This product includes a 10 minute video presentation on the broad theme of race in Othello entitled 'Otherness'. The talk deals with the setting of the play in Venice initially and a little of the history of the tensions between the Ottoman Empire and Europe. Slides provide maps of the area and images of Venice.
There is discussion of Othello's possible origins and the contrast between a man of his background with the men of Venice.
Then there is a 'think-pair-share' activity to compare Othello with an ordinary man of Venice as represented by Shakespeare in the play. Students in pairs receive two cards. One deals with Othello and the other with an ordinary Venetian gentleman. Each card has 8 callouts with headings.
Students should provide as much information on each topic as they can, based on their knowledge of the play. A feedback session will consolidate their knowledge of Othello's outsider status thus providing more insight into the important strategic advantage this offers Iago as he works to bring about Othello's destruction.
A checklist is provided for each card with suggestions for the headings but more important is how each student has engaged with the problem of Othello's 'otherness'.
This task is a great way of getting a discussion going about how Othello is different and how we perceive people in our own society as different too.
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