Othello (Shakespeare)

Desdemona A white girl and the daughter of a senator- She runs off and marries Othello – a well – respected Army general, but nevertheless a “black man”
Basic Premise Its about romantic relationships, friendship, jealousy, cheating, racism, self – doubt, drucnken mistakes and backstabbing villians
Main Characters OthelloDesdemonaIago
Othello The play’s protagonist and hero. A highly respected general of the armines of Venice. Not native to Venice, A Moor (of N. African descent).
Desdemona (more background) Daughter of Venetian senator Brabantio. Desdemona and Othello are secretly married before the play begins
Iago Othello’s ensign (right hand man), a military veteran from Venice. The villian (antagonist) of the play. A sadist (like Juror 3) who enjoys watching/causing suffereing.
Additional Characters Michael CassioBrabantioRoderigoEmiliaMontanoBianca
Michael Cassio Othello’s recently appointed lieutenant
Brabantio Desdemona’s father; a Venetian senator
Roderigo Suitor of Desdemona
Emilia Iago’s wife and Desdemona’s attendant
Montano Governor of Cyprus
Bianca A prostitute whose favorite customer is Cassio
Setting Venice, Italy – ACt 1Island of Cyprus (rest of the play)
Moors Commonly stereotyped as sexually overactive, prone to jealousy and genereally wicked. The public oftern associated “blackness” with moral corruption” and sin; “witeness was purity”
Aside A character speaks to the audience and the audience is to realize that the character’s speech is unheard by the other characters
Soliloquy The characters talks while alone, a theatrical device that allows a character’s thoughts and ideas to be conveyed to the audience
Monologue Similar to soliloquy, a dramatic monologue is a long speech by a single actor. The actor can either be alone on stage or intreacting with other performers.
Dramatic Irony A situation where the audience is aware of things the characters are not
Foil In fiction, a foil is a character who contrasts with another character in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character (Iago and Desdemona)
Comic Relief A humorus or farcical interlude in a serious literary work or drama, especially atragedy, inteded to relieve the dramatic tension or heighten the emotional impact by means of contrast ( purpose of the lclown in Acts 3 and 4)
Motif A repeated image or element that carries symbolic significance and contributes toward the development of theme
Reverse psychology A technique involving the advocacy of a belief or behavior that is opposite to the one desired, with the expectation that this approach will encourage the subject of the persuausion to do what actually is desired: the opposite of what is suggested

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