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In Othello, Shakespeare creates a powerful drama of a marriage that begins with fascination (between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona), with elopement, and with intense mutual devotion and that ends precipitately with jealous rage and violent deaths. He sets this story in the romantic world of the Mediterranean, moving the action from Venice to the island of Cyprus and giving it an even more exotic coloring with stories of Othello's African past. Shakespeare builds so many differences into his hero and heroine—differences of race, of age, of cultural background—that one should not, perhaps, be surprised that the marriage ends disastrously. But most people who see or read the play feel that the love that the play presents between Othello and Desdemona is so strong that it would have overcome all these differences were it not for the words and actions of Othello's standard-bearer, Iago, who hates Othello and sets out to destroy him by destroying his love for Desdemona. As Othello succumbs to Iago's insinuations that Desdemona is unfaithful, fascination—which dominates the early acts of the play—turns to horror, especially for the audience. We are confronted by spectacles of a generous and trusting Othello in the grip of Iago's schemes; of an innocent Desdemona, who has given herself up entirely to her love for Othello only to be subjected to his horrifying verbal and physical assaults, the outcome of Othello's mistaken convictions about her faithlessness.

314 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1603

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About the author

William Shakespeare

24.4k books41.7k followers
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. Scholars believe that he died on his fifty-second birthday, coinciding with St George’s Day.

At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's.

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

According to historians, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets throughout the span of his life. Shakespeare's writing average was 1.5 plays a year since he first started writing in 1589. There have been plays and sonnets attributed to Shakespeare that were not authentically written by the great master of language and literature.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,275 reviews
Profile Image for Madeline.
775 reviews47k followers
August 9, 2016
Othello, abridged:

OTHELLO: I love my wife!

IAGO: She gave Cassio her handkerchief.


DESDEMONA: Hi honey!



EMILIA: Dude, what is WRONG with you?


IAGO: Yeah, I totally made that whole wife-is-cheating-on-you thing up. PUNK'D!


Profile Image for Bill Kerwin.
Author 1 book81.5k followers
January 13, 2020

I have always admired this play as Shakespeare's most theatrical tragedy, but I also feel that it often veers too close to melodrama. Shaw remarked that Othello is written "in the style of Italian opera," and it shares with Verdi and Donizetti the same big emotions, the same clear demarcation of good and evil, that give Lucia and Trovatore their emotional intensity--and their lack of essential seriousness too. During this reading, however, I began to realize that Othello is much more than the greatest of melodramas, and that the key to appreciating its depth lies in the concept of the public mask.

Othello is a man who always wears a mask in public: the mask of the thoroughly professional military leader who is far too noble to be moved by emotions which might cause others to be petty or untrustworthy. Iago wears a similar mask: the mask of the thoroughly professional military subordinate who is frank and blunt and incapable of dishonesty.

Othello's mask hides a snake's nest of fears, fears bred from the insecurity of being a black man in an alien white society. Iago's mask hides the fact that he is a sociopath motivated by jealousy and rage.

Othello cannot see the reality of the evil beneath a mask that in some ways is similar to his own, and instead misinterprets each frank gesture of his devoted wife as proof of the diabolical mask of an accomplished adulteress. This is Othello's fatal error, and Desdemona--and Othello himself--pay dearly for it.
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,260 reviews5,358 followers
July 2, 2022
عندما نقابل الحسد و المكائد بالغباء..فنحن نستحق كل ما سيقع على رؤسنا من مصائب
عطيل قائد حربي بدوي مغربي نزح إلى البندقية..وقع في حب ديدمونةالشابة الإيطالية الجميلة..بادلته حبه بحب اكبر

و لكن هل هناك من سيصدق أنهما عاشا طويلا في تبات و نبات؟..لا طبعا فنحن مع شكسبير هنا

يحسدهما ياجو الخبيث صديق عطيل..و بمكيدة خسيسة ينجح سريعا في إلقاء بذور الشك في نفس الطرف الأضعف..عطيل!!

..وفي مشهد تراجيدي لن ينساه أحد..يستمع عطيل لصوته. .و صوته فقط..و بيديه يخنق حبيبته و زوجته الطاهرة..التي لم يصدق يوما ان حسناء بيضاء مثلها قد تحب رجلا اسود البشرة ..مجعد الشعر..و في الأربعين من عمره

و جزاء غباؤه الذي نراه كثيرا عبر العصور. .سرعان ما يكتشف أنه خنق سعادته بيديه
لا لشيء الا لعدم ثقته بنفسه. .حقا من اجمل ما تم كتابته عن الحسد. .وأثره الرهيب على الأغبياء
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
September 30, 2021
The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice, William Shakespeare

Othello is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603. It is based on the story Un Capitano Moro (A Moorish Captain) by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565.

