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3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  243,792 Ratings  ·  3,874 Reviews
In Othello, Shakespeare creates a powerful drama of a marriage that begins with fascination (between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona), with elopement, and with intense mutual devotion and that ends precipitately with jealous rage and violent deaths. He sets this story in the romantic world of the Mediterranean, moving the action from Venice to the ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 314 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1603)
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Georgia Yes, Shakespeare plays on the idea of masculinity in the 17th Century and the insecurity of men. Everything about a man's pride and "social standing"…moreYes, Shakespeare plays on the idea of masculinity in the 17th Century and the insecurity of men. Everything about a man's pride and "social standing" was based on what they OWNED; including women which is addressed in act 1 when Iago says "look to your house, your daughter and your bags"- women/daughters being associated with property . The idea of Othello allegedly sleeping with his wife hits a wrong chord with Iago because a black man in a white dominated society is above him in office and has also "stolen his property". HOWEVER, there are so many creative ways you could interpret Iago as a character and why he does what he does. It is perfectly reasonable to associate Iago with psychopathic tendencies for example. The idea I like to go with is the portrayal and the clever imagery Shakespeare uses to present Iago as the devil; notice when he says "I am not what I am" it suggests he is the devil disguised as a human. He is ironically called "Honest Iago". It is completely plausible to interpret this idea, as the devil is known to initiate mayhem. This theory is resonated in the story of Adam and Eve, when Eve is tempted by the snake (devil) and we as the human race have to live a life of sin as a consequence. THIS, I think most importantly underlines and concludes the whole play on the question Shakespeare is addressing about how we react as human beings and do we have natural self-distruction tendencies?
Iago is very complex but one of the most interesting of Shakespeare's characters. His revenge could simply be about jealousy we will never know however, Shakespeare was a smart man and the connotations with Iago's revenge representing a much bigger meaning could not be coincidental.

Sorry that was long but I felt like this play needs a lot more recognition than it gets :)(less)
Vicki Carbone So many characters of note, so many themes worthy of consideration. For me, it's Shakespeare at his finest. I'd agree with Georgia about its treatment…moreSo many characters of note, so many themes worthy of consideration. For me, it's Shakespeare at his finest. I'd agree with Georgia about its treatment of women. Of course, Shakespeare lived in the time of Queen Elizabeth and I'd assume that may have helped him see women in a better light. Emilia is amazing. Read the exchange between Desdemona and Emilia with regards to men.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 09, 2016 Madeline rated it really liked it
Shelves: shakespeare
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!


Renato Magalhães Rocha
Not trying to upset Proust or Joyce, but these days, it's Shakespeare who's been taking me to bed every night. He's become part of my daily routine and his are my last conscious thoughts before departing to dreamland. Granted, it could be another playwriter or even a regular book. All I need really are small chapters that I can finish quickly when slumber's tentacles start to wrap my body and their calming effects slowly soothe my mind. But it's been Shakespeare... and any insomniac who's ...more
Nov 06, 2016 Afshar rated it it was amazing

اتللو را هركسي خوانده باشد تا ابد فراموش نمي كند
علتش هم روي دادن حوادث ناگوار براي كسي است كه به دست خويش خوشبختي اش را نابود مي كند
این یکی از بهترین نمایشنامه هایی بود که از شکسپیر خواندم و حالا می خواهم به این نکته بپردازم که چرا شکسپیر یک نابغه است

:شکسپیر و روان درمانی

چند سال یپش در روزنامه ی جام جم خواندم که محققان خارجی به نتایج جالبی در مورد تاثیر سه نمایشنامه از شکسپیر بر بيماران رواني رسیده اند که با خواندن آن اثرات مثبتی در مغز آنان ایجاد می گردد
.و اتللو یکی از سه نمایشنامه بود

برای درک
Joshua Parkinson
Apr 29, 2008 Joshua Parkinson rated it it was amazing
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,
Ayne Ray
Jan 18, 2009 Ayne Ray rated it really liked it
Hands down the worst pillow fight in history.
Nov 16, 2015 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Words make a difference
“The trust, the office I do hold of you
Not only take away, but let your sentence
Even fall upon my life.”
Act I, Scene 3.

