Othello

Othello

by William Shakespeare

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Overview

The most striking difference between Othello and Shakespeare's other tragedies is its more intimate scale. Because the play focuses on personal rather than public life, Othello's private descent into jealous obsession is especially chilling to behold. This invaluable new study guide to one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies contains a selection of the finest criticism through the centuries on Othello, including commentaries by such important critics as Voltaire, Charles Lamb, A. C. Swinburne, T. S. Eliot, and many others. Studients will also benefit from the additional features in this volume, including an introduction by Harold Bloom, an accessible summary of the plot, an analysis of several key passages, a comprehensive list of characters, a biography of Shakespeare, essays discussing the main currents of criticism in each century since Shakespeare's time, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780368444623
Publisher: Blurb, Inc.
Publication date: 03/17/2019
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564. The date of his birth is not known but is traditionally 23 April, St George's Day. Aged 18, he married a Stratford farmer's daughter, Anne Hathaway. They had three children. Around 1585 William joined an acting troupe on tour in Stratford from London, and thereafter spent much of his life in the capital. A member of the leading theatre group in London, the Chamberlain's Men, which built the Globe Theatre and frequently performed in front of Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare wrote 36 plays and much poetry besides. He died in 1616.

Date of Death:

2018

Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Read an Excerpt

Shakespeare's Life

Surviving documents that give us glimpses into the life of William Shakespeare show us a playwright, poet, and actor who grew up in the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, spent his professional life in London, and returned to Stratford a wealthy landowner. He was born in April 1564, died in April 1616, and is buried inside the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.

We wish we could know more about the life of the world's greatest dramatist. His plays and poems are testaments to his wide reading — especially to his knowledge of Virgil, Ovid, Plutarch, Holinshed's Chronicles, and the Bible — and to his mastery of the English language, but we can only speculate about his education. We know that the King's New School in Stratford-upon-Avon was considered excellent. The school was one of the English "grammar schools" established to educate young men, primarily in Latin grammar and literature. As in other schools of the time, students began their studies at the age of four or five in the attached "petty school," and there learned to read and write in English, studying primarily the catechism from the Book of Common Prayer. After two years in the petty school, students entered the lower form (grade) of the grammar school, where they began the serious study of Latin grammar and Latin texts that would occupy most of the remainder of their school days. (Several Latin texts that Shakespeare used repeatedly in writing his plays and poems were texts that schoolboys memorized and recited.) Latin comedies were introduced early in the lower form; in the upper form, which the boys entered at age ten or eleven, students wrotetheir own Latin orations and declamations, studied Latin historians and rhetoricians, and began the study of Greek using the Greek New Testament.

Since the records of the Stratford "grammar school" do not survive, we cannot prove that William Shakespeare attended the school; however, every indication (his father's position as an alderman and bailiff of Stratford, the playwright's own knowledge of the Latin classics, scenes in the plays that recall grammar-school experiences — for example, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 4.1) suggests that he did. We also lack generally accepted documentation about Shakespeare's life after his schooling ended and his professional life in London began. His marriage in 1582 (at age eighteen) to Anne Hathaway and the subsequent births of his daughter Susanna (1583) and the twins Judith and Hamnet (1585) are recorded, but how he supported himself and where he lived are not known. Nor do we know when and why he left Stratford for the London theatrical world, nor how he rose to be the important figure in that world that he had become by the early 1590s.

We do know that by 1592 he had achieved some prominence in London as both an actor and a playwright. In that year was published a book by the playwright Robert Greene attacking an actor who had the audacity to write blank-verse drama and who was "in his own conceit [i.e., opinion] the only Shake-scene in a country." Since Greene's attack includes a parody of a line from one of Shakespeare's early plays, there is little doubt that it is Shakespeare to whom he refers, a "Shake-scene" who had aroused Greene's fury by successfully competing with university-educated dramatists like Greene himself. It was in 1593 that Shakespeare became a published poet. In that year he published his long narrative poem Venus and Adonis; in 1594, he followed it with The Rape of Lucrece. Both poems were dedicated to the young earl of Southampton (Henry Wriothesley), who may have become Shakespeare's patron.

