Whether you are teaching Othello, or studying it at A Level, it is important to explore a range of critical opinions on the text. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Editions of the play
- The Oxford School Shakespeare edition is useful for A Level students.
- The Arden edition has an excellent introduction by Ayanna Thompson, and very useful explanatory notes and appendices.
- Various online version of the play are available. I tend to use the MIT version. It’s amazing how using Ctrl+F can help you to quickly find quotations, or identify motifs.
- A modern audio version of the play is available on BBC Sounds.
- Some students might use the No Fear Shakespeare parallel “translation” during their initial reading of the play.
Free Online Resources
- The British Library articles on Othello are a brilliant, free resource which explore the key themes in the play from the perspective of literary critics and actors.
- A lecture by Emma Smith is available here.
- A podcast by Ayanna Thompson is available here.
- A short podcast entitled “What is means to be a Moor” on BBC Sounds provides useful contextual information.
- Juliam Girdham’s blog provides suggestions, resources, and ideas about Othello.
- My YouTube channel provides scene by scene analysis of the play.
I generally buy my books second hand – the ABE Books website is a great place to look before you look for a new copy.
- Emma Smith’s book This is Shakespeare contains expert analysis of a range of the bard’s plays.
- Fintan O’Toole’s Shakespeare is Hard, But So is Life is another text which provides excellent analysis of various plays in an accessible and lively style.
- If you want to explore a range of critical approaches to Othello, then Andrew Hadfield’s Routledge Study Guide is an excellent place to start. Hadfield provides a guided tour of the most significant critical opinions on the play, up to the early 2000s.
Revision and Study Resources for A Level Students
- If your school has a MASSOLIT subscription, make sure you make use of it. There are several excellent courses on Othello on this website.
- The York Notes (A Level version) on Othello can be a useful revision resource.
- My Quotation Bank guide on Othello will be available from September 2022. Deals are available for schools who wish to purchase in bulk.