Review on ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare

I thought I’d write a slightly different post today and tell you all about one of my favourite Shakespearean plays: Othello. This is less of a review and more of an analysis, similar to my post about my dissertation!

Othello is a tragic play, about a black Soldier who marries a white Senator’s daughter but finds himself manipulated into a jealous rage as those around him conspire against him. With comments on racism and sexism, this play explores the unfair nature of society and has some of the most memorable characters of the entire Shakespearean canon.

From the start of the play, it is clear that Othello is destined to fail within the society that he is a part of. Race is used by many as a motive to undermine and plot against the protagonist. Although there are parts where Othello is unlikeable due to his actions towards the faultless Desdemona, Shakespeare enables an audience to feel empathy for the tragic hero as it is made clear that he has been manipulated by those around him and consequently feels guilt and remorse for his actions.

The female characters in this play are admirable and really convey how forward thinking Shakespeare was when writing in the Early Modern period. I discuss this in more detail in my dissertation which you can find on my page! My favourite character is Emilia, she’s a standout feminist icon of the Shakespearean canon and it’s truly inspiring that she exists in such a male dominated form of writing. The women in this play are ultimately caught up in the traps of a patriarchal society, and each are made to suffer as a result.

Although the end of the play is, expectedly, tragic, there are many lessons that can be taken away from it’s story. This is a relatively simple play to understand and if you aren’t a huge fan of Shakespeare I would still suggest at least watching an adaptation of it! It’s a play full of drama and suspense and is one of the plays that made me fall in love with the work of its writer!

Happy reading!

Meg x

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