It seems no coincidence that Shakespeare wrote these narrative poems at a time when the theaters were closed because of the plague, a contagious epidemic disease that devastated the population of London. When the theaters reopened in 1594, Shakespeare apparently resumed his double career of actor and playwright and began his long (and seemingly profitable) service as an acting-company shareholder. Records for December of 1594 show him to be a leading member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men. It was this company of actors, later named the King's Men, for whom he would be a principal actor, dramatist, and shareholder for the rest of his career.

So far as we can tell, that career spanned about twenty years. In the 1590s, he wrote his plays on English history as well as several comedies and at least two tragedies (Titus Andronicus and Romeo and Juliet). These histories, comedies, and tragedies are the plays credited to him in 1598 in a work, Palladis Tamia, that in one chapter compares English writers with "Greek, Latin, and Italian Poets." There the author, Francis Meres, claims that Shakespeare is comparable to the Latin dramatists Seneca for tragedy and Plautus for comedy, and calls him "the most excellent in both kinds for the stage." He also names him "Mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakespeare": "I say," writes Meres, "that the Muses would speak with Shakespeare's fine filed phrase, if they would speak English." Since Meres also mentions Shakespeare's "sugared sonnets among his private friends," it is assumed that many of Shakespeare's sonnets (not published until 1609) were also written in the 1590s.

In 1599, Shakespeare's company built a theater for themselves across the river from London, naming it the Globe. The plays that are considered by many to be Shakespeare's major tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth) were written while the company was resident in this theater, as were such comedies as Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure. Many of Shakespeare's plays were performed at court (both for Queen Elizabeth I and, after her death in 1603, for King James I), some were presented at the Inns of Court (the residences of London's legal societies), and some were doubtless performed in other towns, at the universities, and at great houses when the King's Men went on tour; otherwise, his plays from 1599 to 1608 were, so far as we know, performed only at the Globe. Between 1608 and 1612, Shakespeare wrote several plays — among them The Winter's Tale and The Tempest — presumably for the company's new indoor Blackfriars theater, though the plays seem to have been performed also at the Globe and at court. Surviving documents describe a performance of The Winter's Tale in 1611 at the Globe, for example, and performances of The Tempest in 1611 and 1613 at the royal palace of Whitehall.

Shakespeare wrote very little after 1612, the year in which he probably wrote King Henry VIII. (It was at a performance of Henry VIII in 1613 that the Globe caught fire and burned to the ground.) Sometime between 1610 and 1613 he seems to have returned to live in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he owned a large house and considerable property, and where his wife and his two daughters and their husbands lived. (His son Hamnet had died in 1596.) During his professional years in London, Shakespeare had presumably derived income from the acting company's profits as well as from his own career as an actor, from the sale of his play manuscripts to the acting company, and, after 1599, from his shares as an owner of the Globe. It was presumably that income, carefully invested in land and other property, which made him the wealthy man that surviving documents show him to have become. It is also assumed that William Shakespeare's growing wealth and reputation played some part in inclining the crown, in 1596, to grant John Shakespeare, William's father, the coat of arms that he had so long sought. William Shakespeare died in Stratford on April 23, 1616 (according to the epitaph carved under his bust in Holy Trinity Church) and was buried on April 25. Seven years after his death, his collected plays were published as Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (the work now known as the First Folio).

The years in which Shakespeare wrote were among the most exciting in English history. Intellectually, the discovery, translation, and printing of Greek and Roman classics were making available a set of works and worldviews that interacted complexly with Christian texts and beliefs. The result was a questioning, a vital intellectual ferment, that provided energy for the period's amazing dramatic and literary output and that fed directly into Shakespeare's plays. The Ghost in Hamlet, for example, is wonderfully complicated in part because he is a figure from Roman tragedy — the spirit of the dead returning to seek revenge — who at the same time inhabits a Christian hell (or purgatory); Hamlet's description of humankind reflects at one moment the Neoplatonic wonderment at mankind ("What a piece of work is a man!") and, at the next, the Christian disparagement of human sinners ("And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?").

