Othello


Useful websites

Othello info

Modern Translation

Shakespeare's England

Shakespearean Glossary

Dramatic Glossary


Information and Questions


Act 1

  1. Describe your first impressions of Iago. Support these impressions by close reference to the text. Ensure that you analyse the techniques and language used in each reference.
  2. In contrast, describe your first impressions of Othello. Support these impressions by close reference to the text. Ensure that you analyse the techniques and language used in each reference.
  3. Brabantio often alludes to magic when explaining his daughter's attraction to Othello. How do these references affect our impressions of the culture and attitudes of the time?
  4. Examine Othello's speech "Her father Lov'd me...let her witness it" (P. 19-20, line 127-169). Write your own version of this speech, still using Shakespeare's structure (Blank verse, iambic pentameter), seeing if you can capture both the subject matter and the character voice.

Act 2



Act 3


  1. Read/annotate Othello’s Act 3 Sc 1 + 2 in small groups. Remember that it is important to think about language, structure, characterisation, plot development, development of themes and other literary devices.
  2. Write a decent paragraph for each scene that firstly gives a quick summary of events and then follows a commentary style of analysing the way the scenes have been written. These paragraphs should be ready to be shared next lesson.
  3. Read the two extracts below called ‘A Discourse for Marriage and Wiving’.
  4. Individually begin reading Act 3 Sc 3, reflecting on the extracts that you have read. Complete the reading of this scene for homework. This scene is one of the pivotal scenes in the text and requires considerable attention on your behalf, so give it the time it warrants.

Read the following extracts from A Discourse, of marriage and wiving by Alexander Niccholes, 1615.
- pages 48-9
- pages 50-1


Scene 3 - Questions for consideration

  1. The events of this scene suggest that the relationship between Othello and Desdemona was in danger regardless of Iago’s manipulative interferences. Find evidence supporting and /or negating this statement. Make reference to the Niccholes document extract above, demonstrating your understanding of expectations of the times.
  2. The nature of tragedy is that the noble character has a fatal flaw, resulting in his downfall. What is Othello’s flaw and how does it manifest itself throughout this scene?
  3. Discuss how Shakespeare has used contrast in Act 3, Scene 3 and to what effect.
  4. Symbols such as the handkerchief, the ‘cuckold’ and the hawk are used in this scene. How does each affect the way that the audience interprets the action and characters?