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Customer Review

on 22 November 2005
Designed for 'A' level students within the UK, these York Notes begin with a brief, but vital piece of advice on how to study a play - what to look for and why. A short introduction to 'Othello' is followed by extensive notes on the play, scene by scene, with further extended commentaries on problematic scenes. There is extensive character analysis of the leading actors, notes on the play's language, imagery, and themes, and a short biography of Shakespeare and exploration of his world. Altogether this is an excellent package.
York Notes provide the best available study guide - sophisticated commentary and analysis, yet accessible and readily comprehensible. However, don't assume it's going to give you pre-packaged answers you can reproduce under exam conditions and, especially, assume that reading the notes will obviate the need to study the play in detail. Read the play thoroughly, read it often, and try to watch a live or recorded production of 'Othello'.
A good study guide stimulates your understanding and makes the play easier to comprehend. It's worth collaborating with your fellow students - buy two or three different sets of study notes between you, share them around, and use them to get a broader perspective (have a look at, say Letts, and Spark Notes). Use the notes dynamically, don't just passively try to memorise them.
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