'Othello' Critics

Names and quotes from critics on 'Othello' by William Shakespeare

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Othello Critics
1) Henry L Warnken
"He is a soldier and is therefore accustomed to hardship and cruelty."
"Iago may manipulate Othello, but Othello is no mere puppet...by the middle of the play, his
thoughts and feelings echo Iago's".
2) D R Godfrey
"Iago knew...from hints and insinuation to accusations of infidelity, Othello would no longer
be himself, but a quite different person possessed by the eclipsing madness of jealousy."
"Desdemona, assigned the horrible role of a whore in a brothel, is not to be rationally
interrogated, but rhetorically denounced."
"the very voice of jealousy itself" (Iago)
3) F R Leavis
"The tragic protagonist is responsible for his own downfall: Iago's role is subordinate and
merely ancillary."
Othello is simply jealous and possesses a weak character. Marriage adds to his problems as
this causes him to deteriorate further."
4) A C Bradley
"The play is primarily a study of a noble barbarian who has become a Christian...but who
retains beneath the surface the savage passions of his Moorish blood."
"Hesitation is almost impossible to him. He is extremely self-reliant, and decides and acts
instantaneously."
5) Thomas Rymer
"Maidens of quality should not run away with black moors."
"Had it been Desdemona's Garter, the sagacious Moor may have smelt a Rat: but the
Handkerchief is so remote a trifle"
6) Samuel Coleridge
"Othello does not kill Desdemona in jealousy, but in a conviction forced upon him by the
almost superhuman art of Iago."

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Motiveless malignity"
7) S N Garner
"Desdemona's liveliness, assertiveness, and sensuality are corroborated in her marrying
Othello. The crucial fact of her marriage is not that she elopes but that she, a white woman,
weds a black man."
"Her willingness to risk the censure of her father and society is some measure of her capacity
for love"
"Either Desdemona is pure or she is `the cunning whore if Venice'."
"Before the senators, she answers her father's charges forcefully and persuasively, without
shyness or reticence.…read more

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