108 Othello Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples

If you’re searching for ideas for your paper on Shakespeare’s famous play, our Othello essay questions will be of great help to you! You’ll also find plenty of good Othello essay examples. Read on to get inspired!

💀 TOP 7 Othello Essay Questions

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  • Mustafa Sa’eed from Season of Migration to the North Compared to Shakespeare’s Caliban & Othello
  • Shakespeare’s Othello Movie Adaptation Overview and Social Relevance
  • Examining the Role of Desdemona in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Emilia’s Role in the Play Othello by Shakespeare
  • Black and White Colors in “Othello” by Shakespeare
  • Who Is to Blame for the Tragedy of Othello by Shakespeare
  • Analysis of the Character ‘Othello’

Are you looking for writing prompts for your “Othello” research paper or a literature essay? Check out the ideas below:

  • The theme of trust and betrayal in “Othello.” Trust plays a critical role in this play. You can write a literary analysis essay exploring how trust is gained, lost, and manipulated in “Othello.”
  • Imagery and symbolism in “Othello.” Here, you can write an argumentative essay supporting your understanding of the play’s symbols. For example, what does the handkerchief symbolize? Or what does animal imagery mean, like a “black ram” and a “Barbary horse” in reference to Othello?
  • Jealousy in “Othello.” You can write a persuasive essay convincing your audience of the dangers of jealousy. Use evidence from the play to prove your point. Consider how it drives characters’ actions and what adverse consequences result from it.
  • Iago’s manipulation techniques. Iago is a master manipulator, so you can focus your discussion on exploring how he persuades others to think and do what he wants. You can review how he exploits Othello’s trust, fabricates evidence, creates false friendships, and provokes jealousy to achieve his goals.
  • Analysis of Reverse Psychology Used by Lago in Shakespeare’s “Othello” The essay explores the uniqueness of the character through the focus on how Iago uses reverse psychology in telling the truth within his lies to fool other characters of the play.
  • Domestic Violence in “Othello” by W. Shakespeare The Othello tragedy reflects the current domestic violence incidences in society, hence the need to formulate authentic ways to overcome them.
  • Othello and Antigone: Compare & Contrast There can be little doubt as to the fact that Sophocles’ “Antigone” and Shakespeare’s “Othello” are highly emotional dramaturgic pieces.
  • Plot, Themes, and Characters of “Othello” by Shakespeare Two themes dominate the plot of “Othello” by Shakespeare – jealousy and racism, both of which this paper will explore.
  • Dramatic Purposes of Roderigo in Shakespeare’s “Othello” Roderigo is one of the characters in this book having significance and dramatic purposes, particularly the dramatic purpose of being a one-sided lover.
  • Critical Analysis of “Othello” Individuals tend to perceive the meanings of the words ‘dignity’ and ‘confidence’ differently, depending on their nature and nurture.
  • Analysis of Othello Speech With Brabantio The analysis focuses on Othello’s speech from the writing’s Act 1, Scene 3 where context is based on Brabantio accusing Othello about the latter stealing the former’s daughter.
  • William Shakespeare’s “Othello, the Moor of Venice”: An Aristotelian Tragedy The experiences that Othello went through – from prominence to downfall are sufficient to label him as a tragic hero; hence, the play can be classified as an Aristotelian tragedy.
  • “Othello” a Tragedy by William Shakespeare In essence, there are several instances of conflict in the play. Conflict among men is more dominant than conflict between the two genders. The play contains more scenes of conflict than love.
  • Racial Issues in Othello and Their Relevance Most of the conflicts unfolding in the play are built around the problems of racism, which do not lose their relevance even after centuries have passed since Othello was written.
  • Shakespeare’s “Othello”: A Venetian Tragedy of Love William Shakespeare’s play “Othello” is about anxiety and lack of peace of mind as well as the fact that other actions may have saved people’s lives.
  • Literary and Psychological Prowess of Shakespeare’s “Othello” Shakespeare uses Othello’s weaknesses to justify his sad conclusion that people such as Othello and his ilk are unfit to rule because of their inherent flaws.
  • Female Characters in “Antigone” by Sophocles and “Othello” by Shakespeare Female characters Antigone and Emilia, from Sophocles’ play “Antigone” and Shakespeare’s “Othello”, constitute examples of independent women who do not lose control of their lives.
  • Negativism in “Othello” by William Shakespeare Othello is one of the most popular plays by William Shakespeare. It has a lot of themes that intricate the mind of a viewer and a reader as well.
  • Othello Versus Shakuntala: Ultimate Lessons Both Shakuntala and Othello explore the notions of love and conflict, but the ultimate lessons learned differ significantly because of the main characters’ actions.
  • Shakespeare’s Othello’s and O. J. Simpson’s Tragedies This article compares and contrasts Shakespeare’s Othello and O.J. Simpson in the context of racism and class inequality.
  • Shakespeare’s “Othello”: Iago’s Honesty As the play progresses we see how Iago changes from an honest and sincere person to become evil, by introducing Iago’s character the evils in society are brought to light.
  • Master of Deceit in “Othello”: Iago in the Film Adaptation The paper states that the film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello, directed by Oliver Parker, mirrors the original play’s chronology and setting.
  • About Acts I and II Othello: Analysis Iago, portrayed as highly ambitious in the tragedy, exhibits a readiness to take any action for personal gain, evident from the opening verses.
  • “The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice” by Shakespeare Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice” is a play about secrets, plotting and revenge telling the tragic story of Othello, who is secretly married to Desdemona.
  • “Othello” by William Shakespeare In his play, Shakespeare portrays a very jealous character named Lago, who got disappointed with his friend Othello for denying him the chance of becoming a lieutenant.
  • Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello Play This paper examines Shakespeare’s play; it explores the conflicts between the dominant characters, their personalities, and their goals.
  • Othello: Iago and His Self-Knowledge The paper discusses that in Othello, the struggle over love, loyalty, and will is exacerbated by Iago’s manipulation of everyone around him.
  • Iago: Black Man in “Othello” by Shakespeare
  • Honesty, Dishonesty, and Manipulation in “Othello”
  • Dramatic Poetry and Direct Prose in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Hatred and Harsh Trickery With Extreme Consequences in the Play “Othello” by William Shakespeare
  • Gender Roles and Racism in “Othello”
  • Differences and Similarities Between “Othello” and “Things Fall Apart”
  • Friendship Between Othello and Iago According to Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Can Pathos and Ethos Compel “Othello” Out of Logic?
  • Iago’s Cunning Character Exposed Othello’s Vulnerability in Jealousy
  • Desdemona and the “Jewel” Motif Recurrence in William Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Desdemona and the Patriarchy in “Othello”
  • Iago’s Motive for Power and Revenge in “Othello”
  • Brabantio, the Protective Father in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Honesty and Trust Throughout “Othello” Play
  • Did Othello Truly Love Desdemona?
  • Lies vs. Truths in Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Othello” In his play “The Tragedy of Othello,” Shakespeare successfully addressed various lies that different characters believed in. Most of these lies are tied to racism.
  • “Othello” by Shakespeare: Desdemona as a Strong Character In his tragedy “Othello” Shakespeare describes Desdemona as a strong woman who can resist oppression and protect her values and ideas.
  • Women Role in Shakespeare’s Othello and Hamlet The villain role of women in the Shakespeare’s plays Othello and Hamlet seems to have inspired the themes in both literary works.
  • Review of “Othello” by Shakespeare An analysis of Shakespeare’s “Othello” work will help to understand better the author’s central message about how blindly following feelings can ruin a person.
  • Shakespeare’s Othello and Its Cultural Aspects “Othello” is not a simple domestic tragedy, as it seemed to many generations of viewers, actors, critics, and historians of literature and theater.
  • The Play “Othello” by William Shakespeare It is worth noting that the play “Othello,” written by William Shakespeare, is a rather complicated story that can be explored at different levels.
  • Character Analysis of “Othello” by Shakespeare At first glance, Othello seems simply a tragedy of jealousy. However, the ideas ingrained in the play seem to be broader and more complicated from the very first acts.
  • Strength in One’s Convictions in Shakespeare’s “Othello” Objectification of women is an important concept that Shakespeare impressively incorporates throughout Othello.
  • Othello as Aristotelian Tragic Hero This paper presents that Long before Shakespeare, the Greek philosopher Aristotle formulated specific attributes or principles of a tragic hero.
  • Othello, Cassio and Iago in the Play “Othello” by William Shakespeare Othello, Cassio and Iago are very different people with their own life experiences and this plays a very important role in the play “Othello” by William Shakespeare.
  • William Shakespeare’s Othello as a Tragic Hero Othello by William Shakespeare is an excellent example of the traditional Aristotelian tragic hero as far as his destiny and inner suffering.
  • “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu vs. “Othello” by Shakespeare “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu is an example of a Non-Western work of literature that qualifies as classics. “Othello” by William Shakespeare is an example of Western classics.
  • A Worldwide Famous Tragedy: Othello by Shakespeare Othello is a worldwide famous tragedy written by Shakespeare that has always been popular among theater directors interpreting it in different styles.
  • Love and Hate: Relationships in Shakespearian Othello and Life Explore the intricate dynamics of love and hate in relationships through a critical analysis of the Shakespearian play ‘Othello’ and personal experiences.
  • Theme of Deceit in Shakespeare’s Othello Shakespeare’s play “Othello” is a storyline behind a respectable general and the main character, Othello, who endures a series of tragedies from his deceitful and vengeful advisor.
  • Emilia & Iago’s Schemes in “Othello” by Shakespeare The essay demonstrates justifications for the idea that Emilia from “Othello” is not innocent as she seems regarding Iago’s schemes.
  • Desdemona and Lago’s Conflict in “Othello” by Shakespeare The paper discusses Othello by Shakespeare. There is a conflict between Desdemona and Iago over women’s nature, which ends with a rational way of thinking.
  • William Shakespeare’s “Othello”: Analysis the Play The paper begins with a brief note about the character of Iago in William Shakespeare’s play Othello. Causes of Iago’s revenge.
  • Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Shakespeare’s Othello The entire implementation of values needful to a man in every epoch and under any circumstances is displayed on the examples of Othello and Oedipus Rex for further generations of people.
  • Shakespeare’s “Othello” Play Exploration The current essay deals with a difficult but quite important topic tied with the role of race in Shakespeare’s Othello.
  • Othello’s Image in Shakespeare’s Tragedy The purpose of this work is to analyze how Othello’s difference influences his image in the enemies’ eyes and how he starts to evaluate himself once he has killed his wife.
  • From a Villain to a Victim and Back: Othello and Iago Despite the fact that Othello does turn into a beast at a certain point, the splendor of his character and the misery that seizes him completely do not allow him to choose him as the main villain.
  • Othello and Paradise Lost Literary Analysis Desdemona was devoted to her husband until the end and treated him with patience even after all the mistreatment that was done to her.
  • Explain How Iago Manipulates the Other Characters in the Play “Othello”
  • Does Iago Cause the Tragedy of Othello?
  • The Reasons Why Othello Orders the Death of Desdemona
  • Discuss How Lago From “Othello” Exploits Others to Achieve His Goal
  • Honorable Admirable and Unchanged Character of Othello
  • Desdemona and the Norms of Sexual Morality in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Examining Othello’s Character, Flaws, and Changes Throughout the Play
  • Challenges and Prejudices Faced by Othello Shaped His Character
  • Contrasting the Characters Desdemona and Emilia in the Play “Othello”
  • Describing the Courage and Heroism of Othello in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Critically Exploring William Shakespeare’s “Othello” From a Marxist Perspective
  • Gender Equality and the Status of Women in the Play “Othello” by William Shakespeare
  • Analyzing the Tragic Hero in Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Evil and Immoral Characters in the Play “Othello” by William Shakespeare
  • Feminist and Psychoanalytical Interpretations of Shakespeare’s “Othello”
  • Does Othello Meet the Standards of a Tragic Hero?
  • How Do Age, Social Position, and Race Impact the Relationship Between Othello and Desdemona?
  • Why Does Iago Hate Othello?
  • Does the Context of War and Soldiery Contribute to the Tragedy in Shakespeare’s “Othello”?
  • How and Why Does Iago Convince Othello of Desdemona’s Infidelity?
  • Would the Themes in “Othello” Appeal to a Contemporary Audience?
  • How Are Othello and Blanche Dubois Alienated in Their Societies?
  • Should William Shakespeare’s “Othello” be Called “Iago”?
  • How Are the Characters Empowered or Disempowered in “Brilliant Lies” and “Othello”?
  • Were “Othello” and “The Merchant of Venice” Racist Plays?
  • How Does Shakespeare Use Humor in “Othello”?
  • What Are the Contextual Factors Important to the Study of “Othello”?
  • How Does Iago Attempt to Poison Othello Against Desdemona and Cassio and to What Extent Is Iago’s Plan Working?
  • What Are the Qualities “Othello” Possesses Which Makes It a Tragedy?
  • How Does Othello’s Attitude Towards Desdemona Change Towards the End of the Play?
  • Does Othello’s Character Change Over the Course of the Play?
  • How Does Shakespeare Use Language and Dramatic Devices to Present the Theme of Jealousy in “Othello”?
  • What Are the Similarities Between “Macbeth” and “Othello”?
  • How Does Sax Portray Othello and Desdemona’s Relationship?
  • What Can Lawyers Learn From “Othello”?
  • How Does Shakespeare Present Iago’s Manipulation of Othello?
  • What Role Does Incoherent Language Play in “Othello”?
  • How Does Shakespeare Present Love in “Othello”?
  • What Role Does Race Play in “Othello”?
  • How Effective Are the First Two Scenes of “Othello”?

