Read Othello by William Shakespeare Harold Bloom Burton Raffel Online


One of the most powerful dramas ever written for the stage, Othello is a story of revenge, illusion, passion, mistrust, jealousy, and murder. If in Iago Shakespeare created the most compelling villain in Western literature, in Othello and Desdemona he gave us our most tragic and unforgettable lovers....

Title : Othello
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780300108071
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Othello Reviews

  • Madeline
    2019-04-12 04:13

    Othello, abridged:OTHELLO: I love my wife!IAGO: She gave Cassio her handkerchief.OTHELLO: OMG THAT CHEATING WHORE!DESDEMONA: Hi honey!OTHELLO: I KEEL YOU!DESDEMONA: *dies*EMILIA: Dude, what is WRONG with you?OTHELLO: Huh?IAGO: Yeah, I totally made that whole wife-is-cheating-on-you thing up. PUNK'D! OTHELLO: OMG I KILLED MY WIFE FOR NO REASON! I KEEL MYSELF!and...scene.

  • Agir(آگِر)
    2019-04-11 04:58

    اتللو را هركسي خوانده باشد تا ابد فراموش نمي كندعلتش هم روي دادن حوادث ناگوار براي كسي است كه به دست خويش خوشبختي اش را نابود مي كنداین یکی از بهترین نمایشنامه هایی بود که از شکسپیر خواندم و حالا می خواهم به این نکته بپردازم که چرا شکسپیر یک نابغه است:شکسپیر و روان درمانیچند سال یپش در روزنامه ی جام جم خواندم که محققان خارجی به نتایج جالبی در مورد تاثیر سه نمایشنامه از شکسپیر بر بيماران رواني رسیده اند که با خواندن آن اثرات مثبتی در مغز آنان ایجاد می گردد.و اتللو یکی از سه نمایشنامه بودبرای درک اینکه چگونه این نمایشنامه چنین تاثیری میگذارد باید ابتدا روان پریشی تعریف گردد اریک فروم می گوید: روان پریشی، حالتی از خودشیفتگی مطلق است، و شخص روان پریش همه ی ارتباط خویش را با واقعیت برون گسسته است، و خود را جانشین واقعیت ساخته است. تماما از خویش سرشار است، و برای خودش «خدا و جهان» شده است. دقیقا با این بینش است که فروید، برای نخستین بار راه فهم پویای ماهیت روان پریشی را می گشایدشخصی بدبین بمانند اتللو هم یک روان پریش است وی توهمات ذهنی را بر واقعیت ارجح می دارد. او بر پایه حرفهایی که از طرف دوست بدخواه و حسودش "اياگو" به او تلقین می شود به همسر پاکدامنش "دزدمونا" شک می کندواقعیت این بود که دزدمونا دخترِ نجیب زاده با همه مخالفت خانواده اش، حاضر به ازدواجی شده بود که در جامعه مرسوم نبود: همسر یک سیاهپوست شدناما اتللو این واقعیت مهم یعنی فداکاری و عشقِ دزدمونا را از یاد می برد و بر پایه توهم دست به قتل همسرش می زندتاثیر عمیق این نمایشنامه را میتوان در آخر آن دید. یک روان پریش با خواندن چنین تراژدی هولناکی، شاید بالاخره به این بیاندیشد که سوظن هایش هم بمانند شک های اتللو خالی از واقعیت هستند و برای بهبودی اش تلاش کند

  • Renato Magalhães Rocha
    2019-04-02 08:51

    Not trying to upset Proust or Joyce, but these days, it's Shakespeare who's been taking me to bed every night. He's become part of my daily routine and his are my last conscious thoughts before departing to dreamland. Granted, it could be another playwriter or even a regular book. All I need really are small chapters that I can finish quickly when slumber's tentacles start to wrap my body and their calming effects slowly soothe my mind. But it's been Shakespeare... and any insomniac who's recently found a new drug isn't willing to give it up that easily. So Shakespeare stays.I've recently finished Hamlet and King Lear and rated them 5 stars for I truly considered them nothing short of amazing plays, but I confess so much has been written about them, not only in amazing reviews but also in other literary classics that I'm not sure I have much to add. Plus - while I enjoy writing my usual ramblings about books I just finished, I try to keep this exercise as natural as possible and avoid turning it into a mandatory thing - my feelings about them were not necessarily words - or known words, and I don't want to emulate Joyce's style by having a review filled with weenybeenyveenyteeny. So I let them be, aware that they might come back as ghosts to haunt me at anytime."Jealousy is often only an uneasy need to be tyrannical, applied to matters of love."Marcel Proust, La PrisonnièreOthello, however, has its plot centered around one of my favorite subjects - and on that I always have one or two things to say: jealousy and its outcomes. Ah, that powerful, destroying force that can conjure up hurricanes in sealed bedrooms where the wind wouldn't possibly get in otherwise. That overwhelming emotion that can spontaneously generate - or mutate - fear, anxiety and insecurity out of nothing. "My jealousy was born of mental images, a form of self torment not based upon probability."Marcel Proust, La PrisonnièreA mind affecting virus - and the powers of the mind are unlimited, specially when it's running unbridled, wildly on its own - that's invisible, a quality that makes it even more dangerous. Could our eyes perceive jealousy - they can only see it's effects after it has taken over its victims - or had it a distinct color or even a form that we could see surrounding the jealous, Desdemona perhaps would've not been blindsided the way she was by Othello, and Othello perhaps would've been able to escape Iago's double-dealings."Jealousy, which wears a bandage over its eyes, is not merely powerless to discover anything in the darkness that enshrouds it, it is also one of those torments where the task must be incessantly repeated, like that of the Danaids, or of Ixion."Marcel Proust, La PrisonnièreI've read some criticism cast upon Othello (the play) because of how easily he (the character) believes in Iago's schemes and lies. Never, not even for one second, I could doubt the realism of Shakespeare's plot (of course, some of the drama is over the top, but still...) As much as insecurity can act as an inflammatory factor for a little kid to believe he's seeing monsters when he's all alone up in his room, watching different and unsettling shadows dance on his walls, it can also - for a person who's jealous is merely insecure - make a handkerchief look like an indisputable evidence of guilt in the court of jealousy."For what we suppose to be our love or our jealousy is never a single, continuous and indivisible passion. It is composed of an infinity of successive loves, of different jealousies, each of which is ephemeral, although by their uninterrupted multiplicity they give us the impression of continuity, the illusion of unity."Marcel Proust, Swann's WayHad it not been written a couple of centuries before Proust was even born, I would suspect Iago read In Search of Lost Time. Not only he understood how jealousy works - he himself was suffering from it - but he also devised a plan that would grant him his revenge by using its vigorous strengths. His only downfall was not foreseeing jealousy would eventually be up against other powers, as it happens constantly in life's battles.Rating: for yet another masterful play, with great lines and for allowing me to connect his work to my favorite author: 5 stars.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-03-31 08:56

