Othello general overview notes


Context notes- Lenny Henry: finding Shakespeare

  • father local glove maker- went to grammar school- father ran out of money- taken out of school- London
  • was an outsider- most have uni degrees (he didn't have one)
  • unusual for him to become a playwrite
  • low education "gave voice to the common man

Stage craft- theatrical context

  • the higher up in the globe you go= more expensive
  • social higherachy
  • Shakespeare's audience= varied, everyone from society in the same place at the same time
  • staging is interactive- written for audience close to actors

Major themes 

  • betrayal
  • deception
  • death/murder
  • state conflict
  • appearence vs reality
  • jelousy
  • power/corruption
  • loyalty


  • racisim
  • misogny
  • sexism
  • bigotry

Relattiomships between individuals and society

  • military order
  • duty
  • loyalty
  • reputation/status
  • pride

Shakespearean context

  • Shakespeare straddles Elizabethan + Jacobean eras- mostly Jacobean
  • population increase from 50,000 to 200,000
  • QE issued edicts odering expulsion of groups of black men- 1596
  • world shakespeare creates shows…


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