Othello Discussion Questions

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Read Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice as well as descriptions of Venice written during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. What does the setting of Othello provide for the play thematically? What issues is Shakespeare able to explore in the play because of his choice of a Venetian setting?

Research the status of women in England around 1600 both through primary sources such as William Gouge's Of Domestical Duties: Eight Treatises (1634) and through secondary sources such as Lawrence Stone's Family, Sex, and Marriage in England, 1500—1800 (1977). How does an understanding of this status inform a reading of Othello?

Read accounts of the Moorish ambassador's visit to England in 1600 as well as selections from popular travel writing of the day. How does this contemporary information affect portrayal of Othello in the play?

Watch at least four different versions of Othello or adaptations of the story of Othello on video...

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This section contains 167 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Othello Study Guide
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Shakespeare for Students
Othello from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.