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 10). 108 Othello Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/othello-essay-topics/

"108 Othello Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples." StudyCorgi , 10 May 2022, studycorgi.com/ideas/othello-essay-topics/.

StudyCorgi . (2022) '108 Othello Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples'. 10 May.

1. StudyCorgi . "108 Othello Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples." May 10, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/othello-essay-topics/.


StudyCorgi . "108 Othello Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples." May 10, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/othello-essay-topics/.

StudyCorgi . 2022. "108 Othello Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples." May 10, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/othello-essay-topics/.

These essay examples and topics on Othello were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

This essay topic collection was updated on July 10, 2024 .


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115 Othello Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

Inside This Article

If you are studying Shakespeare's tragic play Othello and are in need of essay topic ideas, you have come to the right place. Othello is a complex and timeless work that explores themes of jealousy, race, betrayal, and manipulation. To help you brainstorm essay topics for your Othello assignment, we have compiled a list of 115 ideas and examples for you to consider.

  • Analyze the role of jealousy in Othello's downfall.
  • Discuss the theme of race in Othello and its significance.
  • Explore the character of Iago and his motivations for manipulating Othello.
  • Compare and contrast the relationships between Othello and Desdemona and Iago and Emilia.
  • Discuss the role of women in Othello and how they are portrayed.
  • Analyze the significance of the handkerchief in Othello.
  • Discuss how Othello's race affects his relationships with other characters.
  • Explore the theme of deception in Othello.
  • Discuss the role of fate in Othello's tragic downfall.
  • Analyze the theme of appearance versus reality in Othello.
  • Explore the character of Desdemona and her agency in the play.
  • Discuss the significance of the setting of Othello in Venice and Cyprus.
  • Analyze the theme of power and control in Othello.
  • Discuss the role of honor and reputation in Othello.
  • Explore the theme of masculinity in Othello.
  • Analyze the role of manipulation in Othello.
  • Discuss the theme of trust in Othello.
  • Explore the theme of revenge in Othello.
  • Analyze the role of love in Othello.
  • Discuss the theme of loyalty in Othello.
  • Explore the theme of betrayal in Othello.
  • Analyze the role of race in shaping Othello's identity.
  • Discuss the theme of prejudice in Othello.
  • Explore the theme of obsession in Othello.
  • Analyze the theme of madness in Othello.
  • Discuss the role of religion in Othello.
  • Explore the theme of manipulation in Othello.
  • Discuss the role of jealousy in Othello.
  • Analyze the role of women in Othello.
  • Discuss the theme of power in Othello.
  • Explore the theme of fate in Othello.
  • Analyze the role of honor in Othello.
  • Discuss the theme of love in Othello.
  • Explore the theme of loyalty in Othello.
  • Analyze the role of race in Othello.
  • Discuss the theme of manipulation in Othello.
  • Explore the theme of madness in Othello.
  • Analyze the role of religion in Othello.
  • Discuss the theme of betrayal in Othello.
  • Analyze the theme of prejudice in Othello.
  • Discuss the role of trust in Othello.
  • Analyze the role of appearance versus reality in Othello.
  • Discuss the theme of deception in Othello.
  • Explore the theme of power and control in Othello.

These essay topic ideas and examples should help you generate ideas for your Othello assignment and provide a solid foundation for your analysis of this classic work of literature. Whether you are exploring themes, characters, or motifs, Othello offers a wealth of material for analysis and interpretation. Good luck with your essay, and happy writing!

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: Essay Topics Some have said that the focus of is not the title character, as is the case with Shakespeare's other great tragedies, , , and . Is Othello simply too one-dimensional to be considered a great tragic hero? Does his seemingly unrealistic gullibility lessen our interest in him and his suffering?

Why does Othello not investigate Iago's accusations? Why does Othello not seek his own proof of Desdemona's betrayal?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge once wrote that Iago's soliloquies are the "motive-hunting of motiveless malignity." Is this an accurate observation? Does Iago have a motive or motives for his hatred of Othello?

Explore the character of Desdemona. What does she represent in the play?

If you read the play closely you will see that not enough time could have elapsed on Cyprus for Desdemona to have committed adultery. Examine the problem of time in and the possible dramatic reasons behind this unrealistic passage of time.

Discuss Othello's relationship with Desdemona. Does he truly love her?

Examine the female characters in the play. Do they share a common role in Othello?

Explore the issue of racism in and relate it to the problems of racial hatred in Elizabethan England.


: Complete Explanatory Notes

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: Q & A

Othello: A Review of its Faults and Problems

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Discussion Questions

Why do you think Shakespeare chose to write Othello as a Moor and Desdemona as a Venetian? How do their respective races affect the plot? Support your answer with evidence.

In Act I, the Venetian Senate asks Othello to defend Cyprus against the Turks. All of the play’s major characters sail to Cyprus, but a storm stops the Turkish fleet in Act II, eliminating the reason for Othello’s journey to Cyprus. Why do you think Shakespeare moved the action of the play to Cyprus, rather than leave his characters in Venice?

Which character does Iago have the easiest time manipulating, and why might some characters be more susceptible to his manipulation than others?

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Othello: Essay Topics & Samples

Do you need to compose an essay on Othello ? Are you unsure of your writing skills? Don’t stress out! You are on the right page!

Here, you can find compelling Othello essay topics, insightful prompts, and useful examples. So, check out our ideas and be ready to write an outstanding paper.

Essay Topics

  • A path from sincere love to terrible jealousy. Based on Othello by William Shakespeare, investigate the main character’s transformation . How does the author describe the love between Othello and Desdemona at the beginning of the book? How does their relationship change through the progress of the storyline? Explore the causes and effects of Othello’s jealousy.
  • Iago – the most dangerous villain of the ages. What is the role of Iago in Othello ? Research Iago’s reality via deception . How and with whom does he use it? What are Iago’s motives? Elaborate on the manipulations that the villain applies to fulfill his evil plan. How many people suffer from Iago’s trickery?
  • The role of women in 16th-century Venice. Investigate Desdemona’s, Emilia’s, and Bianca’s places in society. How do men treat these women? Compare and contrast three women of the play . Why is Desdemona viewed as the embodiment of purity, while Bianca is that of viciousness? Elaborate on Emilia’s feminist nature and her fight for gender equality.
  • Racism in Othello by William Shakespeare. Investigate the issue of racial discrimination in Othello . The play includes various examples of prejudice. Analyze them and comment on their role in the piece. To make your essay even more impressive, provide appropriate quotes.
  • Desdemona as a perfect Renaissance woman. In your essay, analyze Desdemona’s personality . How did she fall in love with Othello? Speculate on why she remained faithful to her husband till the very end. How do other characters of the play describe her? Explain how her forgiveness, loyalty, and unconditional love make her a perfect Renaissance woman.
  • Animal imagery in Othello . The book mentions numerous animals. What hidden meanings lie behind them? Explain why Shakespeare compares people to animals. What effect do these analogies have on the readers? Include appropriate quotes from Othello in your essay.
  • The controversy of Othello’s personality. What is Othello’s social status in the play? On the one hand, he is a noble warrior and the general of the Venetian army. On the other, he is a Moor. His skin color makes him an outsider in society. So, what side outweighs? Is he a respected man or an outcast? In your essay, provide quotes from the text to support your position.
  • The role of settings in Othello . Analyze the backgrounds of each scene and trace how they narrow down. At the beginning of the play, the action takes place in the spacious Mediterranean sea. However, the story ends in a tiny room. How the change of settings affects the tone of the play?
  • Othello – a victim or a villain? Explore the development of Othello’s personality throughout the play. Is he Iago’s victim or a cruel murderer? Is there anything that could justify Othello? The essay should include appropriate quotes to strengthen your arguments.
  • The relevance of Othello to modern readers. Written in the 16th century, the play remains one of the most widely-discussed pieces of literature. Analyze the themes covered by Shakespeare and explain what lies behind the popularity of Othello . What can the readers learn from the play?

