Othello, By William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare’s 16th century play Othello is a duplicitous and fraudulent tale set alternatingly between Venice in act 1, and the island of Cyprus thereafter. The play follows the scandalous marriage between protagonist Othello, a Christian moore and the general of the army of Venice, and Desdemona, a respected and intelligent woman who also happens to be the daughter of the Venetian Senator Brabantio. Shakespeare undoubtedly positions the marriage to be viewed as heroic and noble, despite Othello’s hamartia and subsequent downfall that inevitably occurs. Their marriage is then sabotaged by the jealous Iago, Othello’s ensign and villain of the play. While Iago’s ostensible justification for instigating Othello’s demise was his failure to acquire Othello’s position as lieutenant, Iago’s motives are rarely directly articulated and seem to derive from an obsessive, almost aesthetic pleasure in manipulation and destruction. Through the genre of the play, being a Shakespearean tragedy, and the structural devices employed by Shakespeare such as plot development, exposition, foreshadowing, dénouement, dramatic excitement, and catharsis, the key ideas of jealousy, appearance vs. reality and pride are developed and explored.

In Shakespeare’s Othello the theme of jealousy is meticulously developed and analyzed through the playwrights use of structural techniques and the nature of the tale being a “Shakespearean tragedy”. The play highlights the dangers of jealousy, and how

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