Essay Topics

Choose one of the following topics below.  Write a 1000-1500 word essay on one of the topics below.  Use quotes from the play to support your argument.  This means that you are going to use parenthetical citations (I; iii; 35-37).  The first number in the parenthesis is the act; the second number is the scene, the third number is the line / lines where you found the quote.  Use quotes to explain what you mean—don’t just use quotes as filler. Remember the quote formula: TAG + QUOTE + CITE + EXPLANATION = Good Support.

  1. Argue: Do you think that Othello had any control over the way Iago was manipulating him throughout the play?  Should Othello take some responsibility for his actions since he jumped to conclusions? Did Othello deserve what he got in the end?  Why or why not?
  2. What makes Iago such a mean devil?  Why is he so good at controlling the characters in the play?  Is it luck or “talent?”
  3. Do you think Iago goes too far with his revenge?  Refer to his reasons for getting revenge in Act I as they are actualized throughout the rest of the play.
  4. Focus on one of the major themes we discussed in class.  How does this theme evolve throughout the play?  Follow the theme from the beginning of the play to the end.  What is Shakespeare telling his audience about this theme through Othello?
  5. Focus on one major character in the play.  How does Shakespeare portray this character to others?  Does the character change throughout the play?  Give evidence to support this change?

Grading Criteria:

·        This assignment is worth a MAJOR GRADE (remember, this is where a bulk of your grade comes from—get it in!).

·        Follow MLA format

·        Each body paragraph must have a minimum of 3 quotes.


·        Draft of intro and two body paragraphs due on Monday 4/17/06

·        Final due Wednesday 4/19/06