Essay Samples

Now that you’ve seen the topics for an Othello essay , you are ready to write one yourself. Well, almost. It may be useful for you to check some actual examples. See the samples below to consider a proper essay structure and argumentation.

  • “Othello” a Tragedy by William Shakespeare The given play has been explored and discussed for centuries due to its intriguing underlying subtext and themes. It led to numerous interpretations made by critics, casual readers, and students. The author of the essay, for example, claims that Othello is more about conflict than love, disagreeing with their professor on the topic.
  • Women Role in Shakespeare’s Othello and Hamlet There are three women in Othello and only two in Hamlet, yet their roles are prominent in both plays. Even though men are the ones who murder and manipulate, women are more than their victims. See the essay to understand how female characters affect the plots and themes of the tragedies and reflect the societal norms of the time.
  • Elizabethan Era Gender Roles in Shakespeare’s Plays Shakespeare’s works have been widely recognized for the realistic representation of the society of the time. Additionally, Shakespear firmly highlighted the gender roles in his plays. To better understand the gender roles in the literary works, it is necessary to comprehend them in the Elizabethan Era. 
  • Annotated Bibliography: Shakespeare Studies Critics have been analyzing and discussing Shakespeare’s works for centuries. The present essay lists articles that explore specific topics in the author’s stories. Some of the issues addressed include feminism and the role of women in Shakespeare’s plays. 
  • Killings for Love in Shakespeare’s and Garcia’s Works Shakespeare’s Othello and Garcia’s Chronicles of a Death Foretold end with the violent death ignited by strong emotions. This essay examines the killings in the stories and the feelings those originated from. The question investigated is whether deaths occur due to love or wrong priorities. 
  • From a Villain to a Victim and Back: Othello and Iago Othello is one of the most complicated characters in Shakespeare’s plays, with the good and evil intertwining in him. Iago is the main antagonist who faces similar battles. The essay examines the differences and similarities of the characters, as well as attempts to determine the main villain in the play.
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The Odyssey is an epic poem by Homer, in which he combined history with Greek mythology. Being an incredibly talented poet, Homer employed a huge number of symbols in The Odyssey. Some of them are the bow, sea, and shroud. They are essential for the readers because they represent the...

The Odyssey: Themes

Homer’s Oddysey is an iconic ancient Greek epic poem that remains popular even nowadays. One of the reasons for the enormous success of this literary piece is the numerous important issues raised in it. The themes of The Odyssey impress with their diversity and pertinence. What is the theme of...

The Odyssey: Characters

To analyze the characters in The Odyssey, one has to understand their purpose. The majority of them are not fleshed out or multifaceted, except for Odysseus, his wife, and son. The rest of The Odyssey characters are either an obstacle or an assistant for the hero of the story. Keep...

The Odyssey: Summary & Analysis

Welcome to Homer’s Odyssey summary! The epic poem tells the story of the courageous and witty warrior Odysseus. Being separated from his family because of the Trojan War, he desperately tries to get to Ithaca, his homeland. However, the task of reaching home becomes more difficult than he expected. It...

Hamlet Essay Topics & Samples

It can be argued that William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the most significant play ever written and performed. It is much more than just a play about revenge as it deals with universal philosophical questions. Life and death, love and betrayal, friends, and woes are all explored through the mind of...

Hamlet: Symbols

There are several symbols in Hamlet that are crucial for understanding the underlying message of the play. They provide a more in-depth look into the characters’ minds, illustrating their emotions and sufferings. Besides, symbols and imagery reveal how the inner turmoils affect the world around. So, examine the symbolism in...


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Othello - Essay Samples And Topic Ideas For Free

Othello is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, exploring themes of jealousy, betrayal, and racism. Essays on “Othello” could delve into character analyses, thematic explorations, and the play’s historical and social context. They might analyze the play’s treatment of race and the character of Othello as a tragic hero. Discussions could also explore the play’s modern-day relevance, adaptations, and its reflection of, or comment on, the societal norms and racial attitudes of both Shakespeare’s time and today. A substantial compilation of free essay instances related to Othello you can find at PapersOwl Website. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

Role and Character of Iago in Othello

In Othello by William Shakespeare, Iago a power hungry ancient drives the plot through his cruel and manipulative ways. In the play Othello and Desdemona are happily married, Othello gives Cassio a promotion to lieutenant, he chooses Cassio over Iago and gives Iago a more trusted and honorable job. Through manipulation Iago is able to bring the downfall of every character he pleases. Iago uses subtle cruelty to manipulate other characters into doing heinous acts which may of otherwise seemed […]

Women’s Role in Othello

Othello presents us with three female leads; Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca. The way the play is worded implies woman as somewhat slanderous and adulterous and yet in the beginning depicts women mostly as virtuous. All these characters are implied to be whores through the play. During Act 2, Scene 2, Othello’s wife is being referred to as “a maid that paragons description and wild fame” and that “she excels the quirks of blazoning pens”. This states that she is so […]

Iago: the Main Antagonist

In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, the main antagonist Iago guides the audience through his path of deception to justify his revenge towards Othello. As a result of Iago being humiliated and disenfranchised by Othello, he takes from Othello what he values most; the security he feels in Desdemona's untainted love and commitment. Iago justifies his action though: his jealously of Cassio being appointed as lieutenant instead of him, the misconception he has that Othello had sex with his […]

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Misogyny and Violence in Othello

William Shakespeare's play “Othello” makes it clear that women have been vulnerable to male slander and assault for ages. Othello is a story of domestic abuse and male violence. Male violence remains a tragedy for many girls and women. Many victims of intimate partner violence will recognize their experiences in this play. The terrifying transformation of a beloved into an aggressor, the closing off of escape routes, the urgent assertion of fidelity. The #MeToo movement opens up a new way […]

Othello Manipulation Essay

Manipulation is all around us; we frequently do not notice it because it is hidden very well. Humans manipulate others in order to get their requests, they expect them to reveal their flaws to use it against them. In Othello, Iago demonstrates he is the master of manipulation over all characters who had formerly trusted and confined him. Shakespeare’s Iago effectively showcases how humans can use others weaknesses to serve their demands which causes them to expose their faults. Shakespeare […]

Shakespeare: Obedience and Powerless in Women

In Hamlet and Othello, Shakespeare criticizes the feminine issues that were present in his time, bringing awareness to the standard roles and ideal expectations of women by characterizing them in a space of being obedient and powerless. As women are portrayed as having ideal feminine values such as chastity and passiveness, the frailty of women is also brought to the surface. On the other hand, Shakespeare also seems to be suggesting that internal destruction is generated in the sense that […]

Theme of Jealousy in Iago, Roderigo, and Othello’s Characters

Shakespeare explores the theme of jealousy in Othello through Iago,Roderigo, and Othello. Iago starts off the jealousy theme in Othello when he gets jealous of Cassio. Othello puts Cassio as his 2nd in command while he signed Iago to be his ensign which means third in command. Iago then goes crazy and starts plotting to ruin Othello’s marriage and get Cassio fired. He then starts putting words in Othello’s head and starts to make him question everything. “O, beware, my […]

Racism and Racial Prejudice in Othello

In the book, Othello, by William Shakespeare, we see a big impact of racism and racial prejudice. Othello shows a lot of this and how it gets in the way by restraining love in society. He is a black man who is also a great and successful war soldier. He dedicates himself to serve society's goals by fighting for his country. Even though, Othello is a Moor, he is the most hardworking and the most respected. When it comes to […]

Imbalance of Power between Men and Women

Social imbalance can be termed as the presence of inequality opportunities as well as rewards for different gender statuses and social function within the society. The act of imbalance can be attributed to various important dimensions that involve cultures, employment opportunities as well as earnings. Furthermore, an aspect of inequality much revolves around power which is primarily discussed in this paper. The power imbalance between men and women in areas such as religion not only occur in western and British […]

Deaths of Characters in Othello

How many people die on Othello? Knowing Shakespeare, he kills off a majority of his characters. In Othello alone, eighty-five point seven percent of the roles die in the end. Whether killed by a sword or strangled out of jealousy, there were no justified reasonings for the deaths. Emilia, Desdemona, and Othello all fall blind to the truth and die because of it. Desdemona, one of Shakespeare's more naive and innocent character, was killed by her own husband in the […]

Reasons of Othello’s Tragedy

Othello's tragedy is a product of not just Iago, but himself. Though Iago may appear to be the primary cause of Othello's downfall, based on how manipulative, evil, and deceptive Iago was throughout the story. It can also be said, after having read the story, Othello's own insecurities were the product of his own self demise. A combination of putting trust into Iago due to male pride, his lack of confidence of Desdemona and the perception of infidelity and racial […]

Was Iago a Real Villain?

