Othello by: William Shakespeare

by: William Shakespeare
*Background Information*
Miss Amorin
Author- William Shakespeare
(April 23, 1564- April 23, 1616) from England
The most famous writer in all of English
 He wrote 37 plays (tragedies and comedies)
and 154 sonnets.
 Most famous works are:
- Othello
- Hamlet
- King Lear
- A Taming of the Shrew
Othello, The Moor of Venice
(Pre-reading of play)
Written in 1603 or 1604.
TRAGEDY- a type of play that ends in a
disastrous manner, usually with the death or
ruin of multiple characters.
 Protagonist- main character of a literary work
that is involved in central conflict of storyusually heroic.
 In a tragedy, the protagonist often becomes a
“tragic hero.” The tragic hero is well liked and
valiant but has a character flaw that brings him/
her to ruin.
 Antagonist- the force working against the
protagonist (can be another character, society,
nature, or internal force).
Setting- Venice, Italy
Characters’ names are all
Italian. The people living
in Venice, Italy were
known as ‘Venetians’.
The majority of the
Italians practiced
First Act of play takes
place in Venice
Acts II, III, IV, and V
take place in Cyprus- an
island off of Greece
Seven Deadly Sins
 Lust
 Jealousy (envy)
 Gluttony (over
 Greed
 Anger
 Pride
 Sloth
Othello themes
Outsider/ Prejudice
 Love
 Jealousy
 Appearance vs. Reality
(‘seeing is believing’)
 Honesty
 Falseness
 Christian values
Othello- Main character
(an outsider in several ways)
Known as the ‘MOOR’ –dark skinned man usually
of African descent (had reputation of being
‘barbaric’- associating with witchcraft)
 General of the Venetian Army
Black man (moor) in a white world
Muslim in a Christian world
Army man in a civilian world
African in an Italian World
Ideas to look for when reading play
Light vs. Dark
(order – evil/malice)
Social class
Gender roles
Historical context
(battle of the
Venetians with Turkey
at Cyprus)
Journal Entry
What would you do if your boss at work
promoted another employee to a higher position
(better job, more money, hours) over you, even
though you were more qualified for the job
(more experience, been at the
business/company for longer, better suited for
position)? Explain how you would react and
what you would do.
 Would you quit? Why or why not?
 Would you seek revenge?
 Has a similar situation ever happened to you?
Opening of play
Main character, Othello, who is the general of
the Venetian army is good friends with soldier,
 There was a position open for lieutenant. Iago
assumed he would get the position because he
was friends with Othello and the most qualified
for the job.
 Othello hired Michael Cassio, an arithmetician
instead. This causes Iago to HATE Othelloseeks plan of REVENGE on him.
Main Characters
Othello- ‘Moor’- general of Venetian Army
Iago- soldier; Othello’s best friend
Desdemona- wife of Othello; high social class
Emilia- Iago’s wife; Desdemona’s attendant
Brabantio- Desdemona’s father
Michael Cassio- lieutenant of Venetian Army
Roderigo- very wealthy; Iago’s ‘right hand man’
Bianca- town hussy
Enjoy the play!!!