mughushed
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Hiya, if anyone else is doing the tragedy section of AQA English Lit B for A2, then I'd really appreciate some kind of help on how to write an Othello extract answer. I haven't done terribly in essays thus far, and I got 19/25 in my last one, but it is definitely my weakest essay! Any organisational tips/things to bear in mind/planning methods etc etc would be great! Or, alternatively, any essays you've written that you got a Band 5 in and would be willing to send to me to show me what to do exactly )) Thankssss
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rh1999
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(Original post by mughushed)
Hiya, if anyone else is doing the tragedy section of AQA English Lit B for A2, then I'd really appreciate some kind of help on how to write an Othello extract answer. I haven't done terribly in essays thus far, and I got 19/25 in my last one, but it is definitely my weakest essay! Any organisational tips/things to bear in mind/planning methods etc etc would be great! Or, alternatively, any essays you've written that you got a Band 5 in and would be willing to send to me to show me what to do exactly )) Thankssss
Hi, I'm doing Othello
I used to structure my essays according to the extract, and look at structure, language etc but got really low marks as it often meant i couldn't make strong links to elsewhere in the play. Now I always structure according to the points I make at AO1, and am getting in the habit of planning out how each AO can get in to the paragraph - though its not crucial for every single one, it's good to get a balance across the essay.
For example, if there is an extract from Act 1 scene 1 where they're confronting Brabantio, a question could be:

"Examine the view that, in the passage and elsewhere in the play, Desdemona is viewed as a possession of men"

The way I would structure this would be:
AO1: The way she is passed on from father to husband shows clearly she has little societal power or status, and she is indeed treated a possession in the eyes of the men in the play, as well as in this extract.
AO2: 2 or 3 quotes from the extract and another 1/2 from elsewhere in the play (this way you're reaching out), if relevant structural points and how they shape meaning in regards to gender.
AO3: perhaps make a comment of how this was expected in the context, and how audiences would have reacted to Desdemona's independence. For some questions, its impressive to pull out a date, but Othello doesn't have many real life key events attached to it so I tend not to focus on it.
AO4: For me I would make reference to Hamlet as I'm confident with it, and so link in Desdemona with the character of Ophelia, showing links across plays. If not this, a critics view might be applicable. How it links to tragedy (if relevant) will also be impressive.
AO5: View the AO1 from a different angle; is Desdemona really passed on? she has independence so is it accurate to call her a possession? I would also perhaps put another quote or begin to make reference to my second paragraph. challenge my own AO5 and AO1, to make sure i reach a clear conclusion and it's obvious to the examiner where I stand. For example, though at the beginning you said she is a possession, perhaps come to conclusion she is an anomaly and that she does have independence, though it is limited in that she does not have the trust of her father nor husband, leading to her downfall in a male dominated society.

This makes my paragraphs pretty long, so I only do 3, maybe 4 if I'm feeling the question haha.

Other than that, i feel as though there isn't one 'set structure' which you can follow. You almost just have to let your mind roll with the question and try and consider different interpretation/viewpoints of quotes and techniques.
I have one essay typed which I could probably send you which was 23/25 but stupidly I did the AS question of "How is love presented in this extract?" and nothing else so I didn't reach out at all to elsewhere and it's not great for A2 lol.

anyway I hope it goes well, othello revision is kinda sucking my soul out of me rn,but good luck w/ the exam!!
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rh1999
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just reread your original post - I'm doing English Lit A, w/ Love through the ages. Hopefully you can still apply it but adapt it to your markscheme
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xxx-ooo-xxx
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(Original post by rh1999)
Hi, I'm doing Othello
I used to structure my essays according to the extract, and look at structure, language etc but got really low marks as it often meant i couldn't make strong links to elsewhere in the play. Now I always structure according to the points I make at AO1, and am getting in the habit of planning out how each AO can get in to the paragraph - though its not crucial for every single one, it's good to get a balance across the essay.
For example, if there is an extract from Act 1 scene 1 where they're confronting Brabantio, a question could be:

"Examine the view that, in the passage and elsewhere in the play, Desdemona is viewed as a possession of men"

The way I would structure this would be:
AO1: The way she is passed on from father to husband shows clearly she has little societal power or status, and she is indeed treated a possession in the eyes of the men in the play, as well as in this extract.
AO2: 2 or 3 quotes from the extract and another 1/2 from elsewhere in the play (this way you're reaching out), if relevant structural points and how they shape meaning in regards to gender.
AO3: perhaps make a comment of how this was expected in the context, and how audiences would have reacted to Desdemona's independence. For some questions, its impressive to pull out a date, but Othello doesn't have many real life key events attached to it so I tend not to focus on it.
AO4: For me I would make reference to Hamlet as I'm confident with it, and so link in Desdemona with the character of Ophelia, showing links across plays. If not this, a critics view might be applicable. How it links to tragedy (if relevant) will also be impressive.
AO5: View the AO1 from a different angle; is Desdemona really passed on? she has independence so is it accurate to call her a possession? I would also perhaps put another quote or begin to make reference to my second paragraph. challenge my own AO5 and AO1, to make sure i reach a clear conclusion and it's obvious to the examiner where I stand. For example, though at the beginning you said she is a possession, perhaps come to conclusion she is an anomaly and that she does have independence, though it is limited in that she does not have the trust of her father nor husband, leading to her downfall in a male dominated society.