As intellectual horizons expanded, so also did geographical and cosmological horizons. New worlds — both North and South America — were explored, and in them were found human beings who lived and worshiped in ways radically different from those of Renaissance Europeans and Englishmen. The universe during these years also seemed to shift and expand. Copernicus had earlier theorized that the earth was not the center of the cosmos but revolved as a planet around the sun. Galileo's telescope, created in 1609, allowed scientists to see that Copernicus had been correct; the universe was not organized with the earth at the center, nor was it so nicely circumscribed as people had, until that time, thought. In terms of expanding horizons, the impact of these discoveries on people's beliefs — religious, scientific, and philosophical — cannot be overstated.

London, too, rapidly expanded and changed during the years (from the early 1590s to around 1610) that Shakespeare lived there. London — the center of England's government, its economy, its royal court, its overseas trade — was, during these years, becoming an exciting metropolis, drawing to it thousands of new citizens every year. Troubled by overcrowding, by poverty, by recurring epidemics of the plague, London was also a mecca for the wealthy and the aristocratic, and for those who sought advancement at court, or power in government or finance or trade. One hears in Shakespeare's plays the voices of London — the struggles for power, the fear of venereal disease, the language of buying and selling. One hears as well the voices of Stratford-upon-Avon — references to the nearby Forest of Arden, to sheepherding, to small-town gossip, to village fairs and markets. Part of the richness of Shakespeare's work is the influence felt there of the various worlds in which he lived: the world of metropolitan London, the world of small-town and rural England, the world of the theater, and the worlds of craftsmen and shepherds.

That Shakespeare inhabited such worlds we know from surviving London and Stratford documents, as well as from the evidence of the plays and poems themselves. From such records we can sketch the dramatist's life. We know from his works that he was a voracious reader. We know from legal and business documents that he was a multifaceted theater man who became a wealthy landowner. We know a bit about his family life and a fair amount about his legal and financial dealings. Most scholars today depend upon such evidence as they draw their picture of the world's greatest playwright. Such, however, has not always been the case. Until the late eighteenth century, the William Shakespeare who lived in most biographies was the creation of legend and tradition. This was the Shakespeare who was supposedly caught poaching deer at Charlecote, the estate of Sir Thomas Lucy close by Stratford; this was the Shakespeare who fled from Sir Thomas's vengeance and made his way in London by taking care of horses outside a playhouse; this was the Shakespeare who reportedly could barely read but whose natural gifts were extraordinary, whose father was a butcher who allowed his gifted son sometimes to help in the butcher shop, where William supposedly killed calves "in a high style," making a speech for the occasion. It was this legendary William Shakespeare whose Falstaff (in 1 and 2 Henry IV) so pleased Queen Elizabeth that she demanded a play about Falstaff in love, and demanded that it be written in fourteen days (hence the existence of The Merry Wives of Windsor). It was this legendary Shakespeare who reached the top of his acting career in the roles of the Ghost in Hamlet and old Adam in As You Like It — and who died of a fever contracted by drinking too hard at "a merry meeting" with the poets Michael Drayton and Ben Jonson. This legendary Shakespeare is a rambunctious, undisciplined man, as attractively "wild" as his plays were seen by earlier generations to be. Unfortunately, there is no trace of evidence to support these wonderful stories.

