This product includes a thoroughly researched, well substantiated 10 minute video presentation on the character of Iago in the play 'Othello' by William Shakespeare. The discussion centers on the motives underlying Iago's actions such as they are. It also provides a careful analysis of his character, showing how his actions stem from within.
Then there is a role play activity in which Iago's character is unraveled by means of an interview between a famous psychiatrist and himself.
Students pair off and take on the roles of a boastful Iago and an admiring psychiatrist evaluating Iago's sociopathic tendencies prior to sentencing for his crimes.
A tool for diagnosing psychopaths helps the interviewer as he directs statements such as, 'love is overrated' at Iago for his comment.
The pair then prepare a discussion of examples from the play which support these viewpoints. They should really be encouraged to get into character. Iago should be the ruthless, cynical, villain without conscience and the interviewer should be the mesmerized scientist alternately repulsed by yet admiring of Iago.
5 cards are provided with 5 statements each for analysis = 10 students so, depending on class sizes, teachers should allow for duplicates and manage feedback accordingly.
A rubric is provided for informal assessment by peers.
Suggested responses are included as a guideline but allowance must be made for overlapping ideas and the many different valid examples.
This exercise is a lot of fun and extremely useful as a way of directing an in depth exploration of Iago's character. It also helps students develop their skills at drawing conclusions from the actions and speeches of characters.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License