    Jealousy, "The green -ey'd monster," that is what the wise Shakespeare wrote...Othello loved his wife, Desdemona, too much so, nothing could continue that fever, emotions lessen over time....The mighty general was a very capable soldier of Venice, commanding respect on the battlefield, he could do no wrong, brave, ferocious, dynamic, his sword deadly, still life is more complicated than just war, though, the Moor was a fish out of water, in a quite different, and strange culture, becoming a Christian, fighting for Europeans, against his former friends, marrying a gorgeous, gentle, young , very sheltered, naive woman, their elopement crushed the spirits of her father, Brabantio, an influential Senator, in the mighty Venetian Republic... Assigned by the Duke, (Doge) to lead in the defense of their important colony, of Cyprus , against the Ottoman Empire's vast , invading fleet, he unwisely takes his new bride, Desdemona, with him. Luckily a boiling sea storm, who's gigantic waves rise, then fall, pulverize the Turkish ships, wrecks spewed over and under the Mediterranean Sea's floor, only a few escape the carnage. Othello's own greatly damaged craft, somehow, stays above the foaming water, and limps into a safe harbor , on the mountainous island, a miracle. Nevertheless the crisis seemingly solved, but not for has just begun, for the much too trusting general, has an officer, honest Iago, ( his wife Emilia, is a loyal servant of Desdemona) starting to whisper in his ear, that all is not well in his marriage. That the loving, innocent appearing woman, is not so...he has been betrayed by her with another man, his buddy, Michael Cassio, the second -in -command, in the army, better looking and younger than the Moor. Can this be true ? Disbelief becomes belief, why would the good Iago, lie...Desdemona, his pride, and salvation, maybe is false... The calm, unfazed , in bloody battle, Othello, becomes agitated, seething in uncontrollable rage, his whole body enveloped with it, his one idea, to seek sweet revenge, only by this, can he be satisfied, nothing else matters, yet his career will end, but that is not important now, he must do what his honor demands, less is not acceptable for a respectable man... A magnificent play , that encompasses the thin line between love and hate, animosity, racial hatred, jealousy, suspicion, believing in the evil, not the goodness of the erratic world, everything's an illusion, nobody is what they seem, deception engulfs all...but are these things the whole story... A virtuoso work by an incomparable master...

  • BillKerwin
    2019-04-17 08:47

    I have always admired this play as Shakespeare's most theatrical tragedy, but I also feel that it often veers too close to melodrama. Shaw remarked that Othello is written "in the style of Italian opera," and it shares with Verdi and Donizetti the same big emotions, the same clear demarcation of good and evil, that give Lucia and Trovatore their emotional intensity--and their lack of essential seriousness too. During this reading, however, I began to realize that Othello is much more than the greatest of melodramas, and that the key to appreciating its depth lies in the concept of the public mask. Othello is a man who always wears a mask in public: the mask of the thoroughly professional military leader who is far too noble to be moved by the emotions that might cause others to be petty or untrustworthy. Iago wears a similar mask: the mask of the thoroughly professional military subordinate who is frank and blunt and incapable of dishonesty. Othello's mask hides a snake's nest of fears bred from the insecurity of being a black man in an alien white society; Iago's mask hides the fact that he is a stone-cold sociopath motivated by jealousy and rage. Othello cannot see the reality of the evil beneath a mask so similar to his own, and instead misinterprets every frank gesture of his devoted wife as proof of the diabolical mask of an accomplished adulteress. This is Othello's fatal error, and he and Desdemona pay dearly for it.

  • Ayne Ray
    2019-04-10 06:52

    Hands down the worst pillow fight in history.

