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Othello (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – August 25, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Classics
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Reprint edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812969154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812969153
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

If you've got a Kindle and want to read Shakespeare, then download this version.
Nick
There is hardly a single page without a note of some kind, and very few of these have I found superfluous.
Alexander Arsov
The characters are distinct, the pace exciting, and the included music really sets the scene.
T. Fleming

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Nick TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2010
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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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. Chad Davis on July 26, 2010
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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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By T. Fleming on January 4, 2007
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By fharold on September 7, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This is another one of Shakespeare's great tragedies read true to text. Not much more to say, this is a great, very sad story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nancyhua on February 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This version is well formatted, does not include line numbers or footnotes, which I am cool with as a casual reader.
Iago is one of my favorite of Shakespeare's characters. He's the villain that uses his deep understanding of human nature to engineer the downfall of his enemies, "leading them tenderly by the nose"[paraphrased]. Without lifting a finger himself, he brings about the deaths of a bunch of people, and is a complicated person because you admire him for his cleverness but you pity him for his unhappiness. I ended up feeling contemptuous of the other characters who are virtuous but too easily manipulated. From the beginning of the play you sense that everyone is doomed, and watching this car wreck happen in slow motion is a good read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Meredith L. Burton on March 31, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I love listening to British dramatizations of literary works! The Archangel Casts rendition of Shakespeare's "Othello" is extremely well done. Shakespeare's original text is read in a vibrant fashion, complete with sound effects and music. The themes of jealousy, revenge, racism, and deception are clearly evident.
The primise of this play concerns a Moorish general in the Venetian army who is in love with a Senator's daughter, Desdemona. The couple marry, much to the anger and chagrin of Desdemona's father, Brabantio. Before the couple can consummate their marriage, Othello is sent to Cypress in order to defend the island from Turkish invaders. Desdemona pleads to be allowed to accompany him, and is granted permission. She will follow her husband in the company of Iago, Othello's "ensign," or servant, who has his own agenda. Iago is bitterly angry with Othello for promoting an officer named Cassio to the rank of Lieutenant when Iago feels he is the one who deserves the job. Iago also believes that Othello slept with his own wife, Emilia. Resolving to be avenged, the psychopathically evil and manipulative ensign concocts a diabolical plan to convence Othello that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. What follows is a psychological drama in which Othello wrestles with doubts and confusion as he tries to learn the truth and ultimately descends into madness. Move over soap operas!
The cast in this dramatization is excellent. David Threlfall is unsurpassable as Iago. His soft, seductive voice, (almost reminiscent of melting chocolate), simultaneously throbs with pretended concern and demonic joy. His soliluquies will chill you as you listen to his remorseless tones crescendo into jeering laughter.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Harry Eagar VINE VOICE on December 28, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Forty-plus years ago, when I first started reading Shakespeare, I liked the Signet Classic editions.

They were cheap and handy, and the play texts were just about right for a beginner: clear, with an indication of variant and disputed readings without overwhelming the play; a simple, convenient way of glossing the hard words; and useful short explications of some of the allusions.

Recently, preparing to go see a production of "Othello," I picked up the Signet Classic version to re-read, and I did something I had not done in my student days: I read the supporting material.

The background to the original staging and Renaissance playcraft was unexceptionable, but when I got to the "new dramatic criticism," I was appalled.

Not all of it was new. Of three essays, two dated from 1956 and 1960 and no doubt were part of the first issue in 1963. These were tedious and obvious, just the sort of thing that took all the enjoyment out of studying Shakespeare in school.

The third, dated 1980, had been added to pander to current campus fads -- not something you need when reading a Jacobean text. The editors got a three-fer: an essay by Madelon Sprengnether that coughed up psychoanalysis, feminism and PoMo French-Belgian trendiness in a convenient but indigestible hairball.

It's hard to imagine that still in 1980, people were taking Freud seriously and disgusting to see Shakespeare subjected to Belgian Nazis. Of the feminism, all I can say is that sometimes a sword is just a sword.

I have read a fair amount of Shakespeare criticism and liked little of it. But until Sprengnether, none of it disgusted me.

The copy I picked up second-hand dated from 1986.
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