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Othello (Folger Shakespeare Library) Paperback – August 1, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 252 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Shakespeare's legendary tragedy is revisited in this spirited and entertaining production that ran in London from November 2007 to February 2008. The flawless, talented cast features Ewan McGregor as the conniving Iago, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello (whose performance won him the Olivier Award as best actor) and Kelly Reilly as Desdemona. There is also excellent support from Tom Hiddleston (as Cassio) and Michelle Fairley (as Emilia). This audio production is a rousing, theatrical performance expertly guided by director Michael Grandage. Complete with a musical score as well as full sound effects and background noises, listening is so enjoyable that the play speeds by at breakneck pace. An enclosed booklet contains color photographs of the production and a well-written essay by drama professor Russell Jackson. There's also an entertaining bonus DVD disc featuring interviews with the cast and crew. Brilliantly produced in all departments, listening is the next best thing to seeing it live. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up-Naxos AudioBooks' top-drawer Classic Drama Series blissfully continues with this exquisite rendition of Othello starring Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser, Emma Fielding, and a full cast of professional English actors with extensive credits in the Royal National Theatre, BBC Radio Drama Company, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Shakespeare's most domestic tragedy is an exceedingly complex journey through jealousy, self-doubt, inadequacies, and societal acceptance. Passed over for military promotion, Iago, perhaps Shakespeare's most nefarious character, manipulates Othello's downfall, culminating in the murder of his beloved wife, Desdemona, and Othello's subsequent suicide. Under David Timson's stewardship as director, the story is beautifully and simply told, embellished only with intermittent brassy flourishes of classical music and a dramatic echo effect and throbbing heart beat to underscore Othello's chaotic descent and rage. While the entire cast is excellent, the trio of Quarshie (Othello), Lesser (Iago), and Fielding (Desdemona) are outstanding. An outline of each individual cassette, complete synopsis, full notes regarding the text, and cast biographies are included in a compact 24-page supplemental booklet. For all collections.-Barry X. Miller, Austin Public Library, TX

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743482824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743482820
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Othello was one of the first plays I was exposed to when I was younger. It has murder, suicide, intrigue and things that would get a teenager into Shakespeare.

I've had mixed success with some of the free Kindle versions of Shakespeare. Some have been good, some have been awful. This is an exceptional version. It's formatted nicely and is easy to read. The only "lack" is that it is without line numbers, so if you were to use this for academic reasons, you might have an issue or two.

Thus far, Othello's my favorite free Shakespeare play. I missed how much of a jerk Iago was, and all the deception that lead to Othello killing Desdemona.

If you've got a Kindle and want to read Shakespeare, then download this version.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Is there any other character in all of literature who is as calculatingly evil as Shakespeare's Iago? His jealousy over being passed over in favor of Cassio engenders a revengeful scheme that turns jealousy into a weapon used to destroy the noble Othello. Here innocence and trust is contrasted with pure manipulation and evil in what is one of Shakespeare's most revealing tragedies. The characters act exactly as they would be expected to based on the overriding quality that they represent. Othello is wonderful Shakespearean drama that ranks among his greatest works.

The Folger Library editions are my favorite. Each page has a facing page that explains obscure terms and helps as a handy reference to make reading the plays pleasurable and educational. These paperback editions of Shakespeare's works are a great value and fit in your pocket.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really, if you enjoy Shakespeare's plays, then you'll enjoy Othello. The actual read-ability of this digital version is excellent, so I'd recommend it above other digital versions.
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Format: Audio CD
As a high school English teacher I struggle with students' bad attitudes toward Shakespeare. Forget reading it aloud! They have no idea what they are saying, and it is painful for all of us. And having them read it on their own is a joke, as they will stop after a page because they can't understand what they are reading.

This unabridged, dramatized reading of Othello is a perfect solution for anyone who wants to read and understand Shakespeare in his original vernacular without reading some kind of "updated" version. The characters are distinct, the pace exciting, and the included music really sets the scene. You could just listen to the CD, but if you're not familiar with the story or you have trouble with Shakespeare, I would follow along with a text as well. And of course, listen to it more than once because you will pick up new ideas or images each time--I know I do!

I have purchased this product twice (once on tape and once on CD). I would love to have a whole Shakespeare set of these!
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Format: Paperback
The Play, the Book, the Format---all outstanding, absolutely outstanding...With the original text on the left page and a modern easy to read and understand text on the right, Shakespeare reads like a Vince Flynn novel--well, almost. It really opens up the story, the ideas, the characters and the struggles. (Iago is still reprehensible! In any time, in any format!!) And in Act 5, "Othello" turns into a page turner, like a modern day novel. Who would have ever thought it!!! Good way of doing it, well done. The Bard is alive and well...And we are all the better for it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been using the Folger library series for years now, and although the Norton Critical edition has its place, the Folger edition cannot be beat for clarity and accessibility. Pay the extra couple of bucks for the 5.5 x 8
paperback rather than the smaller mass market paperback. The paper quality and illustrations are far superior in the larger version.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As my first introduction to Shakespeare working in a senior high school collaborative English class, this book helped me enormously with its Modern Day English interpretation on one side of the book and the Shakespearean writing on the other which follows the regular novels. This proved to be a lifesaver!
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Format: Audio CD
This is the 1944 studio recording of the legendary stage production of "Othello" which starred Robeson & Ferrer.
Both of their interpretations may be a little more declamatory than modern tastes are accustomed to, but there is no doubt as to their effectiveness, variety and power. As to Uta Hagen's Desdemona: wonderful. The recording itself is of excellent quality - the balance captures the full mid-range and depth of Robeson's formidable bass and Ferrer's sinuous baritone. The mastering more than does justice to it and is from nearly pristine sources. In brief: If your curiosity is at all piqued by this disc you should get it, no question. Listen to it with the lights out and bask in the sheer glory - especially Act II, scene III and the final scene.
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