  • Joshua Parkinson
    2019-04-01 10:04

    Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devilWhy he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?-Othello, end of Act VWhen I was about 9 years old, I put a healthy, live mouse into my parents' microwave oven. It was a summer day and I was all alone. I had this devilish feeling inside me. I knew it was wrong, but I had to do it. I grabbed a kitchen chair, dragged it across the floor, stood on it, opened the door, and threw the mouse in. Then I hit start.At first it was no big deal. The light turned on inside, the mouse sniffed around, and I watched from outside, keen to see the first sign of distress. I felt exhilarated, euphoric, omnipotent. This living thing— this twitching, whiskered, beady-eyed creature— its life was mine for the taking, its fate mine for the making.After ten seconds, I stopped the microwave and cracked the door. The mouse seemed unfazed and crawled toward me. I shut the door again and hit start: another ten seconds. It was just enough. When I cracked the door again, the mouse was visibly shaken. It crawled much slower and traced a clumsy arc across the microwave floor. I shut the door again and hit start. Another ten seconds. Then ten more. Then ten more.I never felt any hate for that mouse. I wasn't seeking revenge for its past acts. I didn't even draw any specific pleasure from its pain or agony. Why then? Why would I, a young and well-adjusted child of God, a pillar of Cub Scout values and lover of mothers and cousins and little brothers... why would I nuke this helpless rodent in the mortal chamber of parents' microwave oven?Why? Because I could, that's why.And I believe Shakespeare's Iago would say the same thing to Othello's question above. Why did Iago ensnare the Moor's soul? Why did he devise, occasion, direct, and execute the collapse of the man's entire world? Why? Because he could, that's why.Rodrigo, Cassio, Desdemona, Othello... mere mice in Iago's oven. The fact that he can destroy them so cleverly, so precisely, so artistically functions as proof to him. It proves the superiority of his will over theirs, just as my minute-mice experiment proved the superiority of a 9-year-old's will over another creature's entire existence.I find little mystery in the psychology of Shakespeare's Iago. His motivation is clearly all-too-human. The real mystery of the play and the play's deepest question is why that is so. Why do such beings like Iago, like the 9-year-old me, like the thousandfold prison guard, priest and parent who, seduced by omnipotence, inflicts terror and torment on a fellow living being... why do such creatures exist?It’s a sublime question asked by a sublime play. Iago is evil, no doubt. But the kernel of his wickedness is commonplace among men. Be honest. If I were suddenly to place you at the almighty helm of mankind, can you really be sure you wouldn’t inflict on man the kinds of calamities and catastrophes wrought by old Jehovah? Overflowing with power, knowledge and time, could you really avoid torturing man? Even if you were the only one watching?Read this play, or better, watch it. I assure you, if you're honest, you will see a bit of yourself in Iago and a bit of him in you. And you will be properly horrified._____...........Disclaimer: the "mouse" was actually a spider. Sorry for the embellishment, but an arachnid didn't have the same "punch" as a mammal.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-20 10:57

    “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mockThe meat it feeds on."This famous quote made my 14-year-old son, currently reading Othello for the first time (it is his first Shakespeare ever), come into my room to complain. He was deeply frustrated with the sweet tongue of the evil Iago, speaking in one way and acting in another, spreading fake news and rumours while pretending to be supportive and unselfish. "Iago is even worse than Uriah Heep", he said, referring to a controversy we had about David Copperfield some time ago. "I begin to believe that being 'umble is the most treacherous thing in the world, hiding evil purposes!"I of course had to go back and reread Othello in a haste to be able to answer properly, and I realised that my son has a point. The truly honest people are not humble, and do not claim to be. They show their strengths, weaknesses and intentions clearly, and play with open cards, only to lose to the characters they consider most 'onest, for being so very 'umble.It was interesting for me to see that my son reads Othello not so much as a passionate drama based on jealousy, but rather as a political post-truth play, with the most wicked players on stage winning. Shakespeare certainly put both jealousy and politics into the plot, and young people who begin their path towards political understanding of the world now, post-2016, feel more strongly about the lying, the manipulation, the slander than about the unreasonable reaction to the suspicion of faithlessness.For me, reading Shakespeare with more pleasure now than ever, it is proof that his voice is universal and timeless, and that he speaks to yet another generation of readers, just like Dickens.Unfortunately, we can't write our villains into prisons in the end like Dickens and Shakespeare!

  • Dolors
    2019-04-10 04:06

    “The trust, the office I do hold of youNot only take away, but let your sentenceEven fall upon my life.”Act I, Scene 3.This is the Othello the reader meets at the beginning of this tragedy. The Renaissance ideal, an archetypal hero, sure of himself, valiant and honorable, in complete self-control when falsely accused of forcing fair Desdemona, the daughter of a nobleman, to marry him. When confronted by the Duke, his defense plea shines with splendid poetry, calm dignity and the voice of reason, charming everybody who listens to his refined soliloquy.But Othello is also a black African, known as The Moor, a General in the Venetian Army and a Christian. He is the epitome of many stereotypical paradoxes that coexist in him that somehow anticipate disaster, for there are evil forces that lure the gullible man to give way to the savage instincts of his double nature.Ironically, Othello’s word is taken at face value in Act I, no sentence is imposed on him and his life is spared but his vows become darkly prophetic when he doesn’t grant innocent Desdemona the same just treatment in the brutal Act V.“O perjured woman! Thou dost stone my heart,And mak’st me call what I intend to doA murder, which I thought a sacrifice.” Act V, Scene 2.This is the otherOthello, the barbarous beast that possesses the man and transforms him into a “civil monster”, into his opposite image, the good Christian “turning Turk”, the “forked-animal”, who blinded by rage and jealousy, kills his wife Desdemona believing she has been unfaithful to him with lieutenant Cassio.At the root of such violent development, there is the malignant Iago, the most villain of villains whose whole “raison d’être” is wickedness. Never a character was so duplicitous in his machinations, his “direct and honest” glib moralizing so overtly treacherous and his misanthropy so sublimely revealed in the perpetual flow of verbal splendor that blooms in his lines, where there is place for rhymed oaths, sexual puns and degrading animal imagery.“To show the love and duty that I bear youWith franker spirit. Therefore, as I am bound,Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio.” Act III, Scene 3.“Love and duty” are at odds and radically confronted in this strangely powerful yet moving tragedy. One can locate them between father and daughter, husband and wife, General and official. But as it’s usual in Shakespeare’s plays, the dramaturge’s main intention remains elusive, for beyond the Christian myth of the temptation scene and the ploys of the devil that influenced centuries of sermons, legends and fables, beyond the crime of passion, there is a pattern of interacting opposites; black vs white, Christian vs Pagan, civilized vs dehumanized, honest vs two-faced; that denotes a superb psychological realism, which echoes with racial prejudice and the inequality in gender relations. Making virtuous use of symbols, an allegoric storm that separates Othello and Desdemona at sea anticipating Iago’s “foul ad violent” designs, or the macabre incantation of Emilia’s summoning of the General “My Lord, my lord!” when she enters the bedchamber where Desdemona has just pleaded for her life screaming “O Lord, Lord, Lord!” before being mercilessly smothered to death, Shakespeare’s language mesmerizes with stylistic brilliance, intricate syntax and inner rhythms. It is this sumptuous style, which oscillates between majestic control and wild rage, that reflects Othello’s double nature and his tormented love for noble-hearted Desdemona, giving imaginative veracity to the action that won’t fail to moisten the eyes of the most detached of audiences when the fallen hero consumed by “pure grief” seals his own fate with anguished lines that will pierce through the heart of anyone whose love has topped extremity, enough to temporally madden the most lucid of minds. Words never felt more unjust and sublime than in Shakespeare's tragedies:“Cold, cold, my girl,Even like thy chastity.O cursed, cursed slave! Whip me, ye devils,From the possession of this heavenly sight!Blow me about in winds! Roast me in sulphur!Wash me in steep-down gulf of liquid fire!O Desdemon! Dead Desdemon! Dead! O! O!”

