One of the four great tragedies—alongside Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth—Othello is among the darkest of Shakespeare’s plays, illumining the shadows of the gloomiest recesses of the human psyche and serving as a damning indictment of the world in which it was written. A cautionary tale of the destructiveness of sin and the ruinous consequences of bad philosophy, Othello seems to express Shakespeare’s rage at the cynicism and brutality of the age in which he lived. From the Machiavellian menace of Iago to the blind and prideful jealousy of Othello, this classic of world literature shows us the shadow falling over a society that has turned its back on the light and life of virtue.
Joseph Pearce, director of the Aquinas Center for Faith and Culture at Aquinas College in Nashville, is the author of three books on Shakespeare, all published by Ignatius Press, and is the editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions of Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth. He is editor of the St. Austin Review (or StAR), a magazine of Christian culture and tradition published by St. Augustine’s Press.