Can somebody give me feedback after reading Othello?

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austengirl1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Shakespeare's Othello explores the foibles of human nature and reveals the complexities of many kinds of relationships. Marriage, the bond between men (in friendship), the bond between women (in friendship), and between different cultures is explored. Several thematic issues arise.

Identity plays out in Othello in several of the characters, but most strongly with Othello himself. As a war hero, he's revered for his strategic skills but is also an outsider as a Moor. His issues of racial and cultural identity come to fore as Iago exploits Othello's insecurities about his identity as a man, as a husband, as a friend and leader, and as a Moor.

Geography also plays a role in Othello. Note the differences in the characters when they are in Venice (Othello is collected and in control of himself and the situations that arise; Desdemona is forward and brash) as opposed to when they are in Cyprus, a place regarded as on the edge of civilization (Othello loses control of himself and becomes more susceptible to Iago; Desdemona becomes more traditionally female and passive).

Language is a big deal in this play. Iago is a wordsmith, and as such he is basically the puppetmaster of the other characters. His understanding of language allows him access to all realms represented in the play. Desdemona is seduced by Othello's stories in Venice, but then get into trouble because she doesn't speak the language of the military.

Shakespeare's plays in general, and this one in particular, live on because they are such adept representations of humanity and love. His characters explore the ugly sides of human nature right alongside descriptions of nobility and love, which makes the contrast between the two more evident.