- Paperback: 114 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 14, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 150848046X
- ISBN-13: 978-1508480464
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 255 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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About the Author
Like many of his contemporaries, including Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare began his career on the stage, eventually rising to become part-owner of Lord Chamberlain s Men, a popular dramatic company of his day, and of the storied Globe Theatre in London.
Extremely popular in his lifetime, Shakespeare s works continue to resonate more than three hundred years after his death. His plays are performed more often than any other playwright s, have been translated into every major language in the world, and are studied widely by scholars and students.
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True, Venice is no longer a major world power. But the principle geo-political concern in Othello is the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, an event which reoccurred since my high school days. The political leadership in Venice recruited Othello, a dark-skinned Muslim, to defend their interests in Cyprus, and defeat the Turks. Nature proves to be the best ally of Venice, and a Mediterranean storm sinks most of the Turkish fleet. Thus, there are no scenes of combat. The real combat is much closer to home - as it so often is - and involves those who portray themselves as your friend.
Religion, per se, is not an issue. So, there is no Christian-Muslim conflict portrayed. But skin color is very much an issue. As topical as today's headlines concerning a white woman passing for black, and being an official in a predominately black organization. Othello marries Desdemona, a white woman. The father, Brabantio, feels betrayed, in part because he did not know his daughter's plans. He plants a seed in Othello's mind, that another will nurture, and it will bear awful fruit. Brabantio says: "Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see; She has deceiv'd her father, and may thee." Further, he issues an admonishment: "Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters' minds."
The nurturer of this seed is Iago. He is the master villain and manipulator. He is a key component in almost all large organizations. He is the individual who connives to gain your trust, in order to bury the knife in your back. His motivation, in part, as he says: "Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe." I consider Shakespeare's portrayal of Iago absolutely brilliant. The "dropped handkerchief" is a key tool that Iago deliberately uses to turn Othello first against his lieutenant, Cassio, and then against his wife, the actually faithful, Desdemona.
As in much of Shakespeare, there are the side currents, and the development of subsidiary themes. Certainly there is another key one, the relationship between men and women, and Emilia, wife of Iago, is the spokesperson for some remarkably modern views on the subject; in ways she is a Hedda Gabler, centuries earlier. In her own words: "'Tis not a year or two shows us a man; They are all but stomachs and we all but food; They eat us hungrily, and when they are full; They belch us." Later, Emilia delivers a classic soliloquy of the relationship of husbands and wives, in part saying: "Let husbands know Their wives have sense like them: they see and smell and have their palates both for sweet and sour, as husbands have. What is it that they do When they change us for others? Is it sport?... And have not we affections, Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?"
As in all of Shakespeare, there are numerous other worthwhile quotes, for example from Roderigo: "...for your words and performances are no kin together." And the master villain himself proclaims: "Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit and lost without deserving; you have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute yourself such a loser." 5-stars.
This is a great free version of the book and I would purchase it again!
Othello is a person who is not hard to interrupt. He is a black man and some readers think the issue is racism but that’s not the issue Shakespeare is contending. As you read on you will see that Othello’s flaw is his pride and jealousy. There are several issues acted out throughout the story which keeps the reader focused in many revelations as Othello is manipulated along the way.
Othello, a black general marries Desdemona, a white senator’s daughter who is disturbed by this marriage and thinks his daughter was taken advantage of but his daughter soon tells him she is in love with Othello. So, there is nothing that Senator Brabantio can do about the arrangement and he goes away feeling betrayed.
Than Othello begins to feel he has been cheated out of money and confronts Iago, one of his militant soldier’s and master villain in the story, and Iago weasels is way out of the issue in a cunning way. Othello believes Iago is an honest and trusting friend. However, Iago is a well portrayed villain who lies, and manipulates remarkably throughout this play. Why Othello doesn’t see though this person is unsettling to the audience. As the story goes on Iago gets more devious as each scene moves on. Now his plans are to turn Othello against his wife by planting her handkerchief in another soldier’s room. The person is Lieutenant Cassion another soldier of the militant has no idea what Iago’s evil mind can invoke until later in the play. Cassion does find the handkerchief but has no idea whose it is and why it was in his room. However, Iago who makes his wife steal the handkerchief makes sure Cassion is seen carrying it in his hand for others to see.
Iago goes back to Othello and cleverly starts relaying slowly the infidelity of Othello’s wife which is not true. Little by little he has Othello believing his wife has betrayed him for another man. Othello has an escalated jealousy streak and Iago plays on that flaw. It didn’t take long for Othello to make plans to kill his wife. Could he hurt Desdemona, he hesitates but believes she shall not live. A great tragedy takes place which Shakespeare creates as the ending of his play. I believe Othello was not the main character here, I believe it was Iago……
Top international reviews
That one is still great! No problem to read it on my kindle smartphone.
How he wrote about jealousy, deceit, greed, treachery, loyalty all rolled into one.
I am hooked excellent.