This makes my paragraphs pretty long, so I only do 3, maybe 4 if I'm feeling the question haha.

Other than that, i feel as though there isn't one 'set structure' which you can follow. You almost just have to let your mind roll with the question and try and consider different interpretation/viewpoints of quotes and techniques.
I have one essay typed which I could probably send you which was 23/25 but stupidly I did the AS question of "How is love presented in this extract?" and nothing else so I didn't reach out at all to elsewhere and it's not great for A2 lol.

anyway I hope it goes well, othello revision is kinda sucking my soul out of me rn,but good luck w/ the exam!!
Hey, I don't suppose you'd be able to send me this essay too would you?
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rh1999
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(Original post by xxx-ooo-xxx)
Hey, I don't suppose you'd be able to send me this essay too would you?
I can - it's for an AS style tho
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Trudy9
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Hia would could you send me that Othello essay too please ?
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mozaregita
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(Original post by rh1999)
Hi, I'm doing Othello
I used to structure my essays according to the extract, and look at structure, language etc but got really low marks as it often meant i couldn't make strong links to elsewhere in the play. Now I always structure according to the points I make at AO1, and am getting in the habit of planning out how each AO can get in to the paragraph - though its not crucial for every single one, it's good to get a balance across the essay.
For example, if there is an extract from Act 1 scene 1 where they're confronting Brabantio, a question could be:

"Examine the view that, in the passage and elsewhere in the play, Desdemona is viewed as a possession of men"

The way I would structure this would be:
AO1: The way she is passed on from father to husband shows clearly she has little societal power or status, and she is indeed treated a possession in the eyes of the men in the play, as well as in this extract.
AO2: 2 or 3 quotes from the extract and another 1/2 from elsewhere in the play (this way you're reaching out), if relevant structural points and how they shape meaning in regards to gender.
AO3: perhaps make a comment of how this was expected in the context, and how audiences would have reacted to Desdemona's independence. For some questions, its impressive to pull out a date, but Othello doesn't have many real life key events attached to it so I tend not to focus on it.
AO4: For me I would make reference to Hamlet as I'm confident with it, and so link in Desdemona with the character of Ophelia, showing links across plays. If not this, a critics view might be applicable. How it links to tragedy (if relevant) will also be impressive.
AO5: View the AO1 from a different angle; is Desdemona really passed on? she has independence so is it accurate to call her a possession? I would also perhaps put another quote or begin to make reference to my second paragraph. challenge my own AO5 and AO1, to make sure i reach a clear conclusion and it's obvious to the examiner where I stand. For example, though at the beginning you said she is a possession, perhaps come to conclusion she is an anomaly and that she does have independence, though it is limited in that she does not have the trust of her father nor husband, leading to her downfall in a male dominated society.

This makes my paragraphs pretty long, so I only do 3, maybe 4 if I'm feeling the question haha.

Other than that, i feel as though there isn't one 'set structure' which you can follow. You almost just have to let your mind roll with the question and try and consider different interpretation/viewpoints of quotes and techniques.
I have one essay typed which I could probably send you which was 23/25 but stupidly I did the AS question of "How is love presented in this extract?" and nothing else so I didn't reach out at all to elsewhere and it's not great for A2 lol.

anyway I hope it goes well, othello revision is kinda sucking my soul out of me rn,but good luck w/ the exam!!
hey there, could you by any chance please send me that essay if you dont mind? im currently in AS doing othello and would appreciate any help. thank you so much!!
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SianJo18
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Im doing English lit B too, studying Othello as one of the tragedy texts
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zainwaraich123
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(Original post by mughushed)
Hiya, if anyone else is doing the tragedy section of AQA English Lit B for A2, then I'd really appreciate some kind of help on how to write an Othello extract answer. I haven't done terribly in essays thus far, and I got 19/25 in my last one, but it is definitely my weakest essay! Any organisational tips/things to bear in mind/planning methods etc etc would be great! Or, alternatively, any essays you've written that you got a Band 5 in and would be willing to send to me to show me what to do exactly )) Thankssss

