Tips for Your Othello CourseworkThursday, September 30th, 2010
What you must know before you write an Othello coursework
Othello is a world famous tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the beginning of the 17th Century. It is one of the most famous plays from the dramatist, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English Language. No wonder why it is one of teachers’ favourite topic when it comes to writing literature coursework. An Othello coursework then, is not supposed to be shockingly original but solid, well-based on personal readings and logically sustained. Here are a few tips on how to success if this is what you were asked to write.
The plot of the play
Read Othello. It is a great play, and you will probably enjoy it very much because of the depth of each character, and the turn of events that Shakespeare narrates with magistral quality. Well, we don’t mean you have to read it right now, since you are obviously busy with all the coursework help you need… we can provide the basic facts you need to know about the plot. Any Othello coursework should have at least one section dedicated to the main lines of the plot.
Othello is an adaptation of the Italian writer Cinthio’s tale, “Un Capitano Moro” (“A Moorish Captain”). It is the story about a Moorish general in the Venetian army that has married Desdemona, the daughter of a Senator. This displeases Roderigo, a rich and dissolute gentleman who is also in love with the young woman. Roderigo plots with Iago, who hates Othello as well, to ruin the Moor. Iago manages to slowly destroy Othello’s confidence in his wife by building a growing suspicion on his soul.
Possible coursework topics
Of course, jealousy and envy are among the most significant topics of the play, and so you should include them in your Othello coursework. A full character description is also strongly recommended, as long as you don’t limit yourself to repeat their names, but also provide their psychological characteristics.
Racial prejudice is also a great coursework or essay topic. Othello’s character is an African prince living in a society full of prejudices: how would he live today? Would everyone feel alright about him marrying a young white girl? Why or why not?
Finally, manipulation plays a huge part in this play. Focus on the character of Iago (who actually has more lines in the play than Othello himself), and about how he manages to create a violent tragedy by using only words.
Getting some inspiration
As other Shakesperean plays, Othello has been performed many times. It has also been adapted to opera, ballet, television, films… even a graphic novel! Why don’t you rent a movie before writing your Othello coursework? There is a great 1965 version with Laurence Olivier (who played Othello in black face), a 2001 version which represents a textual adaptation, and it is starred by Kenneth Branagh and Laurence Fishburn, or if you prefer a modern update, you can go for O, set in an American high school.