The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice
The principal goal for this unit is to come up with a solid topic for your research paper. This means first studying your primary source (The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice), then thinking of a question that examines the work of literature and offers an interpretation. You should do some preliminary research to make certain the topic question is viable, i.e., that you will have enough secondary sources (at least two) to write the paper.
A good topic question will propose a theme interpretation and provoke a more complex appreciation of a text. The question may present as a series of questions that examine a theme or character. Some examples include: What is the role of race in the play? Is Othello fully responsible for his deeds? What is the role of women in the play? Does Desdemona have choices? Why does she seem to accept her fate so willingly? What is the nature of love in this play? How do Iago’s manipulations work? Try to preface and develop your question. If your theme focuses on Othello’s character, ask something like “Considering Othello’s military discipline, and controlled thinking (he requires evidence before he is convinced by Iago), what is the root of the play’s tragedy? What exactly is Othello’s tragic flaw
The unit is all about finding sources and reading them carefully. You should Bergen Community College Library’s Literature Guide/Shakespeare, or J-Stor Literature, to find scholarly articles that are relevant to your analysis of The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice. You should read and annotate the sources, selecting and underlining parts of the text that you will quote or paraphrase.
You should have at least two secondary sources, both of which will be cited in the Works Cited section of the paper.