Shakespeare bullet point notes

* The average Shakespeare play had 30,000 words in it – more than the average person could need in their lifetime. He invented 1,700 new words – he turned verbs into nouns and nouns into verbs. * 100 years earlier Chaucer was writing the Canterbury Tales in English, while the upper classes spoke French and […]

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Critical Approaches to Shakespeare: Some Initial Observations

An earlier introductory note to some basic principles of literary interpretation (“On Scholarship and Literary Interpretation”), stressed that literary interpretation or literary criticism is, in many ways, an anarchic conversational activity with the practical purpose of enriching our shared understanding of a particular text. The value of any particular interpretative observations, or of a methodology […]

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How Iago is portrayed in Othello

The audience becomes complicit in Iago’s intention and, like it or not, is soon involved in his vengeful potting. He actually asks them what he should do… Many actors who have played the part have been capable of getting members of the audience to share Iago’s delight in his own powers of evil intention. The […]

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Othello – Iago’s Character

The character of Iago could be said to be divided between the positive persona of evil artist and conversely, the negative persona of dirty-minded soldier (this draws parallels with the negative and positive Aristotelian opposing principles of ‘tragic’ and ‘heroic’). It is this, as well as Iago’s use of comic language and soliloquies, role as […]

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How effective is Shakespeare in creating Iago as a tragic villain

In creating Iago, Shakespeare crafts a character that, according to Harold Bloom,”is by merit raised to a bad eminence that seems unsurpassable. ” Undeniably, Iago is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling villains; his unfaltering malice, as well as his relentless desire for a revenge supported by feeble motives, are all features that have ensured infinite […]

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Othello – Iago’s speech

Iago’s speech in Act 2 Scene 3, after he offers advice to Cassio about how to retain his military position as part of his cunning plan, serves as an insight into many of Iago’s personality traits. Shakespeare portrays through the speech, Iago’s lack of moral scruples, his delusional state of mind and his powers of […]

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Iago’s Soliloquies

‘Iago’s soliloquies are the key to our understanding to both his motives and his methods’. How far do you agree with this? In your answer you should discuss the methods he employs and the motives he offers. Try also to demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which Shakespeare uses the soliloquies to present a […]

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How significant are Iagos soliloquies to the development of tragedy in Othello

Tragedy is constantly evolving, with differing key aspects defining how tragedians have constructed their plays. Stoppard believed tragedy should be defined as: “Wheels [that] have been set in motion and they have their own pace, to which we are . . . condemned. Each move is dictated by the previous one – that is the […]

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How does Iago poison Othello’s mind in Act 3

Othello is a character whom from the start, we do not see any flaws within, or within Desdemona’s and his marriage. However, the name ‘Iago’ is synonymous with villainy and evil. He is without much doubt on of Shakespeare’s most popular antagonists, but the question remains as to what actually motivates Iago to betray Othello […]

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Othello Criticism Analysis

Shakespeare delivers the concept of tragedy as an adaptation to classical tragedy allows many debates to be opened as to whether or any of his influences, e. g. Senecan drama and the political side in the Elizabethan era, allows the audience, to cast judgements upon whether or not positivity can be drawn. With many criticisms […]

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