William Shakespeare – Othello (Practice Questions)

Act One

Q1. What was Iago’s complaint in Scene 1?
A. Another officer of the same rank was receiving higher pay.
B. Roderigo cheated during a card game and won.
C. Cassio got the promotion that he wanted.
D. He doesn’t like the new uniforms that Othello has chosen. He thinks they make the
soldiers look like weak women.

Q2. Who was Brabantio?
A. He was Othello’s ensign.
B. He was the previous governor.
C. He was the squadron commander.
D. He was a senator and Desdemona’s father.

Q3. Why did Iago and Roderigo awaken Brabantio in the middle of the night?
A. His wife was seriously ill.
B. A marriage was taking place that involved his family.
C. Thieves had destroyed his fields and orchards.
D. There was a plot to murder him that night as he slept.

Q4. True or False: Iago left Roderigo at Brabantio’s house because he didn’t want to be seen as being against Othello.
A. True.
B. False.

Q5. What was Brabantio’s reaction to Othello’s marriage to Desdemona?
A. He was joyful and wished them well.
B. He remained impartial.
C. He was outraged.
D. He was not please personally but thought it was good politically.

Q6. Why did the Duke send for Othello?
A. The Duke wanted to know which soldiers to promote.
B. The Duke wanted to send Othello to Ottoman to fight.
C. The Duke wanted to give Othello a medal for heroism from his last campaign.
D. The Duke wanted to congratulate him on his marriage.

Q7. Brabantio complains to the Duke about Othello’s marriage to Desdemona. After listening to both sides of the story, what was the Duke’s reply?
A. He agrees to annul the marriage.
B. He remains impartial, saying a man’s personal life is his own business.
C. He reprimands Brabantio for being a petty gossip and troublemaker.
D. He says he thinks Othello would win his daughter under the same circumstances, and tells Brabantio to make the best of the situation.

Q8. What was Roderigo’s complaint?
A. He was passed over for a promotion.
B. He was love sick and depressed over Desdemona’s marriage.
C. He wanted to go and fight with Othello’s army, but was told to remain at home.
D. He didn’t think the Duke was aggressive enough in his stand against the Ottoman Empire.

Q9. What was Iago’s reply to Roderigo’s complaint?
A. He told Roderigo to straighten up and act like a soldier.
B. He told Roderigo to forgive and forget.
C. He told Roderigo they would work together for revenge.
D. He told Roderigo to pray to the gods for guidance, then to do whatever they suggested.

Act Two

Q10. True or False: Iago wanted Roderigo to anger Cassio. He thought this would show that Cassio was undisciplined and then he would be relieved of his duty. This would allow Roderigo a better chance of getting Desdemona, since Othello and Desdemona would have to stay longer until a replacement for Cassio could be found.
A. True.
B. False.

Q11. True or False: Iago was encouraging and using Roderigo in order to get revenge on him (Roderigo) for a wrong that Roderigo’s father had done to Iago’s father, although it happened many years ago, Iago had sworn revenge, and saw his chance now.
A. True
B. False

Q12. How did Iago cause Cassio to be argumentative?
A. Iago discussed politics with him, and purposely disagreed about everything.
B. Iago made insinuating remarks about Cassio’s marital status.
C. Iago encouraged Cassio to get drunk.
D. Iago teased Cassio about his weight and age.

Q13. What lie did Iago tell Montano about Cassio?
A. He said Cassio had two illegitimate children.
B. He said Cassio was stealing money from Othello.
C. He said Cassio had lied about this qualifications to get the position he currently held.
D. He said Cassio was drunk every night, and would probably be drunk in a moment of crisis.

Q14. What was the result of Iago’s crafty explanation of Cassio’s fight with Roderigo?
A. Othello stripped Cassio of his rank.
B. They were both put in jail for a month.
C. Roderigo was banished from the city for a month.
D. Othello branded them all as troublemakers and refused to listen to them.

Q15. Why did Iago want Cassio to ask Desdemona for help in restoring Othello’s faith in Cassio?
A. He feels remorse for what he has done.
B. If she would take up Cassio’s cause, it would appear as though she would favor him. That would advance Iago’s plot to make Othello jealous beyond reason.
C. Iago has been secretly plotting with the Ottoman to overthrow the present government. He thinks that if he can weaken the ranks by having them worry about personal problems, the Ottomans will have a better chance of winning the war.
D. Brabantio has offered to pay him a large sum of money to break up the marriage.

Act Three

Q16. True or False: Iago was reluctant to tell Othello his thoughts about Desdemona and Cassio because he wasn’t absolutely sure his plan would work.
A. True
B. False

Q17. What thing did Emilia find and give to Iago?
A. She found Desdemona’s handkerchief.
B. She found a love letter supposedly written to Desdemona by Cassio.
C. She found a gold bracelet.
D. She found Cassio’s sword.

Q18. What did Iago intend to do with it?
A. He was going to pawn it for money.
B. He was going to use it to blackmail Desdemona.
C. He was going to give it to Othello and pretend he didn’t know where it came from.
D. He was going to plant it in Cassio’s possession to show Othello that Desdemona had given it as a favor to Cassio.

Q19. True or False: When Othello demanded proof of his wife’s disloyalty, Iago said “Let us hide and ourselves behold the cursed fate of star-crossed lovers.”
A. True
B. False

Q20. What did Othello decide and command at the end of Scene III?
A. Iago was to have Cassio killed within three days. Othello would kill Desdemona himself. Iago was promoted to Lieutenant.
B. Othello would kill Cassio, then hold Desdemona’s father hostage to force her to be faithful.
C. Othello would banish Cassio. Then Iago would pretend to be sympathetic to Desdemona. While she confessed her feelings to him, Othello would be concealed close-by. He would find them, and accuse Desdemona of being unfaithful, and imprison her.
D. Iago would kill Cassio and Desdemona, making it look like a lover’s quarrel.

