Othello, by William Shakespeare
Students will be reading Othello in class. They will be required to keep notes using the Cornell Notes method of note taking. This page will have resources to refer to while working at home on assignments.
Why do we have to read Shakespeare?
Every year, Sachem students are required to read one of Shakespeare's plays. Some find it frustrating and outdated but contrary to popular belief, we do not have you read Shakespeare to torture anyone. There are so many reasons why, but here are a few of the most important reasons:
- William Shakespeare had a profound effect on the development of the English language. Some sources claim he actually INVENTED close to 2,000 words that we use today. See this link for more information. Many idioms we use today were coined by Shakespeare as well.
- Even though his work is over 400 years old, the complex issues faced by his characters are ones we still face today: greed, racism, abuse of power and the dynamic roles of men and women. What does this say about human nature? Can we learn from the mistakes of our past? How have these issues been faced in the past and how can we address them in the future?
- Shakespeare's work is not meant to be easily understood the first time it is read, or viewed. It is meant to be more than passive entertainment; it is meant to get you to think, analyze, critique and discuss. Let's face it: you will probably read Twilight on your own, with little assistance, and forget it shortly after. Many students remember quotes and scenes from Shakespeare decades after the fact, whether because something finally "clicked" or because they read an excerpt so beautifully expressed that it resonates with them for years to come.
Click on the title above to visit the No Fear Shakespeare page for Othello. This will give you a side-by-side comparison of the classic Elizabethan English text with a modern English translation next to it to help interpret the figurative language, idioms and cultural references.