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In an essay of at least 500 words, discuss why you think Othello did to Desdemona what he did at the end of the play.  (I’m using vague language here to avoid spoilers here!)  What he did was wrong and even unthinkable, and yet he did it.  Shakespeare offers a number of hints throughout the play of what would drive a man to do such a thing.  Discuss what these are.  Why was Othello so vulnerable to Iago’s plot?   Some of the issues to consider are racism of the Venetians, Othello’s own insecurity at being a racial and cultural outsider, Othello’s military background, Othello’s lack of understanding of his own character, and so forth.  I would suggest first reading through the handout “Othello Interpretations” for some ideas.

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