Magic the Gathering: Othello (4 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 25: Tragedy’s End

It has been said that there are two ways a Shakespearian play can end.  If it’s a comedy, everyone gets married.  If it’s a tragedy, everyone dies.  I’d put forward that there is a third way: if it’s a history, then all will be bored to sleep. 

Nevertheless, in the case of Othello, nearly all of the principal characters end up dead, and Iago is taken away bleeding.

In the Game

Tragedy’s End is a quick way to clear the field of Characters.  Othello, Iago, Desdemona, Emilia, and Roderigo are all removed from play.

With the major players removed, the supporting characters take a more prominent role.


Card 26: Iago Undone

The truth of Iago’s treachery is eventually revealed, much to the dismay of all those who had been snared within his trap.  Whatever temporary peace may have been brought forward by the prior actions is undone. All motivations are revealed as false.

In the Game

Iago Undone allows Iago to be easily destroyed, and removes his ability to do damage to others.

As long as this card is in play, Iago is reduced to 0 attack, and 1 defence.


Card 27: Venetian Mask

Venice is a city of culture and power.  Some of the festivals held there see all the citizens hiding behind the stylized masks.

In the Game

In the game, Venetian Mask allows a Character to change their identity. A hero or villain may swap their status while this card is in play.



Card 28: Villainous Whore!

Emilia reveals the truth about Iago’s treachery.  For this, she meets an unfortunate end.

In the Game

In the game, Villainous Whore! allows an Interruption card to be cancelled.



Card 29: Villainous Knave

Emilia does not think highly of Othello, nor his upbringing.

In the Game

This is an Interruption card.

Interruption cards can be played at any moment, before an action is resolved.  The casting cost must be paid prior to the card coming into play.

Villainous Knave allows a Rising Action card to be cancelled.


Card 30: Bianca

Bianca is Michael Cassio’s lover. She is a lady of the night, who ultimately winds up in possession of Othello’s Handkerchief, which leads to everyone’s undoing.

In the Game

In the game, Bianca is a 1/1 Character who has the ability to cancel a just initiated battle, once per turn.

This mirrors her ability to try and talk sense into the characters.



Card 31: Glimmering Blade

Swords, daggers, and blades are responsible for much upset throughout Othello.

In the Game

Glimmering Blade is a Prop card.

Props may be attached to characters, applying various bonuses to them.

In the game, Glimmering Blade allows a character to gain a +1/0 bonus.


Card 32: Stripped

After a drunken brawl, Cassio is stripped of his lieutenancy by Othello.  After his disgrace, Iago leads him to talk to Desdemona. Cassio hopes that she can sway Othello’s mind, and cause him to reverse his decision.

In the Game

This card allows a character to discard any prop currently in play.




The Rest of the Sets

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