Acting Out Othello in 10th Grade Humanities

Iago – “Why, go to, then!

She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,

To seel her father’s eyes up close as oak,

He thought ‘twas witchcraft! But I am much to blame.

I humbly do beseech you of your pardon

For too much loving you.”

10th grade Humanity students have been reading and even acting out the great Shakespearean play, Othello, in class. Additionally, and as a heuristic to their reading, they have been watching bits and pieces of Othello, the 1995 movie starring Lawrence Fishburne. Discussion of various issues has ensued in class: inter-racial  relationships, jealousy, love, betrayal, and what it really looks like for poison to run through someone’s veins (i.e. Iago).

We were also able to observe and dialogue on Shakespeare’s ability to portray the villain of the play in a way that the audience is moved to feel empathy towards him.

At present, the students are working on 5 paragraph essays on the topic of their choice.