The Considering Iago as a "Villain" in  the play Othello, the character Iago plays a main role in the destruction of Othello and all of those around him. People could say that Iago's actions are simply a scheming liar and that he is a purely evil character. Others say Iago's talent for understanding and manipulating the desires of those around him that makes him both a powerful and a compelling figure that represent some greater force. We find soon in […]

Description of Othello’s Character

Othello is the main character in the play Othello by William Shakespeare. He is a well-respected African general in the Venice army and is happily married to Desdemona, a white woman. Othello being African already makes him an outsider and highlights racism in Venice. Throughout this play, there are slurs that have been used to describe Othello, "Moor, is an example of one. Even though Shakespeare did not make race the main theme in the play it is a huge […]

Iago’s Jealousy in Othello

William Shakespeare is prolific for his plays of love, revenge, deceit and jealousy. Among his most celebrated plays is the tragedy Othello, in which the themes of jealousy and deceit play a central role. In Othello, one of his most recognized tragedies was revolving around the central theme of jealousy and deceit. The themes of jealousy and deceit go with love. Love consumes all those who take part in it and in Othello’s case, his love for Desdemona has blinded […]

Literary Devices Used Othello

In Othello by William Shakespeare, Othello considers and thinks about all his actions before going through with them. By analyzing his soliloquies, we can understand his thoughts, and his reasons behind his actions. In act 5 scene 2 the first soliloquy Othello contemplated him killing his wife. This monologue gives you an inside scoop of Othello's thinking process because he doesn't want to kill his wife but feels as if he needs to. Othello makes choices that he might not […]

Lies, Revenge and Betrayal in Othello

Lies are extremely common in our society today, with millions of people masking their true intentions. In Shakespeare's play titled Othello, one of the characters, Iago, is no different and in fact the same as those deceptive individuals in society. Behind his act as a trustworthy friend, Iago is a manipulative and deceptive character creating disorder and causing many mishaps to occur. Iago uses many acts of manipulation to undermine every single character's weaknesses to get exactly what he wants, […]

Insanity Within the Plays of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare in his many plays and other pieces of literature created some of the most well thought out characters of all time. The characters often had reasons for what they did or what they thought, shedding new light on what it meant to actually be “insane”. The characters’ motives were often shown during his stories, Because of that, Shakespeare, through his use of literature and understanding of the human mind, shaped western culture’s perception of insanity from negative feelings […]

Othello as an Ideal Representation of the Tragic Hero

William Shakespeare's Othello is a clear representation of the downfall of a tragic hero. Set in Venice and Cyprus during the 16th century, Othello, a moor, deals with the manipulative actions of a general of the Venetian army, Iago. Due to losing his desired position of being Othello's lieutenant to another solider Cassio, he plots is revenge in deviousness. Othello becomes persuaded by Iago 's rumors, framing, and miscommunications, causing him to kill Desdemona, his believed unfaithful wife. In realization […]

Sexism in Shakespeare’s Play Othello

"In the book, Othello written by Shakespeare, there is a main theme of sexism present throughout the book, Although the book was written in the 1600s, and there have been great decreases in sexism around the world, many of these ideas and scenarios are still present to this day. Sexism is defined as prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. Sexism has been present for centuries, in many different forms, such as wage gaps, gender […]

Power and Control in Othello

In modern society, there are instances where one person has power over another. It is found in professions, school, and everyday life. What is meant by control is having some sort of influence in the way you act, make money, or are seen by others. This in no way means that someone completely owns another person. Power and control of others can be found by lying to others for benefits, men taking a higher role than women, and higher-ranked people […]

Othello Gullible Essay

The start of the Renaissance marked a time of a creative movement that promoted the greatest artists and creators to come forth and produce the best that their minds could think up. One of these artists that today still hold a position of being greatly respected and admired by the public is William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was a poet, writing over 154 sonnets, and a playwright, and in each of the 37 plays, he was able to “capture the complete range […]

With Love, Violence and Vengeance

Through the twisted minds of human nature, love is shown through acts of violence and vengeance committed by mankind. William Shakespeare's, Othello and Homer’s The Odyssey violence and vengeance are portrayed through jealousy, prejudice, justice, and honor. Their roles are woven throughout these books to portray the idea that love is a violent concept. Violence and vengeance can be found in several ways. It can be expressed physically, verbally, and mentally. Othello shows how envy and jealousy can overpower and […]

Importance of Literary Devices in Othello

This passage highlights Iago's character through the use of diction, imagery, irony, and other instances of figurative language. In this exchange, Iago continues to inconspicuously accuse Desdemona of being unfaithful to Othello and accuse Cassio of being disloyal to his superiors. He inserts various remarks at different times to execute this plan. At the end of this echange, Iago has effectively created an unfaithful and untruthful image of Cassio and Desdemona, and planted a seed of jealousy and doubt in […]

A Short Review of the Othello Play

In Act 1 of Othello, we are introduced to Iago and Roderigo. Iago is upset because Othello gave Cassio the position Iago wanted. Iago felt Cassio was not qualified for the position because he had never been in actual situations unlike Iago. The true colors of Iago are shown because this is the first time the audience has been exposed to the deceitful side of Iago. He talks about only following Othello just so he can turn his back on […]

My Attitude to Othello and Iago

Iago the antagonist within Othello written by William Shakespeare. I am so engaged with Iago because I want to secretly be like him. To get away with all the destruction he exerts. I get bored of the good guys always succeeding. He embodies both attraction and repulsion. The character of dramatic irony gropes us into his story and makes me agree that the most effective villain is one that both attracts and repels, which is why a villain is a […]

Characters in the Play Othello

The play Othello written by Shakespeare in the 1600s takes place in Venice, and Cyprus an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Shakespeare’s tale focuses on love, jealousy, and betrayal. Main characters being; Iago, Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Bianca, and others. While some of these main characters go through some minor and big changes throughout the play. The character Othello undergoes many changes from start to finish, although some of the other characters in this play have a part in the way […]

A True Reason of Othello Demise

The novel Othello is about a General man named Othello and his wife Desdemona, just trying to be a normal couple, but problems occur when Iago starts to stir things up and starts to put lies in Othello's head. Iago starts to stir things up because Iago wanted to get the rank as lieutenant but Othello thought Cassio deserved it more and gave it to him so Iago wants revenge and wants to mess up Othello's relationship with Desdemona. Iago […]

Racism in Othello

Throughout history, men have the tendency to seek power. They may initially intend on pursuing the greater good, but eventually, pride rules out. And according to Cornelius Tacitus, senator of the Roman Empire, “the lust for power, for dominating others, inflames the heart more than any other passion” (Tacitus). This desire that is stained within our human nature gradually instigates tension between individuals and is largely influenced by race. Therefore, while those who triumph usually become centered, those without, get […]

Othello as an Aristotelean Tragedy

Legendary playmakers, such as Aristotle and Sophocles, held an influential position in the history of theatrical performances. In creating works like Oedipus the King, such experts seemingly knew how to intertwine human emotion with the actions of the narrative. This prowess eventually adopted by other artists led to the creation of some of the greatest plays in history. Interestingly, most of these plays entailed a protagonist, covered in splendor and valor throughout the play. The lead character often gained high […]

Prominent Theme in Shakespeare’s Othello

Within the play "Othello, written by William Shakespeare, the main and prominent theme of the play concerns with Othello's primary flaw, his jealousy. Thus, it is evident within the play the term "The Green-Eyed Monster whom Iago refers as jealousy suggests why The role of jealousy within Othello is focused from his delusional jealousy described as "Othello Syndrome, how his jealousy can resonate with readers and the connection with real-life marriages. In Shakespeare's Othello, he introduces the term of the […]

Originally published :1905
Author :William Shakespeare
Adapted from :Un Capitano Moro
Characters :Iago, Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Roderigo, Brabantio
Location :Venice sparknotes.com

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How To Write an Essay About Othello

Understanding the play 'othello'.

To write an effective essay about Shakespeare's 'Othello,' it's crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the play. 'Othello' is a tragedy that explores themes such as jealousy, love, betrayal, and racism. Start by familiarizing yourself with the plot, characters, and Shakespeare's language. It's important to understand the historical and cultural context in which Shakespeare wrote the play. Research the Elizabethan era's attitudes towards race and gender, as these are central themes in 'Othello.' Understanding the play's context and themes will provide a solid foundation for your essay.

Formulating a Thesis Statement

Your essay should be driven by a clear, concise thesis statement. This statement should offer a unique perspective on 'Othello.' You might choose to focus on a character analysis of Othello or Iago, explore the theme of jealousy, or examine the play's treatment of race and ethnicity. Whatever focus you choose, your thesis should guide your analysis and provide a central argument for your essay.

Gathering Evidence from the Play

Once you have your thesis, gather evidence from the play to support your argument. This involves closely reading the text to find relevant quotes, dialogues, and scenes. For example, if you're discussing the theme of betrayal, identify instances in the play where betrayal is evident and examine the consequences of these actions. This evidence will form the backbone of your essay and strengthen your arguments.

Analyzing Shakespeare's Techniques

In your essay, analyze how Shakespeare uses various techniques to convey themes and develop characters. This might include his use of language, imagery, symbolism, and dramatic structure. For instance, explore how Shakespeare uses irony or foreshadowing to enhance the tragic elements of the story. Your analysis should provide insight into how Shakespeare's techniques contribute to the overall meaning and impact of 'Othello.'

Concluding the Essay

Conclude your essay by summarizing the main points of your analysis and restating your thesis. Your conclusion should tie together your analysis and reinforce your overall argument. It's also an opportunity to reflect on the broader significance of 'Othello' in terms of its relevance to contemporary audiences or its place in Shakespeare's body of work.

Reviewing and Refining Your Essay

After writing your essay, review and refine it for clarity and coherence. Check for grammatical and spelling errors, and ensure that your essay flows logically from one point to the next. Consider seeking feedback from peers or instructors to further improve your essay. A well-written essay on 'Othello' should not only demonstrate your understanding of the play but also your ability to engage critically with Shakespeare's work.

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Essays on Othello

🎭💔✍️ othello essay: dive into the drama.

Othello, the magnificent Shakespearean tragedy, is like a rollercoaster ride of emotions! 😱💔 Exploring this timeless masterpiece in an essay can unlock a world of insights and ignite your imagination 🔥. By delving into the depths of Othello's themes, characters, and plot twists, you can unravel the complexities of human nature and society. It's an opportunity to showcase your analytical skills and showcase your love for literature. So, buckle up and embark on an Othello essay adventure!

Othello Essay Topics 📝

Othello argumentative essay 🤔💬.

An argumentative essay on Othello requires you to take a stance and defend it with solid evidence from the play. Some intriguing topics to consider:

  • Is Othello a victim of racism or his own insecurities?
  • Did Iago's evil nature drive Othello to his tragic downfall?
  • Should Desdemona be held responsible for her fate?

Othello Cause and Effect Essay 🌪️🤯

In a cause and effect essay, you'll explore the ripple effects of certain actions or events in Othello. Here are some captivating topics to ponder:

  • The consequences of Iago's manipulation on Othello's relationships.
  • How jealousy leads to destruction in Othello's world.
  • The impact of societal norms on Othello's tragic fate.

Othello Opinion Essay 🗣️😮

Opinion essays allow you to express your personal viewpoint on specific aspects of Othello. Here are some thought-provoking topics to spark your imagination:

  • Is Othello's jealousy justified or exaggerated?
  • Should Othello have trusted Desdemona despite the rumors?
  • What role does gender play in the tragedy of Othello?

Othello Informative Essay 📚📖

Informative essays aim to educate readers about various aspects of Othello. Here are some enlightening topics to enlighten your audience:

  • The historical context of Othello: Shakespeare's portrayal of race and society.
  • The symbolism of the handkerchief in Othello and its significance.
  • The evolution of Othello's character throughout the play.