  • James
    2019-04-03 11:08

    Book Review4+ of 5 stars to Othello, a tragic play written in 1603, by William Shakespeare. When it comes to writing a thorough review about this Shakespearean work of art, it could take weeks and days to craft perfection; however, I've already stumbled upon a few across Goodreads, and the world doesn't need another interpretation by a middle-aged white guy. Nor does it need my opinion about what this says of a person's ethnic background, skin color or personality traits. But what the world does need to hear from me... at least if I'm going to post a review... is why I liked it. And I'll keep it shorts, as we've all likely studied this one in high school or college, read it on our own, or watched a TV/Film adaption at some point. If you haven't, shame on you... stop reading right now, go find one, then come back and let's chat.All sarcasm aside, my commentary on Othello is going to purely reflect my thoughts on three characters: Desdemona, Othello and Iago. Your non-classic classic triangle. A battle of good versus evil. Issues of trust in a marriage. All themes that have been explored countless times in literature. What captivates my attention in this play, over 400 years old, is the connection between Desdemona and Othello. A pure love tortured by all the games people play.Desdemona is an enigma. She is a beautiful woman. A Greek goddess by any other means. She has it all. But she still falls prey to another's claws. We've all been there. None of us are strong enough to resist with 100% force that our lover, partner, significant other or spouse are truly perfect. Doubt will always pervade our minds. Sometimes it's just a momentary twitch. Others, you stalk the person until you are convinced chastity remains. :)Othello is brilliant. He's strong and faithful. He is powerful. But he is weak. As are we all. We allow ourselves to get into these positions, all because of experience and hearsay and tunnel vision. He is flawed, but he is every single one of us.Iago, of course, the villain. Perhaps he simply has his own needs and wants. Maybe he is trying to meet his own objectives in some strange manner. But he is what so many future evil characters are based upon.Reading this story in play format would be hard by today's standards. But Shakespeare made it glisten during his time, and for me, it does so now, as well.I love this story for all the hidden gems. It has more complexities than most of his other works, though many would argue it's a basic story of love, betrayal, revenge and confusion. At first glance, yes. But when you dig deeper, you'll find all the treasures.I promised short... I've gone overboard. But hopefully your eyes are tearing from boredom. Read it please. And let's converse, friends.About MeFor those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  • David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
    2019-03-29 04:01

    I’ve always believed that Iago is one of the greatest literary villains ever! A nemesis who was so twisted by hate and even acknowledged that he had no good reason for wanting to destroy the hero. Iago is the archetype for so many modern villains.Whenever I reread “Othello”, I picture a cinematic version where Denzel Washington plays Othello, Cate Blanchett plays Desdemona, and Tim Roth plays Iago…the movie wouldn’t even have to be titled “William Shakespeare’s Othello”, it could simply be named “Greatest Movie Ever” instead!

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2019-03-31 06:55

    *Reread for class January 2016*This is the first Shakespeare play I read on my own and rereading it and studying it in class is giving me a whole new perspective on it which makes me love it even more!

  • Nayra.Hassan
    2019-04-13 05:49

    عندما نقابل الحسد و المكائد بالغباء..اذن فنحن نستحق كل ما سيقع على رؤسنا من مصائب عطيل قائد حربي بدوي مغربي نزح إلى البندقية. .وقع في حب ديدمونةالشابة الإيطالية الجميلة. ..بادلته حبه بحب اكبر. .تزوجا..و لكن هل هناك من سيصدق أنهما عاشا طويلا في تبات و نبات؟. .لا طبعا فنحن مع شكسبير هنايحسدهما ياجو الخبيث صديق عطيل. ..و بمكيدة خسيسة ينجح سريعا في إلقاء بذور الشك في نفس الطرف الأضعف..عطيل!!..وفي مشهد تراجيدي لن ينساه أحد..يستمع عطيل لصوته. .و صوته فقط..و بيديه يخنق حبيبته و زوجته الطاهرة..التي لم يصدق يوما ان حسناء بيضاء مثلها قد تحب رجلا اسود البشرة ..مجعد الشعر. .و في الأربعين من عمرهو جزاء غباؤه الذي نراه كثيرا عبر العصور..سرعان ما يكتشف أنه خنق سعادته بيديه..لا لشيء الا لعدم ثقته بنفسه. . حقا من اجمل ما تم كتابته عن الحسد. .وأثره الرهيب على الأغبياء

