Monday, 22 April 2013

Shakespeare, William: Othello - An A-Z post

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Born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare is probably the most well known English playright and poet. A staple of most academic English departments, by the time you leave high school you will at least know something about the 'Bard of Avon'.

Othello is the text of choice for this particular course, and is read alongside The Duchess of Malfi. Both are tragedy plays in which the main protaganist endures some kind of hardship and eventually ends up dead in some way.

Othello is a Moor who secretly marries the daughter of the Venetian senator. Although well respected as a soldier in the military, the mixed marriage causes upset for his new father-in-law.
In addition to this, Othello overlooks his ensign Iago for promotion, instead making Cassio his lieutenant. This does not sit well with Iago, who vows to get revenge for this oversight not only on Othello, but Cassio as well.
He proceeds to manipulate everyone within his circle, including his own wife, to this end and manages to get inside Othello's head and make him doubt his wife's commitment to him.

As with tragedy plays of this era there is plenty of bloodshed by the close of the play, with the main culprit at least escaping with his life if not his freedom.

Over the next two months I will get to know this play particularly well as it is one of the set texts on the exam, along with The Duchess of Malfi.

A to Z Challenge [2013]


This post is part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. To get involved and check out other blogs taking part just click here. You won't be disappointed!



  1. Ahh I love Shakespeare, Othello is one of my favourites.

  2. I always wanted to spend more time with individual plays than I did in college. It seemed as if we breezed by them. You cannot read any Shakespeare without coming across a line that you want to memorize and remember. "Who steals my purse steals trash. . .but he who filches from me my good name, Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed," one of my favorites from Othello. Good luck!

  3. Enjoy! There have been some fantastic actors who have done amazing things with their protrayal of Othello! I did a 9 months Shakespeare course for my Eng/Hist degree and loved it, covering a lot of his works. Nancy at Welcome to she said, he said

  4. How fitting that I caught this post on The Bard's birthday. :-) Incidentally, Othello is one of my favorite Shakespeare works - your post really brightened my day!

    Happy A to Zing!

  5. You're one busy lady; good luck with all your obligations. Did you know that The Gutenberg Project offers free e-book downloads of all the classics that are now in public domain?

  6. How interesting. I have never seen Othello (or read it!) I am always interested in getting to know Shakespeare more... and love what you have written here!


    Happy A to Z-ing!
    Julie Jordan Scott
    Our Literary Grannies from A to Z:
    U is for Ursula Le Guin

    tweet me - @juliejordanscot

  7. I love Shakespeare! I enjoyed Othello... and Iago features in my "V" for "Villains" post today :) ... but Henry V is my favorite Shakespeare play.

    Happy A-Zing!