Othello Essay Example 📑

Othello thesis statement examples 📜💡.

Here are a few thesis statement examples to inspire your Othello essay:

  • Thesis: Othello's tragic downfall is a result of his vulnerability to manipulation by Iago due to his insecurities about his race and age.
  • Thesis: The handkerchief symbolizes trust, fidelity, and betrayal in Othello, highlighting the fragility of relationships.
  • Thesis: Othello's jealousy is fueled by societal expectations and gender roles, leading to the tragedy that unfolds.

Othello Essay Introduction Examples 🌟

Here are some introduction paragraph examples for your Othello essay:

  • Introduction: Othello, a play filled with love, deception, and revenge...
  • Introduction: In the realm of Shakespearean tragedies, Othello stands as a poignant exploration of love, jealousy, and the destructive power of manipulation. As we venture into the depths of this timeless masterpiece, we are transported to a world where trust is fragile, and motives are concealed. Othello's journey, from a celebrated Moorish general to a tragic figure consumed by jealousy, invites us to contemplate the complexities of human emotion and the consequences of unchecked suspicion.
  • Introduction: Othello, the Moor of Venice, is a character whose name echoes through the annals of literary history. In our exploration of Othello's tragic tale, we confront issues of race, trust, and the corrosive force of jealousy. As we delve into this gripping narrative, we are challenged to dissect the motives of its characters and the underlying themes that continue to resonate in today's society.

Othello Essay Conclusion Examples 🔚📝

Here are some conclusion paragraph examples for your Othello essay:

  • Conclusion: As we bid farewell to the tragic world of Othello, we are left with a profound exploration of human nature, jealousy, and the consequences of deceit. Shakespeare's timeless masterpiece continues to captivate and haunt our hearts, reminding us of the enduring power of storytelling.
  • Conclusion: In the final act of Othello, we witness the devastating aftermath of jealousy and manipulation. The tragic downfall of Othello, Desdemona, and others serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the destructive potential of unchecked emotions. As we bid farewell to this tale of love and betrayal, let us carry forward the lessons learned from the characters' fates, recognizing the enduring relevance of Shakespeare's exploration of the human condition.
  • Conclusion: Othello, a masterpiece of tragedy, leaves an indelible mark on our understanding of human nature. Through the twists and turns of its plot, we are confronted with the consequences of jealousy and deceit. As our journey through this timeless work comes to a close, let us reflect on the enduring power of literature to illuminate the complexities of the human soul and the fragility of trust.

Symbols Role in Shakespeare's Othello

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Cassio The Victimized Lieutenant in Othello

"othello" and "o": comparing themes of jealousy and power, the jealousy in othello: literary analysis, misogyny in othello by william shakespeare, let us write you an essay from scratch.

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Othello: Desdemona as a Representation of Power and Possession

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The Power of Jealousy in Shakespeare’s Othello

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1603, William Shakespeare

Play; Tragedy

Othello, Desdemona, Iago, Michael Cassio, Emilia, Roderigo, Bianca, Brabanzio, Duke of Venice, Montano, Lodovico, Graziano, Clown

The play is primarily based on a story from an Italian novella called "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio. Shakespeare took inspiration from this source material and adapted it into his own version, adding depth and complexity to the characters and exploring themes of jealousy, betrayal, and manipulation.

In the tragic play "Othello" by William Shakespeare , the story follows the powerful and respected Moorish general, Othello. Othello secretly marries Desdemona, a Venetian woman, despite objections from her father, Brabantio. Othello's ensign, Iago, harboring deep resentment and jealousy, manipulates events to destroy Othello's life. Iago plants seeds of doubt in Othello's mind, insinuating that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him with his lieutenant, Cassio. Consumed by jealousy, Othello becomes increasingly suspicious and tormented by his thoughts. Iago's cunning manipulations lead Othello to believe in the alleged affair, pushing him into a spiral of rage and despair. Othello's doubts intensify, leading him to confront Desdemona and ultimately strangle her in a fit of madness. Upon discovering the truth and Iago's treachery, Othello takes his own life in a moment of devastating realization. The play concludes with Iago's exposure and punishment for his deceitful actions.

The play "Othello" by William Shakespeare is set in the late 16th century, primarily in the city of Venice and later on the island of Cyprus. Venice, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, serves as the initial backdrop for the story. Its opulent palaces, canals, and bustling streets create an atmosphere of grandeur and sophistication. The Venetian setting reflects the cultural diversity of the time, with characters from various backgrounds and ethnicities. As the plot progresses, the setting shifts to the island of Cyprus, where Othello is stationed with his troops. Cyprus offers a contrasting environment to Venice, characterized by its remote and isolated nature. The island's rugged landscape and military camp create a tense and confined atmosphere, amplifying the dramatic events that unfold. Both settings play a significant role in the play's themes and conflicts. Venice represents the veneer of civilization and societal expectations, while Cyprus represents the raw emotions, passions, and darker aspects of human nature. The contrasting settings highlight the clash between appearances and reality, order and chaos, and ultimately contribute to the tragedy that unfolds in "Othello."

1. Jealousy and Betrayal: The theme of jealousy lies at the heart of the play, as Iago manipulates Othello's trust and fuels his insecurities, leading to tragic consequences. Betrayal is also explored as characters deceive one another for personal gain, highlighting the destructive power of envy and deceit. 2. Racism and Prejudice: Othello, a Moorish general, faces discrimination and racial prejudice throughout the play. Shakespeare examines the destructive effects of racism, as Othello's character is systematically undermined and ultimately destroyed by the racist assumptions and stereotypes held by others. 3. Appearance versus Reality: The theme of appearance versus reality is prevalent as characters wear masks of virtue and honesty while concealing their true intentions. Othello's tragic downfall is a result of his inability to discern truth from falsehood, emphasizing the dangers of misjudgment and manipulation. 4. Love and Obsession: The play explores various forms of love, from passionate romance to obsessive possessiveness. The intense love between Othello and Desdemona is contrasted with Iago's twisted obsession with destroying their happiness, shedding light on the complexities of human relationships. 5. Gender and Power: Shakespeare examines gender dynamics and the societal expectations placed upon women. Desdemona's character challenges traditional gender roles, while Emilia, Iago's wife, highlights the subjugation of women and the consequences of male dominance.

1. Imagery: Shakespeare skillfully uses vivid imagery to create powerful visual and sensory impressions. For example, in Act 1, Scene 1, Iago describes Othello and Desdemona's elopement as "an old black ram / Is tupping your white ewe," employing the contrasting images of a black ram and a white ewe to convey the scandalous nature of their relationship. 2. Soliloquy: Soliloquies allow characters to express their inner thoughts and feelings to the audience. One notable example is Othello's soliloquy in Act 5, Scene 2, where he reflects on his decision to kill Desdemona, saying, "It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul," revealing his internal struggle and justifying his actions. 3. Foreshadowing: Shakespeare employs foreshadowing to hint at future events and build tension. In Act 3, Scene 3, Desdemona tells Othello, "The heavens forbid / But that our loves and comforts should increase / Even as our days do grow," foreshadowing the impending tragedy and the deterioration of their relationship. 4. Irony: Irony is used to create a contrast between what is expected and what actually occurs. For instance, when Iago says, "I am not what I am," in Act 1, Scene 1, it is an ironic statement, as he presents himself as trustworthy while plotting Othello's downfall. 5. Symbolism: Shakespeare employs symbolism to convey deeper meanings. The handkerchief, a symbol of fidelity, becomes a significant object in the play. Its loss and subsequent manipulation by Iago symbolize the erosion of trust and the unraveling of Othello's marriage.

In 1995, director Oliver Parker released a film adaptation of "Othello" starring Laurence Fishburne as the titular character. Fishburne's portrayal emphasized Othello's dignity and inner conflict, earning critical acclaim. Another notable film adaptation is Orson Welles' 1952 version, where Welles himself took on the role of Othello, showcasing his powerful presence on screen. "Othello" continues to be performed on stage worldwide. Notable theatrical productions include the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2015 production, featuring Hugh Quarshie as Othello, and the 2007 Broadway revival, with Chiwetel Ejiofor in the lead role, receiving critical acclaim for their compelling interpretations. Othello's character has also been explored in literary adaptations and reimaginings. For example, in 2001, author Sena Jeter Naslund wrote the novel "Ahab's Wife," where she includes a fictional encounter between Othello and the protagonist. These adaptations offer different perspectives and delve into the complexity of Othello's character. Othello's story has inspired numerous musical compositions. One notable example is the opera "Otello" by Giuseppe Verdi, which premiered in 1887. Verdi's powerful music captures the intense emotions of the characters and brings Othello's tragic tale to life.

1. Literary Influence: "Othello" has had a profound influence on subsequent works of literature. Its exploration of themes such as jealousy, betrayal, and the destructive power of manipulation has inspired countless writers. For example, Toni Morrison's novel "A Mercy" draws parallels to "Othello" in its exploration of race and power dynamics. The play's tragic elements and psychological depth have also influenced works like James Joyce's "Ulysses" and D.H. Lawrence's "Women in Love." 2. Psychological Exploration: Othello's tragic descent into jealousy and manipulation has made the play a subject of psychological analysis. The character's inner conflict and the manipulation he falls victim to offer rich material for the study of human psychology, particularly in relation to themes of trust, self-doubt, and the destructive nature of unchecked emotions. 3. Social Commentary: "Othello" addresses issues of race, identity, and prejudice, making it a powerful tool for social commentary. The play's examination of racial stereotypes and the destructive consequences of discrimination still resonate today. Othello's position as a black man in a predominantly white society has been explored and analyzed in the context of race relations, colonialism, and social injustice. 4. Performance and Theater: "Othello" has had a lasting impact on the world of theater and performance. The character of Othello presents a unique and complex role for actors, requiring both physical presence and emotional depth. The play's themes and dramatic tension continue to captivate audiences, leading to numerous adaptations, productions, and reinterpretations on stage. 5. Language and Imagery: Shakespeare's masterful use of language and vivid imagery in "Othello" has had a lasting impact on the English language. Phrases like "green-eyed monster" and "the beast with two backs" have become part of the cultural lexicon. The play's powerful speeches and soliloquies have been studied, quoted, and admired for their beauty and poetic expression.

