Read the essay on pp. 34 - 36 of the pink Support Booklet and answer the questions below in the 'Discussion' forum attached linked to this page.




The questions are reprinted below for ease of reference. Also, forward any interesting material to JCT and BRK to add to this page as extention readings.

p. 33a

1. Do you think FR Leavis is fair in his assessment of Othello as a “black monster” or do you tend towards AC Bradley’s assessment of Othello as one “brought low by the vicious intrigues” of Iago? Quote from the play in support of your answer.


2. Do you believe that Othello can ever actually know himself? Reference the play in your response.

p. 33b

3. Consider the discussion of Othello on p. 33b, 34a and 34b . How is this assessment of Othello juxtaposed with Shakespeare’s presentation of Othello in Acts 3 – 5?

p. 34d

4. How valid is Auden’s assessment of Desdemona here? Refer to her character development throughout the play. Is she little more than a “schoolgirl”, or does she display a conviction in Act 5 that Othello lacks?

p. 34d – p. 35a

5. Reread the last line on p. 34d (and top of p. 35a). Discuss the importance of this idea in relation to your reading of the play.

p. 35b

6. In what sense is sex an important consideration in the play?

Extra Readings for Q.6:




p. 36a
7. Explain the contrasting aspects of love presented in this essay (and in the play). Consider:

(a) Othello - Desdemona;
(b) Iago - Emelia
(c) Cassio - Bianca

p. 36d

8. Stated simply, what do you believe the essential differences to be between the two images of Othello presented in this essay?