Othello Study Guide

Othello Study Guide

Original title:
The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice
January 1st 2004 by Simon Schuster (first published 1603)
Venice (Italy), Cyprus
ISBN 0743477553 (ISBN13: 9780743477550)

Every piece William Shakespeare created is doomed to be a success. “Othello” is one of his later works and this is a culmination of all the mastery and creativity the writer possessed. This particular piece is a mix of an Italian prose written by Cinthio and Knolles narrative on the history of the Turks. Shakespeare borrowed the events and added his style and magnificent literary taste to it.

The story line of “Othello” talks about making a choice. Sometimes a decision is tightly intervened with personal relationships and feelings. It always requires great strength and courage to face the consequences of your choices. Whether you are about to make a decision of your own or respond to the opinion given to you, it’s important to distance yourself from false perceptions and make a reasonable assessment. 

The events of the tragedy take place in Venice and Cyprus where Othello works as a general. He assigned a new lieutenant position and his friend Iago is outraged that it wasn’t him who was nominated for this prestigious post. Iago even took money from a young and rich Rodrigo to help him in suiting Desdemona. 

To great surprise and dismay of Rodrigo, Desdemona is already married to Othello. Iago turns Desdemona’s father, Brabanzio, against Othello for kidnapping his daughter and secretly marrying her. After acquitting himself of false accusations, Othello leaves to defend Cyprus against an invasion of the Turks.

At the island, Iago managed to ensnare the lieutenant Cassio and he then wants to make up with Othello by using his wife as an intermediary. The evil plan of Iago to make Othello believe in an affair between his lieutenant and his wife works out and the protagonist kills his spouse.

Even though at the end of the story the protagonist makes a couple of very irrational and impulsive decisions, Othello is a smart and brave man. He calls for admiration and respect from a reader just like his story calls for a must read for those who like classics.

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