Test your knowledge of William Shakespeare's Othello by taking one of our user-contributed quizzes! Each quiz is multiple choice and includes questions on plot points, themes, and character traits. Test your knowledge online or print for classroom use.

  • Othello Overview

    Othello Overview

    Jealousy and manipulation are at the heart of this tragedy. Be sure you recall the details of how a great love turns to terrible murder by taking the Othello overview quiz from eNotes.

  • Othello Act 1 Scene 1

    Othello Act 1 Scene 1

    Mondays... am I right? Imagine you are Brabantio. First you get one piece of bad news, then another! What's a wealthy politician to do when your daughter defies you and your underlings are running amok? Making matters worse is that the once-trustworthy Iago is behind the scenes, seething with anger...

  • Othello Act 2 Scene 1

    Othello Act 2 Scene 1

    Although he is called "Honest Iago" often, and ironically, by Othello, Act 2, Scene 1 of the play proves the moniker is a false one; "Cunning" might do it, but "Evil" seems more fitting. Iago has his hooks into everyone in this scene, baiting them all into stirring up trouble...

  • Othello Act 3 Scene 1

    Othello Act 3 Scene 1

    “Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked," Machiavelli warned. It's too bad Iago had already checked out The Princefrom the local Venetian library, because Cassio could really...

  • Othello Act 4 Scene 1

    Othello Act 4 Scene 1

    Othello may very well possess a great military mind but in matters of the heart, he's easily fooled. Misinformation, planted "proof" and deliberate lies are part and parcel of Iago's plot, and Othello falls for all of it. No one is above suspicion in Othello's mind, except, ironically, the perpetrator...

  • Othello Act 1 Scene 2

    Othello Act 1 Scene 2

    "Our distrust is very expensive, " Ralph Waldo Emerson warned. And so it will be for Othello as he trusts the wrong person and doubts the innocent. In Act 1, Scene 2, Iago is carefully baiting his trap, luring Othello to a false sense of trust and sowing the seeds...

  • Othello Act 1 Scene 3

    Othello Act 1 Scene 3

    Guess who's coming to dinner? This is not a game the Duke of Venice is particularly interested in playing. His daughter, Desdemona, has wedded someone who, while accomplished, is not up to his standards for a variety of reasons. Among those reasons is a father's feeling that no one is...

  • Othello Act 2 Scenes 2 and 3

    Othello Act 2 Scenes 2 and 3

    "A few vices are sufficient to darken many virtues," Plutarch observed. Once someone figures out what your chief weakness is, that person can exploit it. Unfortunately for Cassio, Iago has discovered his vice. While Cassio isn't Iago's primary target, he is a most necessary liaison to the person who is:...

  • Othello Act 3 Scenes 2 and 3

    Othello Act 3 Scenes 2 and 3

    Psychologists say that manipulation works on four fronts: fear, guilt, hype, and moralism. It seems that Iago is firing on all cylinders as he customizes his approach for each person in his sights. And since none of the people he manipulates are aware of his ill intentions at all, they...

  • Othello Act 3 Scene 4

    Othello Act 3 Scene 4

    When Emilia tells her husband, "I have a thing for you," Iago makes sport of the comment. Would that it were only a sexually-tinged inference. Emilia does indeed have a "thing" for her husband, who is frequently and ironically called "Honest Iago" by his boss, Othello. But the "thing" Emilia...

  • Othello Act 4 Scene 2

    Othello Act 4 Scene 2

    If the definition of stupid is knowing the truth, seeing the truth, but still believing the lies, Othello isn't very bright, even if he is a high-ranking military officer. His trust is misplaced. He believes those he shouldn't and distrusts those who have never given him reason to suspect their...

  • Othello Act 4 Scene 3

    Othello Act 4 Scene 3

    Act 4, Scene 3 has the two main ingredients of a good country song: love and betrayal. Poor Desdemona actually does croon about her misfortunes in this scene. Her BFF isn't being so "best" and her husband is being aloof and weird, to say the least. What is the daughter...

  • Othello Act 5 Scene 1

    Othello Act 5 Scene 1

    People gettin' stabbed, people gettin' dead. Two guesses who is responsible for both: Iago. This treacherous turncoat has escalated his betrayals and lies resulting in the escalation of the tragedy. Roderigo is his pawn; so is Cassio. But this is no friendly game of chess. Deaths come because of Iago's...

  • Othello Act 5 Scene 2

    Othello Act 5 Scene 2

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies," Groucho Marx said. While Othello isn't exactly engaging in politics, he is indeed looking for trouble, finding it, coming to an erroneous conclusion, and crafting some deadly remedies. Desdemona cannot answer...

  • Othello in Othello

    Othello in Othello

    “Latent in every man is a venom of amazing bitterness, a black resentment; something that curses and loathes life, a feeling of being trapped, of having trusted and been fooled, of being the helpless prey of impotent rage, blind surrender, the victim of a savage," Paul Valéry warned. This truism...

  • Iago in Othello

    Iago in Othello

    “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak, " Sun Tzu advises in The Art of War. This might be Iago's personal motto. He has to keep his boss, Othello, happy while he simultaneously tries to destroy him. But he can't attack the general directly;...

  • Desdemona in Othello

    Desdemona in Othello

    Don't dismiss Desdemona as just a good-but-not-very-bright-girl who gets duped. In fact, Desdemona is one of Shakespeare's most interesting female characters. Pains are taken to describe how dutiful she is, yet she defies her powerful father to marry the man she loves. However, she is not flawless. For example, Desdemona...

  • Cassio in Othello

    Cassio in Othello

    Aristotle observed that “youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.” Perhaps this is the reason poor Cassio is so gullible. Although he has scored some impressive accomplishments in his military career, he is still young and therefore a target for the older and jaded Iago. Iago plays...

  • Emilia in Othello

    Emilia in Othello

    Oh, Emilia. You just aren't a very good person, are you? While you are close to Desdemona, you do not have her best interests at heart. As a wife, your morals are suspect. Even your job skills could use some polishing. It would be tempting to dismiss you as a...

  • Brabantio in Othello

    Brabantio in Othello

    Brabantio. A man of position and power. A man with a daughter. A man who will use his position and power to try to protect that daughter. So when his beloved little girl goes against his wishes, Brabantio is displeased, to say the least. While his role in this play...

  • Roderigo in Othello

    Roderigo in Othello

    Desdemona might be compared to the cheerleader all the guys want. And like a cheerleader, some guys have a better shot than others. Othello is going to get her, Cassio wants her, and Roderigo is like the nerd with no chance, but his crush makes him vulnerable to Iago's manipulations....