Q21. What was Emilia’s relationship with Iago?
A. She was his maiden sister.
B. She was his daughter.
C. She was his wife.
D. She was a slave he had won in battle years ago.

Q22. What was Emilia’s relationship with Desdemona?
A. She was a servant and friend.
B. She was an older step-sister.
C. She was a teacher.
D. She was Desdemona’s mother, although she had been sworn to secrecy about it.

Q23. Who had the handkerchief at the end of Act III? Why?
A. Emilia had it, and was planning to return it to Desdemona.
B. Iago had it to give to Othello.
C. Cassio gave it to Bianca, his prostitute friend, for her to take out the design.
D. Desdemona had it; she had found it and didn’t tell anyone.

Act Four

Q24. True or False: After Iago lied and told Othello that Cassio had gone to bed with Desdemona, he told Othello to forget about it, to think and protect his own reputation.
A. True
B. False

Q25. True or False: In order to trick Othello into thinking Cassio was gloating over his affair with Desdemona, Iago paid an actor to mimic Cassio’s voice in a conversation that Othello could hear but not see.
A. True
B. False

Q26. Why was Bianca angry with Cassio?
A. He had refused to pay her for her services.
B. She loved him and thought some other woman had given him the handkerchief.
C. She thought he had been making fun of her to his friends.
D. He told her he was not going to see her anymore.

Q27. True or False: Bianca’s returning the handkerchief to Cassio made things appear to Othello as though all Iago had said was true.
A. True
B. False

Q28. True or False: Othello was furious; even so, he contained his temper and left the room so that he would not physically hurt Desdemona.
A. True
B. False

Q29. True or False: Lodovico approved of Othello’s behavior, saying he would be praised in Venice.
A. True
B. False

Q30. True or False: Iago later told Lodovico that Othello had lost his wife.
A. True
B. False

Q31. True or False: Othello asked Emilia for information about the affair.
A. True
B. False

Q32. True or False: Emilia agreed that Desdemona was guilty.
A. True
B. False

Q33. True or False: Desdemona turns to Iago for help after Othello calls her a strumpet.
A. True
B. False

Q34. True or False: Iago tells Roderigo to kill Cassio.
A. True
B. False

Q35. True or False: Roderigo refused to think about it. He was afraid that if Desdemona ever found out, she would never love him.
A. True
B. False

Act Five

Q36. True or False: If Iago would die, Roderigo would have a clear path to Desdemona.
A. True
B. False

Q37. True or False: If Cassio would die, Iago’s lies to Othello would be safe.
A. True
B. False

Q38. What happened when Cassio and Roderigo fought?
A. Roderigo was wounded by Cassio. Cassio was wounded from behind by Iago.
B. They killed each other.
C. Iago wounded Roderigo and accidentally killed Cassio.
D. Cassio wounded Roderigo. Roderigo wounded Cassio.

Q39. What did Iago do after the battle?
A. He left but returned a few minutes later to “help” Cassio finish off Roderigo.
B. He ran away and told Othello what had happened.
C. He immediately sent for the guards and positioned himself so that he would not be suspected in the fight.
D. He laughed and loudly proclaimed victory for himself.

Q40. How was Desdemona faithful to Othello to the end?
A. She held on to his handkerchief and professed her love for him.
B. She offered to go to confession, do penance, and anything else Othello asked of her.
C. She cried and said she forgave him.
D. She did not tell Emilia that Othello was the one who had smothered her.

Q41. What was Emilia’s reaction when Othello told her that Iago had revealed Desdemona’s affair with Cassio?
A. She said she had suspected it all along. She was glad it had finally come out in the open.
B. She covered her ears and refused to listen.
C. She was shocked and amazed. All along she thought the tale had been a lie contrived by some awful person; never dreaming that Iago was responsible.
D. Although she publicly supported her husband, she was furious with him. She secretly made plans to kill him to revenge Desdemona’s death.

Q42. True or False: Iago’s conscience bothered him so much that he finally confessed. Emilia was so overcome with grief that she died of a broken heart.
A. True
B. False

Q43. What happened to Othello?
A. He remained in his position, remarried, and lived happily.
B. He killed himself.
C. He returned to his native country, prepared an army, and attacked Venice.
D. He lost his mind and wandered around the streets. People took pity on him and fed and protected him.

Q44. What happened to Iago?
A. He killed himself.
B. He fled the country and was never heard from again.
C. He was stabbed and imprisoned.
D. He confessed and spent the rest of his life in a contemplative monastery, doing penance.

Q45. What happened to Cassio?
A. He became the Lord Governor.
B. He took a commission in another part of the country.
C. He went insane from grief and finally starved to death.
D. He married Bianca and lived a prosperous life as a private citizen.

Answer Key :

  • 1 – C
  • 2 – D
  • 3 – B
  • 4 – A
  • 5 – C
  • 6 – B
  • 7 – D
  • 8 – B
  • 9 – C
  • 10 – A
  • 11 – B
  • 12 – C
  • 13 – D
  • 14 – A
  • 15 – B
  • 16 – A
  • 17 – B
  • 18 – D
  • 19 – B
  • 20 – A
  • 21 – C
  • 22 – A
  • 23 – C
  • 24 – A
  • 25 – B
  • 26 – B
  • 27 – A
  • 28 – B
  • 29 – B
  • 30 – B
  • 31 – A
  • 32 – B
  • 33 – A
  • 34 – A
  • 35 – B
  • 36 – B
  • 37 – A
  • 38 – A
  • 39 – A
  • 40 – D
  • 41 – C
  • 42 – B
  • 43 – B
  • 44 – C
  • 45 – A

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