This is the Othello the reader meets at the beginning of this tragedy. The Renaissance ideal, an archetypal hero, sure of himself, valiant and honorable, in complete self-control when falsely accused of forcing fair Desdemona, the daughter of a nobleman, to marry him. When confronted by the Duke, his defense plea shines with splendid poetry, calm dignity and the voice of reaso
Bill  Kerwin
Jul 29, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 16th-17th-c-brit

I have always admired this play as Shakespeare's most theatrical tragedy, but I also feel that it often veers too close to melodrama. Shaw remarked that Othello is written "in the style of Italian opera," and it shares with Verdi and Donizetti the same big emotions, the same clear demarcation of good and evil, that give Lucia and Trovatore their emotional intensity--and their lack of essential seriousness too. During this reading, however, I began to realize that Othello is much more than the gr
David "proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party"
I’ve always believed that Iago is one of the greatest literary villains ever! A nemesis who was so twisted by hate and even acknowledged that he had no good reason for wanting to destroy the hero. Iago is the archetype for so many modern villains.

Whenever I reread “Othello”, I picture a cinematic version where Denzel Washington plays Othello, Cate Blanchett plays Desdemona, and Tim Roth plays Iago…the movie wouldn’t even have to be titled “William Shakespeare’s Othello”, it could simply be named
Hailey (HaileyInBookland)
*Reread for class January 2016*
This is the first Shakespeare play I read on my own and rereading it and studying it in class is giving me a whole new perspective on it which makes me love it even more!
Riku Sayuj
Jan 24, 2014 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jun 16, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-kindle, reviewed, 2014
Othello is the weakest of Shakespeare’s four major tragedies. Not only does its body count pale in comparison to that of the others, but also its plot is not nearly as complex, nor its themes as broad. At the heart of Othello lies a false accusation—Othello is duped into believing his woman has been unfaithful to him. Sound familiar? Except that, this being a tragedy, there is no kissing and making up at the end. Acts of suicide and murder instead take their positions of prominence here.

May 24, 2010 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
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
May 11, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it
Shakespeare's classic play about jealousy, neurosis, obsession, guilt and bedroom violence.

Was Iago Shalespeare's most villainous villain? Maybe, my money is still on King Lear's Edmund, but Iago has served as a template for back stabbing double dealing bad guys ever since.

Another example of Shakespeare's amazing ability at characterization and for psychological drama.

Natalie Monroe
That bloody handkerchief.

Paul Bryant
Jul 29, 2012 Paul Bryant rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
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
Nov 17, 2014 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: theater
Courtesy of Sarah Caudwell

"Julia took me to see it once. And I said afterwards I thought it was pretty silly, because the Othello chap's meant to have done frightfully well in the army and be a wiz at strategy and all that. And in that case, he wouldn't be the sort of twit who thought his wife was having off with someone else just because she lost her handkerchief. And Julia didn't agree. Well, what she actually said was that I was a semi-educated flibbertigibbet whose powers of dramatic appreci
David Sarkies
Jan 16, 2016 David Sarkies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love a good political story
Recommended to David by: Adelaide University English Department
Shelves: tragedy
A political tale of ambition and jealousy
3 November 2012

Othello is can be a very painful play both to read and to watch. It is not that it is a bad play, no, it is a brilliant play - the reason that I say Othello is painful is because it is one of those plays that makes you squirm and feel really uncomfortable because it is doing what literature is supposed to do: hold a mirror up to life. The first time I read it in university it was painful and I thought that it was because at university you
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?

