Design a site like this with
Get started


Mark Rylance as Iago Othello was our first Shakespeare work.


One thought on “Othello

  1. I am struck by the similarity between Desdemona’s attitude to Othello just before her death, and attitude of Anne Boleyn as expressed in her final speech. Both know they are innocent and their impending death is unjust, yet they have a forgiving, loving attitude towards the man responsible for their impending demise.
    Of course Anne Boleyn is the mother of Shakespeare’s key sponsor, Queen Elizabeth, and the man responsible for Anne Boleyn’s death is Queen Elizabeth’s father. This story is close to home.

    Shakespeare’s plays show he is aware of who is on the throne and writes accordingly – e.g. history relevant to and flattering to the Tudors during the reign of Elizabeth. The date of origin of Othello is uncertain, and many experts seem to put just at the beginning of the reign of King James. I suggest this echo of the family history of Elizabeth makes it more likely it was at least planned during the reign of Elizabeth. If it is true that Shakespeare had Elizabeth’s family history in mind, then one function of the play could be to suggest that Henry was not to blame for Anne Boleyn’s killing, but rather somebody had egged him on.

    “Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: