It’s not exactly a novel observation I’m making, there, but it’s definitely one I think more people should understand about the play. It’s a large part of why it’s my favorite Shakespeare piece.
Othello has been presented to me in more than one class as a play about the nature of evil and lies, and about the dangers of jealousy. But to me, it’s always been a play about the way a society teaches people to hate themselves.
Mark your calendars! We have officially announced the NT live broadcast date of Shakespeare’s iconic Othello with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear as 26 September! Tickets will be on sale shortly. For more information, visit NTLive.com
I’m assuming other screening dates for countries like Australia will be announced soon. We never get anything like this “live”.
Joseph Jomo Pierre on hip-hop and Shakespeare
Globe and Mail Theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck spoke with Trinidad-born Pierre in Toronto about his new play, Shakespeare Nigga, which looks at Shakespeare’s major black characters. The play just opened at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille.
What made you want to write a play about Othello?
Well, my play started off being about Aaron, but I realized I couldn’t discuss Aaron without discussing Othello. Othello is the image most people have when it comes to a black Shakespearean character. As a black person, going through the arts, Othello is the role that you want to play. That is the end game, as an actor.
What is it about Aaron – “chief architect and plotter of these woes” in Titus – that intrigued you?
The thing about Aaron is that he does a lot of horrendous things because he’s in one of the most horrendous and……. [Full article HERE]
❝ Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see.
She has deceived her father, and may thee.
okay so we’re gonna talk about all the reasons that using this as an image for othello is embarrassingly ignorant of the play’s theme’s overall.
othello is a play about racism. RACISM. it doesn’t matter what shakespeare’s personal beliefs were or what he potentially thought of race issues. what matters is that his intent was to write about race culture, and he did so in a way that very specifically dictates the problems therein.
iago is a racist. his anger and his hatred of othello stem from his inability to handle the concept that someone “lesser” than he can receive more power. iago’s actions seek to disenfranchise othello as a person and as a professional, so it can be proven that his differences make him less than.
to use this image to encompass all of othello is to deny the fact that desdemona’s death is circumstantial to the greater themes. othello is not a play about a black monster man killing his lily-white wife. which is what this image suggests entirely. othello is a play about the ways in which societal attitudes towards racial differences contribute to dysfunctionality and violence. without race, the play would not exist. othello is driven to take appalling actions because a man wants to undo him. this man’s goal is to reveal that othello isn’t worth what everyone claims he is. he means to belittle a man’s character using manipulation that has its essence rooted in bigoted jealousy.
it’s incredibly dangerous to make desdemona the victim in this light. yes, she is a victim, very definitely. but she is a victim of greater hate, and i cannot deal with the fact that this photo entirely dismisses any discussion of how these characters were brought to this place. it’s horrendously oversimplified, and quite honestly disrespectful to a crucially detailed story about race politics and the ways in which they sway our actions.
desdemona is definitely victimized. but you know what? so is othello. don’t villainize him with his hands around a white woman’s neck before he’s even properly introduced as a character with a great deal of sensitivity and compassion, whose failing is in his eagerness to feel the betrayal he expects. desdemona and othello are both pawns in a much larger scope. please don’t forget that.
reblogging this because my queue didn’t post my commentary the first time around.
Dost thou in conscience think—tell me, Emilia—
That there be women do abuse their husbands
In such gross kind?
There be some such, no question.
Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?
Why, would not you?
No, by this heavenly light!
Nor I neither by this heavenly light;
I might do’t as well i’ the dark.
Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?
The world’s a huge thing: it is a great price.
For a small vice.
In troth, I think thou wouldst not.
In troth, I think I should; and undo’t when I had done. Marry, I would not do such a thing for a joint-ring, nor for measures of lawn, nor for gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty exhibition; but for the whole world — why, who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? I should venture purgatory for’t.
Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong
For the whole world.
Why the wrong is but a wrong i’ the world: and having the world for your labour, tis a wrong in your own world, and you might quickly make it right.