Perhaps in response to the disreputable Shakespeare of legend — or perhaps in response to the fragmentary and, for some, all-too-ordinary Shakespeare documented by surviving records — some people since the mid-nineteenth century have argued that William Shakespeare could not have written the plays that bear his name. These persons have put forward some dozen names as more likely authors, among them Queen Elizabeth, Sir Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere (earl of Oxford), and Christopher Marlowe. Such attempts to find what for these people is a more believable author of the plays is a tribute to the regard in which the plays are held. Unfortunately for their claims, the documents that exist that provide evidence for the facts of Shakespeare's life tie him inextricably to the body of plays and poems that bear his name. Unlikely as it seems to those who want the works to have been written by an aristocrat, a university graduate, or an "important" person, the plays and poems seem clearly to have been produced by a man from Stratford-upon-Avon with a very good "grammar-school" education and a life of experience in London and in the world of the London theater. How this particular man produced the works that dominate the cultures of much of the world almost four hundred years after his death is one of life's mysteries — and one that will continue to tease our imaginations as we continue to delight in his plays and poems.

Copyright © 2003 by The Folger Shakespeare Library

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations and conventions; Introduction: Date; Sources; Othello's race; The plot and its inconsistencies; The play and its critics; The language of the play; Stage history; Criticism and productions of Othello since 1984 by Scott McMillin; Note on the text; List of characters; THE PLAY; Supplementary notes; Textual analysis; Reading list.

