How to revise Shakespeare’s play Othello?? Watch

SnowyOwl2505
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#1
Hi there,

Currently, I’m in Year 13 and studying the following 3 A- Levels:
- English Literature
- Psychology
- Sociology

Othello comes under Paper 1 and the title of that paper is ‘Love through the ages’. Now the question will always link to love but what aspects should I focus on if it’s love?? It’s quite difficult to revise for Othello because I don’t know how to apart from answering exam questions.

Has anybody studied this play before??
Any tips on how to revise for it??

Any ideas would be appreciated
Thanks :-)
0
reply
04MR17
  • Community Assistant
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 months ago
#2
(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
Hi there,

Currently, I’m in Year 13 and studying the following 3 A- Levels:
- English Literature
- Psychology
- Sociology

Othello comes under Paper 1 and the title of that paper is ‘Love through the ages’. Now the question will always link to love but what aspects should I focus on if it’s love?? It’s quite difficult to revise for Othello because I don’t know how to apart from answering exam questions.

Has anybody studied this play before??
Any tips on how to revise for it??

Any ideas would be appreciated
Thanks :-)
What sort of exam questions will there be for this text? If it's an extract, then there are only so many that can be chosen from the play, so get practising your analysis of key moments.

Think about characters who are associated with love. Gratiano, Lodovico or Duke of Venice don't have a lot to do with it. But Cassio is one of the most central characters when it comes to the theme of love. You'd spend more time talking about him than Iago - which is rare for an Othello essay.

You can find more details about how to tackle a Shakespeare play here:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5329646
0
reply
SnowyOwl2505
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#3
(Original post by 04MR17)
What sort of exam questions will there be for this text? If it's an extract, then there are only so many that can be chosen from the play, so get practising your analysis of key moments.

Think about characters who are associated with love. Gratiano, Lodovico or Duke of Venice don't have a lot to do with it. But Cassio is one of the most central characters when it comes to the theme of love. You'd spend more time talking about him than Iago - which is rare for an Othello essay.

You can find more details about how to tackle a Shakespeare play here:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5329646
Hi there,

Thank you for your response. The exam questions will be extract based and will test your knowledge on elsewhere in the play. My teacher has said that the question will always be love based but I don’t know how to prepare for it in the best possible way.

Characters who who are associated with love:
- Othello
- Desdemona
- Emilia
- Cassio
- Iago as he creates a rift between Othello and Desdemona.

In your opinion what makes you say that Cassio is relates to the theme love?? Any ideas??

Thanks for the link and advice :-)
0
reply
amy.em
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 months ago
#4
Hi,

I am also studying 'Othello' and I am in year 13 too! however, we are definitely doing a different exam board. I can give you my ideas on the theme of love though (I'm predicted an A in English lit)

Central to the play, is definitely the idea of love turning into jealousy/hate, and therefore, love leading to much of the vice that occurs. so, a central message to Othello is the danger of jealous love (keep this in your head at all times), along with the dangers of trusting rumours. Iago is essential in this, and because of his jealousy towards Othello (and also his spite at the rumour that Othello slept with his wife, Emilia), he manipulates others such as both Othello and Roderigo, using love as his weapon because he is so desperate to destroy Othello. Iago knows that love can easily be turned into jealousy, even going as far as to say "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy[/b]; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on"(3.3.15), and so uses the love he knows both Othello and Roderigo have for Desdemona to feed into his own plan to cause Othello's downfall by turning it into jealousy and suspicions. Because of this, I would also suggest that Roderigo links to love too. (remember that he only allows himself to become a pawn in Iago's plot because of his love he feels towards Desdemona, and therefore, the jealousy he feels towards both Cassio (because of Iago telling Roderigo that Cassio is attempting to steal Desdemona) and Othello, obviously because Othello is Desdemona's husband... hope this is all making sense

Cassio is an interesting character in the theme of love, and here, I would suggest theme of perception and truth should also be discussed because of Iago's 'setting up' of Cassio. So, my idea is that Cassio links to the theme of love because two of the other characters e.g Othello and Roderigo have been led to believe by the mastermind Iago that Cassio is in love with Desdemona (perception) even though this is not the truth, and that is where the tragedy of Othello occurs, because it escalates to the point where Desdemona is murdered by Othello because of his perception that she is cheating on him with Cassio, and then ends up killing himself because he finds out that this is not the truth. Also, remember that Cassio's own jealous 'lover' (or, rather, someone he slept with), named Bianca causes this escalation because her jealousy and suspicions of who the handkerchief belongs to led her to come ranting in with the handkerchief, showing Othello that Cassio had Desdemona's handkerchief, feeding into his paranoia.

so, summing up, Cassio is crucial to this theme, cause without him, Iago would have had no one to set up as having an affair with Desdemona.

