Thursday, July 17, 2008

Othello - A Tragedy Currently in Reading

I've covered most of William Shakespeare's well known plays but I have only begun to uncover Othello. Othello tells a story of the main protagonist under siege from racial discrimination, personal insecurity and betrayal. The tragedy is based on a short story by Italian novelist and poet Giovanni Battista Giraldi, also known as Cinthio.

Othello is a Christian Moor who is highly renowned as a general fighting against the Turks for the Venetian military. He is secretly married to the beautiful Desdemona, the daughter of Senator Brabantio. The antagonist is Othello's advisor Iago, whose mix of jealousy, bigotry and sinister cunning help drive Othello's life into the dust.

For now, Othello, its characters and themes will be under study in "Much Ado About Nothing and Everything Else Shakespearean." I shall end this note with a quote from the infamous Iago:

"The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,
Is of a constant, loving, noble nature,
And I dare think he'll prove to Desdemona
A most dear husband. Now I do love her too;
Not out of absolute lust, though peradventure
I stand accountant for as great a sin,
But partly led to diet my revenge,
For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
Hath leaped into my seat, the thought whereof
Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards,
And nothing can or shall content my soul
Till I am evened with him, wife for wife;
Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgement cannot cure. Which thing to do,
If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moor in rank garb
(For I fear Cassio with my nightcap too),
Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me
For making him egregiously an ass
And practicing upon his peace and quiet
Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confused:
Knavery's plain face is never seen till used."

Ah, this quote alone appears to set the dark tone of the play. So I shall venture in and see what tragedy unfolds!

- Kristopher

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