  • Kaylin
    2019-04-15 04:11

    Here's my thing:Who am I supposed to root for?Othello? Who doesn't seem to know how to communicate with anyone? He gets so jealous and infuriated by conjecture about his wife (of less than a week, I believe) that he has a seizure. Then proceeds to treat said wife absolutely horribly? Desmonda? In her first speech, she defends her marriage to Othello then does nothing else. She seemed constantly determined to please everyone. Joking with Iago, defending Cassio, repeatedly proclaiming her love for Othello-- she never had any motivation outside of the happiness of whoever she was with. Cassio? Who doesn't have any personality outside of reacting the exact way Iago predicts he will?Roderigo? The 14th century "nice-guy" who complains about being "friend-zoned" the entire play, and seems incapable of thinking for himself?I couldn't even root for the villain. Iago all-but admits he has no clear-cut motive, and he spends large amounts of time detracting from the plot to illustrate the reasons he hates women.I guess I still prefer Shakespeare's comedies to his tragedies. While this clearly was a well-constructed situation and a true tragedy-- I just didn't care at all?Also, my childish brain went to this every time I read Iago's name:

  • Duane
    2019-04-18 05:53

    I have now read Shakespeare's Sonnets and 9 of his 38 plays, mostly the better known ones, slowly working my way through his canon. Othello was, compared to some of the others, an easy read. The themes running through the play are familiar ones with jealously being primary. But interracial prejudice and racism is what sets this play apart from the others, and probably defines it for most modern day readers.

  • Dannii Elle
    2019-04-20 07:13

    How does one begin to review a play by Shakespeare!? Honestly, I haven't enough words in my vocabulary to do his work justice and find myself repeatedly blown away by both the depth of emotion I experience whilst reading him and overwhelmed at joining the generations whose long-lasting adoration hasn't allowed his name to become relegated to history.Whilst I have still only read a small selection of his work, I have found that Shakespeare has managed this ageless devotion due to the themes that permeate his writing. His plays are actually little about what the synopsis will tell you and are, instead, about the perpetual, driving machinations of the human psyche. Hence the timelessness. We are not such evolved creatures as we thought.

  • Darwin8u
    2019-03-22 05:59

    “Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners.”― William Shakespeare, OthelloOthello is one of my favorite of Shakespeare's plays. I'm all about the villians, and damn, Iago isn't JUST a nearly perfect villian, but carries away almost 1/3 the lines in this play. He owns the stage. It is like Shakespeare scraped every rotten grain off the soiled shoe of humanity and mixed it with beautiful prose. Iago isn't a monster because he is foreign to us, he is a perfect monster because he so closely resembles the worst in all of us. Wicked man. Wicked us. Othello, while not as interesting (to me) is still a great character. His decent into madness, his fits, his passion, his otherness, his race, etc., make him a dynamic and powerful character. Enough to balance Iago, but not enough (in the end) to beat him. One of the reasons this play has been, is, and will be for a while, so powerful is the reactions interracial/interethnic evoke. It seems like every couple steps society takes forward, we fall (hard) back at least one. Anyway, Shakespeare jumped into this mess 400+ years ago. Bravo. Just a few of my favorite lines:― “The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.” (Act 1, Scene 3)― “It is silliness to live when to live is torment, and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.” (Act 1, Scene 3)― “O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!" (Act 2, Scene 3) ― “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving." (Act 2, scene 3)

  • Jill
    2019-04-21 05:49

    Reread for Senior Thesis July 2017: GOD BLESS THIS BOOK *screams* ****LOVED THIS! Probably my second favorite Shakespeare play behind King Lear (:

  • Riku Sayuj
    2019-04-20 04:05

    I decided to start my mission to read all 38 of The Complete Plays of Shakespeare with Othello. It turned out to be a good decision to start with the New Cambridge edition.I was considering this reading as an academic reading of the bard and it generally took me almost 3 hours of constant reading to get through one average sized (10-15 pages) scene! Even after reading every scene three times - once aloud and twice normally - I still never felt I had enough of it, and moved on to the next only due to the suspense. What genius, what lovely wordplays and what sense of drama and malice. I can't believe I never had this joy in shakespeare till now.All in all, it took much longer than originally planned... But then that is the drawback of reading annotated works - had to read every scene three times. Anyway, these New Cambridge Editions are gold mines of information, will stick with them for the other plays also. I hope my mission will not take years to complete at this rate...One closing statement: Iago is my favorite literary character after Don Quixote.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-03-25 10:55

    The Tragedy of Othello, William Shakespeareتاریخ نخستین خوانش: ژانویه سال 1974 میلادیاتللو با استفاده از اشعار نیما، نمایشنامه نویس: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ عبدالحسین نوشین اثر شکسپیر را ترجمه کرده، گاه برای ترجمه ی دیالوگها، از شعر نیما سود برده است. ا. شربیانی

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-04-19 11:55

    The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice, William Shakespeareتاریخ نخستین خوانش: ژانویه سال 1974 میلادی؛ تاریخ خوانش این نسخه: ژوئن سال 2012 میلادیعنوان قراردادی: ات‍ل‍ل‍و؛ عنوان: داستان غم انگیز اتللوی مغربی در وندیک (نمایش در پنج پرده؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر (ویلیم شاکسپیر)؛ مترجم: ابوالقاسم خان ناصرالملک؛ مشخصات نشر: اصفهان، نشر اسپادنا، 1370، در 127 ص، کتاب نخستین بار در سال 1340 خورشیدی در پاریس و در سال 1364 توسط انتشارات نیما نیز منتشر شده استچاپ سوم این عنوان با ترجمه: محمود اعتماد زاده ( م.ا. به آذین ) در شرکت سهامی نشر اندیشه، در آذر ماه 1343 در 202 ص در چاپخانه بانک ملی نیز چاپ و نشر شده است. ا. شربیانی

