Othello – Remember it, Test it!

Othello – Remember it, Test it!

Deceit, lies and trickery– Iago uses these to try and punish Othello for promoting Cassio but also to punish Cassio. His lies cause death and destruction which he seems to desire (schadenfreud)

Jealousy and envy– Othello becomes jealous because he believes Cassio could take his wife away. Iago is envious of Cassio’s success and decides to sabotage it.

Love and lust– Some of the other characters think Othello and Desdemona’s relationship is just based on lust and there is a lot of sexual imagery in the play, however we also learn that he wooed her with stories and his exotic life and his jealousy suggests strong feelings for her.

War– Othello is a war hero and is successful in war during the play, Iago’s expertise lies in warfare whereas Cassio’s is more intellectual, he is a mathematician, this is another reason Iago dislikes him as Othello disregards his expertise.

Tragedy and tragic hero– Harmartia means a fatal flaw that the main character in a tragedy usually has that causes his downfall


Test It!

  1. Find some examples of metaphor in the play, for example relating to nature, what do they convey about the person who uses the metaphor? What do they tell you about the thing described using the metaphor?
  2. How is the tragic form used to structure the play’s narrative? (You may want to research Aristotle’s theory first, it can easily be found online)
  3. How are women presented in Othello?
  4. Do you think that the play is about justice?
  5. How does Shakespeare create a sense of dread or tension in the play?


Some top tips!

  1. Print out the Test It! Questions – it will allow you to replicate exam conditions and also allows you to give your eyes a rest from the computer screen whilst doing your crucial revision.
  2. Make a copy of the Remember It! Section and put in a place that you often look at. i.e. front of a journal, next to a mirror, on a kitchen cupboard door, etc. That way you can do some cheeky A Level English revision whilst doing those things you have to do!