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Othello is set against the backdrop of the wars between Venice and Turkey that ... Soliloquy: speech, usually lengthy, in which a character, alone on stage, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Othello

  • By William Shakespeare

Key Facts
  • Full title Othello
  • Type of Work Play
  • Genre Tragic drama, historical drama
  • First Performed by the Kings Men at the Court
    of King James I November 1, 1604

About the play
  • Othello is set against the backdrop of the wars
    between Venice and Turkey that raged in the
    latter part of the sixteenth century. Cyprus,
    which is the setting for most of the action, was
    a Venetian outpost attacked by the Turks in 1570
    and conquered the following year.

About the Play Continued
  • Othello begins on a street in Venice, in the
    midst of an argument between Roderigo, a rich
    man, and Iago. Roderigo has been paying Iago to
    help him in his suit to Desdemona. But Roderigo
    has just learned that Desdemona has married
    Othello, a general whom Iago begrudgingly serves
    as ensign. Iago says he hates Othello, who
    recently passed him over for the position of
    lieutenant in favor of the inexperienced soldier
    Michael Cassio.

Themes in the Play
  • The Incompatibility of Military Heroism Love
  • The Danger of Isolation

Motifs in the Play
  • Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or
    literary devices that can help to develop and
    inform the texts major themes.
  • Sight and Blindness
  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Hell, Demons and Monsters

Symbols in the Play
  • Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or
    colors used to represent abstract ideas or
  • The Handkerchief
  • The song Willow

Significant Terms
  • Tragedy a form of drama usually involving a
    conflict between a character and some higher
    power, such as the law, the gods, fate, or
  • Blank verse a verse form consisting of unrhymed
    lines of iambic pentameter.
  • Prose the ordinary language people use in
    speaking or writing
  • Pun the humorous use of a word or phrase to
    suggest two or more meanings at the same time.

Significant Terms Continued
  • Soliloquy speech, usually lengthy, in which a
    character, alone on stage, expresses his or her
    thoughts aloud.
  • Conflict
  • 1. External dispute between the
    protagonist and another character or nature
  • 2. Internal occurs when the protagonist
    struggles within himself or herself

A few more terms
  • Foil A foil character is either one who is in
    most ways opposite to the main character or
    nearly the same as the main character.
  • Anachronism A thing out of its time. A problem
    in historical fiction in that a writer may make
    reference to an invention or custom that was not
    known in the period in which his or her story is

The last of the terms
  • Situational irony The discrepancy between what
    is expected and what actually happens.
  • Verbal irony A character says the opposite of
    what he or she means.
  • Dramatic irony Dramatic irony is most effective
    when characters make fateful choices based on
    information the reader realizes is incorrect.

Introducing? Who Can You Become?The Cast of
  • Othello- The plays protagonist and hero. A
    Christian Moor and general of the armies of
  • Desdemona- The daughter of the Venetian senator
    Brabanzio. Desdemona and Othello are secretly
    married before the play begins.
  • Iago- Othellos ensign (ancient or standard
    bearer) and the villain of the play.

The Cast of Othello Continued
  • Michael Cassio - Othellos Lieutenant. His high
    position is resented by Iago.
  • Emilia - Iagos wife and Desdemonas attendant.
    Distrusts her husband and is attached to
  • Roderigo - A jealous suitor of Desdemona. Young,
    rich and foolish.
  • Bianca - A prostitute in Cyprus.

The Cast of Othello Continued
  • Brabanzio - Desdemonas father. He feels betrayed
    that the General married his daughter in secret.
  • Duke of Venice - Official authority of Venice.
    The Duke has great respect for Othello.
  • Montano - The governor of Cyprus before Othello.
  • Lodovico - One of Brabanzios kinsmen.
  • Graziano - Another of Brabanzios kinsmen.
  • Clown - Othellos servant. Look to him for puns.
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