  • Jason
    2019-04-21 08:54

    Othello is the weakest of Shakespeare’s four major tragedies. Not only does its body count pale in comparison to that of the others, but also its plot is not nearly as complex, nor its themes as broad. At the heart of Othello lies a false accusation—Othello is duped into believing his woman has been unfaithful to him. Sound familiar? Except that, this being a tragedy, there is no kissing and making up at the end. Acts of suicide and murder instead take their positions of prominence here.Othello himself is a pretty gullible character. I appreciate what Shakespeare tries to do here, which is to say that often only a single seed of well-planted doubt is enough to fuel our jealousy, enabling it to attain heights it otherwise might never have reached, clouding our judgment and making it nearly impossible for us to grasp the perspective needed to see reason or logic in a situation. But still, Othello is just a little too gullible for my liking, not once pausing long enough to consider any alternative other than that which his manipulator presents to him. That deeply flawed nature makes him not a very likeable hero in my estimation, aside from the fact that he also beats his wife (which is kind of a no-no, too, Daffy).So why did I rate this so highly if I seemed to take issue with it? Well, I don’t know that I really did take issue with it. I just don’t believe it hits the same level of brilliance that King Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth do. Those plays have characters and plot intricacies that Othello cannot match, although—if truth be told—I actually did like Iago. I know I wasn’t supposed to, but his diabolical mind is almost too fun not to have enjoyed reading about.

  • Malacorda
    2019-03-26 04:47

    Tra tutte le tragedie di Shakespeare che ho letto, la mia preferita. Coinvolgente fino allo spasimo. Al punto che a volte mi sono anche ritrovata a fantasticare su un immaginario lieto fine... Una curiosità: nel corso della lettura, mi ha meravigliato scoprire che i versi di Shakespeare sono stati utilizzati pari-pari da Modugno e Pasolini per farne la canzone Che cosa sono le nuvole.

  • Natalie Monroe
    2019-03-27 11:06

    That bloody handkerchief.

  • Greg
    2019-03-21 07:51

    Here is my copy of Othello with the felty suspicious looking fox bookmark that Karen made for my birthday: He's protecting this book, and doesn't trust anyone!Othello would have done well to be a little less trustworthy. Silly Moor. A bunch of other reviews I noticed have pointed out that this is in some way a great study of sexual jealousy. I think this is an interesting reading of the play, and really more telling of the reader and his or her own feelings / history than the play itself. If this had been a play delving into the psyche and torment of someone in the throes of sexual jealousy would be more like taking Othello and sending making him behave more like Hamlet. I'd say that Othello isn't tormented by sexual jealousy, that would involve some kind of introspection on his part. It would involve a level of imagination that is remarkably absent in Othello. Othello's lack of imagination is one of the traits that allows Iago to manipulate him so perfectly. Othello would need to think to be tormented by jealousy, if he did this then there is a chance that the tragedy of this play would be averted, instead his only reaction is rage. That isn't to say that the play isn't about jealousy, it is. That is the central motivating factor, but it's not the Jerry Springer who is sleeping with who and now we beat each other up for the viewers enjoyment type of jealousy, but a more subtle kind. It is Iago's jealousy of Cassio that propels the action, and sets into motion the destruction one expects in a Shakespearean tragedy. Iago is the character who suffers the torments of jealousy, because he can reflect on it and has the allowed himself to be so consumed by these feelings that he attempts to bring about the destruction of everyone around him so that everyone can suffer with him. It really should be his play, he's much more interesting than Othello, who reminds me more of one of those little cars from the 80's that you put a penny on the back of and then pulled back on and let them race off in a straight line. Maybe fun to watch, but not terribly interesting or surprising. Is that what I think of this play? No, I really liked it, I just think that there are much more interesting things going on then this review mentions or that saying it's a play about sexual jealousy; neither of which do much justice to the play.

