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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  166,843 ratings  ·  2,421 reviews
An exciting new edition of the complete works of Shakespeare with these features: Illustrated with photographs from New York Shakespeare Festival productions, vivid readable readable introductions for each play by noted scholar David Bevington, a lively personal foreword by Joseph Papp, an insightful essay on the play in performance, modern spelling and pronunciation, up-t...more
Published September 1st 1996 by Arden Shakespeare (first published 1603)
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Othello, abridged:

OTHELLO: I love my wife!

IAGO: She gave Cassio her handkerchief.


DESDEMONA: Hi honey!



EMILIA: Dude, what is WRONG with you?


IAGO: Yeah, I totally made that whole wife-is-cheating-on-you thing up. PUNK'D!


Joshua Parkinson
Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?
-Othello, end of Act V

When I was about 9 years old, I put a healthy, live mouse into my parents' microwave oven. It was a summer day and I was all alone. I had this devilish feeling inside me. I knew it was wrong, but I had to do it. I grabbed a kitchen chair, dragged it across the floor, stood on it, opened the door, and threw the mouse in. Then I hit start.

At first it was no big deal. The light turned on inside,...more
Ayne Ray
Hands down the worst pillow fight in history.
Here is my copy of Othello with the felty suspicious looking fox bookmark that Karen made for my birthday:

He's protecting this book, and doesn't trust anyone!

Othello would have done well to be a little less trustworthy. Silly Moor.

A bunch of other reviews I noticed have pointed out that this is in some way a great study of sexual jealousy. I think this is an interesting reading of the play, and really more telling of the reader and his or her own feelings / history than the play itself. If thi...more
Riku Sayuj
Jan 24, 2014 Riku Sayuj rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Riku by: Prof Neerja Pande
I decided to start my mission to read all 38 of The Complete Plays of Shakespeare with Othello. It turned out to be a good decision to start with the New Cambridge edition.

I was considering this reading as an academic reading of the bard and it generally took me almost 3 hours of constant reading to get through one average sized (10-15 pages) scene! Even after reading every scene three times - once aloud and twice normally - I still never felt I had enough of it, and moved on to the next only du...more
Interpolation in the original text recently discovered in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, England. Believed to be by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. I have rendered the non-Shakespearean text in bold :

I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me;
Lend me thy handkerchief.

Here, my lord.

That which I gave you.

I have it not about me.


No, indeed, my lord.

That is a fault. That handkerchief
Did an Egyptian to my mother give;
She was a charmer...more
I loathe this play. Othello loves his wife and yet he doubts her by trusting Iago, who he knows is an unsavory fellow? Moron.
Adam Floridia
12/9/13 2 stars: Probably some good fodder for reader response theory here. I just couldn't get into it this time--probably because I've got so much else going on right now. But come one, the master playwright surely could have come up with some more subtle plot points for key moments: Othello simply and conveniently drops the handkerchief (that is later oh-so-precious) in front of Emilia fter she has been instructed to nab it; Othello has a grand mal seizure just so Iago can setup a conversatio...more
She that was ever fair and never proud,
Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,
Never lack'd gold and yet went never gay,
Fled from her wish and yet said 'Now I may,'
She that being anger'd, her revenge being nigh,
Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,
She that in wisdom never was so frail
To change the cod's head for the salmon's tail;
She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind,
See suitors following and not look behind,
She was a wight, if ever such wight were -

To do what?


In my opinion, Othello focuses upon one of Shakespeare's great literary devices. The misunderstandings between characters fuel this intelligent plot and provide grounds for Shakespeare to tantalize his audience. We the reader (or the viewer) recognise that of course Desdemona is innocent and that Iago is the mischief maker in the plot. And so to build suspense Shakespeare dangles this information tantalisingly in front of our very noses.

The one problem I have with Othello is the nature of its c...more
I enjoyed this one a lot but what a tragedy! Iago is such a villain and it annoyed me immensely that Othello could not see through Iago's manipulation. Iago's reasons for hating Othello so much weren't truly convincing either.
I enjoy Shakespeare, but sometimes I really wonder at him. Of course, he was a genius, but I don't really feel like this was his best work. If it had been filled in a little, and was a bit more fleshed out, it would have been much better in my opinion.

