Shakespeare - Othello

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Shakespeare - Othello

  1. 1. • The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragic play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565.
  2. 2. • The title-page of the first quarto, published in 1622, states that the play ‘hath beene diuerse times acted at the Globe, and at the Black-Friers, by his Maiesties seruants’. • Othello was played at court by the King’s Men on 1 November 1604. The play was given in Oxford in 1610. The title role was originally played by Richard Burbage, with Joseph Taylor as Iago. • Othello was included among the plays in the First Folio of Shakespeare's collected plays. However, the version in the Folio is rather different in length, and in wording: as the editors of the Folger edition explain: "The Folio play has about 160 lines that do not appear in the Quarto.
  3. 3. • Othello, the Moor: A general in the Venetian military. • Desdemona, Othello's wife and daughter of Brabantio • Iago, Othello's ensign and Emilia's husband. Antagonist. • Cassio, Othello's lieutenant. • Emilia, Iago's wife and Desdemona's maidservant • Bianca, Cassio's girlfriend
  4. 4. • Brabantio, a Venetian senator, Gratiano's brother, and Desdemona's father • Roderigo, a dissolute Venetian, in love with Desdemona • Duke of Venice, or the "Doge" • Gratiano, Brabantio's brother • Lodovico, Brabantio's kinsman and Desdemona's cousin • Montano, Othello's Venetian predecessor in the government of Cyprus • Clown, a servant
  5. 5. • On a street in Venice, there is an argument between Roderigo, a nobleman, and Iago, a Captain in the defense forces. • Roderigo, in love with the noble lady Desdemona, has paid large sums of money to Iago, on the understanding that Iago would give her gifts from him and praise him to her. Roderigo hopes to win Desdemona's love and marry her. • However, they now have news that Desdemona has left the house of her father, Brabantio, a Senator, and eloped with Othello, a Moor (an African) who is a General in the defense forces.
  6. 6. • Roderigo fears he has lost both his lady and his money. • Iago reveals to Roderigo that it is in his (Iago's) nature to plot and tell lies to get what he wants and that he has a plan. • He hates Othello for promoting Cassio to the position of lieutenant, a position that Iago wanted for himself. • Iago plans to bring about Othello's downfall, and Roderigo (he says) will have Desdemona.
  7. 7. • Although the title suggests that Othello is the most important character, Iago, as the archetypal villain, has the most lines in the play. • Throughout, Othello mistakenly places his trust in Iago, who is Othello’s close friend and confidant. • Iago carefully weaves trap after trap for Othello’s trusted aides, turning him against them, and eventually even turns Othello against his wife. • Iago also plays Roderigo false; instead of winning Desdemona for Roderigo, he betrays him and murders him.
  8. 8. • But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve For daws to peck at: I am not what I am. Iago, Act I, scene I • My story being done, She gave me for my pains a world of sighs: She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange; 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful. Othello, Act I, scene III • She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd, And I lov'd her that she did pity them. Othello, Act I, scene III • The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief. Duke of Venice, Act I, scene III • Thus do I ever make my fool my purse. Iago, Act I, scene III • If after every tempest come such calms, May the winds blow till they have waken'd death! Othello, Act II, scene I • Knavery's plain face is never seen till us'd. Iago, Act II, scene I • Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit and lost without deserving. Iago, Act II, scene iii • Men should be what they seem; Or those that be not, would they might seem none! Iago, Act III, scene iii • O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on. Iago, Act III, scene iii • Put out the light, and then put out the light. Othello, Act V, scene ii • I kissed thee ere I killed thee, no way but this, Killing myself, to die upon a kiss. Othello, Act V, scene ii
  9. 9. The following fourteen points are a summation of a typical Shakespearean tragedy.  Tragedy is concerned primarily with one person – The tragic hero.  The story is essentially one of exceptional suffering and calamity leading to the death of the hero. The suffering and calamity are, as a rule, unexpected and contrasted with previous happiness and glory.  The tragedy involves a person of high estate. Therefore, his or her fate affects the welfare of a whole nation or empire.  The hero undergoes a sudden reversal of fortune.  This reversal excites and arouses the emotions of pity and fear within the audience. The reversal may frighten and awe, making viewers or readers of the play feel that man is blind and helpless. The audience will regard the tragic hero as an individual who is up against an overwhelming power that may treat him well for a short period of time, but will eventually strike him down in his pride.  The tragic fate of the hero is often triggered by a tragic flaw in the hero’s character. The hero contributes in some way, shape, or form to the disaster in which he perishes.  Shakespeare often introduces abnormal conditions of the mind (such as insanity, somnambulism, or hallucinations).
  10. 10.  Supernatural elements are often introduced as well.  Much of the plot seems to hinge on “chance” or “accident”.  Besides the outward conflict between individuals or groups of individuals, there is also an inner conflict(s) and torment(s) within the soul of the tragic hero.  The tragic hero need not be an overwhelmingly “good” person, however, it is necessary that he/she should contain so much greatness that in his/her fall the audience may be vividly conscious of the individual’s potential for further success, but also the temptation of human nature. Therefore, a Shakespearean tragedy is never depressing because the audience can understand where the hero went wrong.  The central impression of the tragedy is one of waste.  The tragic world is one of action. Action is created when thoughts turn into reality. Unfortunately for the tragic hero, their plans do not materialize as they may have hoped and their actions ultimately lead to their own destruction.  The ultimate power in the tragic world is a moral order; more specifically, the struggle between good and evil.
  11. 11. • The main reason behind Othello’s ability to withstand the changes in popular taste is that Shakespeare used universal human themes in the play. • Racism, jealousy and love are feelings that persist in human society. Since these topics are the crux of the storyline in Othello, the play’s appeal remains strong. • Today’s audiences still find Othello relevant. It is the ability of a great piece of literature to move audiences that makes it popular.
  12. 12. • The force of Othello’s story has inspired many adaptions, including Verdi’s powerful opera and several film and television adaptions. • There have been, to date, over 37 films made, the first in 1908! • Here’s a scene from the 1952 film where Othello (played by Orson Welles), kills his wife, Desdemona.
  13. 13. A Nutsy the Squirrel Production Copyright 2013 Oak Hills Media Center All Rights Reserved.

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