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English 4320: Shakespeare Instructor: Dr. Jessica Tvordi Reading uestions !

or Shakespeare"s #thello

$. In several i%portant &a's( Othello is a pla' a)out centers and %argins*+enice as the center o! ,ivili-ation( ,'prus as the !rontier .or edge( or %argin/ o! that civili-ation. 0ist and )rie!l' annotate as %an' instances o! this center1edge i%ager'( the%e or structure as 'ou can !ind in 2ct $. 3o& do these i%ages continue to pervade the pla' as the location shi!ts !ro% +enice to ,'prus*and in &hat &a' is this center1%argin )inar' relevant to individual character4 2. #n the one hand( Othello is a pla' that reveals the co%ple5ities o! heterose5ual relationships( and the concepts o! love and %arriage( through its depiction o! t&o ver' di!!erent couples: #thello and Desde%ona( and Iago and E%ilia. #n the other( it is a pla' ver' %uch taken up &ith the i%portance and %eaning o! ho%osocial relationships( personal and pro!essional. 3o& &ould 'ou characteri-e the various relationships in this pla' .)oth the %arriages or love relationships and the 6!riendships7 or %ilitar' relationships/ and &hich t'pe o! hu%an )ond do 'ou think the pla' ulti%atel' privileges4 3. The pla' )egins &ith Iago"s desire !or revenge( and even i! 'ou"ve never read or even heard the plot o! the pla' )e!ore( it is o)vious that Othello is heading to&ard traged'. 8hat are so%e o! the !eatures o! classical traged' that are use!ul in understanding the pla'"s orientation4 In &hat &a's does the pla' use co%ed'( either strategicall' or the%aticall'( to %ove1retard the action4 9inall'( discuss the pla'"s use o! .actuall'( heav' reliance on/ dra%atic iron'( especiall' in .)ut not li%ited to/ the scenes in &hich Iago &orks out his plot. 4. Discuss the !unction o! race and nation in Othello. 9irst( pa' care!ul attention not onl' to the depiction o! #thello and )lackness( )ut also the representation o! Europeans and &hiteness. Second( consider &hat it %eans in Othello to )e a citi-en or %e%)er o! a co%%unit' versus a vaga)ond not !ir%l' attached to a particular nation. :ou %ight also consider the &a's in &hich the )lack1&hite( insider1outsider )inaries pla's out in relation to other relevant opposites !eatured in the te5t( such as ,hristian1;uslin<=agan<3eathen. 9inall'( consider ho& assu%ptions a)out ho& race is represented in relation to se5ualit' and desire. >. Discuss the role o! &o%en in the pla' and consider the !ollo&ing: ho& are notions o! !e%ale o)edience pro)le%ati-ed in the pla'4 3o& do so%e o! the !e%ale characters step out o! traditional e5pectations o! &o%anhood in the pla'( &hether )' their &ords and actions or )' ho& other characters characteri-e the%4 3o& do &o%en in Othello understand and talk a)out their roles in societ'4 ?. ,onsider( !inall'( the treat%ent o! pu)lic versus private culture*in particular the political1%ilitar' versus the do%estic*and the tensions )et&een1collapsing o! these t&o categories.