Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
site header image

Othello Analysis Research and Essay: Home


The essay must be at least three pages with a maximum of five pages long.

You need one primary source (your book) and three secondary sources.

Follow the MLA Format and attach a Works Cited (see second tab for the MLA 8 Guide).

MyBib is a citation manager that provides free citations for MLA, APA, and Chicago style.   Create a new Project, then Add a Citation.  Choose from website, book, journal, video, and more.   If citing a database article, click on More and then Write/Paste.  When you are ready to print your Works Cited or References page, click on Download Bibliography.  Click here for handout. Watch the video!

Google Docs template of Note Sheet

Note-Taking Sheet

Click on File and Make a copy.

MLA citations are available for every article. Copy and paste into your Note Taking Sheet.

You need to pass in your Note-Taking Sheet with your brochure.


Profile Photo
Jennifer Jourdain
Montachusett Regional Voc Tech School
1050 Westminster Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
(978) 345-9200 x5125

Suggested Links

These links are to scholarly database articles.  Firstly, choose an overview article and then one that address your topic below.

For more articles, search Othello and a keyword in any of these databases (Home login and password: montytech1):

  • When searching in Google, type .edu at the end of your keywords to get more scholarly sources.  Or, go to
  • Do not use "paper mill" sites or student work as a source. 
  • Do not use SparkNotes-type sites as a source.  Hint: If it's not from a database, it must have an author.



1. Examine the role of jealousy, love, and/or betrayal in the play. You may want to pick one character (Iago or Othello perhaps?) and focus on one issue.

2. It has been argued that Othello is accessible to us today because of the issues of racism, love, betrayal, and jealousy. Pick one and explain why Othello is accessible to us. Be careful, and be sure to talk about the play.

3. Examine the role of women in the play. Are they passive or direct or obedient or strong? Be careful because this is a big topic, and you may want to choose just one character.

4. Consider the warning of Desdemona’s father to Othello, and Othello’s response. Are the responses a foreshadowing of what is to come and Othello’s ultimate fate? Explain.

5. Consider the role of the handkerchief. How in the world can a small piece of cloth cause so much trouble?

6. Honest Iago tends to be like a “toxic friend.” Explain. (search for friendship)

7. After Iago became Othello’s lieutenant, could he have ended his revenge at this point? Why or why not? Consider why he hates the Moor so much. Please do not state the obvious of the promotion—go deeper.

8. Why is Othello so quick to believe Iago? Does he truly love Desdemona? (trust)

9. Examine the relationship between Emilia and Iago and/or Desdemona and Othello. How does each couple love and/or hate each other? Explain. You may want to focus on only one couple.

10. Compare and/or contrast Emilia and Desdemona’s love for their husbands. You could focus on the issue of loyalty.

11. Examine the role of Emilia. She is the “undoing” of Iago through her honesty. Was she right to betray her husband for her lady? Whom did she serve? Herself? Desdemona? Her husband? Does she redeem herself in the end for stealing the handkerchief or did she get what she deserved for betraying her lady in the first place? Or did she betray her lady or duly serve her husband? Consider these questions in your answer.

12. If you feel strong about a topic that is not listed, come see me for discussion and approval.