1. "Othello" is believed to have been first performed around 1604. While the exact date is unknown, it is widely believed to have premiered at the Court of King James I in London. The play was met with great success and has since become one of Shakespeare's most acclaimed tragedies. 2. "Othello" has contributed several phrases and expressions to the English language. One notable example is the term "the green-eyed monster," used to describe jealousy. This phrase has become a popular way to convey the destructive nature of envy. Additionally, the phrase "wear my heart upon my sleeve" originates from the play, referring to openly displaying one's emotions. 3. Traditionally, the character of Othello has been played by a white actor in blackface makeup. This casting practice has faced criticism and controversy over the years, as it perpetuates racial stereotypes and limits opportunities for actors of color. In recent times, there has been a growing movement towards authentic casting, with actors of African descent portraying the role to offer a more nuanced and authentic representation of Othello's racial identity.

"Othello" remains a timeless and significant work in literature, making it an important subject for essays and academic discussions. Shakespeare's masterful exploration of themes such as jealousy, deception, race, and power continues to resonate with audiences across generations. The character of Othello, a Moorish general in a predominantly white society, raises critical questions about racism, discrimination, and the manipulation of prejudices. Additionally, the play delves into the destructive nature of jealousy and how it can lead to tragic consequences. Writing an essay about "Othello" allows scholars to analyze the complexity of characters like Iago, whose malevolent machinations drive the plot. It offers opportunities to discuss the portrayal of women in the play and the theme of women's agency in a patriarchal society. Furthermore, exploring the play's language, literary devices, and poetic techniques showcases Shakespeare's genius as a playwright. By grappling with the moral dilemmas and psychological depth of the characters, an essay on "Othello" opens doors to deeper insights into human nature, society, and the enduring power of Shakespeare's storytelling.

"She loved me for the dangers I had passed, And I loved her that she did pity them. This only is the witchcraft I have used." "I kissed thee ere I killed thee — no way but this, killing myself to die upon a kiss" "Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial" "Men in rage strike those that wish them best" "But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at: I am not what I am"

1. Chandler, M. (1987). The Othello effect. Human development, 30(3), 137-159. (https://www.karger.com/article/Abstract/273174) 2. Shakespeare, W. (2019). othello. In One-Hour Shakespeare (pp. 231-302). Routledge. (https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429262715-11/othello-william-shakespeare) 3. Neill, M. (1989). Unproper beds: Race, adultery, and the hideous in Othello. Shakespeare Quarterly, 40(4), 383-412. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/2870608) 4 . Neely, C. T. (1977). Women and Men in" Othello";" what should such a fool/Do with so good a woman?". Shakespeare Studies, 10, 133. (https://www.proquest.com/openview/91053b700d876bd2b3be478cb40742b1/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1819311) 5. Cipriani, G., Vedovello, M., Nuti, A., & Di Fiorino, A. (2012). Dangerous passion: Othello syndrome and dementia. Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 66(6), 467-473. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1440-1819.2012.02386.x) 6. Siegel, P. N. (1953). The Damnation of Othello. PMLA, 68(5), 1068-1078. (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/pmla/article/abs/damnation-of-othello/F3193C55450F83F4EFACB0DDF5983B0E) 7. Poulson, C., Duncan, J., & Massie, M. (2005). “I Am Not What I Am”–Destructive Emotions in an Organizational Hierarchy: The Case of Othello and Iago. In The Effect of Affect in Organizational Settings (Vol. 1, pp. 211-240). Emerald Group Publishing Limited. (https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1016/S1746-9791(05)01109-0/full/html) 8. Bristol, M. D. (1990). Charivari and the Comedy of Abjection in" Othello". Renaissance Drama, 21, 3-21. (https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/rd.21.41917258?journalCode=rd) 9. Nowottny, W. (1954). Justice and love in Othello. University of Toronto Quarterly, 21(4), 330-344. (https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/utq.21.4.330) 10. Braden, W. S. (1990). The Properties of" Othello,". Philosophy and Literature, 14(1), 186-187. (https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/1/article/417219/summary)

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othello topics research paper


Othello Analysis Research and Essay: Home

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These links are to recommended research databases.  Search   Othello and a keyword  ( Home login and password:  montytech1 ) :

othello topics research paper

The following are SCHOLARY articles that address themes in Othello. You may choose from one of these. Note: Read the abstract or use Control-f to find keywords.

  • Lust for Audience: An Interpretation of Othello (JSTOR) Home login and password: montytech1
  • Honest Othello: The Handkerchief Once More (JSTOR) Home login and password: montytech1
  • Women and Men in Othello (Bloom's)  Home login and password: montytech1
  • Desdemona, Woman Warrior: 'O, these men, these men!' (4.3.59) (Literature Resource Center)
  • Women and Men in Othello (Literature Resource Center)

These are OVERVIEW articles that may assist you:

  • Othello (Overview) (Literature Resource Center)
  • Othello: Shakespeare for Students (GVRL)  Home login: montytech1
  • Othello (Overview) (Literature Resource Center)  by K.M. Newton
  • Othello: Critical Introduction to the Play (Bloom's)  Home login and password: montytech1

Google Tips:

  • For scholarly articles, go to scholar.google.com.  Also, when searching in Google, type .edu at the end of your keywords to get more scholarly sources. 
  • Do not use "paper mill" sites or student work/presentations as a source. 
  • Do not use SparkNotes-type sites as a source.  Hint: If it's not from a database, it must have an author.

Research Starters for Shakespeare's  Othello :

Examine the role of jealousy , love , and/or betrayal in the play. You may want to pick one character (Iago or Othello perhaps?) and focus on one issue.

It has been argued that  Othello  is accessible to us today because of the issues of racism , love, betrayal, and jealousy. Pick one and explain why  Othello  is accessible to us . Be careful, and be sure to talk about the play.

Examine the role of women in the play. Are they passive or direct or obedient or strong? Be careful because this is a big topic, and you may want to choose just one character.

Consider the warning of Desdemona’s father to Othello, and Othello’s response. Are the responses a foreshadowing of what is to come and Othello’s ultimate fate ? Explain.

Consider the role of the handkerchief . How in the world can a small piece of cloth cause so much trouble?

Honest Iago tends to be like a “toxic friend.” Explain. (search for friendship )

After Iago became Othello’s lieutenant, could he have ended his revenge at this point? Why or why not? Consider why he hates the Moor so much. Please do not state the obvious of the promotion—go deeper.

Why is Othello so quick to believe Iago? Does he truly love Desdemona? ( trust )

Examine the relationship between Emilia and Iago and/or Desdemona and Othello. How does each couple love and/or hate each other? Explain. You may want to focus on only one couple.

Compare and/or contrast Emilia and Desdemona’s love for their husbands. You could focus on the issue of loyalty .

Examine the role of Emilia . She is the “undoing” of Iago through her honesty. Was she right to betray her husband for her lady? Whom did she serve? Herself? Desdemona? Her husband? Does she redeem herself in the end for stealing the handkerchief or did she get what she deserved for betraying her lady in the first place? Or did she betray her lady or duly serve her husband? Consider these questions in your answer.

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Othello Essay Topic: Choosing a Perfect One for an Essay

Jason Burrey

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Being one of the most popular plays of all time, Othello by Shakespeare raises topics that remain relevant today. The main character Othello, the Moor of Venice, is manipulated by the soldier Iago who is very envious of him. Without any prior investigation, Othello becomes influenced by the deceitful statements of Iago and it leads to a big tragedy.  

The topics of discussion around the Othello play are limitless. And that is why essays about Othello are so common for students in high school and college. We have prepared Othello essay topics below so you can choose your perfect one. Go on and get inspiration for writing an essay on this legendary play. 

What to Write About in Othello Essays

The Othello play is a vast field of discussion. Students in their essays usually describe characters, their interpretations, and values. Indeed, whichever theme you take from Othello, you can not only write an essay but a whole term paper. So here is what you can consider writing about in your Othello essay. 

From the very first scenes, the topic of prejudice is revealed around the Othello character. The way Iago and Roderigo address the main character is showing their racism. In most cases, they depict Othello as not worthy to be in high Venetian society. 

Love in Othello play is depicted in many forms and dimensions. There are multiple love lines between characters; the main one is between Othello and Desdemona. But further events show that this love was not built on trust since Othello easily gets influenced by rumors of Iago. 

The theme is actually revealed by the main character. Even being married to Desdemona, he became jealous of her cheating on him. This feeling didn’t give Othello any chance to seal the truth and it led to a real tragedy – killing Desdemona. 

Othello Themes Essay : Popular Topics 

Choosing a topic for your Othello essay can be overwhelming. This play can be viewed from different perspectives and angles. That is why we created for you a list of themes of the Othello essay topics . Choose your favorite one!

  • Analysis of literary devices in Skalespear’s “Othello”.
  • The character of Desdemona. Who is she?
  • What does the character of Iago represent? 
  • Is the love between Othello and Desdemona the true one?
  • Women in Othello play.
  • Domestic violence in Shakespeare’s “Othello”.
  • Exploring the theme of racism in the play.
  • What is the friendship between Othello and Iago?
  • What are the motives that lead Iago to lie about Desdemona?
  • Why wouldn’t Othello investigate the truth about Desdemona?
  • Is Othello the main character of the play?
  • Marxism in Othello by Shakespear.
  • Analysis of the evil character of the play.
  • How is feminism represented in the Othello story?
  • The theme of power in the Othello play. 
  • Is Iago a true villain?
  • The connection between Othello and the Aristotle tragedy.
  • Is Othello a true hero?
  • Comparative analysis of Desdemona and Emilia.
  • Morality in the character of Desdemona. 

Essay About Othello : How to Choose a Perfect Topic

When deciding on the Othello essay topics , you have to think from different angles. Here are the factors that should influence your choice:

  • Your preferences. Always choose the topic that interests you. If you are fond of the immoral character of Iago, you should not be afraid to take his side. 
  • The sources. Some topics are already being discussed by literature critics. Thus, it will be easier for you to build your essay.
  • The relevance. Some of the Othello essay topics are no longer relevant to today’s social problems. So your task is to choose a topic that the problems of which will be familiar to modern society.

Othello Essay: Conclusion

Writing an essay on the play “Othello” by Shakespeare is a pleasant and challenging task at the same time. And everything starts with the topic selection. So use our Othello essay topics ideas and compose your perfect one!

What do you write in an Othello essay?

There are so many themes that can be covered in an Othello essay. You can write about love, social prejudice, appearance and reality, trust, jealousy, friendship, feminism, hate, anger, and many other themes. 

What are the 5 themes of Othello?

Here are the examples of 5 themes for writing an Othello essay:

  • How should Othello act when revealing the rumors about Desdemona?
  • Is there a true friendship between Othello and Iago?
  • What are the motives for Iago to lie about Desdemona?
  • Why didn’t Othello investigate the truth about his wife?
  • Pathos and ethos in the play.