  • Roy Lotz
    2019-04-11 06:00

    I had rather be a toad and live upon the vapor of a dungeon than keep a corner in the thing I love for others’ use.This play recently reasserted itself into my life after I was taken to see it performed here in Madrid. Though I couldn’t understand very much, since it was in elaborate and quick Spanish, I still enjoyed it. (Among other things, the performance featured lots of semi-nudity, men wearing gas masks on dog leashes, and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes.”) Inspired, I decided to watch the BBC Television Shakespeare version, with Anthony Hopkins (looking suspiciously dark) playing the titular role.The first time I read this play, I remember being somewhat baffled. Othello was stiff and uncompelling, Desdemona sickly sweet, and Iago operated from no discernable motive to accomplish pointless ends. This time around, I think I have made a little progress.Othello naturally associates itself in my mind with Julius Caesar. In these plays, the titular characters, both generals, are distant, cold, and simple, and come to be totally overshadowed by other characters. In Julius Caesar, Brutus takes the lead, struggling to live morally in an immoral world; in this play we have Iago, who turns heroes into villains and innocence into carnage.Who can pay attention to Othello when Iago is on the stage? He is hypnotizing. Shakespeare seems to accomplish the impossible by making one of his own characters the author of the play. Iago directs everything: he sets the plot in motion, manipulates the player’s emotions, controls what happens when, where, how fast, to who, for what reason, and what it means. He is playwright and stage manager, an artist whose intelligence is so cunning that he can paint upon reality itself.The really frightening thing about Iago is that he can make you believe him, too, even though you know better. He is so utterly convincing in his lies, so keen in his psychological interpretations, so plausible in his attributions of motive and cause, that I found myself questioning whether Desdemona actually did sleep with Cassio. Nobody in the play stands a chance against such a roving and beguiling genius. Even Othello, brave, noble, commanding, is helpless in the Iago’s grips.The mysterious thing about Iago is what drives him. In the beginning of the play, he attributes his hatred for Othello to rumors about Othello sleeping with his wife. Later on, Iago says he is resentful because Cassio was made Othello’s lieutenant. And yet his plan is not just to besmirch Cassio’s reputation—the self-interested thing to do—but to corrupt and then destroy Othello’s soul—which does not benefit Iago at all, or at least not in worldly terms. What actuates him seems not to be jealousy, nor envy, nor egotism, but pure spite: the desire for revenge irrespective of justice or self-interest. Revenge for its own sake. This is so terrifying, and yet so compelling, because spite is such an exquisitely human emotion. It is an emotion that seems to have no practical benefit nor rational justification; and yet who has not felt the twangs of spite, the evil joy in injuring somebody who has injured you? It is spite that prompts Milton’s Satan to fight against infinite power; and it is spite that spurs Iago onward to destroy Othello, at great personal risk, for no personal benefit other than the joy in seeing Othello suffer for promoting Cassio instead of Iago.As Harold Bloom points out, this tragedy is notable for having not even one moment of comic relief. It is unrelenting in its horror. We see innocent character after innocent character fall prey to Iago; we see Othello, a flawed but a good man, descend into madness; and finally we see Desdemona, the paragon of faithless love, smothered in her bed. Desdemona’s death scene is particularly hard to watch. She does not scream for help. She does not even protest her innocence as strongly as we’d like. Instead, she begs for one day, one half-hour, one moment of life more, and is denied.We don’t even get the satisfaction of seeing Iago pay for his crimes, or having him explain himself. “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. From this time forth I never shall speak word.”An interesting question is whether Othello and Desdemona’s marriage would have had a crisis even without Iago. They are a particularly ill-starred couple. Othello is a man of war, shaped by camp-life, accustomed to absolute power; he solves his problems with force; he destroys those who challenge or disobey him. Desdemona is love incarnate, faithful, kind, gentle, and totally without malice. She is attracted to Othello for his adventurous life; Othello is attracted to her admiration for him. The story of their courtship—Othello regaling her with his war-stories, and she giving him hints of her interest—makes it sound as though Othello is only attracted to his own reflection in her. This is in keeping with a man who refers to himself in the third person.Othello’s obvious unsuitability to married life makes him an easy dupe to Iago. Desdemona’s guileless purity makes her the perfect victim. Iago’s only mistake is that he underestimates his own wife—an odd, but telling mistake to make. Is there a moral to this story? I’m not sure. But I’ll be staying away from people named Iago.

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-03-25 04:05

    Interpolation in the original text recently discovered in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, England. Believed to be by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. I have rendered the non-Shakespearean text in bold :OTHELLO I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me;Lend me thy handkerchief.DESDEMONA Here, my lord.OTHELLO That which I gave you.DESDEMONA I have it not about me.OTHELLO Not?DESDEMONA No, indeed, my lord.OTHELLO That is a fault. That handkerchiefDid an Egyptian to my mother give;She was a charmer, and could almost readThe thoughts of people: she told her, whileshe kept it,'Twould make her amiable and subdue my fatherEntirely to her love, but if she lost itOr made gift of it, my father's eyeShould hold her loathed and his spirits should huntAfter new fancies: she, dying, gave it me;And bid me, when my fate would have me wive,To give it her. I did so: and take heed on't;Make it a darling like your precious eye;To lose't or give't away were such perditionAs nothing else could match.DESDEMONASlow down, big guy, are we still talkingabout an hand kerchief? I mean this is nota major heart attack, prithee, for fleet am I and might get you a box of Kleenex before you can quoth Jack Robinson thrice, my liege.OTHELLOThe point that is not, dame.DESDEMONASo say ye, my liege, and yet not so I.OTHELLONot so what?DESDEMONA:I.OTHELLO:Aye? or eye? as in a needle, which a point hasthe very point have I lost.DESDEMONA:Shall jog I thy memory, write back the lost thought that beetleth in thy lobeslike sheep without a fudging clue?OTHELLO :Aye dame. Do so.DESMEMONAThou wert going on about a handkerchief.Sorry, AN handkerchief. This grammar eftsoonsbedizens my inner eye, aye, I saith.OTHELLO:Ah yes, of course! Is't lost? is't gone? speak, is it out o' the way?(text then continues as the 1622 quarto

