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mcsnazzy's avatar

Othello Essay Help?

Asked by mcsnazzy (434 points ) June 19th, 2012

I am writing an english exam tomorrow on Othello and the topic will be the role of jealousy. What should the body paragraphs be based upon? It can be character based, but I’m unsure of my supporting evidence.

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8 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Have you read the play?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It’s too late for me to edit my first answer, so sorry for the double post.

You should study closely the actions of Iago and his interactions with Othello. Read carefully what Iago says and how Othello allows it to affect him.

mcsnazzy's avatar

yes i’ve read the play! and thank you! i wrote down some quotes and am looking at how they developed themes and plot and character.

Nullo's avatar

Oooh, good choice. They’re doing Othello at the Shakespeare in the Park this year; a very compelling story.
If you need padding, you might relate the role of jealousy as depicted in the play to other examples in other famous works.

bookish1's avatar

Building on @Nullo‘s point, it might also impress the examiners if you discuss why it is valuable to study the human emotion of jealousy and its consequences today. (In other words, the “so what” factor: Why are we still reading Othello? Why is your response important BEYOND the fact that you have to write an exam?) This is the kind of advice I give my students when they have to write essays.

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louisgarcia's avatar

I suggest drawing up a table before you start writing up your essay writing reviews. Make a list of ways in which he has a real motive (including quotes).
Note that Iago keeps changing his mind about his motives throughout the play. He starts off saying that he is jealous that Cassio has been promoted, then he says that he thinks Othello is banging his wife, then he says that he is in love with Desdemona. Samuel T Coleridge calls it a ‘motiveless malignancy’ and that Iago is just causing trouble for the sake of causing trouble.Relate it to the audience. They are captivated by Iago’s perfomance, they are dragged into his webs of deceit when he shares his plans with them.

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