How long should an Othello Essay be?

The length of an essay depends on the requirements every educational institution sets. If there are no specific rules on how long the Othello essay should be, you can follow the traditional structure of the essay. Write the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. It should take you five paragraphs, three of which belong to the body part. 

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William Shakespeare is a highly regarded and celebrated poet, actor, and playwright who wrote some of the most famous plays. “Othello” was one of his greatest works. However, it is controversial to many readers due to its complexity; trying to analyze this piece can be difficult because many interpretations could prove true or false depending on how you interpret particular dialogue from characters like Iago. These fascinating topics will teach students to write a thorough essay . They demystify the role Othello played in racism, touch on the play he staged for a Duke’s courtyard, and also his love life with Desdemona. Racism plays a central part of “Othello” as we see it reflected through Iago’s machinations within marriage itself, while other characters show us how this can be dealt with in more diverse ways. The complexity of the book runs deep and wide. The students will find it hard to grasp the message of this play, but these topics, well researched to show different aspects, guide them through understanding. There is a need for showcasing what makes things interesting: language use and character selection! Here are some ideas:

  • The Misunderstood Character of Othello
  • Showcase the Theme of Dishonesty in Othello
  • Showcase Jealousy Depicted in Othello
  • Is Desdemona A Good decision Maker
  • What Was Othello’s Motive For Murdering The Wife
  • What Were Real Intentions of Othello
  • Examine Othello from Shakespeare
  • How is Othello as a Hero in the Book
  • The Reasons Why A White Man Played the Role of Othello
  • William Shakespeare: Describe Themes in Othello
  • William Shakespeare: What is the Outcome of Gender Roles in Othello
  • Describe the Downfall of Othello
  • Examine the Theme of Love and Jealousy in Othello
  • Ways in Which Othello’s Trust Brought His Downfall
  • The Relevance of Race in Othello
  • Describe the Speech By Othello
  • The Necessity of Adding Roderigo’s character By William Shakespeare
  • William Shakespeare: Showcase Violence Depicted in Othello
  • Examine Women Empowerment In the Play
  • The extent of Male Dominance in Othello
  • Lago: The Horrid character Depicted in Othello
  • The Portrayal of Women in Othello
  • Examine Roderigo’s Character in Othello
  • Comment on the Relationship Between Othello and Cassio
  • Othello: The Relevance of Verbal Communication In The Play By William Shakespeare
  • What is Your Perspective on Othello’s relationship With Desdemona
  • What is the Difference in Marriages of Emilia and Desdemona
  • The Relevance of Desdemona in Today’s Play by William Shakespeare
  • Examine The Female Character as Depicted by William Shakespeare
  • Analyse the Themes of Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Lago’s Tactics That Led Him To Defeat Othello regardless of His Extensive Love For His Wife
  • William Shakespeare: What is the Sue of Symbolism in Othello
  • The Falling Apart of Othello
  • Pride as the downfall of Othello
  • Examine the Movie of Othello
  • How Comes Othello Did Not Confirm Lago’s Misdemeanour
  • What are The Perspectives of Critics About the Characters, Their intentions and Roles
  • Examine the Speech Made By Othello
  • Analyse The Flaws of Othello That Led Him To Defeat
  • Othello: Showcase The Intelligence of Emilia in Shakespeare
  • How is Pride Depicted in Othello
  • What Made William Shakespeare Write the Play?
  • What Are The Real Intentions of Lago In Othello
  • Ways in which Othello’s Tragedy Correlates to Revenge Seeking
  • Describe the theme of Marriage in Othello
  • Showcase Emilia’s Treatment by Men in Othello’s Play
  • How Is Human Weakness Depicted in Othello and Macbeth
  • Othello: Showcase racism as Depicted in William Shakespeare
  • Summarize Othello’s Character
  • Analyse the use of religion as a symbol in Othello
  • Describe Lago’s Character
  • William Shakespeare’s Analysis of Othello
  • Different Perspectives of Othello
  • Analyse the four Major Monologues in Othello
  • Showcase racism and Gender Roles in the Book By William Shakespeare
  • Analyse Othello’s Character in Acts one and Acts two to Five
  • Showcase race and Jealousy Depicted in Othello
  • Examine Othello’s Prejudice and Pride
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A list of topics to choose from if you’re required to write an essay on Othello. Perfect for college students who want something easy and already written. Othello is a play that Shakespear wrote in 1603. Othello is one of the most famous and popular Shakespeare plays. It has been studied by scholars for hundreds of years, so it would be difficult to identify all possible essay topics . The story centres around the lead character being manipulated into believing his wife had cheated on him with another man. In the act of vengeance and jealousy, he kills her without ever confirming if it’s true or not. However, if you have a specific question about the play’s themes or characters that isn’t answered in this blog post, please contact us with your request.

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With so many themes to explore from such a deep work of literature, you may find yourself struggling to find just one essay topic for your final paper. We are happy to help you find an answer! Don’t worry if none of these ideas works for you; we’re here to provide professional writing services at affordable prices! Place your order now and get started on that paper today 🙂 Our professional writers are here to help make sure you can complete your project ahead of schedule by providing high-quality writing services at affordable rates—and we guarantee our papers will be original! Place your order today and get started immediately on what could become your A+ essay.  

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The Heroism of Othello Research Paper

  • To find inspiration for your paper and overcome writer’s block
  • As a source of information (ensure proper referencing)
  • As a template for you assignment

The theme of the tragic hero runs through much of classic literature, from the ancient Greeks to Shakespeare and beyond.

In understanding the concept of the tragic hero, it is important to understand the criteria as set forth by Aristotle (“Aristotle”, 1998). According to that illustrious philosopher, there are six major elements required to make up a tragic hero. To begin with, these heroes (or heroines) must have three character traits including a noble stature, excessive pride, and a tragic flaw. These three character traits combined must then lead our character to his or her downfall, from which they make an admission of their guilt and are then redeemed in the end.

In his final words, Othello confesses that he has “loved not wisely, but too well” (V, ii, 353). This insight goes a long way toward explaining Othello’s character. It is because of where he’s placed his love that he behaves the way he does. He is a tragic hero because of how he fits the mold, with the single difference that instead of pride, Othello is unwise in his placement of loyalties.

Generally, heroism refers to a character that embodies our concepts of what is good and noble in the human race (Vest, 2002). Othello is a good example of this as he has risen, through his hard effort, from the pits of slavery to the General of the Venetian ships. “I fetch my life and being / From men of the royal siege [rank], and my demerits [deserts] / May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune / As this that I have reached [are equal to]” (21-23). In addition, the Duke himself calls upon Othello at times of great need as in “Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you / Against the general enemy Ottoman” (48-49).

However, Othello’s nobility lies not just on the surface level of his position in society, but in his moral judgment as to when he is faced with an angry father and his warlike supporters: “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them / Good signior, you shall more command with years / Than with your weapons” (59-61). In this scene, his nobility shines through as he defends his wife’s honor, acknowledges the respect owed to his elders, and refuses to cross swords with them. All classic heroes also have an element of excessive pride, which contributes to their downfall as they become unable to discern truth from reality (McAlindon, 2002).

Although it is harder to see in Othello because he is working to keep his speech humble, this same pride is evident as one of his foundational characteristics, but perhaps somewhat justly earned. However, his greatest pride is placed in his power to love – his loyalty – of which he is perhaps also justified.

A more classical definition of the heroic figure would indicate that this character’s tragic flaw is the very trait that leads to their downfall. In the simple statement made at the end of his life, Othello recognizes his tragic flaw. His greatest pride, his steadfast loyalty for those he loves, manifests itself as his tragic flaw as it becomes obvious that he is incapable of judging which of his contemporaries he should trust with it. Although Cassio is Othello’s favorite officer as he promoted Cassio over Iago when Othello finds Cassio brawling in the streets with gentlemen and drunk, he immediately demotes him by saying “Cassio, I love thee; But never more be an officer of mine” (II, ii, 239-240).

Othello can no longer respect Cassio and his confidence in his judgment is thrown into doubt. For Othello, the doubt and suspicion growing in his mind regarding a possible relationship between Cassio and Desdemona were started with Desdemona’s father at the beginning of the play. Othello is warned, “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see: / She has deceived her father and may thee” (292-93). Iago uses this doubt and suspicion, as well as Othello’s love for others, to Othello’s destruction. Once Othello decides to love and trust Iago, he finds it impossible to doubt him, even when it is Iago who is telling him he should doubt.

Othello has determined that only Iago has known him long enough and repaid him faithfully enough to deserve Othello’s love and loyalty. His great mistake lies in believing that because he has granted this tremendous boon (his love) to Iago, Iago must necessarily return the sentiment. It is only at the end that he finally realizes he has abandoned his earlier noble nature as a result of Iago’s manipulations.

As Othello confronts the results of his actions, he understands that his choice on whose love to have faith in was unwisely made.

Through his demonstration of a noble nature in his previous deeds, his current position, and his ability to deal well with others even in a tense situation, Othello is quickly established at the outset of the play as a nobleman precisely established to become a tragic hero. As the story progresses, it becomes more and more apparent that the aspect he takes the greatest pride in remains his ability to love others and to both give and receive respect and loyalty, setting him up for a perfect rendition of the tragic flaw scenario brought forward by Aristotle.

True to form, Othello’s love becomes twisted and manipulated, due in large part to the fact that he chooses to place his love and trust in one long-term underlying, Iago, over another, Cassio, as well as over the words and actions of his wife. This decision, as Othello himself said, led to his downfall and places him firmly within the canon of the tragic hero.

Works Cited

“Aristotle.” Critica Links. The University of Hawaii, (1998). Web.

McAlindon, Tom. “What is a Shakespearean Tragedy?” The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy. Ed. Clare McEachern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (2002), pp. 1-22.

Shakespeare, William. “The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice.” The Complete Pelican Shakespeare. New York: Penguin Books, 1969. pp. 1018-1060.

Vest, Rob. “Shakespearean Tragedy in Othello: The Moor of Venice.” Late Plays of Shakespeare. (2002). Web.

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Amid Doubts About Biden’s Mental Sharpness, Trump Leads Presidential Race

1. the presidential choice: biden, trump, kennedy, table of contents.

