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4.0 out of 5 stars "I am not what I am", Oct. 21 2003
This review is from: Othello (Mass Market Paperback)
I first had to read this book in my senior high school years. We must have read the play at least three times, watched the movie (with Lawrence Fishburne) twice and read some of the accompanying notes. The first time we went thru it, the thing that struck me was the deceptiveness of Iago. He stands out in the book as the embodiment of true evil because of his ability to manipulate and deceive. His presence fills every scene he is in and Shakespeare doesn't give us the chance to see any redeeming qualities of this man.
Character studies are only one way to look at Othello. There are countless books on the market that dissect the play, exploring it from all angles, explaining the themes that Shakespeare explores, whether it be inter-racial marriage, jealousy or the evil nature of Iago and I would recommend you search these 'aids' out if you are doing a study of Othello for your English class.
Apart from Shakespeare's literary genius, most of his stories also have a moral behind them. The ones that stood out the most in Othello were the need for trust in a relationship and the dangers of jealousy unchecked. If you haven't ever read this play, or made the excuse that the language is daunting, you are truly missing out on a masterpiece of English literature.
I consider this play one of Shakespeare's great tragedies along with Hamlet and Julius Ceasar but the only really tragic thing about Othello is reading the play and coming away from it without learning anything new about life. Now that would be a tragedy indeed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Shakespeare's Greatest Tragedy, Jan. 9 2002
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Nath3001 (Lansing, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Othello (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar, and I consider Othello to be Shakespeare's greatest tragedy that I have read to this point. The villain, Iago, is unlike any other villain. His character seems to be pure evil and is, in my mind, the most intense villain created by a writer known for his intense villains. I believe this play has a more enduring value than other Shakespeare works and can still be enjoyed by all today. It puts a clear boundary between good and evil unlike any other Shakespeare tragedy. The play centers on Iago's attempt to ruin Othello after he is passed up for a higher position in Othello's forces for a young, inexperienced soldier, Michael Cassio. He hatched an elaborate plan of evil and Othello falls perfectly into his trap. It is painful to read the play, with the knowledge of Iago's plan, if you develop sympathy for the unsuspecting Othello as he gets closer and closer to the final trap. I find it unbelievably ironic that so small an article as a handkerchief could start off such a chain of death and sadness at the end of the play, but I won't spoil the rest for those who have not read it. If you have not read Othello, please do. It is a brilliant, passionate, tragic, timeless work by perhaps the greatest writer ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's Othello is the Ultimate Tragedy, Jan. 9 2002
By 
Cheryl (Okemos, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Othello (Paperback)
Shakespeare's Othello is an interesting and dramatic tragedy. If you like imagery and irony, you will like Othello. Shakespeare uses the power of imagery skillfully to develop themes throughout the play. For example, recurring animal imagery is used to sharpen the contrast between people and beasts, showing how Iago and Othello begin to act more like beasts than human beings. Irony also adds much to the plot of Othello to make it interesting and exciting for the reader. Much of the irony used is dramatic irony because the reader knows of Iago's plot, while the characters in the play have no idea what is about to unfold. The relationship between men and women in Othello is another aspect of the play that makes it interesting to read. Iago's wife Emilia, for example, is very cynical towards men, probably from years of living with Iago. Othello and Desdemona's relationship is also intriguing. In the beginning of the play, Othello and Desdemona are seemingly deeply in love with each other. Othello, however, is rather easily convinced that his wife is cheating on him and becomes angry to the point where he cannot forgive Desdemona. He decides to kill her. As she is being murdered, Desdemona tries to protect her husband's innocence in her own murder. Another interesting aspect of the play which makes it stand out from other Shakespearean plays is the race of the main character. Othello is black and a Moor, or Muslim. This fact brings up issues to be explored in the play. Shakespeare shows the characters being separated not only by status and rank but also by their place of origin and their religion. Overall, Shakespeare's Othello is dramatic, well-written, and thoroughly explores how evil a human being can become.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's Othello is the Ultimate Tragedy, Jan. 9 2002
By 
Cheryl (Okemos, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Othello (Paperback)
Shakespeare's Othello is an interesting and dramatic tragedy. If you like imagery and irony, you will like Othello. Shakespeare uses the power of imagery skillfully to develop themes throughout the play. For example, recurring animal imagery is used to sharpen the contrast between people and beasts, showing how Iago and Othello begin to act more like beasts than human beings. Irony also adds much to the plot of Othello to make it interesting and exciting for the reader. Much of the irony used is dramatic irony because the reader knows of Iago's plot, while the characters in the play have no idea what is about to unfold. The relationship between men and women in Othello is another aspect of the play that makes it interesting to read. Iago's wife Emilia, for example, is very cynical towards men, probably from years of living with Iago. Othello and Desdemona's relationship is also intriguing. In the beginning of the play, Othello and Desdemona are seemingly deeply in love with each other. Othello, however, is rather easily convinced that his wife is cheating on him and becomes angry to the point where he cannot forgive Desdemona. He decides to kill her. As she is being murdered, Desdemona tries to protect her husband's innocence in her own murder. Another interesting aspect of the play which makes it stand out from other Shakespearean plays is the race of the main character. Othello is black and a Moor, or Muslim. This fact brings up issues to be explored in the play. Shakespeare shows the characters being separated not only by status and rank but also by their place of origin and their religion. Overall, Shakespeare's Othello is dramatic, well-written, and thoroughly explores how evil a human being can become.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's Othello is the Ultimate Tragedy, Jan. 9 2002
By 
Cheryl (Okemos, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Othello (Paperback)
Shakespeare's Othello is an interesting and dramatic tragedy. If you like imagery and irony, you will like Othello. Shakespeare uses the power of imagery skillfully to develop themes throughout the play. For example, recurring animal imagery is used to sharpen the contrast between people and beasts, showing how Iago and Othello begin to act more like beasts than human beings. Irony also adds much to the plot of Othello to make it interesting and exciting for the reader. Much of the irony used is dramatic irony because the reader knows of Iago's plot, while the characters in the play have no idea what is about to unfold. The relationship between men and women in Othello is another aspect of the play that makes it interesting to read. Iago's wife Emilia, for example, is very cynical towards men, probably from years of living with Iago. Othello and Desdemona's relationship is also intriguing. In the beginning of the play, Othello and Desdemona are seemingly deeply in love with each other. Othello, however, is rather easily convinced that his wife is cheating on him and becomes angry to the point where he cannot forgive Desdemona. He decides to kill her. As she is being murdered, Desdemona tries to protect her husband's innocence in her own murder. Another interesting aspect of the play which makes it stand out from other Shakespearean plays is the race of the main character. Othello is black and a Moor, or Muslim. This fact brings up issues to be explored in the play. Shakespeare shows the characters being separated not only by status and rank but also by their place of origin and their religion. Overall, Shakespeare's Othello is dramatic, well-written, and thoroughly explores how evil a human being can become.
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4.0 out of 5 stars On My favorite Villan, Nov. 30 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Othello (Mass Market Paperback)
I loved Othello . Next to Hamlet it catches the attention and the heart of the reader . This play wraps one up in the world Shakespere recreated of Love Hate Lust Desire and Greed . I say Read it , think about it Tell a friend . I was especailly touched by the actions of Iago. Even though he was Evil incarnate one can find a little of him everywhere . Still this cant compare to the effect the drama gives one if they view it being preformed firsthand.
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Othello
Othello by William Shakespeare (Paperback - May 3 2001)
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