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Othello Lesson Plan
Starter
You have 5 minutes to think of a word for each letter of the alphabet associated with the character
Othello.
Main task
Divide the class into five groups. 1 tables for Othello, 2 for Iago, 1 for Desdemona and 1 for Emilia. Ask
students what Iago's…

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Character Profiles
Othello




A black man from North Africa, Othello has travelled the world, been sold into slavery, escaped, and
ended up as the military commander of the Venetian military, guard to a powerful Italian city-state.
Othello's status in Venice is pretty complicated ­ he's both an insider and an…

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his feelings for Desdemona have the exaggerated character of adolescent emotion; despite their
maturity in other respects, the couple are naive about love.

Dramatically, the playwright is interested in the way such jealousy can reduce nobility to bestiality:
Othello, at the start of the play, ennobled by his exemplary service…

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my speech, / And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace" (I.iii.81­82). While Othello is never rude
in his speech, he does allow his eloquence to suffer as he is put under increasing strain by Iago's plots.
In the final moments of the play, Othello regains his composure and,…

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pure, white body, and he just can't stand it. As we know, several characters (like Brabantio and Iago)
claim that black men like Othello contaminate white women they have sexual contact with. If it's true
that Othello believes he's polluted Desdemona and turned her into a filthy "whore," then it…

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Desdemona
Desdemona may be a young woman considering the surprise caused by her elopement, but she is a
very strong and resolute woman. She is independent in her conduct, and judges her husband for his
"mind" and his achievements, where she is expected to seek wealth, status and conventional good…

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seeking promotion) and is gallant towards his friend's wife (in whom he has no sexual interest) while
wasting no time in coming to an arrangement with the camp-follower, Bianca, which is almost entirely
sexual. This comes back to bite Cassio in the end, since his flirtatious charisma helps convince Othello…

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But she redeems herself, or at least gives a good shot at trying. It is Emilia who discovers the truth
about Iago's plotting and reveals it to the world. She can't bring Desdemona back to life, but she does
clear her friend's name. She ends up sacrificing her life so…

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