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How Much Do You Know About "Othello" by William Shakespeare? 

Take this quick quiz to see how much you know about the play "Othello".

Quiz Questions

  • 1.
    Who is Othello's wife?
    • A.
      Desdemona
      (Correct Answer)
      Explanation: Othello's wife, a young Venetian woman of high birth and good breeding. Desdemona is almost overly virtuous, which causes her to feel that she must defend Cassio, and speak in a public sphere when necessary. She is stronger than Othello believes her to be, and is not the private, withdrawn, meek woman he wish she were.
    • B.
      Emilia
    • C.
      Bianca
    • D.
      Ophelia
  • 2.
    Who is Othello's lieutenant?
    • A.
      Iago
    • B.
      Brabantio
    • C.
      Cassio
      (Correct Answer)
      Explanation: Othello's lieutenant, though he has little field experience. Cassio is a smooth-talking Venetian courtier, the opposite of Othello in many respects, which is why Othello admires him. Othello is led to believe that Cassio has had an affair with his wife, though Cassio has only honorable intentions toward Desdemona.
    • D.
      Roderigo
  • 3.
    Who is the villain of Othello?
    • A.
      Cassio
    • B.
      Brabantio
    • C.
      Iago
      (Correct Answer)
      Explanation: Othello's ensign who was passed over for the lieutenant position in favor of Cassio. Iago is young and treacherous; he is a villain from the start, and though he cites his wounded pride and Othello's alleged infidelity with his wife Emilia, his actions are without justification. He is immoral, but very perceptive, keen, and able to manipulate people into falling for his deceptions.
    • D.
      Roderigo
  • 4.
    What is Othello's occupation?
    • A.
      Ensign in Venetian Army
    • B.
      Lieutenant in Venetian Army
    • C.
      Duke of Venice
    • D.
      Officer in Venetian Army
      (Correct Answer)
      Explanation: A Moor, and an officer in the Venetian military.
  • 5.
    What are Othello's two main failings?
    • A.
      Jealousy
      (Correct Answer)
      Explanation: Othello is bold and a good warrior, but he is a good man undone by his two main failings - jealousy and pride. Although Othello is very eloquent, he believes his manners and words are both rough.
    • B.
      Cowardice
    • C.
      Pride
    • D.
      He is evil
  • 6.
    Who said this? "I follow to serve my turn upon him: We cannot all be masters, nor all masters Cannot be truly follow'd"
    • A.
      Othello
    • B.
      Iago
      (Correct Answer)
      Explanation: Bitter about being passed up for Cassio's post, Iago reveals he serves Othello only to serve himself. He points out to Roderigo that men cannot follow leaders if they want to lead themselves. Also, referring to Othello, Iago says that not all men are fit to lead and not all leaders should be followed. This statement is one of the few moments of honesty between Iago and another character. It also is the first seed planted in his game of deception. His suggestion is a subtle mutiny aimed at Roderigo. Iago is enlisting Roderigo in helping him "serve [his] turn" against Othello.
    • C.
      Cassio
    • D.
      Roderigo
  • 7.
    Who said this? "I am not merry; but I do beguile The thing I am, by seeming otherwise."
    • A.
      Desdemona
      (Correct Answer)
      Explanation: While speaking to Iago Desdemona says that, though she pretends to be happy, she is really worried about Othello's safety. This passage shows the care she has for her husband, and also that she is capable of hiding her emotion. In this conversation with Desdemona, Iago reveals how little he thinks of women, and that they use their beauty or wit to manipulate men.
    • B.
      Iago
    • C.
      Cassio
    • D.
      Emilia
  • 8.
    Who said this? "Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial."
    • A.
      Roderigo
    • B.
      Iago
    • C.
      Othello
    • D.
      Cassio
      (Correct Answer)
      Explanation: After a drunken brawl with Roderigo, Cassio is stripped of his position. Without his rank, he feels like he is nothing. This sentiment is echoed by Othello, who is motivated to kill Desdemona because her affair has besmirched the reputation that he has worked so hard to craft. Both Cassio and Othello believe a man is nothing more than "bestial" without his good name.

Quiz Outcomes

  • 1.
    0 to 2 correct:
    Not Much.
    Read the play, or a summary of the play, again - you may have missed some points which are key to understanding the plot of this play.
  • 2.
    3 to 5 correct:
    You've got the gist of it.
    You know the basic story, great! This is a good start. Keep it up and you'll soon learn all there is to know about the play.
  • 3.
    6 to 8 correct:
    You're an Othello Expert
    You're pretty much an expert when it comes to the play "Othello.