Magic the Gathering: Othello (1 of 5)


Magic the Gathering can be used as a teaching tool to help reinforce key concepts with students. By using these cards, students will review key quotations, while coming to understand thematic connections to the text. To learn more about how Magic the Gathering can be used as a teaching tool, you can read the article Magic the Gathering in Education.

Magic the Gathering: Othello

The idea behind these cards was to give my students something they could use to study Shakespeare, without having to specifically study Shakespeare.  The cards try to highlight important quotations, characters, and moments from the play.  The images have been taken from the 1995 version of the film.

These cards were originally created 2011.

Card Explanations


Card 1: Othello

Othello is the main character of the play Othello.  He can be viewed as either a hero or a villain. He is, unfortunately, quite good at murdering his wife Desdemona.

In the Game

Othello is a 5/3 character. That means he has an attack value of 5, and a defense value of 3.

He is a Character card, which means he can be used to attack or defend. Only one copy of a Character can be in play at a time.

Not only is he a Character, but he is also a Hero / Villain. If no villains are in play Othello acts as a hero, otherwise he is a villain.

Othello has a special ability which can be used when attacking. Othello may force a target 1/1 character to defend his attack.


Card 2: Desdemona

Desdemona is the daughter of Brabantio, and wife of Othello.  She was wooed by his stories, and loves him like no other.  Unfortunately Othello thinks she slept with Michael Cassio.  This doesn’t play out well, and she’s murdered by Othello, surviving just long enough to speak her last words.

In the Game

In the game Desdemona is a 1/1 Character who, when killed, may choose to inflict one damage to any, or all, of her attackers. 

A character is killed when it is blocked by, or blocks, another character with a higher attack value, than its defense value. 

A character may also be killed by receiving direct damage, or through other special circumstances where it is specifically stated that the character is killed.

In the case of direct damage played from the hand, the opposing player is considered to be the attacker.


Card 3: Iago

Iago is a master manipulator who sets the events of the play in motion. He uses everyone, seemingly feelings no remorse.  Everyone in his life is a pawn, and they fall into his trap without ever questioning their actions.  He is often cited as being the most evil of all Shakespeare’s villains, because there is no clear motive for his crimes.

In the Game

Iago is a 2/6 Character. 

He is a Villain.

Under normal circumstances a Villain card may not be played if there are any Hero cards that are currently controlled by the player.

Likewise, a Hero card may not be played if there are any Villain cards currently controlled.

His special ability allows him to prevent a character from attacking or defending.



Card 4: Cyprus

Othello is sent to Cyprus to defeat the Turks.

In the Game

In the game Cyprus is a setting card.  Settings allow players to gain resources that are used to play additional cards.

This setting is a book, which allows it to produce book mana. It is also a Shakespeare setting which allows it to produce a Shakespeare mana as well.

Each time this setting is tapped, the controlling player chooses which type of mana to produce.



Card 5: Put Money in Thy Purse

This was a line that Iago constantly repeated to Roderigo.

In the Game

In the game the money is represented as book-mana that can be used to play a variety of cards.


Card 6: Black Ram

Iago informs Brabantio that a Black Ram is tupping his White Ewe.  This is a racist statement which is intended to debase Othello.  However, his experiences have given him a strength few in Venice know.

In the Game

In the game Black Ram will allow a targeted character to gain +3 to attack, and +1 to defense until the end of the turn. This will make them far stronger, and a little tougher.



Card 7: White Ewe

Iago informs Brabantio that a Black Ram is tupping his White Ewe.  This is a racist statement which casts Desdemona in a certain light.  It is one of beauty, but also as one who is possessed and needs to be protected, like a favourite object.

In the Game

In the game White Ewe will allow a targeted character to gain +1 to attack, and +3 to defense until the end of the turn. This will make them far tougher, and a little stronger.


Card 8: Fatal Sacrifice

Upon learning he was tricked into murdering his wife, Othello can no longer live with himself.  His only option is to commit suicide.

In the Game

In the game this card allows a player to instantly remove Othello from the game, if he has just killed Desdemona.

Removing Othello from play does not count as killing.




The Rest of the Sets

One thought on “Magic the Gathering: Othello (1 of 5)

  1. crazyenglishstuff says:

    This looks great, Mike. Thank you!

    On Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 10:24 PM What Binder Education wrote:

    > Michael Barltrop posted: ” Magic the Gathering can be used as a teaching > tool to help reinforce key concepts with students. By using these cards, > students will review key quotations, while coming to understand thematic > connections to the text. To learn more about how Magic t” >

    Like

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