  • David Sarkies
    2019-04-18 10:53

    A political tale of ambition and jealousy3 November 2012 Othello is can be a very painful play both to read and to watch. It is not that it is a bad play, no, it is a brilliant play - the reason that I say Othello is painful is because it is one of those plays that makes you squirm and feel really uncomfortable because it is doing what literature is supposed to do: hold a mirror up to life. The first time I read it in university it was painful and I thought that it was because at university you tend to overanalyse pretty much everything. However I have come to understand that there was nothing necessarily wrong with what my lecturers said, and in fact in the edition that I read I noticed that there was a long discussion of misogyny as it exists in Western Literature (namely because, as I have indicated elsewhere, it is the woman who actually holds the power over the man because it is the woman who seems to be able to pick and chose, where as the man simply has to put up with whoever says yes to him). Anyway, in the years since I studied this play in English One, the more I read it the more painful the play becomes. Take for instance the two bedroom scenes in the play. In the first bedroom scene we have Othello and Desdemona passionately making love (though this was clearer in the Lawrence Fishburne movie than in the play), however in the second bedroom scene we have Othello killing Desdemona in a fit of rage fuelled by jealousy. It is in this scene that we realise that Othello has reached the point of no return. It is probably the most heart wrenching scene in the play because we know that Desdemona is innocent and we know that Othello has been played for a fool, but we also know that once he has committed this act that is it, there is no going back. In both of these scenes we see the emotion that fuels Othello: in the first he is fueled by passionate love; in the second he is fueled by jealousy. When I read the introduction to this play I came to understand why this play was chosen with the other plays that we had read in English One. It was chosen because of the idea of moving from the centre, being civilisation, to the fringe, being the border fortresses. While Jacobean England was only beginning its expansionist push, there was still the idea that England, the centre, was civilised, while the colonies, being the fringe, were lawless. This is mimicked in this play (as it is in numerous other plays) with Venice being the centre and Cyprus being the fringe. This also brings up the idea that the centre represents peace while the fringes represent war. Even though the Turks had already been defeated before the action of the play begins, there is still this idea of the fringe being in a perpetual state or war, and while it may not be a war with flesh and blood enemies, it is still a war, a war not so much of ideas but rather a war between civilisation and barbarity, or a struggle between the rule of law and the rule of the sword. Now, I probably should spend some time discussing the character of Iago, namely because Iago is the most important character in the play. Iago is the quintessential villain. In a way he could be the villain that many other villains are based upon. He is not evil, nor is he ruled by his passions, but rather he displays a cold and calculating reason. He is a deceitful man who is in full control of his mental faculties. Yes, he is a villain, but he is not evil, and the reason I say this is because evil, technically, has no purpose other than to spread pain and misery for the sake of doing spreading pain and misery. Evil is not inflicting pain for the sake of pleasure, that is madness, nor is it waging war against somebody for the purpose of your own advantage, that is ambition. No, evil, in and of itself, is doing such things for the simple purpose of doing it. So, if Iago is not evil, why does he hate Othello? Well, in the story that the play is based upon, it is because of his desire of Desdemona and his anger that she married the Moor. What adds insult to injury is the fact that Othello is not even European. This is not the case in the play, but rather bitterness for being passed over for promotion. I myself have experienced that by simply seeing somebody given a promotion instead of me, particularly when that person seems to be competing with me and gloats because of his promotion. This is not the case with Othello because we know and can see that he is a very honourable person. Further, it is clear that Iago is racist, not racist in the sense that he hates Othello because he has black skin, but that he hates Othello because he is not Venetian. He is given a commanding role, and then Othello adds insult to this by making Cassio his second. The race issue can be a distraction, as some have said, because viewing this play in the post civil-rights era makes us focus more upon the racism aspect as opposed to the idea that Iago simply wanted Othello's job. One of the things that went through my head while reading this play was the question of what was Iago hoping to gain through his manipulation of Othello, and I suspect that it has something to do with the issue of Othello not being European. This has been something that has existed for a long time, and that is the idea that we as humans have treated race in the same way as we see animals. I say this in a sense that a dog will aways act like a dog and a cat will always act like a cat: it is in their nature. However, the reality is that race is like a breed, so by using a dog as an example, it does not matter whether one is a Pitbull, or a German Shepherd, or a Poodle, they are still dogs and they all behave like dogs. However, the idea was that Europeans were civilised, and the other races were not, and as such it appears that what Iago is trying to do (and I could be wrong) is to prove that it does not matter how long Othello has been around Venitians, he is still a Moor and he will behave like a Moor, and as such I suspect that what he is trying to do is to expose the belief that once a barbarian, always a barbarian. However, the catch is that what is being exposed is the base human nature. It is a shame that Shakespeare uses the Moor because to many of the people watching the play, they would have accepted that it is not surprising that the Moor, overcome by jealousy, reveals his barbaric nature. That simply is not true because it does not matter what colour your skin is there is still that base human nature that exists within us, that part of us that fights against the civilising force. If that were not true, why is it that a bulk (if not all) serial killers are white? I also wondered whether Iago was overwhelmed by hate, and in answer to that question I have to say no. Iago is not ruled by his passion or his emotion because it is clear that he is clever, calculating, and manipulative. These actions require a sound mind that is able to think and to reason. His jealousy is based on reason, and that reason is that underneath the civilised exterior, Othello is a barbarian, and to expose that he needs to have all of his wits about him. Notice that throughout the play Iago is always seen as 'honest Iago' and it is not until his wickedness is exposed that he is correctly identified as a villain. Thus it seems that the main theme that runs through this play is the question of civilisation verses barbarity. The Moor is a barbarian, a warrior at heart, and on the battlefield he is unstoppable, which is why he has been promoted to the rank of general, but it is clear that he does not understand the political battlefield. He does not see Iago manipulating him, but rather trusts him, believing that he is a friend. It is not that Othello is at heart a barbarian, but rather that he is innocent. In the end, it is Iago who is the barbarian, the one who plays upon other people's innocence, and his refusal to accept that a non-European can be a decent and honest man. In the same way, during the 19th century, it was the Australian Aboriginals who were called the barbarians, however the real barbarians were the English colonists who stole their land and murdered their birthright. For those who are interested, I have also written a blog post on a production of the play that I saw recently.

  • Lyn
    2019-04-18 11:10

    Shakespeare's classic play about jealousy, neurosis, obsession, guilt and bedroom violence. Was Iago Shalespeare's most villainous villain? Maybe, my money is still on King Lear's Edmund, but Iago has served as a template for back stabbing double dealing bad guys ever since.Another example of Shakespeare's amazing ability at characterization and for psychological drama.

  • Emily May
    2019-03-26 11:14

    Othello and Macbeth have long been competing for the title of my favourite Shakespeare play. I'm still not sure. The protagonists are similar in that they both instigate their own downfall through fear and paranoia and jealousy - that's what makes their tales so wonderfully tragic. The fantasy aspect of Macbeth works in its favour, but then, it doesn't have Iago. It's a difficult one.