Othello by William Shakespeare // My Favourite Shakespeare Play

Monday, 10 April 2017
Othello, by William Shakespeare
Publication: January 1, 2004, by Simon and Schuster
Genre: Play, Fiction
Pages: 314
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

In Othello, Shakespeare creates a powerful drama of a marriage that begins with fascination (between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona), with elopement, and with intense mutual devotion and that ends precipitately with jealous rage and violent deaths. He sets this story in the romantic world of the Mediterranean, moving the action from Venice to the island of Cyprus and giving it an even more exotic coloring with stories of Othello's African past. Shakespeare builds so many differences into his hero and heroine—differences of race, of age, of cultural background—that one should not, perhaps, be surprised that the marriage ends disastrously. But most people who see or read the play feel that the love that the play presents between Othello and Desdemona is so strong that it would have overcome all these differences were it not for the words and actions of Othello's standard-bearer, Iago, who hates Othello and sets out to destroy him by destroying his love for Desdemona. As Othello succumbs to Iago's insinuations that Desdemona is unfaithful, fascination—which dominates the early acts of the play—turns to horror, especially for the audience. We are confronted by spectacles of a generous and trusting Othello in the grip of Iago's schemes; of an innocent Desdemona, who has given herself up entirely to her love for Othello only to be subjected to his horrifying verbal and physical assaults, the outcome of Othello's mistaken convictions about her faithlessness.

My Thoughts:

Othello is the third Shakespearean play I have read, and I must say that it was the best out of the three. Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth all stunned me, but this was something special and interesting. Even though Shakespeare lived SO many years ago, his talents of writing about racial prejudices, stereotypes that still live to this day, jealousy and romance shine in this gorgeous play. I read this play for school, and as with every Shakespearean play, we spent a long time examining this work and learning about its purpose and setting. I adored all of the characters in this stunning play and the whole underlying message. PLUS IAGO WAS THE BEST. Even though I despise villains in most books/plays, I kind of wanted Iago's ultimate plan to succeed. Towards the end of the play, my class was required to give this HUGE 15%-worth presentation on the play, and I talked about Iago's reasoning for doing what he did. 

READ THIS PLAY. If you are not able to understand some of the phrases and scenes, which I don't blame you for, you can totally go onto Sparknotes and read it all. It'll help so much. The romance here is deep and meaningful—you can't go wrong with reading Shakespeare and seeing how different and special it is. 

GO READ THIS PLAY RIGHT NOW. It'll change your life in so many ways and you'll want to become a Shakespeare hoarder. I believe many people hoard his plays like obsessed (cool) freaks. :)

What is your favourite Shakespeare play? What are some other issues he covers?

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