The story revolves around its two central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army and his unfaithful ensign, Iago. Given its varied and enduring themes of racism, love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge and repentance, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theater alike, and has been the source for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژانویه سال 1974میلادی؛ تاریخ خوانش این نسخه: ماه ژوئن سال 2012میلادی

عنوان قراردادی: ات‍ل‍ل‍و؛ عنوان: داستان غم انگیز اتللوی مغربی در وندیک (نمایش در پنج پرده؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر (ویلیم شاکسپیر)؛ مترجم: ابوالقاسم خان ناصرالملک؛ مشخصات نشر اصفهان، نشر اسپادنا، 1370، در 127ص، کتاب نخستین بار در سال 1340خورشیدی در «پاریس» و در سال1364خورشیدی توسط انتشارات نیما نیز منتشر شده است

چاپ سوم این عنوان با ترجمه جناب: محمود اعتماد زاده (م.ا. به آذین) در شرکت سهامی نشر اندیشه، 1340؛ در آذر ماه 1343خورشیدی در 202ص در چاپخانه بانک ملی نیز چاپ و نشر شده است؛ چاپ پنجم؛ تهران، اندیشه، 1350، در 212ص؛

با عنوان «اتللو با استفاده از اشعار نیما یوشیج»، اثر نمایشنامه نویس انگلیسی: «ویلیام شکسپیر» را روانشاد «عبدالحسین نوشین» نیز ترجمه کرده است

مترجم: علی امامزاده، شیراز ، هنر بیستم، 1397، در 125ص؛ شابک 9786007924266؛

مترجم: مهدی نصیری‌دهقان؛ کرج، پایتخت، 1396؛ در 164ص؛ شابک 9786008684633؛

و بسیاری دیگر نیز این کتاب را ترجمه کرده اند

اُتِلو یا «اُتِللو»؛ یا «تراژدی اُتِلوی مغربی ونیز»، عنوان نمایش‌نامه‌ ای عاشقانه، و تراژیک و اثری از «ویلیام شکسپیر» بریتانیایی است، که در سال‌های 1603میلادی تا سال 1604میلادی نگاشته شده‌ است؛ این نمایش‌نامه براساس داستانی، به نام «کاپیتان مغربی (سال 1565م)»، نوشته ی «سینسیو»، نویسنده ی «ایتالیایی»، نگاشته شده‌ است؛ در این نمایش‌نامه «شکسپیر»، به مضمون خیانت در عشق، می‌پردازند؛ در این تراژدی، اُتِللو (نام دیگرش «مغربی» است)، شخصیت اصلی مرد داستان، فرماندهی مغربی، در ارتش «ونیز» است، ایشان به‌ تحریک یکی از زیردستانش، به‌ نام «ایاگو»، به وفاداریِ همسر خود «دِزدِمونا»، شک می‌کند، و بی آنکه شک خود را، با همسر خویش در میان بگذارد، بی‌رحمانه او را می‌کُشد؛ اما پس از قتل، به بی‌گناهی همسر وفادارش، پی می‌بَرَد، که بسیار دیر است؛ پس دست به خودکشی می‌زند؛ نمایشنامهٔ «اتللو» هنوز هم، در بسیاری از مجامع حرفه‌ ایِ تئاتر جهان، محبوبیت بسیاری دارد، و منبعی برای بسیاری از آثار اپرایی، فیلم، و اقتباس‌های ادبی شناخته می‌شود

نقل از متن: (اتللو مسافرت‌های بسیاری کرده و در بیابان‌ها و جنگل‌ها با عجایب و خطرهای زیادی روبرو شده بود؛ او را دستگیر کردند و برای بردگی فروختند؛ ولی اقدام به فرار کرد و به ارتش شهر ونیز پیوست؛ شجاعت و خونسردی در جنگ‌ها، سبب ارتقاء مقام اتللو شد، و سرانجام او را به فرماندهی رساند؛ و بعد اتفاق کاملاً ناباورانه‌ ای افتاد؛ اتللو عاشق دختر جوان و زیبایی به نام دزدمونا شد، که دختر یک نجیب‌زاده ‌ی ونیزی به نام برابانتیو بود؛ دزدمونا هم متقابلاً عاشق او شد؛ سال‌های سربازی باعث شده بود اتللو برای ازدواج آمادگی نداشته باشد، ولی گویا عواطف بر او چیره شده بود)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 11/11/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 07/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
October 1, 2021
Othello = The Tragedy of Othello, William Shakespeare

Othello (The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603.

