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January 12, 2019


#Classic: Othello

by N@ncy

Lawrence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh (1995)



  1. Othello contains five acts with a total of 15 scenes
  2. If you go slowly…total reading time of three to four hours.
  3. I read the play  Open Source Shakespeare website
  4. while I listened to the audio book  (2 hr 36 min)
  5. It is an excellent recording of the
  6. November 2007  performance at the
  7. Donmar Warehouse Theatre in London.
  8. Chiwetel Ejiofor as the Moor Othello,
  9. Ewan McGregor as the scheming Iago
  10. and Kelly Reilly as the gentle Desdemona.



  1. Love triangles:  Othello – Desdemona – Roderigo
  2. Focus:  race...Othello’s dark skin and humble origins (Moor)
  3. important that Shakespeare put it in the title!
  4. Family issue:  Desdemona  marries an dark skinned  ‘other’.
  5. ….her father is furious!
  6. Plot twists:…too many to list here…just read the play!
  7. Betrayal: Clever Iago deceives character and  makes
  8. …them not trust a third party…Iago is never in the picture!
  9. Othello: main character, name is in the  title of play but…
  10. ..the spotlight is on Iago 70% of the time!
  11. Fatal flaw Othello:  jealousy
  12. Iago: spider, patiently making web that will ’emesh them all
  13. …character you love to hate!
  14. Desdemona: perfect Elizabethan wife (soft, passive, devoted
  15. Jealousy:  “…green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
  16. Marriage:  soliloquy by Othello before killing wife… (Act 5,2  1-24) powerful!
  17. Shakespeare’s statement:  Who do you trust?
  18. Value of woman’s word, honorDesdemona
  19. …vs that of a man  “Honest, Iago”.
  20. Setting: Venice symbol law and order, rational thought and reason
  21. Setting: Cyprus symbol of chaos and disorder
  22. Major theme: appearance vs reality (lies vs truth)
  23. Minor themes: jealousy, racism, manipulation
  24. Body count: 4
  25. Quiz : only 2 WS’s plays feature …non-white characters
  26. ….Othello, but who is the other?


Conclusion:    #MustRead  Classic


Read more from Classic, Shakespeare
5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 12 2019

    Would it be The the Moroccan in Merchant of Venice?


    • Jan 12 2019

      I read this play as 14 yr freshman in high-school.
      Field trip to NYC to see the play on the stage.
      The only thing I remember is the train ride and one of the girls threw up!
      So this was a great re-read!
      You get a prize for at least trying to answer the pop-quiz!
      It was Aaron, the Moor, love of Tamora in Titus Andronicus (1593)!

      Liked by 1 person


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