Othello by William Shakespeare

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Othello by William Shakespeare

Othello is a complex play written by William Shakespeare between 1600

and 1605. It is one of his greatest tragedies. But Shakespeare based

this play on 'The prince' written by Machia Velli written in 1513.

Othello was to be the first play where a black man was a significant

character in a play. In Elizabethan times, people tended to be very

racist and treated black people appallingly. So the Elizabethan

audiences expected the character Othello to be the villain, but

Shakespeare subverted their expectations by making Othello the lead

and Iago the 'White man' the villain.

This play focuses on two main characters. One, being Iago who is

psychologically astute, deceiving and a misanthrope. His sadistic

character hurts everyone in a web of deceit. Iago is Shakespeare's

most plausible and intriguing villains.

The other Othello, is a noble black army general in a white society,

who is fooled by Iago and makes an error of judgement, which leads to

his self-corruption at the end of the play. He seems to be insecure,

and gullible. Othello seems to be a covetous character.

Othello has a small cast in comparison to William Shakespeare's other

plays. It is also set on a small time scale. When analysed, the whole

play is set out in only 3 days, which is very unrealistic.

This play rarely moves away from the plot, which makes it very


The play starts At Act 1 scene 1 where Iago and Roderigo are arguing.

Roderigo accuses Iago of cheating him and Iago is angry because

Michael Cassio gained the promotion that Iago wanted.

Iago then complains about 'the moor', Othello. Iago suggests that he

can take revenge against Othello. He shouts in the street outside

Brabantio's house saying Brabantio has been 'robbed'

Iago tells Brabantio that his daughter Desdemona and Othello secretly

got married and his descendants will be mere animals. Brabantio checks

to see if the story is true, as he has dreamed of such a happening.

Once Brabantio finds that his daughter is missing he goes with
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