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Othello 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 206 reviews.
JohnLemon More than 1 year ago
This review is not of Othello itself (which is tremendously good), but rather on this edition of Othello (ISBN: 9781411400399), which was edited by Daniel Vitkus and David Scott Kastan. I read a lot of heavily annotated books, and I have to say that the Barnes & Noble Shakespeare editions have one of the best book designs I've ever encountered. The various references materials (footnotes and definitions for archaic words) appear in a manner that makes the text very easy to follow. The scholarship is also top-notch. The annotations give you enough to make things clear without insulting your intelligence, or without overburdening you with unnecessary detail. The essays are also interesting and informative. I've been avoiding Shakespeare ever since high school, which was many years ago. Now that I'm reading him again, I'm glad I'm in such good hands. It is making the experience a joy, rather than a chore. My compliments to the editors and the book designer. They have done a superior job of making this difficult text accessible to the modern reader. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why give samples of books if the sample is only the introduction or publishers notes? It gives no sample of the actual story itself, so you have no way of knowing how the story is written to see if you understand it. Very annoying.
msliblady More than 1 year ago
The story of Othello is one of Shakespeare's best: Iago is the ultimate antagonist you love to hate. On the one hand, it is fascinating to watch him plot, scheme and set his traps. On the other, you are appalled at how quickly Othello turns on his new wife, just on the word of Iago. Shakespeare is the master! The Folger edition is also a classic. These are the editions I bought as a student, and now that I'm teaching Shakespeare, I was delighted that this was the edition my students requested. The edition combines the Folio version and the Quarto version, indicating those words unique to one version. My (middle school) students enjoy the plot summaries at the beginning of each scene and the definitions of unfamiliar words on the left hand page. Definitely a book to keep in your library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Othello. The love between Othello and Desdemona was beyond comprehension. Shakespeare uses beautiful metaphores and use of language that makes us believe the beauty of love, power of hatred and most of all, jealousy. My all time favorite villain is Iago. Shakespeare gives this particular character its own world. The multiple personality of Iago is very frightening that leads to a great tragedy of this play. Throughout the play, Iago builds his way up to the top and explodes leaving his good side behind. A true Shakespeare classic that will never leave your heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book for those who are somewhat familiar with the works of Shakespeare as it provided translation to some of the text (but not all). The beginning gives good insight into Shakespeare.
Bookworm95AO More than 1 year ago
This play was absolutely amazing. It definitely teaches you the result of jealousy without "ocular proof". A great read. I zoomed by it so fast... finished it in two days. Amazing amazing amazing. This addition is absolutely perfect for Shakespeare beginners. :))) Whoever said his plays were a bore?
Benedick_101 More than 1 year ago
Yes, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth are indeed more famous plays, but Othello deserves more recognition! It's a delightfully convoluted plot, and the characters are so believable. Plus, the dialogue is beautiful, and it deals with a problem relevant to today's society:racism. So, yeah, read this play.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carolfoasia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Iago is EVIL! Just sayin'. Iago is the serpent of Genesis 3 in human form. He is possibly the most evil character of all of literature. Which is why this play is so amazing! I saw this performed on stage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, but this is the first time I have ever read the play. It was good to have the visual picture of the blond haired Iago on the black background of the stage with the big, burly, black Othello contrasted on the white part of the stage, and the shift in the colors and lights when Iago gets a hold of Othello's ear. Chilling. I remember all of us who had attended the play sitting, unnerved at the end. It reaches to your heart . . . and rips it out.I think Shakespeare was meant to be heard. So, I listened to this unabridged dramatic version while following along on my Kindle. The host of actors in this were superb. Here is the cast: Othello, The Moor, a general in the service of Venice ¿ Hugh QuarshieDesdemona, a daughter to Brabantio, and wife to Othello ¿ Emma FieldingIago, his ancient, a villain ¿ Anton LesserEmilia, wife to Iago ¿ Patience TomlinsonCassio, his honourable lieutenant/2nd senator ¿ Roger MayBianca, a courtesan, in love with Cassio ¿ Alison PettitDuke of Venice/2nd Gentleman/Herald ¿ Roy SpencerBrabantio, senator, father to Desdemona/3rd Gentleman/Gratiano, brother to Brabantio ¿ Peter YappRoderigo, a Venetian gentleman/1st Gentleman/Sailor (I,iii) ¿ John McAndrewLodovico, kinsman to Brabantio/1st Musician/1st Senator/Messenger (III) ¿ Stephen ThorneMontano, Governor of Cyprus before Othello/Messenger (I,iii)/Clown ¿ Jonathan Keeble
SoonerCatholic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Setting: This play reflects on the love Othello has for his wife on the island of CyprusPlot: Othello's jealous servant Iago schemes to come between the Moor and Desdemona and nearly succeeds.Characters: Othello (protagonist)- a Moor, general in Venice; Desdemona- Othello's wife; Iago (antagonist)- Othello's scheming servant; Cassio- a soldierSymbols: the handkerchiefCharacteristics: a major tragedyResponse: I understood better the performance by reading the play. I also appreciated Shakespeare's clever insights into human nature through all his characters especially Iago.
BeeQuiet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favourite Shakespeare plays. Had the privilege of playing Desdemona; being in a Shakespeare play really gives you such a feel for what he's trying to convey. As is frequently noted, his messages and metaphors never seem to fade with time. Beautiful.
Orix_Bluewave on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a sad story.Everyone in this story is very poor.Without crying, you can't read this book.
