GCSE English Revision - Othello

1st May 2014

Othello is another popular play of Shakespeare's and GCSE text which we have covered in song, with the main themes including jealousy and revenge.

After you've familiarised yourself with the plot and characters, you should take a look at the themes and how they are presented to us. Examples include; 

Revenge and Jealousy

Shakespeare shows the destructive effects jealousy has throughout the play. Othello cannot stand the idea that his wife Desdemona might be having an affair and Iago plays on this. The only two characters who seem unaffected by jealousy are Desdemona and Cassio. Desdemona dies, but everyone realises what a good woman she was, and Cassio is rewarded by taking Othello's place as general (and by deciding Iago's punishment).

Appearance and reality;

There are many references to appearance and reality,  with Iago stating 'Men should be what they seem' (and Iago is clearly not what he seems). What Othello actually sees isn't what he thinks it is. So when he sees and hears Cassio talking about Desdemona, Cassio is actually talking about another woman. The most important contrast between reality and appearance, is that Othello continues to think of Iago as 'exceeding honesty', but we the audience knows this isn't the case.

We have a song detailing further points,  with a demo available on youtube; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4oPGg1SSYA

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