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“Othello”: unmissable quotations (part 2)

6. “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself and what remains is bestial.” (Cassio, Act 2 Scene 3) This scene is a key turning point of the play as in it Shakespeare presents the characters poised on the brink of chaos. The drunken brawl –Continue reading ““Othello”: unmissable quotations (part 2)”


“Othello”: unmissable quotations (part 1)

I recently created a list of my unmissable quotations from “The Kite Runner”, aimed to help students revise key concepts and analysis. As a follow-on from that, here is the first half of my list of top quotations from “Othello”. 1. “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe.”Continue reading ““Othello”: unmissable quotations (part 1)”

Minor Characters in “Othello”: Brabantio

What is Brabantio’s function in “Othello”? Although Brabantio only features on stage in Act 1 and his death is mentioned almost as an after-thought later in the play, he is in fact a key character in Othello. This is signalled by a comparison between Cinthio’s “Un Capitano Moro” and Shakespeare’s text; whereas in Cinthio Desdemona’sContinue reading “Minor Characters in “Othello”: Brabantio”

Minor Characters in “Othello”: Is Bianca simply a plot device?

Although at first glance the character of Bianca appears to be relatively unimportant in “Othello”, a more compelling argument is that Shakespeare uses her to reinforce his message about the theme of gender. As one member of the play’s female triumvirate, Bianca is used to remind us that the silencing of women does not simplyContinue reading “Minor Characters in “Othello”: Is Bianca simply a plot device?”

Othello’s Handkerchief: An Overly Symbolic Object?

Surely Othello’s handkerchief is one of the most symbolic items in Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Yet the four-century long debate about its significance, colour, and dramatic function means that today teaching this aspect of the play easily becomes mired in an excess of interpretations. Whilst, as English teachers, we often encourage students to explore a range ofContinue reading “Othello’s Handkerchief: An Overly Symbolic Object?”