susanbevans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read Othello in college and really enjoyed it! Even wrote a ten page paper on the motives of Iago. I have actually never "met" a Shakespeare play that I didn't like.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Othello, a moor from Africa, is a well-loved and respected Venetian nobleman. After the beautiful Desdemona falls in love with him, the two wed in secret. Their blissful existence is thrown into chaos as Iago, Othello's personal attendant, begins to plant doubts of Desdemona¿s faithfulness in Othello¿s mind. Iago is one of the most conniving and depraved characters I¿ve ever read. His cold calculating nature is sociopathic. He feels that Othello has slighted him and sets his mind to destroying his life. He moves each pawn to further his plan, all the while maintaining his alleged devotion to Othello and poisoning his thoughts with rumors of jealousy. He does it in such a calm, unbothered way that it¿s all the more disturbing. The worst part of the whole things is that Othello is in the thralls of newly-wedded happiness. He and his wife Desdemona are so incredibly in love and then he acts as the tool for his own destruction. He is manipulated by someone else, but no one truly forces his hand. He allows himself to be persuaded to believe that worst about his wife and causes his own downfall by his lack of faith and trust. I loved the character of Emilia. She¿s Iago¿s wife, but she¿s also Desdemona¿s hand maid. She asks as a conscience for the players, holding them accountable when they have committed a wrong. She stands up for her lady¿s honor when others doubt it. Othello pulls no punches when it comes to the issues it touches on. It deals with marital abuse, racism, trust, jealousy and more. It gives readers a lot to chew on and would be a great book to discuss. I¿ve never seen this one performed live, but I¿m sure it would be incredibly powerful.
Nikkles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not my favorite Shakespeare play. I just find it so very sad. Sadder then the other tragedies. I can never get past Desdemona smothered to death. So, while this is great literature I simply cannot like it as it makes me too sad.
wispywillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not bad. Shakespeare once again shows his ability to take an age-old story and give it the Bard's Twist. However, I didn't like this story as much as Macbeth--where the magnificent Lady Macbeth helps push her husband to his crimes--nor did I like it as much as Hamlet--where the deep psychological issues rooted in Hamlet's character make him come to life in so many ways.Othello is an interesting character, but lacking in character and nobility.
FrankJL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps Shakespeare's best romance tragedy.
HankIII on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whew!I've read this drama at least 3 times; in fact, I teach it every fall semester.I doubt my review will shed anymore life on this tragedy, so I'll go for the gist of it, and how I relate it to 16 year old I-Pod/internet/cellphone/sparknotes/cliff notes instilled with apathy and teenaged-drama inclined students:Iago is just plain wicked, amorally so; he has a real beef about Othello, a well-respected General who has passed him over for a lieutenant's position in favor of Cassio, who has very little if any military experience. Of course, such a choice flies into the face of Iago, and lights the fuse of his quest to destroy Othello.Iago employs that ol'human shortcoming of jealousy, and he does it very well. Iago knows that Othello is open, trusting, loyal, and faithful. These qualities Othello demonstrates to his friends as well as to Desdemona, his wife.From there Iago creates havoc at every turn; you would think early on after setting up Cassio in a brawl with a governor, resulting in Cassio losing his position, and Iago replaces him, that it would end all there, but noooooooooo! That's not good enough for Iago; he has to go to great lengths to manipulate all of those around him to bring Othello to a jealous pile of mush.Anyway, I think this tragedy is very revelant about Othello's racial difference among white society even by today's standards, and how instead of seeing the goodness in others we are only too inclined to not trust even if we have good qualities. Also, there are some real literary gems like "the beast with two backs" and other sexual innuendo which appeals to 16 year old hormonal instincts.Usually of course, I take the easy way out--since my students'attention spans are only geared toward the latest edition of Guitar Hero, I show the 1995 film version with Laurence Fishbourne and Kenneth Branaugh if the students find the actual study of the play or me too much.
Ayling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this for A-Level English and really enjoyed it. I love the story of Othello - my favourite Shakespeare as of yet.Iago is one of the best villains I have ever read - I absolutely loathe him but he is so fascinating. People who can manipulate you psychologically like that, tap into people's weaknesses and use them against people - truly very fascinating.
norabelle414 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
too much talking, not enough happening. This is definitely a play that's better watched than read.
TakeItOrLeaveIt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
possibly my favorite Shakespeare play. betrayal. destruction. suicide. what more could you need? oh the epitome of artsy fartsy Mr. Shakespeare!
Vinman225 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this play from start to finish, thanks largely in part to Iago. His near flawless scheme against his general was absolutely brilliant. Shakespeare's language, is as eloquent as it is insightful, but that's unsurprising. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good tale of betrayal.
jwhenderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Othello is one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. It stands beside Hamlet, Macbeth and Lear in this regard. Each of these works has its own 'personality' and in Othello this includes the prominence of the title character's antagonist. For it almost seems that this play could have been entitled Iago. Iago demonstrates a superior mind, coldly calculating and planning his actions to achieve his end, the usurpation of Othello. In this he appears to be completely evil. Othello, on the other hand, seems clueless and is easily manipulated. His innocence plays into the hands of Iago. There is much more in this complex drama, including two interesting and intelligent women in Desdemona and Emilia. Emilia stands out as a courageous woman who has been described by some as a "proto-feminist". The conflict between Iago and Othello is stark as Iago's schemes play out. It makes this one of Shakespeare's best plays.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Watches Gray closely.