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Published: 21/10/2019
KS4 KS5 | Plays
7 pages

Genre, age, race and gender

This resource focuses on the relationship between Othello and Desdemona and leads students on a detailed exploration of genre, age, race and gender. Suitable for students who have already read/studied the play. Suggested answers and teacher notes are provided. 

Sample content

Uxoricide and age

  1. Look up the term uxoricide and write down a short explanation or definition in your own words.
  2. Modern research into uxoricide has found that women have a significantly higher risk of being the victim if there is a big age gap, with their husband/boyfriend being much older than they are. Shakespeare provides hints that there is a significant age gap between Othello and Desdemona. There are several references to Desdemona’s youth, most notably by Brabantio in Act 1 Scene 1.
  1. Find at least one of Brabantio’s references to Desdemona’s age in the opening scene of the play.
  2. How old do you think, based on the references to Desdemona’s age in the opening of the play, Desdemona is (roughly)?

See other resources: Othello

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Sandra Poulton
Sandra Poulton
very useful-it's always good to have new approaches.
Bianca is probably a similar age or a little bit older than Desdemona, I think and Emilia is quite a bit older.
Posted on 25th February 2020

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