½ pages). Both internal and external forces are responsible for destroying the bond of love between Othello and Desdemona, as well as the bond of friendship between Othello and Cassio.

  17. The Tragedy of Othello: Critical Analysis

    The Tragedy of Othello is a powerful piece of art written by William Shakespeare. The tragedy is well-known around the world. If you are assigned to write critical analysis of Othello, check this essay example to learn more about the drama, and its characters. We will write a custom essay on your topic. 809 writers online.

  18. PDF Othello

    main idea. Your thesis statement should be clear and specific. Poor thesis: In this essay, I will discuss the relationship. between Iago and Othello. Revised and improved thesis: I believe that it is a. combination of Iago's cunning and Othello's foolishness. which leads to the latter's downfall. Important.

  19. Othello Essay Questions

    Your response should take the form of a well-constructed essay of 400-450 words (2-2½ pages). In Othello, the relationships between husbands and their wives influence the outcome of the play. Critically discuss the validity of the above statement. Your response should take the form of a well-constructed essay of 400-450 words (2-2½ ...

  20. Othello essays

    Othello (William Shakespeare) Shakespeare's message is that ultimately, love affairs between people of different races are doomed. In an essay of 350 - 400 words, critically discuss the validity of this statement. 2018 The theme of race is very complex.

  21. Othello Essay

    othello essay - Free download as Word Doc (.doc / .docx), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site.