by William Shakespeare

In Othello, Shakespeare creates a powerful drama of a marriage that begins with fascination (between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona), with elopement, and with intense mutual devotion and that ends precipitately with jealous rage and violent deaths.

He sets this story in the romantic world of the Mediterranean, moving the action from Venice to the island of Cyprus and giving it an even more exotic coloring with stories of Othello's African past.

But most people who see or read the play feel that the love that the play presents between Othello and Desdemona is so strong that it would have overcome all these differences were it not for the words and actions of Othello's standard-bearer, Iago, who hates Othello and sets out to destroy him by destroying his love for Desdemona.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Classics
  • Rating: 3.88
  • Pages: 314
  • Publish Date: January 1st 2004 by Simon Schuster
  • Isbn10: 0743477553
  • Isbn13: 9780743477550

What People Think about "Othello"

IAGO: Yeah, I totally made that whole wife-is-cheating-on-you thing up. OTHELLO: OMG I KILLED MY WIFE FOR NO REASON!

Othello is a man who always wears a mask in public: the mask of the thoroughly professional military leader who is far too noble to be moved by emotions which might cause others to be petty or untrustworthy.

Jealousy, "The green -ey'd monster," that is what the wise Shakespeare wrote...Othello loved his wife, Desdemona, too much so, nothing could continue that fever, emotions lessen over time....The mighty general was a very capable soldier of Venice, commanding respect on the battlefield, he could do no wrong, brave, ferocious, dynamic, his sword deadly, still life is more complicated than just war, though, the Moor was a fish out of water, in a quite different, and strange culture, becoming a Christian, fighting for Europeans, against his former friends, marrying a gorgeous, gentle, young , very sheltered, naive woman, their elopement crushed the spirits of her father, Brabantio, an influential Senator, in the mighty Venetian Republic... Nevertheless the crisis seemingly solved, but not for Othello...it has just begun, for the much too trusting general, has an officer, honest Iago, ( his wife Emilia, is a loyal servant of Desdemona) starting to whisper in his ear, that all is not well in his marriage.

"Jealousy is often only an uneasy need to be tyrannical, applied to matters of love." Marcel Proust, La Prisonnière Othello, however, has its plot centered around one of my favorite subjects - and on that I always have one or two things to say: jealousy and its outcomes. "My jealousy was born of mental images, a form of self torment not based upon probability." Marcel Proust, La Prisonnière A mind affecting virus - and the powers of the mind are unlimited, specially when it's running unbridled, wildly on its own - that's invisible, a quality that makes it even more dangerous. "Jealousy, which wears a bandage over its eyes, is not merely powerless to discover anything in the darkness that enshrouds it, it is also one of those torments where the task must be incessantly repeated, like that of the Danaids, or of Ixion." Marcel Proust, La Prisonnière I've read some criticism cast upon Othello (the play) because of how easily he (the character) believes in Iago's schemes and lies. It is composed of an infinity of successive loves, of different jealousies, each of which is ephemeral, although by their uninterrupted multiplicity they give us the impression of continuity, the illusion of unity." Marcel Proust, Swann's Way Had it not been written a couple of centuries before Proust was even born, I would suspect Iago read In Search of Lost Time.

It was interesting for me to see that my son reads Othello not so much as a passionate drama based on jealousy, but rather as a political post-truth play, with the most wicked players on stage winning. Shakespeare certainly put both jealousy and politics into the plot, and young people who begin their path towards political understanding of the world now, post-2016, feel more strongly about the lying, the manipulation, the slander than about the unreasonable reaction to the suspicion of faithlessness.

-Othello, end of Act V When I was about 9 years old, I put a healthy, live mouse into my parents' microwave oven. The light turned on inside, the mouse sniffed around, and I watched from outside, keen to see the first sign of distress. After ten seconds, I stopped the microwave and cracked the door. I shut the door again and hit start: another ten seconds. When I cracked the door again, the mouse was visibly shaken. And I believe Shakespeare's Iago would say the same thing to Othello's question above. It proves the superiority of his will over theirs, just as my minute-mice experiment proved the superiority of a 9-year-old's will over another creature's entire existence. I find little mystery in the psychology of Shakespeare's Iago. Why do such beings like Iago, like the 9-year-old me, like the thousandfold prison guard, priest and parent who, seduced by omnipotence, inflicts terror and torment on a fellow living being...

William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. There have been plays and sonnets attributed to Shakespeare that were not authentically written by the great master of language and literature.