Skip Nav

Othello Critical Essays

William Shakespeare

❶Iago thinks he knows jealousy, having rehearsed it in his relationship with Emilia to the extent that Emilia believes jealousy is part of the personality of men, but Iago's jealously is a poor, weak thought compared to the storm of jealousy he stirs up in Othello. Cassio gives Bianca the handkerchief for her to copy the design.

Learn more

Found what you're looking for?
Navigate Guide
How does Desdemona react on her deathbed?

Learn from our vast document library with over 50, user submitted past assignments, study guides, comprehensive study notes and more! Each document purchased on Thinkswap is covered by our Satisfaction Guarantee policy.

If you are not satisfied with the quality of any document, or you believe the document was incorrectly described or categorised, Thinkswap will provide a full refund of exchange credits so you can check out another document. For more information please click here. Do you know if the Subject listed above has changed recently? Click report to earn free Exchange Credits!

Exchange Credits represent the worth of each document on Thinkswap. In exchange for uploading documents you will receive credits. These can then be used to checkout other documents on Thinkswap. Advanced English Yr Shakespeare unit I've always had a bit of trouble with Shakespeare, but after having seen this play in the theatre it made a lot more sense I'd advise maybe watching a short video of the play on youtube or something as a starter if for you, like me, simply reading the play wasn't enough: Types of love and what that means are different between different characters.

Othello finds that love in marriage needs time to build trust, and his enemy works too quickly for him to take that time. The immediate attraction between the couple works on passion, and Desdemona builds on that passion a steadfast devotion whose speed and strength Othello cannot equal.

Iago often falsely professes love in friendship for Roderigo and Cassio and betrays them both. For Iago, love is leverage. Desdemona's love in friendship for Cassio is real but is misinterpreted by the jealous Othello as adulterous love. The true friendship was Emilia's for Desdemona, shown when she stood up witness for the honor of her dead mistress, against Iago, her lying husband, and was killed for it. Appearance and reality are important aspects in Othello.

For Othello, seeing is believing, and proof of the truth is visual. To "prove" something is to investigate it to the point where its true nature is revealed. Othello demands of Iago "Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore, be sure of it, give me the ocular proof" Act 3, Scene 3. What Iago gives him instead is imaginary pictures of Cassio and Desdemona to feed his jealousy. As Othello loses control of his mind, these pictures dominate his thoughts.

He looks at Desdemona's whiteness and is swept up in the traditional symbolism of white for purity and black for evil. Whenever he is in doubt, that symbolism returns to haunt him and despite his experience, he cannot help but believe it.

Jealousy is what appears to destroy Othello. It is the emotion suggested to him by Iago in Act 3, Scene 3. Iago thinks he knows jealousy, having rehearsed it in his relationship with Emilia to the extent that Emilia believes jealousy is part of the personality of men, but Iago's jealously is a poor, weak thought compared to the storm of jealousy he stirs up in Othello.

Iago has noticed Othello's tendency to insecurity and overreaction, but not even Iago imagined Othello would go as far into jealousy as he did. Edgar Stoll has argued that the extraordinary success of Iago in convincing other characters of his fabrications is simply a matter of the conventional ability of the Renaissance villain.

Othello is the perfect victim because he bases his opinions and his human relationships on intuition rather than reason. His courtship of Desdemona is brief and his devotion absolute, as is his trust of his comrades, including Iago. It is not simply that Iago is universally believed. On that subject it is only Othello whom he is able to deceive. Only Othello is deceived, but that is because Iago is able to make him play a game with unfamiliar rules.

Iago entices Othello to use Venetian criteria of truth rather than the intuition on which he should rely. From that point on, it is easy for Iago to falsify evidence and create appearances that will lead to erroneous judgments.

Othello betrays hyperemotional behavior in his rantings and his fits, but these are the result of his acceptance of what seems indisputable proof. It takes a long time, and a lot of falsifications, before Othello finally abandons his intuitive perception of the truth of his domestic situation. As Othello himself recognizes, he is not quick to anger but, once angered, his natural passion takes over.

His chilling conviction reminds readers of the essential probity of a man deranged by confrontation with an evil he cannot comprehend.

Critical Evaluation

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Identify the various types of irony used in Othello and explain their significance to the plot. Outline I. Thesis Statement: In Shakespeare’s Othello, verbal irony, dramatic irony, .

Privacy FAQs

Iago plants doubts in Othello’s mind, but his decisive success comes when he gets Othello to demand “ocular proof.” Although it seems that Othello is demanding .

About Our Ads

Essays, Articles and Book Excerpts on Shakespeare's Othello. Lectures on Othello: Play Construction and the Suffering and Murder of Desdemona Lectures on Othello: Othello's Jealousy The Moral Enigma of Shakespeare's Othello Othello as Tragic Hero Iago's Motives: The Relationship Between Othello and Iago. Explore the different themes within William Shakespeare's tragic play, Othello. Themes are central to understanding Othello as a play and identifying Shakespeare's social and political commentary. In Othello, the major themes reflect the values and the motivations of .

Cookie Info

Susan othello critical essays critical essay essay on love, and bianca. Hunter othello - top-quality assignment writing service - analysis. Multiple critical essays on shakespeare's othello in teacher resume cover. Othello: Critical Essays (Shakespeare Criticism) Paperback – December 21, "In this exceptional collection of essays on Othello, twenty authors range across a vast landscape of critical practice, regularly startling us with insights about this play and performances of it. Where else can one read in side-by-side essays a lucid account.