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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  266,321 Ratings  ·  4,767 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 i ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published by Reclam (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)
Bethel Philip The most tragic is "Othello". In the play "Romeo and Juliet" they both died for love and trust. But in the case of Othello, he killed Desdemona out…more The most tragic is "Othello". In the play "Romeo and Juliet" they both died for love and trust. But in the case of Othello, he killed Desdemona out of jealousy of love, which Lago brainwashed him (that his wife has been unfaithful to him, which was all a lie).
When he found out the truth, at the end he stabbed Lago, who stabbed his wife for saying the truth.
Before he killed himself he pointed out some facts like:
"Describe me
as someone who loved too much, but wasn't wise about it. I was not easily made jealous, but once I was tricked and manipulated, I worked myself into frenzy. Describe me as a fool who threw away pearl with his own hands, like a silly Indian who didn't know what it worth. As someone who washed not emotional, but who cried alot". after these raw sayings he stabbed himself to death.(less)
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May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!


Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
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 recent ...more
Henry Avila
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jealousy, "The green -ey'd monster," that is what the wise Shakespeare wrote...Othello loved his wife, Desdemona, too much so, nothing could continue that fever, emotions lessen over time....The mighty general was a very capable soldier of Venice, commanding respect on the battlefield, he could do no wrong, brave, ferocious, dynamic, his sword deadly, still life is more complicated than just war, though, the Moor was a fish out of water, in a quite different, and strange culture, becoming a Chri ...more
Bill  Kerwin
May 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ayne Ray
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hands down the worst pillow fight in history.
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,
“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on."

This famous quote made my 14-year-old son, currently reading Othello for the first time (it is his first Shakespeare ever), come into my room to complain. He was deeply frustrated with the sweet tongue of the evil Iago, speaking in one way and acting in another, spreading fake news and rumours while pretending to be supportive and unselfish.

"Iago is even worse than Uriah Heep", he said, referring
Apr 05, 2015 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
عندما نقابل الحسد و المكائد بالغباء..اذن فنحن نستحق كل ما سيقع على رؤسنا من مصائب
عطيل قائد حربي بدوي مغربي نزح إلى البندقية. .وقع في حب ديدمونةالشابة الإيطالية الجميلة. ..بادلته حبه بحب اكبر. .

و لكن هل هناك من سيصدق أنهما عاشا طويلا في تبات و نبات؟. .لا طبعا فنحن مع شكسبير هنا

يحسدهما ياجو الخبيث صديق عطيل ..و بمكيدة خسيسة ينجح سريعا في إلقاء بذور الشك في نفس الطرف الأضعف..عطيل!!

..وفي مشهد تراجيدي لن ينساه أحد..يستمع عطيل لصوته. .و صوته فقط..و بيديه يخنق حبيبته و زوجته الطاهرة..التي لم يص
Book Review
4+ of 5 stars to Othello, a tragic play written in 1603, by William Shakespeare. When it comes to writing a thorough review about this Shakespearean work of art, it could take weeks and days to craft perfection; however, I've already stumbled upon a few across Goodreads, and the world doesn't need another interpretation by a middle-aged white guy. Nor does it need my opinion about what this says of a person's ethnic background, skin color or personality traits. But what the world
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!
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
Here's my thing:

Who am I supposed to root for?


Othello? Who doesn't seem to know how to communicate with anyone? He gets so jealous and infuriated by conjecture about his wife (of less than a week, I believe) that he has a seizure. Then proceeds to treat said wife absolutely horribly?

Desmonda? In her first speech, she defends her marriage to Othello then does nothing else. She seemed constantly determined to please everyone. Joking with Iago, defending Cassio, repeatedly proclaiming her love for
I have now read Shakespeare's Sonnets and 9 of his 38 plays, mostly the better known ones, slowly working my way through his canon. Othello was, compared to some of the others, an easy read. The themes running through the play are familiar ones with jealously being primary. But interracial prejudice and racism is what sets this play apart from the others, and probably defines it for most modern day readers.
Dannii Elle
How does one begin to review a play by Shakespeare!? Honestly, I haven't enough words in my vocabulary to do his work justice and find myself repeatedly blown away by both the depth of emotion I experience whilst reading him and overwhelmed at joining the generations whose long-lasting adoration hasn't allowed his name to become relegated to history.

Whilst I have still only read a small selection of his work, I have found that Shakespeare has managed this ageless devotion due to the themes that
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, shakespeare, drama
“Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners.”
― William Shakespeare, Othello


Othello is one of my favorite of Shakespeare's plays. I'm all about the villians, and damn, Iago isn't JUST a nearly perfect villian, but carries away almost 1/3 the lines in this play. He owns the stage. It is like Shakespeare scraped every rotten grain off the soiled shoe of humanity and mixed it with beautiful prose. Iago isn't a monster because he is fore
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Reread for Senior Thesis July 2017: GOD BLESS THIS BOOK *screams*
LOVED THIS! Probably my second favorite Shakespeare play behind King Lear (:
Riku Sayuj
Oct 03, 2011 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tragedy of Othello, William Shakespeare
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ژانویه سال 1974 میلادی
اتللو با استفاده از اشعار نیما، نمایشنامه نویس: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ عبدالحسین نوشین اثر شکسپیر را ترجمه کرده، گاه برای ترجمه ی دیالوگها، از شعر نیما سود برده است. ا. شربیانی
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice, William Shakespeare
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ژانویه سال 1974 میلادی؛ تاریخ خوانش این نسخه: ژوئن سال 2012 میلادی
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 (
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tra tutte le tragedie di Shakespeare che ho letto, la mia preferita. Coinvolgente fino allo spasimo. Al punto che a volte mi sono anche ritrovata a fantasticare su un immaginario lieto fine...
Una curiosità: nel corso della lettura, mi ha meravigliato scoprire che i versi di Shakespeare sono stati utilizzati pari-pari da Modugno e Pasolini per farne la canzone Che cosa sono le nuvole.
May 23, 2010 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
Roy Lotz
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had rather be a toad and live upon the vapor of a dungeon than keep a corner in the thing I love for others’ use.

This play recently reasserted itself into my life after I was taken to see it performed here in Madrid. Though I couldn’t understand very much, since it was in elaborate and quick Spanish, I still enjoyed it. (Among other things, the performance featured lots of semi-nudity, men wearing gas masks on dog leashes, and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes.”) Inspired, I decided to watch the BBC Te
Paul Bryant
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
David Sarkies
Oct 30, 2012 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
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Emily May
Dec 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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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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177 trivia questions
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More quizzes & trivia...
“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.” 340 likes
More quotes…