I have no idea how to rate this. I would be lying if I said that I enjoy the actual process of reading Shakespeare, because it's often just so difficult to understand and awkward to read with the high amount of annotations. However, I can appreciate it for what it is and I definitely enjoyed this one way more than the other Shakespeare play I've read so far 'Richard II'. I also liked the scholarly introduction included in my edition because it helped me understand some of the themes and the ...more
Dec 04, 2007 Robin rated it did not like it
I loathe this play. Othello loves his wife and yet he doubts her by trusting Iago, who he knows is an unsavory fellow? Moron.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice, William Shakespeare
عنوان قراردادی : اتللو؛ عنوان: داستان غم انگیز اتللوی مغربی در وندیک (نمایش در پنج پرده؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر (ویلیم شاکسپیر)؛ مترجم: ابوالقاسم خان ناصرالملک؛ مشخصات نشر: اصفهان، نشر اسپادنا، 1370، در 127 ص، کتاب نخستین بار در سال 1340 خورشیدی در پاریس و در سال 1364 توسط انتشارات نیما نیز منتشر شده است
چاپ سوم این عنوان با ترجمه محمود اعتماد زاده م.ا. به آذین در شرکت سهامی نشر اندیشه در آذر ماه 1343 در 202 ص در چاپخانه بانک ملی نیز
Whitney Atkinson
Jan 16, 2015 Whitney Atkinson rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-class
not nearly as good as hamlet

Othello is a Shakespeare tragedy based on The Moor of Venice. As with all of Shakespeare’s work, the plot is thick with romance, sex, deceit, and revenge.


Othello is an African American General in the Venetian Army. He has fallen in love with a beautiful Venetian Lady named Desdemona. The daughter of Brabantio, a senator, Desdemona falls in love with Othello and they marry in secret. Brabantio is not pleased with the marriage as Desdemona as she could have wed the Venetian Nobleman Roderigo who i
Ahmad Sharabiani
اتللو با استفاده از اشعار نیما، نمایشنامه
عبدالحسین نوشین اثر شکپیر را ترجمه کرده ، گاه برای ترجمه ی دیالوگها، از شعر نیما سود برده
Feb 15, 2016 Aubrey rated it really liked it
I told him what I thought, and told no more
than what he found himself was apt and true.
I favor scripts that stretch the values 'round them on the rack. Note that this does not include the glib and pandering punching down that calls itself a satirical piece, for laughter that can feed only on another's trauma will result only in the rolling of once laughing heads. What concerns is what is not done, what is not described, what is not taken for granted to the point that a small modification of ge
Adam Floridia
Dec 07, 2015 Adam Floridia rated it really liked it
12/7/15: 3-4 stars. Easy to skim this time around and easy to get quickly get caught up in the drama of the characters.

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
Feb 24, 2013 Rowena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, shakespeare
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.
Aug 02, 2014 Zanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, racism
This is my father's favourite of Shakespeare's plays, and having seen the new production (in contemporary setting) at the National Theatre yesterday & knowing my dad, I can see why (I read the play a few years ago).

It is the story of a lying villain, Iago, whose motivation is pure malice and hatred of his Black boss, the honoured general Othello. Against the latter's nature he is made jealous of his young White lieutenant Cassio.

Apart from that of the raving racist Brabantio, the prejudice a
Jul 06, 2016 Kahveci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, kindle
Shakespeare'in karakterleri duyguları zirvede yaşayanlardan oluşuyor. Örneğin; kahramanlar hep en gözüpek, aşıklar en büyük aşık, cadılar en zalim oluyor. Bir karakter korktuğunda zannedersiniz ki onun kadar kimse hiçbir şeyden korkamaz, o korku bir insanın yaşamını daha fazla değiştiremez.

Bu kitaba damgasını vuran ise fitne/fesat bir karakter. Öyle ki; duygusuz diye bilinen bir savaşçıyı çileden çıkartabiliyor, aklına gelmeyecek şeyleri yaptırabiliyor. Cersei Lannister Othello'daki entrikaları
Emily May
May 17, 2015 Emily May rated it it was amazing
Othello and Macbeth have long been competing for the title of my favourite Shakespeare play. I'm still not sure. The protagonists are similar in that they both instigate their own downfall through fear and paranoia and jealousy - that's what makes their tales so wonderfully tragic. The fantasy aspect of Macbeth works in its favour, but then, it doesn't have Iago. It's a difficult one.
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Catching up on Cl...: Othello: Buddy Read 30 42 Nov 27, 2016 09:14AM  
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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 ...more
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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.”
“For she had eyes and chose me.” 260 likes
More quotes…