Othello by William ShakespeareOthello by William Shakespeare


byWilliam Shakespeare

Paperback | June 7, 1996


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.
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 Gra...
Title:OthelloFormat:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 8.25 × 5.19 × 0.68 inPublished:June 7, 1996Publisher:Dover Publications

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0486290972

ISBN - 13:9780486290973

Appropriate for ages: 14

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Othello The nature of Othello is often confused. It concerns primarily love, trust, and relationships. It fun to note that Jafar's parrot, Iago, in Aladdin is based on Iago from Othello! The way he whispers into ears and plots against everyone causes mayhem and ultimately a tragedy that could have been avoided with proper communication.
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love this! Whether you are a student or merely a Shakespeare fan, the Folger edition is the way to go. Excellent and concise introduction, context notes, and well formatted with attractive covers if you collect their entire series.
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from helpful not the best book but having the translation is always helpful
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Great read. Not one of my favourite plays, but still mildly entertains me.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love this! The characters in Othello are really rich.
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read The story line was great. Some characters were annoying, but overall great story!
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good Deserves honourable mention for one of the best Shakespeare works.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great edition. Great edition to an amazing piece of litterature.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Edition Good edition to a great classic.
Date published: 2017-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love the play, not so much the edition This edition is 512 pages and very thick. It is not convenient to use as a reference for study (we photocopied our copies so it would be easier to write on). However, it has a lot of information on Shakespeare, and the history surrounding the play and notes on some of the language that is used. I think it would suit serious students of Shakespeare who want to know more about the background of Othello rather than one who is just trying to read the text.
Date published: 2017-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rightfully taught in English classes This is a great story of high drama with an interesting subtext colourful characters, riveting storytelling and an ending worthy of the writer Shakespeare. I am glad this is taught in highschool english class
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An interesting morality play--Deserves it's status as a high school teaching tool I enjoyed this play, I enjoyed the high drama the double games, the racial subtext and the wonderful finale. One of the few works that deserves to be taught in an English class.
Date published: 2017-03-07
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

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.