What makes 'Othello' such a tragedy, in my opinion, is the fact that none of the affair that is being portrayed by Iago is actually happening- and all Othello has acted on is his own perception of events (showing his tragic flaw***), which makes the death of Desdemona seem so sad because she really has been a loyal wife, and at the beginning, Shakespeare shows Desdemona and Othello as really loving each other. Also, Cassio is also presented as such a good friend, which makes the breakdown of 'Othello' so frustrating as it all is arguably down to Othello's flaw in his character, which makes him an easy target to break.

***Othello's tragic flaw is arguably his own insecurities, so he has allowed himself to be easily manipulated and mislead in his relationship because there is some underlying self doubt inside him, perhaps because of his colour, which Shakespeare really brings out in his soliloquy at the end of Act 3, scene 3 i believe.


Hope that this has helped and makes sense- its hard to explain on the laptop LOL

to revise, I would suggest getting a list and analyzing all key parts of the play that link to love-e.g the handkerchief scenes, Iago's manipulation of Othello (Act 4, scene 1), Desdemona and Othello's interactions, Bianca, Cassio and Iago's discussion with Othello listening in (later in Act 4, scene 1), and ofc the murder of Desdemona etc etc bc all of these moments in the play show the misunderstandings that occur bc of people's perceptions and love turning into jealousy.

also, do some practice questions from previous years.

use this website too- https://www.sparknotes.com/nofear/shakespeare/othello/ , it is the modern translation of Othello and can really help you understand the play and the characters.
Last edited by amy.em; 5 months ago
1
reply
04MR17
  • Community Assistant
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 months ago
#5
(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
Hi there,

Thank you for your response. The exam questions will be extract based and will test your knowledge on elsewhere in the play. My teacher has said that the question will always be love based but I don’t know how to prepare for it in the best possible way.

Characters who who are associated with love:
- Othello
- Desdemona
- Emilia
- Cassio
- Iago as he creates a rift between Othello and Desdemona.

In your opinion what makes you say that Cassio is relates to the theme love?? Any ideas??

Thanks for the link and advice :-)
I'd throw Bianca in there too, and Brabantio, and Roderigo. All quite different types of love.

Reason I include Cassio is because he is associated to both Bianca and Desdemona. His love for Desdemona is fabricated (by Iago) but he has a slightly different relationship with Bianca than Othello's and Desdemona's married couple incident. Think about the handkerchief and how it is used through him. Iago uses Cassio for his own ends and Cassio suffers from it. Cassio is a victim of a love he doesn't hold.

For extracts, pretty much the whole of Act One is available. Pick enough text to fill two pages of A4, and analyse it with a view of answering a question like...

‘Typically, texts about husbands and wives present marriage from a male point of view.’

In the light of this view, discuss how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Othello and Desdemona in this extract and elsewhere in the play.

https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resourc...-77121-SQP.PDF

You may also find this helpful...
https://www.tes.com/teaching-resourc...ion-a-11688941

Don't buy it, just look at the preview pictures to see the questions.
1
reply
GoodGirlFaith
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 months ago
#6
I found a lot of the language in othello quite difficult and watching the film helped (though obviously read the play as well 😂), imo the Kenneth Branagh one is the best one.
I did the exam in the summer and the question was on men controlling women in relationships.
0
reply
SnowyOwl2505
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#7
(Original post by GoodGirlFaith)
I found a lot of the language in othello quite difficult and watching the film helped (though obviously read the play as well 😂), imo the Kenneth Branagh one is the best one.
I did the exam in the summer and the question was on men controlling women in relationships.
Ok thank you will have a look at the film when I get a chance. Did you sit your Othello exam this summer?? Was your exam an AS or A- Level exam??
0
reply
GoodGirlFaith
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#8
Report 5 months ago
#8
I did the a level paper in the summer just gone
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Edge Hill University
    Undergraduate and Postgraduate - Campus Tour Undergraduate
    Fri, 22 Mar '19
  • Birmingham City University
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 23 Mar '19
  • University of Bolton
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 23 Mar '19

Where do you need more help?

Which Uni should I go to? (109)
17.3%
How successful will I become if I take my planned subjects? (68)
10.79%
How happy will I be if I take this career? (110)
17.46%
How do I achieve my dream Uni placement? (92)
14.6%
What should I study to achieve my dream career? (63)
10%
How can I be the best version of myself? (188)
29.84%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed