How might I write a review of the play Othello?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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1) Introduction- In a nutshell, this play is about Othello (a general of Moorish descent) and his ultimate destruction at the hands of a jealous adversary, Iago.

2) Characterization- Othello is portrayed as war-hardened general. He is extremely skilled at what he does and he is greatly trusted by the Venetian government to fulfill his role as a military leader in defense of his country. Although Othello is initially portrayed as a logical and reasonable man, he is eventually reduced to an emotional wreck at the possibility of his wife's infidelity.

Desdemona is portrayed as a woman who greatly loves her husband. She is fearless in defending her choice of a husband to her father, Brabantio. Like Othello, she manifests seemingly conflicting personalities: she is at once courageous as well as self-effacing. She blames herself for her own death and forgives her husband despite his betrayal of her innocence.

Iago is the villain: he is at once loathsome, conniving, and untrustworthy. He plays Roderigo against Cassio and Othello; he pits Desdemona against her own husband. He even uses his own wife, Emilia, in plotting the downfall of Othello. Here's a villain everyone loves to hate; Iago doesn't seem to have a redeeming virtue in him. He kills his own wife, Emilia, when she no longer serves his purposes. 

3) Plot Description- eNotes has a great At-A-Glance summary as well as a fuller summary of the plot.

4) Theme of the play- Themes include jealousy (how jealousy can destroy love and trust in a relationship), racial prejudice (how prejudice affects self-image -- Othello's jealousy is fueled both by Iago's machinations and his own self-esteem issues regarding his own attractiveness to Desdemona, his wife), the discrepancy between appearances and reality (Iago is successful in his manipulations of Othello because he is able to frame events and manufacture elements in his surroundings to paint a false picture of Desdemona's fidelity), inter-racial relationships fueling discussions about marital compatibility (the black Othello is perceived by some as a predator of innocent white women) and also gender roles and women's rights (the suspicion of possible infidelity dooms Desdemona despite the fact that there is no truth to Iago's allegations).

5) Interesting Quote- This will depend upon your own enjoyment of the play. You can quote almost anything that interests you; for example, did Othello grab your attention in Act 5 Scene 2 when he claimed to be carrying out a divine sentence? "This sorrow’s heavenly,/ It strikes where it doth love." Even if his suspicions were right, do you think Othello had the right to decide whether his wife lived or died?

6) Analysis or evaluation- eNotes has an excellent analysis of this play.

7) Summary- Please refer to the eNotes link that I provided above.

8) Conclusion- This will depend upon your own thoughts on the play; for example, did you think that Othello and Iago received their just deserts? Why did Othello trust Iago so readily? Was it due to his naivety or his personal insecurities?

I hope this helps. You can use the above points to guide you in your second play. Thanks for the question!

teachsuccess's profile pic

teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Hello! I would like to suggest presenting your request as a new question. My other colleagues would be more than happy to help you with understanding this incredible play.

In answering your question, I included the template you provided; if there are any specifics you need, my suggestion is to try including some details. This would greatly aid in an educator assisting you. Perhaps you would like to discuss the mood/tone in Othello or discuss certain literary concepts. Usually, a review will include your thoughts about the play itself, a brief discussion about important themes, and perhaps, even a short critique about the skill of the actors in portraying Shakespeare's characters.

Besides asking another question, here is a review help written by my colleague for another student, using a template similar to the one you requested.

http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/play-review-hamlet-150-words-including-482241

If you are interested in a theater review, here is one you might enjoy. It's a bit long, but worth reading.

http://www.mcelhearn.com/theater-review-othello-by-the-royal-shakespeare-company/

Hope this helps!

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zainab64 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

i didnt like the answer can anyone else plz do this?

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