  • Broad dissatisfaction with the 2024 campaign
  • Other findings: Voter engagement, candidates and issues, Trump’s conduct, Biden’s personal traits over time, job approval
  • Larger share of Trump’s voters say they strongly support him
  • Moderate supporters of Biden and Trump are less likely than strong supporters to be certain of their choices
  • Where do Kennedy’s supporters go in a two-way race?
  • Personal traits of Biden and Trump
  • Confidence in Biden and Trump on issues facing the nation
  • Many voters would swap out the candidates if they could
  • Voters’ emotions if Biden or Trump won
  • Demographic differences in views of the stakes in the 2024 election
  • How motivated are voters at this point in the campaign?
  • How voter attention compares to past elections
  • Views of Biden’s job performance among key demographic groups
  • Views of the political parties
  • Acknowledgments
  • The American Trends Panel survey methodology

Chart shows Trump leads Biden in 2024 contest

Two weeks after the June 27 presidential debate, 44% of registered voters say that if the election were held today, they would vote for or lean toward Donald Trump. A smaller share (40%) say they support or lean toward Joe Biden. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – a third-party candidate – peels off 15% of voters, while another 2% say they do not support or lean toward any of the three candidates listed on the survey.

When voters are asked to choose just between the two major party candidates, Trump has a 3 percentage point edge: 47% support or lean toward Biden, while 50% support or lean toward Trump. This is mostly on par with voter preferences in April . That survey did not include Kennedy.

Voting preferences among demographic subgroups

Many of the demographic patterns of support in this years’ election are similar to recent elections . With Kennedy striving to make inroads in the 2024 contest as an alternative to the two major party candidates, he tends to draw more support from younger voters.

Men are more likely than women to favor Trump in the 2024 contest: 48% of men support Trump, compared with 38% who support Biden. Among women voters, the race is tied: 40% favor Trump vs. 40% for Biden. Women are also more likely than men to say they support Kennedy. 

Race and ethnicity

White voters continue to strongly support Trump: Half say they support the former president, including a third who say they do so strongly . This compares with 36% who support Biden.

Black voters largely back Biden: 64% say they support the president in the 2024 election, while 21% favor Kennedy and 13% support Trump. 

Hispanic voters are evenly divided in their preferences: 36% support Biden while 36% support Trump. A quarter (24%) say they support Kennedy. Asian voters tilt more toward Biden (47% vs. 29%, respectively).

When the choices are narrowed to Biden and Trump, voter preferences among racial and ethnic groups are similar to where they stood in April on the two-way matchup. Today, in a two-way contest, 56% of White voters favor Trump, while Biden draws support from 78% of Black voters, 59% of Asian voters and 51% of Hispanic voters. 

Younger voters continue to back Biden by larger margins than older adults, though the gaps are smaller when Kennedy is on the ballot. Today, 48% of voters under 30 support Biden, 28% support Trump and 22% back Kennedy.

Voters over age 30, in comparison, are more likely to favor Trump. Among those 30 to 49, 42% support Trump, while 37% support Biden and 19% support Kennedy. Voters 50 and older also back Trump by even larger margins: 48% support Trump, 39% back Biden and 11% say they would vote for or lean toward Kennedy if the election were held today. 

In a two-way contest with only Trump and Biden, six-in-ten voters under 30 would back Biden, while 39% would choose Trump. About half of those 30 to 49 (51%) say they would choose Trump over Biden, while 46% would back Biden. And those 50 and older would back Trump over Biden 53% to 45% in the two-way matchup.

Chart shows White voters and those 50 and older support Trump by sizable margins; about half of voters under 30 favor Biden, with the remainder supporting Trump or RFK Jr.

Voters with a bachelor’s degree or more education continue to prefer Biden: 50% support or lean toward Biden, while 37% support Trump. This pattern is the reverse among those with no four-year degree: 48% support Trump while 34% support Biden.


Those who identify as belonging to a party are far more likely to say they are supporting their party’s candidate than those who lean toward a party. About nine-in-ten self-identified Republicans (92%) say that if the election were today they would support Trump, including 66% who say they would do so strongly . This compares with 69% of those who lean toward the Republican Party, with 33% supporting Trump strongly.

The gap is similar among Biden supporters. More than eight-in-ten Democratic identifiers (85%) support him, as do 68% of Democratic leaners.

Chart shows Trump holds a wide advantage over Biden in ‘strong’ support, a much narrower edge in ‘certain’ support

As was the case in the 2020 election, a larger share of Trump’s voters say they strongly support him for president compared with those who support other candidates.

These are the shares of voters who support their candidate strongly:

  • 43% of Biden supporters
  • 63% of Trump supporters
  • 15% of Kennedy supporters

A slightly larger share of Trump supporters (81%) than Biden supporters (77%) say they are certain to support him and will not change their minds.

Far fewer Kennedy supporters are committed in their support. Only about a quarter (26%) say they are certain to support Kennedy.

Chart shows Biden draws less strong support than Trump, but his moderate supporters are more certain of their choice than are Trump’s moderate supporters

Among each coalition’s strong supporters, overwhelming majorities say they are certain about their choices this November (97% of Biden’s strong supporters and 98% of Trump’s). Trump draws far more strong support than Biden (63% vs. 43%). However, Biden’s moderate supporters are more likely than Trump’s moderate voters to say they are certain of their choice.

While about three-quarters of Biden’s moderate supporters (76%) say they are certain to back him, a smaller majority (66%) of Trump’s moderate supporters say the same.

Chart shows Kennedy voters are less motivated to vote in 2024 election – and less likely to say it matters who wins

Compared with Biden and Trump backers, Kennedy’s supporters are less likely to say they are motivated to vote – and far less likely to say it really matters who wins the 2024 presidential election.

Identical majorities of Biden and Trump supporters (63%) say they are extremely motivated to vote in the presidential election this November. This compares with just 21% of Kennedy supporters.

Similarly, while nearly eight-in-ten Biden (79%) and Trump supporters (78%) say it really matters who wins the presidential election, just 39% of Kennedy voters view the stakes of the election in similar terms.

When asked whom they would support in an election with just two candidates, Kennedy supporters are divided: 47% say they would vote for Biden, while 44% say they would vote for Trump. Another 9% skipped the question.

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A new strategy to cope with emotional stress

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A woman in uniform sitting in a locker room with helmet in lap, head down, and eyes closed, being consoled by a colleague.

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Some people, especially those in public service, perform admirable feats: Think of health-care workers fighting to keep patients alive or first responders arriving at the scene of a car crash. But the emotional weight can become a mental burden. Research has shown that emergency personnel are at elevated risk for mental health challenges like post-traumatic stress disorder. How can people undergo such stressful experiences and also maintain their well-being?

A new study from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT revealed that a cognitive strategy focused on social good may be effective in helping people cope with distressing events. The research team found that the approach was comparable to another well-established emotion regulation strategy, unlocking a new tool for dealing with highly adverse situations.

“How you think can improve how you feel,” says  John Gabrieli , the Grover Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, who is a senior author of the paper. “This research suggests that the social good approach might be particularly useful in improving well-being for those constantly exposed to emotionally taxing events.”

The study, published today in PLOS ONE , is the first to examine the efficacy of this cognitive strategy. Nancy Tsai, a postdoc in  Gabrieli’s lab at the McGovern Institute, is the lead author of the paper.

Emotion regulation tools

Emotion regulation is the ability to mentally reframe how we experience emotions — a skill critical to maintaining good mental health. Doing so can make one feel better when dealing with adverse events, and emotion regulation has been shown to boost emotional, social, cognitive, and physiological outcomes across the lifespan.

One emotion regulation strategy is “distancing,” where a person copes with a negative event by imagining it as happening far away, a long time ago, or from a third-person perspective. Distancing has been well-documented as a useful cognitive tool, but it may be less effective in certain situations, especially ones that are socially charged — like a firefighter rescuing a family from a burning home. Rather than distancing themselves, a person may instead be forced to engage directly with the situation.

“In these cases, the ‘social good’ approach may be a powerful alternative,” says Tsai. “When a person uses the social good method, they view a negative situation as an opportunity to help others or prevent further harm.” For example, a firefighter experiencing emotional distress might focus on the fact that their work enables them to save lives. The idea had yet to be backed by scientific investigation, so Tsai and her team, alongside Gabrieli, saw an opportunity to rigorously probe this strategy.

A novel study

The MIT researchers recruited a cohort of adults and had them complete a questionnaire to gather information including demographics, personality traits, and current well-being, as well as how they regulated their emotions and dealt with stress. The cohort was randomly split into two groups: a distancing group and a social good group. In the online study, each group was shown a series of images that were either neutral (such as fruit) or contained highly aversive content (such as bodily injury). Participants were fully informed of the kinds of images they might see and could opt out of the study at any time.

Each group was asked to use their assigned cognitive strategy to respond to half of the negative images. For example, while looking at a distressing image, a person in the distancing group could have imagined that it was a screenshot from a movie. Conversely, a subject in the social good group might have responded to the image by envisioning that they were a first responder saving people from harm. For the other half of the negative images, participants were asked to only look at them and pay close attention to their emotions. The researchers asked the participants how they felt after each image was shown.

Social good as a potent strategy

The MIT team found that distancing and social good approaches helped diminish negative emotions. Participants reported feeling better when they used these strategies after viewing adverse content compared to when they did not, and stated that both strategies were easy to implement.

The results also revealed that, overall, distancing yielded a stronger effect. Importantly, however, Tsai and Gabrieli believe that this study offers compelling evidence for social good as a powerful method better-suited to situations when people cannot distance themselves, like rescuing someone from a car crash, “Which is more probable for people in the real world,” notes Tsai. Moreover, the team discovered that people who most successfully used the social good approach were more likely to view stress as enhancing rather than debilitating. Tsai says this link may point to psychological mechanisms that underlie both emotion regulation and how people respond to stress.

Additionally, the results showed that older adults used the cognitive strategies more effectively than younger adults. The team suspects that this is probably because, as prior research has shown, older adults are more adept at regulating their emotions, likely due to having greater life experiences. The authors note that successful emotion regulation also requires cognitive flexibility, or having a malleable mindset to adapt well to different situations.

“This is not to say that people, such as physicians, should reframe their emotions to the point where they fully detach themselves from negative situations,” says Gabrieli. “But our study shows that the social good approach may be a potent strategy to combat the immense emotional demands of certain professions.”

The MIT team says that future studies are needed to further validate this work, and that such research is promising in that it can uncover new cognitive tools to equip individuals to take care of themselves as they bravely assume the challenge of taking care of others.

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    Researchers from MIT and elsewhere developed an easy-to-use tool that enables someone to perform complicated statistical analyses on tabular data using just a few keystrokes. Their method combines probabilistic AI models with the programming language SQL to provide faster and more accurate results than other methods.

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