Suitable for: Year 11 | Duration: 2 hours a week for 9-10 weeks; 18-20 hours total
Prerequisites: Poetry for Beginners OR Literary Techniques (one-day crash course)
You love gossip. Don’t try to deny it. Who doesn’t like hearing about a scandal? Ever talked to your friends about what your other friends are doing when they say they’re “busy”? Maybe they’re shopping. Maybe they’re on dates. Maybe they’re part of an international spy organisation. Or maybe you should mind your own business.
The tragedy Othello, written by our man Big Billy Shakes, shows us the dangers of gossip, as the sly, cunning Iago causes the downfall of a military general, Othello, by doing little more than creating and spreading rumours. Furthermore, Othello, one of the first black protagonists in English literature, struggles with the racist remarks of those around him.
In every lesson, students read extracts from Shakespeare’s text and then analyse how the literary techniques create meaning and explore the themes of the play. Students are also given a range of secondary readings that present alternative perspectives of the play. Each week, students are asked to provide written responses for homework, including essays, opinion pieces, and creative responses.
Student Writing Outcomes:
- Opinion pieces about the extracts and characters studied in class;
- Analytical paragraphs or partial essays about the extracts studied; and
- Full essays about the themes and concerns of the play.
Student Learning Objectives:
- Reviewing and consolidating an extensive list of techniques for literary analysis;
- Understanding Shakespearean language;
- Understanding the characters, themes, and context of Othello;
- Having the tools to analyse and write about Shakespeare’s plays in opinion pieces and essays;
- Considering the similarities and differences between people today and people in Shakespeare’s time;
- Organising and writing literary notes in preparation for essays and exams; and
- Evaluating Shakespeare’s responses to questions we still have today.