It is based on the story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565.

The story revolves around its two central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army and his unfaithful ensign, Iago. Given its varied and enduring themes of racism, love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge and repentance, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theater alike, and has been the source for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژانویه سال 1974میلادی، بار دوم روز دهم ماه ژوئن سال 2012میلادی

عنوان: ات‍ل‍ل‍و: ت‍راژدی‌ در پ‍ن‍ج‌ پ‍رده‌؛ ن‍وش‍ت‍ه‌ وی‍ل‍ی‍ام‌ ش‍ک‍س‍پ‍ی‍ر؛ ت‍رج‍م‍ه‌ ع‍ب‍دال‍ح‍س‍ی‍ن‌ ن‍وش‍ی‍ن‌؛ ب‍رگ‍ردان‌ ش‍ع‍ره‍ا ب‍ه‌ ش‍ع‍ر از ن‍ی‍م‍ا ی‍وش‍ی‍ج‌؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، چاپ دوم سال1357؛ در133ص؛ چاپ دیگر امیرکبیر، سال1381؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، نشر قطره، سال1385؛ در 127ص؛ شابک9789643416034؛ چاپ ششم و هفتم 1392؛ چاپ دوازدهم 1397؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، دادار، سال1386؛ در 112ص؛ شابک 9789648097672؛ چاپ دیگر، تهران، ثالث، سال 1395؛ شابک9786004051224؛ چاپ پانزدهم 1399؛ در 125ص؛ شابک 9789643416034؛ موضوع نمایشنامه های نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 17م

کتاب «اتللو با استفاده از اشعار نیما یوشیج»، اثر نمایشنامه نویس انگلیسی: «ویلیام شکسپیر» است؛ که روانشاد «عبدالحسین نوشین» اثر «شکسپیر» را ترجمه کرده، و گاه برای ترجمه ی دیالوگها، از شعر «نیما یوشیج» سود برده است؛ نمایش‌نامه‌ ای عاشقانه و تراژیک است، که در سال‌ 1603میلادی یا در سال 1604میلادی نوشته شده‌ است؛ این نمایشنامه بر اساس داستانی به نام «کاپیتان مغربی (1565م)»، نوشته ی «سینسیو»، نویسنده ی «ایتالیایی»، نگاشته شده‌ است؛ در این نمایش‌نامه، «شکسپیر»، به مضمون خیانت در عشق می‌پردازند؛ در این تراژدی، «اُتِللو (نام دیگرش «مغربی» است)»، شخصیت اصلی مرد داستان، که فرماندهی مغربی، در ارتش «ونیز» است، به تحریک یکی از زیردستانش، بنام «ایاگو»، به وفاداریِ همسر خود، «دِزدِمونا» شک می‌کند، و بی آنکه مسئله را با همسر خود در میان بگذارد، بی‌رحمانه او را می‌کُشد؛ اما پس از قتل او، به بی‌گناهی همسر وفادارش پی می‌بَرَد، اما، بسیار دیر است؛ ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 03/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 08/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Agir(آگِر).
437 reviews495 followers
November 6, 2016

اتللو را هركسي خوانده باشد تا ابد فراموش نمي كند
علتش هم روي دادن حوادث ناگوار براي كسي است كه به دست خويش خوشبختي اش را نابود مي كند
این یکی از بهترین نمایشنامه هایی بود که از شکسپیر خواندم و حالا می خواهم به این نکته بپردازم که چرا شکسپیر یک نابغه است

:شکسپ��ر و روان درمانی

چند سال یپش در روزنامه ی جام جم خواندم که محققان خارجی به نتایج جالبی در مورد تاثیر سه نمایشنامه از شکسپیر بر بيماران رواني رسیده اند که با خواندن آن اثرات مثبتی در مغز آنان ایجا�� می گردد
.و اتللو یکی از سه نمایشنامه بود

