Here are the elements which will help with your analysis of William Shakespeare’s play, Othello.
The play follows a typical five-act structure with each act containing up to four scenes. The action takes place over the course of several days, and the tension rises steadily as the plot unfolds.
The characters in the play are complex, and the various relationships between them drive the plot forward. The main character is Othello, a Moorish general who is manipulated by Iago into believing that his new wife, Desdemona, is being cheating on him with his lieutenant, Cassio. Iago’s wife, Emilia, also has an important part to play. Other characters, such as Montano, Lodovico, or Gratiano, are witnesses to the tragedy and do not have much influence over the events.
The physical setting is Venice in the first act, and Cyprus in the other four acts. The time setting is sometime during the Fourth Ottoman-Venetian War fought between 1570 and 1573.
The language is complex, which is typical of Shakespeare’s works. The tone is usually formal and the characters speak in long, elaborated sentences, although sometimes short sentences are also used to add a more realistic feel to the dialogue.
The play contains a number of literary devices that add to the dramatic effect. Iago’s asides, for example, allow the reader to know his plans before Othello does. This increases the suspense.
You can read a more detailed analysis in the following pages.