Othello

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Othello

by William Shakespeare

Dover Publications | June 7, 1996 | Trade Paperback

Othello is rated 4 out of 5 by 4.
One of the greatest of Shakespeare''s tragedies, Othello tells the story of a Moorish general who earns the enmity of his ensign Iago when he passes him over for a promotion.  Bleak and unsparing, this play offers a masterly portrait of an archvillain and an astute psychological study of the nature of evil. Explanatory footnotes.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 112 pages, 8.25 × 5.19 × 0.68 in

Published: June 7, 1996

Publisher: Dover Publications

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0486290972

ISBN - 13: 9780486290973

Found in: Entertainment
Appropriate for ages: 14

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great play Definitely a good read. Not a big fan as Othello should have trusted his wife instead of allowing himself be open to manipulation, but still a great work by Shakespeare, showing the black soul that some humans have and how in the end corruption does everyone in.
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Significant I think that this was a very strong play. And it's amazing how relevant the theme is. While I was reading it, I thought it was slow. But in the end, I actually enjoyed it.
Date published: 2010-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Memorable Othello: The Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare is an enjoyable drama to read, and this Oxford edition makes it more understandable than other editions. There are definitions and explanations of words on the same page in which they occur that make the dialogues capable of being read, and there is a long introduction too, which I did not read. I liked the fact that there were few characters to follow through the play. The main ones included: Othello, Desdemona, Iago, Emilia, and Cassio. Othello, the army general, has just married Desdemona secretly without her father’s permission. Now, Othello suspects Desdemona of cheating on him with his lieutenant, Cassio, because of all the lies and situations Iago is creating to catch Othello in his trap. Will Othello discover the truth about Desdemona? There were memorable characters in this drama, such as Iago and Othello. Iago was pure evil, the kind of character that would not even repent regardless of what occurred. And Othello was foolish enough to succumb to Iago’s plots. The dialogues are entertaining and I remember laughing several times. Overall, the story is short and will not be forgotten. There were memorable themes too, such as otherness, which Othello experienced since he was an outsider, the only person of colour in the drama. Thus, he may not understand the Venetian norms. Othello is in somewhat of an odd category since he is a male, which is that he is the self, but he is also an outsider, which makes him the other. And not only that, Othello possesses characteristics thought to be feminine, which also make him the other because females are thought to be the other, such as passion, emotion, and jealousy. Also, Othello was a military man and was trained to kill whenever he was threatened, thus he may not have had a great understanding of women having been surrounded by men all day. There may have been flaws in Othello’s character depending on the reader’s opinion, such as Othello being too naïve, foolish, gullible, and not a Renaissance man, thus not deeply thoughtful. Othello trusted Iago too easily and so he made the greatest mistake ever. Othello was written in the time when Greek texts such as The Odyssey by Homer were revived, since they were previously unavailable for the public. There are many connections to Othello and The Odyssey, such as men that aren’t thoughtful die. Othello made his past seem epic, by telling Desdemona of his past battles, and how he saw men whose heads grow beneath their shoulders, and cannibals too, which makes his past like Odysseus’s past with many mythical creatures and events. 5/5
Date published: 2009-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Drama that demonstrates How Passion, Vengeance, and Jealousy create an intertwined effect Othello is a play that highly emphasizes the human aspect of passion, vengeance, and jealousy, all of which are featured throughout the play. Shakespeare uses metaphors consistently in the play in order to emphasize and outline the degree to which a character desired or hated someone or something. The human aspect of the play, however, only occurs within the situations and minds of few characters. Those characters are: Othello, Iago, Desdemona, and Cassio, and the innocent Emilia. Othello becomes involved in many difficult situations through the play. However, the most difficult situation he faces in the play is when he suspects Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. This provokes Othello into finding the truth, which is further provoked when Iago creates lies about Desdemona's situation by creating plans and schemes to trick Othello. While mourning for Desdemona, Othello explains the love he once used to have for her and the hatred he has now for her. He also feels threatened by Cassio thereby developing the need to have revenge on Cassio. Two more characters that are involved in these complicated situations are Desdemona and Emilia. Both Desdemona and Emilia do not receive enough love from their respective lovers although Desdemona receives at certain points in the play. Both Emilia and Desdemona do not commit any wrongs but they are reluctantly thrown into the series of cataclysmic events. Desdemona is "forced" to calm Othello from his uncontrollable rage and set things right by assisting Cassio to get him reinstated as a lieutenant. Emilia, on the other hand, is dragged into theses situations because of her "evil", manipulating, demonic Iago. Emilia had no choice but to steal the hankerchief that was dropped by Desdemona. This was because Iago Iago personally loves Desdemona, and had begged Emilia, to an extent much greater than stated, to obtain it when the circumstances are right. Emilia was simply forced to tangle the matters at hand because of Iago's passion and lust for Desdemona. The last two characters that go through the most complicated situations is Cassio and Iago. The times when each of them suffers is different. Cassio suffers after he gets demoted and fired by Othello when he committed an outrageous act. Cassio swears the he is not at fault and begs Othello to be reinstated. However, Cassio's pleads all fail and then he seeks Desdemona for help. Desdemona gladly helps Cassio but Desdemona's pleas also fail. Iago however, does not suffer until the end. Iago is the most evident and important example in the play when it comes to dealing with passion, vengeance and jealousy. Iago is driven by his hatred for Othello and seeks vengeance on him. Iago is also jealous of Cassio because of his lieutenancy. If it wasn't for Iago and his passion for revenge on Othello and jealousy towards Cassio, this tragedy could have been avoided. This play overall demonstrates the human aspect of passion, vengeance and jealousy. Othello itself is a play that defines how corrupted one's morals can be and what it can be become it one lets it get influenced too easily.
Date published: 2009-04-02

– More About This Product –

Othello

by William Shakespeare

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 112 pages, 8.25 × 5.19 × 0.68 in

Published: June 7, 1996

Publisher: Dover Publications

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0486290972

ISBN - 13: 9780486290973

From the Publisher

One of the greatest of Shakespeare''s tragedies, Othello tells the story of a Moorish general who earns the enmity of his ensign Iago when he passes him over for a promotion.  Bleak and unsparing, this play offers a masterly portrait of an archvillain and an astute psychological study of the nature of evil. Explanatory footnotes.

About the Author

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare
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From Our Editors

Unique features include an extensive overview of Shakespeare's life, world, and theater by the general editor of Signet Classic Shakespeare series, plus a special introduction to the play by the editor Sylvan Barnet, Tufts University. This book contains information on the source from which Shakespeare derived "Othello"--selections from Giraldi Cinthio's "Hecatommithi". Special introduction by Alvin Kernan, Princeton University.

Appropriate for ages: 14