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Othello (Bantam Classic) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1988


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Product Details

  • Series: Bantam Classic
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics; Reissue edition (January 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553213024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553213027
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

An exciting new edition of the complete works of Shakespeare with these features: Illustrated with photographs from New York Shakespeare Festival productions, vivid readable readable introductions for each play by noted scholar David Bevington, a lively personal foreword by Joseph Papp, an insightful essay on the play in performance, modern spelling and pronunciation, up-to-date annotated bibliographies, and convenient listing of key passages.

From the Inside Flap

An exciting new edition of the complete works of Shakespeare with these features: Illustrated with photographs from New York Shakespeare Festival productions, vivid readable readable introductions for each play by noted scholar David Bevington, a lively personal foreword by Joseph Papp, an insightful essay on the play in performance, modern spelling and pronunciation, up-to-date annotated bibliographies, and convenient listing of key passages.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Othello" is sort of a companion piece to "Macbeth" -- both are about noble, upstanding men who are destroyed by their own weaknesses. But where Macbeth was ruined by ambition, Othello's destruction comes from his jealousy and gullibility. And the play is really ruled by the nastiest, cruelest, most devious villain Shakespeare ever wrote.

That villain is Iago, a high-ranking soldier who has a grudge against the noble Moorish soldier Othello, who has just eloped with the beautiful Desdemona. Using a nobleman as his pawn, Iago first turns Desdemona's father against Othello, but the new soldier defends himself agains claims of witchcraft.

But Iago's true plan is far more devious, as he disgraces Othello's lieutenant Cassion and plants Desdemona's handkerchief in Cassio's room. Othello finds himself confronted by a chess game of lies, deceit and suspected infidelity, and his jealousy reaches a fever pitch that can only end in death.

Yeah, the real star of this play is undoubtedly Iago. This is the most repellent mixture of absolute malicious evil and crazy-smart intellect that anyone could write -- he is the person you love to hate, even as you admire how devilishly perfect he is at playing the chessmaster who whispers poison into your ear while playing your "friend." He doesn't quite think of EVERYTHING, but he comes close enough that you would NEVER want to deal with someone like this.

But this tragedy is also underscored by the depiction of Othello, a truly noble and loyal soldier who is turned into a deranged homicidal mess. It's somehow even more disturbing to see him deteriorate than it was to see Macbeth, because this guy was on top of the world in every way -- he was smart, eloquent, a brilliant soldier and a newlywed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story of Othello is timeless as it reveals how blind jealousy can bring out the worst in a person and how the strong corrupting force of a crafty, mean spirited person (Iago in the play), who can't stand for others around them to be happy, can destroy a couple (in this play) ,camaraderie in the workplace, etc. The play also sends a cautionary message to the reader that one should trust but verify the facts (Othello in the play) before making potentially disastrous decisions based on a trusted friend or advisor's opinions.

The Bantam Classic version of Othello was very good and economical. I would suggest for high school readers to read the Othello graphic novel written by Vincent Goodwin first, to get a grasp of the plot, with the visual affects of the colorful graphics to aid in understanding. Then use the Othello Sparknotes as a supplement as you read the Bantam Classic version of Shakespeare's Othello.
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Lawrence on December 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My one star is not directed toward OTHELLO, which is one of Shakespeare's greatest dramatic achievements, but is directed toward Ms. Sean Ares Hirsch, who is either one of the dumbest readers I know of or one of the most facetious (I pray the latter). She refers to this minor piece as "Shakespeare's slump" and elaborates by saying that the play's characters, minus Iago, are flat. Looking at the fairly impressive amount that Ms. Hirsch has read (possibly in the WORLD CLASSICS FOR CHILDREN series), it is unthinkable to conclude that she is actually as mentally challenged as she appears. She contradicts nearly 400 years of criticism in slighting OTHELLO, something that I recall a couple of well-known drug users in one of my high school English classes doing 25 years go. I must admit that I occasionally become concerned that Ms. Hirsch is actually being candid when reading her reviews, which are rather unimaginative and when grouped into three categories (works she doesn't like, works she likes fairly well, and works she loves) and then read, all begin to repeat themselves in trite groups of three. Yet, considering the fact that if Ms. Hirsch were to turn in one of her reviews (especially the ones on OTHELLO and TWELFTH NIGHT, which is, though AS YOU LIKE IT is a close second, probably Shakespeare's greatest comedy) to even a kindergarten teacher, she (Ms. Hirsch) would be thoroughly laughed at, I must conclude that these reviews are largely sarcastic-possibly clever parodies of those of the average construction-worker critic. OTHELLO is, as I am sure Ms. Hirsch actually believes, one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, though not, of course, quite matching LEAR or HAMLET. I would like to try my hand at one of Ms. Hirsch clever parodies. Don't judge me too harshly. Be kind.Read more ›
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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This play is truly sickening. The villain, Iago, is actually a fairly common person in real life, the kind of person whose greatest joy is seeing others in misery, who loves to turn people against each other and laugh. I used to work with an Iago. You probably did too. Shakespeare deserves a lot of credit for creating this villain. But the play itself is too much. As I'm sure you know, Othello's sweet wife Desdemona, well maybe I shouldn't spoil the horrid ending if you actually don't know it. Iago convinces Othello that his wife is cheating on him. Othello believes the wrong person. The Iagos of the world are very persuasive, particularly when they are smarter than the people they are lying to.
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