Othello: Essay Topics & Samples

Do you need to compose an essay on Othello? Are you unsure of your writing skills? Don’t stress out! You are on the right page!

Here, you can find compelling Othello essay topics, insightful prompts, and useful examples. So, check out our ideas and be ready to write an outstanding paper.

Essay Topics

  1. A path from sincere love to terrible jealousy. Based on Othello by William Shakespeare, investigate the main character’s transformation. How does the author describe the love between Othello and Desdemona at the beginning of the book? How does their relationship change through the progress of the storyline? Explore the causes and effects of Othello’s jealousy.
  2. Iago Рthe most dangerous villain of the ages. What is the role of Iago in Othello? Research Iago’s reality via deception. How and with whom does he use it? What are Iago’s motives? Elaborate on the manipulations that the villain applies to fulfill his evil plan. How many people suffer from Iago’s trickery?
  3. The role of women in 16th-century Venice. Investigate Desdemona’s, Emilia’s, and Bianca’s places in society. How do men treat these women? Compare and contrast three women of the play. Why is Desdemona viewed as the embodiment of purity, while Bianca is that of viciousness? Elaborate on Emilia’s feminist nature and her fight for gender equality.
  4. Racism in Othello by William Shakespeare. Investigate the issue of racial discrimination in Othello. The play includes various examples of prejudice. Analyze them and comment on their role in the piece. To make your essay even more impressive, provide appropriate quotes.
  5. Desdemona as a perfect Renaissance woman. In your essay, analyze Desdemona’s personality. How did she fall in love with Othello? Speculate on why she remained faithful to her husband till the very end. How do other characters of the play describe her? Explain how her forgiveness, loyalty, and unconditional love make her a perfect Renaissance woman.
  6. Animal imagery in Othello. The book mentions numerous animals. What hidden meanings lie behind them? Explain why Shakespeare compares people to animals. What effect do these analogies have on the readers? Include appropriate quotes from Othello in your essay.
  7. The controversy of Othello’s personality. What is Othello’s social status in the play? On the one hand, he is a noble warrior and the general of the Venetian army. On the other, he is a Moor. His skin color makes him an outsider in society. So, what side outweighs? Is he a respected man or an outcast? In your essay, provide quotes from the text to support your position.
  8. The role of settings in Othello. Analyze the backgrounds of each scene and trace how they narrow down. At the beginning of the play, the action takes place in the spacious Mediterranean sea. However, the story ends in a tiny room. How the change of settings affects the tone of the play?
  9. Othello Рa victim or a villain? Explore the development of Othello’s personality throughout the play. Is he Iago’s victim or a cruel murderer? Is there anything that could justify Othello? The essay should include appropriate quotes to strengthen your arguments.
  10. The relevance of Othello to modern readers. Written in the 16th century, the play remains one of the most widely-discussed pieces of literature. Analyze the themes covered by Shakespeare and explain what lies behind the popularity of Othello. What can the readers learn from the play?

Essay Samples

Now that you’ve seen the topics for an Othello essay, you are ready to write one yourself. Well, almost. It may be useful for you to check some actual examples. See the samples below to consider a proper essay structure and argumentation.

  1. ‚ÄúOthello‚ÄĚ a Tragedy by William Shakespeare
    The given play has been explored and discussed for centuries due to its intriguing underlying subtext and themes. It led to numerous interpretations made by critics, casual readers, and students. The author of the essay, for example, claims that Othello is more about conflict than love, disagreeing with their professor on the topic.
  2. Women Role in Shakespeare’s Othello and Hamlet
    There are three women in Othello and only two in Hamlet, yet their roles are prominent in both plays. Even though men are the ones who murder and manipulate, women are more than their victims. See the essay to understand how female characters affect the plots and themes of the tragedies and reflect the societal norms of the time.
  3. Elizabethan Era Gender Roles in Shakespeare’s Plays
    Shakespeare’s works have been widely recognized for the realistic representation of the society of the time. Additionally, Shakespear firmly highlighted the gender roles in his plays. To better understand the gender roles in the literary works, it is necessary to comprehend them in the Elizabethan Era. 
  4. Annotated Bibliography: Shakespeare Studies
    Critics have been analyzing and discussing Shakespeare’s works for centuries. The present essay lists articles that explore specific topics in the author’s stories. Some of the issues addressed include feminism and the role of women in Shakespeare’s plays. 
  5. Killings for Love in Shakespeare’s and Garcia’s Works
    Shakespeare’s Othello and Garcia’s Chronicles of a Death Foretold end with the violent death ignited by strong emotions. This essay examines the killings in the stories and the feelings those originated from. The question investigated is whether deaths occur due to love or wrong priorities. 
  6. From a Villain to a Victim and Back: Othello and Iago
    Othello is one of the most complicated characters in Shakespeare’s plays, with the good and evil intertwining in him. Iago is the main antagonist who faces similar battles. The essay examines the differences and similarities of the characters, as well as attempts to determine the main villain in the play.
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