Basic story (And there will be plot spoilers here), love-struck Othello is manipulated by Iago into believing that his freshly-minted bride is cheating on him with his friend. Othello then hires said manipulator to off said friend (now ex-friend)...more
Ash E.
Apr 04, 2011 Ash E. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Shakespeare fans
Recommended to Ash by: Ashley Irvin

A tragic tale of human stupidity told through elopement, insanity, drunkenness (not to be confused with insanity), soldiers doing stupid things, and, below it all, the only character with even an ounce of intelligence to speak of - Iago - who also happens to be a dastardly villain. I mean, come on, you know your protagonist is a fail when the only character worthy of any sort of genuine respect is the villain! Ah, well, what can I say? C'est la Shakespeare.
"Bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!"

That's Hamlet the Slow Avenger ranting about Claudius, but the same and bolder could be said of Iago. I know he's the vilest of Shakespeare's villains--which would place him high in the running for vilest world-wide--but at some point those just become words. It's the page-by-page visceral experience of watching him secrete his evil that makes my blood boil. As I reread this, I wanted to throw the book, tear it, set it...more
I actually found Othello one of the easiest of Shakespeare's plays to read. I knew the basic plot, which probably helped -- when reading the histories like Henry V, I wasn't always sure what was going to happen -- but just in general I found it by far the easiest to follow. And very real: I actually know someone who was as easily lead as astray as Othello, about someone almost as blameless as Desdemona... luckily, it didn't end as badly as this play!

I really enjoyed this, anyway -- I'm really gl...more
The white on black, the black on white
Explosive mix it makes, so easy to ignite
By jealousy venom, inserted drop by drop into suspicious mind,
And vicious fantasies force fatal spring of hate to wind
And there you go ... flame of rage
Burns out lives, while getting out of its mental cage

1. Memorable 5
2. Social Relevance 5
3. Informative 3
4. Originality 5
5. Thought Provoking 5
6. Expressiveness 5
7. Entertaining 3
8. Visualization 4
9. Sparks Emotion 5
10. Life Changing (Pivotal, crucial, determining,...more
You need to be a certain age to understand and appreciate this drama of the ravages of jealousy, that "green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on". I disliked the character Othello when I first saw this play when I was about 14 but I was a couple of years too young to understand. Later, the play becomes harrowing. Two elements need to be taken into consideration to appreciate this play, no three-1)jealousy makes blind and turns a man or woman into a donkey, 2) we should never forget...more
Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul But I do love thee! and when I love thee not, Chaos is come again. -- Othello, Act 3, scene 3, 90–95

And in saying, Othello foreshadows the chaos that rapidly descends upon the players -- him most of all. As Othello's violent emotional storm continues to build to its climax, Iago stands in the eye directing it with the cool detachment of the sociopath. Othello's words also foreshadow his soul's doom -- "perdition catch my soul" -- when he fails to hold fa...more
I read this for English, I thought it would be dreadful.I was rather surprised. Othello will probably be the only shakespeare work I will ever like. I'm not going to even make a proper review for this because it has been done more often than enough.

I wanted to make a statement on people's confusion due to why Othello kills his wife when he loved her.

Othello was in the verge of doubt ever since he married Desdemona, even though he was a general. he still wasn't that highly respected due to his...more
Yeah, I've finally conquered my fear of Shakespeare . . . next up: dogs.
Othello has all the ingredients of comedy:

1 jealous husband, whisked
1 virtuous wife
2 tbsp marine-warfare
1 e'gg' [E-(a)-gg-(o)]
3 dashes of redwine
1 handkerchief, to taste

That spoilt Iago just musses the whole comedy of it, really; but makes for a more interesting play anyway (and without him, I'd feel I already read this recipe in Chaucer). Othello really stands out for me, from the great tragedies (Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear), it doesn't have the same mood to it, a different air. Othello's world...more
Simona Bartolotta
DESDEMONA: Fa’ pure quel che ti senti di fare:
in ogni caso, io t’obbedirò.

(Escono Desdemona e Emilia)

OTELLO: O squisita creatura!
Che se ne vada pure in perdizione
l’anima mia, ma quanto, quanto l’amo!
E il giorno in cui non dovessi più amarti,
sarà tornato il caos!...