This is some of the list my teachers have given me
Compare how authors of two texts you have studied present:
Obsessive love
Barriers to love
Love as a destructive force
Unrequited love as a source of suffering
The impact that social class and wealth have on love
Misogyny and the marginalisation of women
Romantic love
The impact of pursuing forbidden love
Attitudes towards fidelity





main love: marriage and proposals, lust and desire, familial (sibling, parental), revenge and jealously, illicit and unlawful love, adultery and affairs, etc.
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zainwaraich123
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(Original post by mughushed)
Hiya, if anyone else is doing the tragedy section of AQA English Lit B for A2, then I'd really appreciate some kind of help on how to write an Othello extract answer. I haven't done terribly in essays thus far, and I got 19/25 in my last one, but it is definitely my weakest essay! Any organisational tips/things to bear in mind/planning methods etc etc would be great! Or, alternatively, any essays you've written that you got a Band 5 in and would be willing to send to me to show me what to do exactly )) Thankssss
Let me give you an example essay I just wrote for you g

OK // I will make 5 template paragraphs that you can use in any essay brrRRR

Platonic love is explored through the relationship of Othello and Desdemona, in which their differences of race and status strengthen their ideal love for one another. Othello is an impossible position as a black male serving a white patriarchy, as he loves ‘thee gentle Desdemona’, suggesting through the emotive language that Othello desires Desdemona due to her feminine grace and sympathy; she loves him for his masculinity. ‘Gentle’ suggests she is kind and warming character, yet also in a vulnerable position in society, foreshadowing her hamartia – death. Likewise, the setting of Venice is powerful and romantic, like their relationship at first, yet it moves to a military conflicting setting, which also reinforces the destruction in their relationship. This is reinforced in Shakespeare’s earlier play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ because both families wont accept one another creating a conflict, criticising how society allows family to decompose true love, primarily due to discrimination.



Othello continues to expose his affection for Desdemona publicly, yet Shakespeare transcends how racism can also be a barrier to romantic love. Iago is prejudice against Othello, whom he holds strong negative racial stereotypes of Othello as he is ‘an old black ram tupping your white ewe’. ‘Old black ram’ is harsh animal imagery used to Iago’s advantage to show Desdemona his flaws, yet Desdemona ignores the racial differences and stereotypes of black men in Jacobean society, as she holds a robust radical point of view for a Jacobean heroine, as she doesn’t view mixed marriages with anxiety. Culturally, in the 17th century mixed marriages were viewed with anxiety and shocking in the Jacobean era as to Iago black symbolises evil and suspicion, strengthening his xenophobic perspective. Iago’s personality is shown in Shakespeare’s earlier play, ‘The Merchant of Venice’ due to his excessive biased view, in which Shylock is viewed as an outsider due to his culture of being a Jew, questioning how this injustice firstly erupted in ‘Othello’ due to a prior jubilant attachment between Othello and Desdemona.



Disruption in the relationship was caused by Iago, in which Iago used jealousy as a catalyst to destruct their platonic love, propelling the havoc downfalls of most of the characters, including himself. Jealousy damages Othello as he distorts Othello’s ability to distinguish between appearance and reality, unable to glance that Iago hides behind a façade of ‘honesty’ and ‘truth’. Iago is considered a ‘green ey-d monster’ suggesting through the vivid metaphor that envy is deadly and lethal, in which Iago adapts Othello’s mind-set completely, causing him to ‘smother’ his own wife. ‘Monster’ connotes the strength of covetousness and how it can consume one, whereas it also represents how monsters are imaginary, similar to his lies and deceits which he used amongst most the characters. Historically, the Muslim and the Christian states had a dangerous war which caused an abundance of harm, advocating how Iago takes advantage of the uneasy political situation to destabilise their marriage. A Modern male approach would strongly agree as Iago is a strong Machiavellian villain, in which Iago is a cynical, manipulative villain driven by a petty motive – not being promoted.



Manipulation is used by Iago again to construct his ultimate ploy to threaten their marriage, in which Iago can’t bear to see a female exert influence in a male-centred society. Othello believes that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio, due to Iago who is ‘full of love and honesty’ which is dramatic irony and humour, combined to conceal his façade as he tricks the others to harm them, and continue on his tactical spree. ‘Honesty’ is also repeated throughout the beginning to the denouement, exemplifying how his image can never be tainted or wrecked, despite Emilia exposing him badly in Act 5, questioning how society restricts women in a desperate, vulnerable position in which their voice is unheard in civilisation. Plotting is also exhibited as it goes strictly against the Age of Enlightment, in which Iago’s violation of behaviour leaves the others characters in the play in a vulnerable position, subverting how fate strikes him back inevitably in which one never gets away with his actions of violence and hatred. An Elizabethan approach would consider domestic abuse acceptable and normal, in which they lived in a violent world where Othello is trapped and weakened by love, exposing how women, as well as men can be susceptible to doubt and spite, due to Iago’s overbearing strength.



