One Page Books

Shakespeare's Othello

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A full unabridged edition of William Shakespeare’s Othello, written c.1602 and comprising 27,892 words, all on a single poster print page.  This tale of deception and betrayal boasts an original, dramatic illustration depicting Othello, the brave Moorish soldier of Venice, against a swirling Venetian backdrop. Written after Hamlet but before King Lear and Macbeth, the text of our One Page edition is guaranteed complete and is laid out in strict adherence to Shakespeare's original verse at an easily readable type size. 

One Page Book Details: 

  • 27in x 40in Print
  • Heavyweight fine art paper
  • Readable type size
  • Beautiful centrepiece illustration in oil pastels.
  • Shipped in a heavyweight tube
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Overview of William Shakespeare's Othello

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice was written by William Shakespeare around the year 1603. The story of Othello is based on Cinthio’s short story Un Capitano Moro, which was published in 1565. Othello is centered around four principal characters: Othello, a general in the Venetian army, his wife Desmonda, his advisor Iago, and his lieutenant, Cassio. Due to its diverse and enduring themes of envy, love, racism, and infidelity, Othello to this day is performed in theatres across the world and continues to inspire adaptations in film, opera and literature.

Shakespeare’s Othello begins with Roderigo, a wealthy and depraved character, protesting to Iago for not informing him about the secret marriage between Othello, a Moorish general for the Venetian army, and Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio, a senator. Roderigo is wounded by the match, as he is in love with Desdemona and had previously requested her hand in marriage. Iago despises Othello because he feels slighted over Othello’s decision to promote Michael Cassio, a younger man, over him. Iago also claims that he believes Othello has carried on an affair with his wife, Emilia. While Iago is a hardened warrior, he sees Cassio as an intellectual strategist, lacking any true experience on the battlefield. Iago informs Roderigo that he intends to use Othello to his benefit.

Iago manipulates Roderigo by highlighting his failed proposal for Desdemona, and his displeasure serving beneath Othello, convincing Roderigo to inform Desdemona’s father – Brabantio – of his daughter’s secret marriage. Meanwhile, Iago slips away to warn Othello that Brabantio is coming after him.

Prior to Brabantio reaching Othello, news reaches Venice that the Turks plan to attack Cyprus, and Othello is called to counsel the senators. When Brabantio arrives, he accuses Othello of beguiling his daughter with witchcraft, but Othello manages to defend himself effectively in front of the senators and the Duke of Venice.

Othello convinces the senators that Desdemona fell in love with him not as a result of witchcraft, but because of the sad, captivating tales he shared of his life before reaching Venice. While the senate is content, Brabantio departs saying that Othello will be betrayed by Desdemona. Othello is ordered by the Duke to take command of the Venetian army at Cyprus against the invading Turks. Othello leaves for Cyprus with his wife, Cassio, Iago, and Iago’s wife Emilia, who serves as Desdemona’s attendant.

When Othello’s party reaches Cyprus they find that the Turkish fleet has been smashed by a storm. While his men celebrate, Othello departs to spend time with his wife. With Othello gone, Iago conspires to get Cassio drunk, and then convinces Roderigo to pick a fight with Cassio. The fight causes a disturbance, and Othello must come to quash the commotion. As a result of the fight, Cassio loses his position. While Cassio is upset, Iago convinces him to speak with Desdemona to ask her help in persuading Othello to allow him to keep his position as lieutenant.

Iago then persuades Othello to be wary of the relationship between Cassio and Desdemona. To do this, he uses a handkerchief belonging to Desdemona, an object that holds great meaning for Othello. Emilia steals the handkerchief at her husband’s request, although she is ignorant of his plans.

Iago places the handkerchief in Cassio’s room as proof of the affair between the two. He then tells Othello to watch Cassio react to questioning about the handkerchief. While Othello believes he is listening to Cassio speaking about Desdemona, Iago actually prompts Cassio into talking about his affair with the courtesan Bianca. Iago convinces Othello that this is proof of their affair, and Othello becomes enraged. Othello, infuriated about the imagined affair, decides to kill Desdemona and asks Iago to kill Cassio. He begins to act violently towards his wife, going so far as to strike her in public.

Iago, in turn, convinces Roderigo to kill Cassio. Roderigo follows Cassio and attacks him after he leaves from visiting Bianca. During the fight, Iago sneaks up and stabs Cassio in the leg. Hidden by darkness, Iago is not seen, and pretends to come to Cassio’s aid with a group of passers-by who hear Cassio’s calls for help. When Cassio names Roderigo as his attacker, Iago swiftly kills Roderigo to thwart him from revealing his role in the plot. He places blame on Bianca for the scheme to murder Cassio.

That night, Othello questions Desdemona about the affair, and ultimately smothers her to death. When her attendant Emilia arrives, Othello attempts to defend the murder by accusing Desdemona of having an affair. When the governor appears, alongside Iago and Cassio, Emilia starts to explain what has happened. Once Othello explains how the handkerchief serves as proof of the affair, Emilia finally recognizes her husband’s scheme and exposes him. She is consequently killed by Iago. Othello, having realized the truth too late, wounds Iago, but does not kill him, stating he prefer Iago live out his life in suffering. Iago does not share his motivation behind his plot, choosing instead to stay silent. Both Othello and Iago are arrested for the murders, but Othello kills himself with a concealed dagger. Shakespeare’s tragedy ends as Cassio condemns Iago to live out the rest of his days suffering in prison as a punishment for his crimes.