Dopo Amleto, la tragedia più bella di Shakespeare.
E' uno di quei testi che provocano un'agitazione, un rimescolio di sentimenti, un turbamento inaudito che scuote da dentro, come quasi una cosa intima, e il fulcro di tutto questo non...more
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Paul Dinger
Iago thinks everyone is evil and to prove it he makes his friend Othello kill his wife. Why? If we knew, Iago wouldn't be so evil. A persistent theme through out the comedies is how is love proven and what is more important, friendship or love. Here these themes are deadly serious, and therein lies the tragedy. Othello does trust his friendship more than Desdomonia, if he didn't wouldn't he see thru this idiot plot? Much is made of Othello's skin color by critics, but really that is just a herri...more
Ho imparato grazie ad Amleto che io con Shakespeare ho lo scoppio ritardato.
Mi era sembrata una lettura interessante e bella e basta, e poi dopo qualche settimana, mese, devo constatare che è una delle letture a cui penso più spesso in termini sempre ammiranti.
Segno che io non devo parlare adesso per Otello, se voglio essere sicura di quello che dico.
Quindi facciamo che sto zitta, eh, e magari fra qualche mese torno a commentarlo.
Stay tuned.

(se non sono poliglotta io..)
I am on the fence about Othello's tragedy. While it was very readable for Shakespeare, the entire trickery seemed to rely on the fact that Desdemona couldn't possibly love Othello--she only wanted his body, and once that desire was sated, she would move on to other men. Though this opinion is only expressed outright by a few of the characters, the fact that Othello himself is convinced of Desdemona's infidelity means that he himself thinks that he is unworthy of her. Whether his insecurities are...more

Wow. Of the five or so Shakespeare plays I’ve read, Othello is maybe the best, or second best. It’s up there with Hamlet, probably because it’s similar to Hamlet in its bizarreness. The sicker Shakespeare gets, the better he gets. Enough with the sappy eyed lovebirds of Romeo and Juliet or A Midsummer Night’s Dream; the psychotic, delusional, paranoid characters are always the most fun to work with.

I’m talking about the main character, but not the title character. Othello would have been more ac...more
Julius Caesar and MacBeth will always be my faves, but Othello was certainly interesting. It helped that I had read Grisham's "Playing for Pizza," which has a scene that thoroughly describes the story. So I kept having deja vu until I made the connection.

My lit class had debates over the characters of Othello (btw, this is the ONLY way to read Shakespeare-with a group of people). Why does Othello resist consummating the marriage? Is he trying to defy the stereotypes that hound him because of his...more
Brenna Smith
This was the first Shakespearean play that I actually enjoyed. I've tolerated the previous plays that we've had to read in school if I'm honest with myself. I enjoyed Othello the most, midsummer nights dream comes as second and I liked Romeo and Juliet the least. Maybe it's my teacher, she's great, or maybe the content of this story was much more interesting than his previous work to me. Either way, I'm glad I read this. I absolutely loved reading about Iago and how his manipulation and schemes...more
Sheng-wen Chen
Othello, one of the great masterpieces of Shakespeare, sets its background in Venice. The same setting from The Merchant of Venice interests me a lot. In Othello, same issues of racism emereges, affecting the pesonality of the characters and decisions, leading the plots to a different way. Othello, the black Moor, is blind, ignorant, and self-esteem problems due to his ethinicity(which is totally opposite from the beginning of the story). Comparing the situation with Shylock, from The Merchant o...more
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Homoerotic subtext in Shakespeare 28 84 Apr 10, 2014 06:21AM  
Who was your favorite character? 24 116 Apr 04, 2014 07:27PM  
Two different Othello's 11 34 Mar 16, 2014 09:59AM  
  • Medea and Other Plays
  • Doctor Faustus
  • Metamorphoses
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  • Company: A Musical Comedy
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  • Samson Agonistes
  • Amadeus
  • 'night, Mother
  • The Children's Hour
  • Antigone / Oedipus the King / Electra
  • Waiting for Godot
  • Selected Letters, 1913-1965
  • Rabbit Hole
  • The Zoo Story and Other Plays
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr...more
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Romeo and Juliet Hamlet Macbeth A Midsummer Night's Dream Much Ado About Nothing

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“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.”
“The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.” 129 likes
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