Patriarchy is an overwhelming force which is combatted by Desdemona to pursue her love, using her strength to go against the male-centred world. Desdemona uses her powerful womanhood to ‘deceive her father’ alluding how Desdemona has manipulated her father and asserted her independence from patriarchy by choosing her own husband, subverting the opposition and power. ‘Deceive’ can also be a subversion of authority, in which is inevitable at the denouement that both females die, despite trying to stand up to the competency, questioning whether this injustice can ever be solved. However, in the Renaissance this was justified as men were expected to control and command their wives, as Shakespeare presents that men overrule women in humanity, and there is no way for them to escape their helpless status. Yet, in a later play by Shakespeare named ‘Macbeth’, exclaims how men need to live up to the expectations of manhood, transcending men and their power.

LoRD z !
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zainwaraich123
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plz can u send me ur essay g
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Alice swiftie
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You shouldn’t refer to other plays.You should link back to the question at the beginning and end of each paragraphMake sure you explicitly focus on AO2 and how it presents Desdemona as the possession of men for example. Usually in these extract questions they are not debates and just are ‘explore the significance of’. Make small but justified links to the rest of the play. (In the A2 paper you get another question on Othello so that’s when you can talk about it freely)Make sure to mention aspects of tragedy, e.g.Obsession MadnessCruelty JealousySuffering Tragic isolationTragic downfallLook at Aristotle’s tragic definitions like hubris and peripeteia
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denoragashi123
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Hi there, i don't know if you'll see this but i too haven't been earning the best marks possible in Othello, I've done ok but im aiming to do much better but i am struggling to improve my work quality more. If you would not mind sending me this essay please if you still have it, i would seriously appreciate it so much!!! thanks
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denoragashi123
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(Original post by rh1999)
Hi, I'm doing Othello
I used to structure my essays according to the extract, and look at structure, language etc but got really low marks as it often meant i couldn't make strong links to elsewhere in the play. Now I always structure according to the points I make at AO1, and am getting in the habit of planning out how each AO can get in to the paragraph - though its not crucial for every single one, it's good to get a balance across the essay.
For example, if there is an extract from Act 1 scene 1 where they're confronting Brabantio, a question could be:

"Examine the view that, in the passage and elsewhere in the play, Desdemona is viewed as a possession of men"

The way I would structure this would be:
AO1: The way she is passed on from father to husband shows clearly she has little societal power or status, and she is indeed treated a possession in the eyes of the men in the play, as well as in this extract.
AO2: 2 or 3 quotes from the extract and another 1/2 from elsewhere in the play (this way you're reaching out), if relevant structural points and how they shape meaning in regards to gender.
AO3: perhaps make a comment of how this was expected in the context, and how audiences would have reacted to Desdemona's independence. For some questions, its impressive to pull out a date, but Othello doesn't have many real life key events attached to it so I tend not to focus on it.
AO4: For me I would make reference to Hamlet as I'm confident with it, and so link in Desdemona with the character of Ophelia, showing links across plays. If not this, a critics view might be applicable. How it links to tragedy (if relevant) will also be impressive.
AO5: View the AO1 from a different angle; is Desdemona really passed on? she has independence so is it accurate to call her a possession? I would also perhaps put another quote or begin to make reference to my second paragraph. challenge my own AO5 and AO1, to make sure i reach a clear conclusion and it's obvious to the examiner where I stand. For example, though at the beginning you said she is a possession, perhaps come to conclusion she is an anomaly and that she does have independence, though it is limited in that she does not have the trust of her father nor husband, leading to her downfall in a male dominated society.

This makes my paragraphs pretty long, so I only do 3, maybe 4 if I'm feeling the question haha.

Other than that, i feel as though there isn't one 'set structure' which you can follow. You almost just have to let your mind roll with the question and try and consider different interpretation/viewpoints of quotes and techniques.
I have one essay typed which I could probably send you which was 23/25 but stupidly I did the AS question of "How is love presented in this extract?" and nothing else so I didn't reach out at all to elsewhere and it's not great for A2 lol.

anyway I hope it goes well, othello revision is kinda sucking my soul out of me rn,but good luck w/ the exam!!
Hi there, i don't know if you'll see this but i too haven't been earning the best marks possible in Othello, I've done ok but im aiming to do much better but i am struggling to improve my work quality more. If you would not mind sending me this essay please if you still have it, i would seriously appreciate it so much!!! thanks
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