Othello: The Moor Of Venice by William Shakespeare

Othello: The Moor Of Venice was written by William Shakespeare, the most noteworthy writer in English literature. It is said to have been written in 1603 during the time when Shakespeare wrote some of his other famous tragedies such as Macbeth and Anthony And Cleopatra. This tragedy is based on an earlier piece of Italian literature called, Un Capitano Moro (A Moorish Captain) by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinzio in 1565. 

The play is set against the backdrop of the conflict between Venice and the Turks. Othello is the war-seasoned general of the Venetian army. His fellow contemporary, Iago bears a terrible grudge against our eponymous protagonist and sets about scheming his undoing by convincing Othello to question his wife, Desdemona’s faithfulness to him.

I found the fast moving dynamic of the plot to be extremely captivating from the first Act, with Iago scheming villainous designs with Roderigo, but also wittily duping the latter out of pocket. Iago’s villainy in this play is brilliantly executed. He is the perfect villain because of the multi-layered nature of his embitterment and jealousy. I loved reading his monologues where he sometimes justifies his deep-seated resentment, thus rendering him in possession of a conscience and not wholly evil.

And what’s he then that says I play the villain/When this advice is free I give, and honest..”

This classic tragedy is the perfect execution of dramatic irony and poetry. The iambic rhyming couplets are very much indicative of Shakespearean writing, and their use in this play resonated like proverbial sayings. I also enjoyed the use of pathetic fallacy, such as when a beastly storm ravaged the seas of Cyprus, as though foreshadowing the tempestuous events that would follow.

Othello, our tragic hero’s fall from grace adheres to that of most Shakespearean protagonists; some fatal flaw incites them to make an irreparable mistake that ultimately causes their downfall. In Othello’s case, his jealousy produces a string of tragic events. Othello’s character development makes for a perfect tragedy but I struggled to reconcile with his irrationality. His jealousy is founded on nothing more than gullibility and lack of reason, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if Othello had a bit more brains off the battlefield, thus making Iago have to work harder to beguile him.  

Despite the extremely archaic language, Othello is deeply entertaining, tempestuous and dramatic. I rate Othello: The Moor Of Venice..


Thank you for reading! To see more reviews like this, please visit the Book Reviews page. Until next time x

4 responses to “Othello: The Moor Of Venice by William Shakespeare”

  1. I used to read more Shakespear a long time ago but haven’t for a while and now I remember why! lol, I always thought Shakespear’s writing tends to be overly dramatic but I do love a good tragedy and this storyline definitely sounds intriguing, great review!

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