برای درک اینکه چگونه این نمایشنامه چنین تاثیری میگذارد باید ابتدا روان پریشی تعریف گردد
اریک فروم می گوید: روان پریشی، حالتی از خودشیفتگی مطلق است، و شخص روان پریش همه ی ارتباط خویش را با واقعیت برون گسسته است، و خود را جانشین واقعیت ساخته است. تماما از خویش سرشار است، و برای خودش «خدا و جهان» شده است. دقیقا با این بینش است که فروید، برای نخستین بار راه فهم پویای ماهیت روان پریشی را می گشاید

شخصی بدبین بمانند اتللو هم یک روان پریش است وی توهمات ذهنی را بر واقعیت ارجح می دارد. او بر پایه حرفهایی که از طرف دوست بدخواه و حسودش "اياگو" به او تلقین می شود به همسر پاکدامنش "دزدمونا" شک می کند


واقعیت این بود که دزدمونا دخترِ نجیب زاده با همه مخالفت خانواده اش، حاضر به ازدواجی شده بود که در جامعه مرسوم نبود: همسر یک سیاهپوست شدن
اما اتللو این واقعیت مهم یعنی فداکاری و عشقِ دزدمونا را از یاد می برد و بر پایه توهم دست به قتل همسرش می زند

تاثیر عمیق این نمایشنامه را میتوان در آخر آن دید. یک روان پریش با خواندن چنین تراژدی هولناکی، شاید بالاخره به این بیاندیشد که سوظن هایش هم بمانند شک های اتللو خالی از واقعیت هستند و برای بهبودی اش تلاش کند
Profile Image for Mohammed-Makram.
1,396 reviews3,095 followers
November 2, 2022

كيف كتبها شكسبير قبل أربعة قرون؟!
من أين أتى بتلك الحبكة الدرامية و هذا الحوا�� و النضج الفني للعمل المسرحي؟!
عمل فني ممتع اقتُبست منه مئات الأعمال بعد ذلك و لا أبالغ إن قلت آلاف الأعمال الفنية من مقطوعات موسيقية إلى لوحات و أغاني و أفلام و مسرحيات و أعمال تلفزيونية و غيرها.
عطيل ذلك البطل الساذج العاشق لديزدمونه أو ديدمونه سليلة الحسب و النسب و هو المغربي أسود البشرة إلا أن بطولاته شفعت له ليكون قائد البندقية و فارسها و المدافع عنها ضد العثمانيين.
يحقد عليه حامل رايته إياجو لاختياره كاسيو نائبا له بينما يرى نفسه أحق و أجدر فيرتب حيله شيطانية ليزرع بذور الشك في قلب عطيل نحو حبيبته و نائبه و يقنعه بخيانتهما له و تنتهي المسرحية بأن يخنقها بيديه على فراش الزوجية ثم يتبين له براءتها فيقتل نفسه أيضا.
".... رجل لم يعقل في حبه. بل أسرف فيه.... رجل رمى بيده (كهندي غبي جاهل) لؤلؤة. أثمن من عشيرته كلها. رجل إذا انفعل درت عينه. وإن لم يكن الذرف من دأبها. دموعاً غزيرة كما تدر أشجار العرب صمغها الشافي.."
البطل من وجهة نظري ليس عطيل و لا ديدمونة و إنما إياجو الذي نسج كل بذور الشر و سخر جميع الشخصيات في المسرحية ببراعة تامة و عقلية جبارة لخدمة غرضه النهائي سواء علم منهم من علم و جهل من جهل.
استمعت للمسرحية من كنوز إذاعة البرنامج الثاني – مصر على يوتيوب.
Profile Image for Lisa.
977 reviews3,327 followers
May 17, 2018
“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on."

This famous quote made my 14-year-old son, reading Othello for the first time (it was his first Shakespeare ever), come into my room to complain. He was deeply frustrated with the sweet tongue of the evil Iago, speaking in one way and acting in another, spreading fake news and rumours while pretending to be supportive and unselfish.

"Iago is even worse than Uriah Heep", he said, referring to a controversy we had about David Copperfield some time ago. "I begin to believe that being 'umble is the most treacherous thing in the world, hiding evil purposes!"

I of course had to go back and reread Othello in a haste to be able to answer properly, and I realised that my son has a point. The truly honest people are not humble, and do not claim to be. They show their strengths, weaknesses and intentions clearly, and play with open cards, only to lose to the characters they consider most 'onest, for being so very 'umble.

It was interesting for me to see that my son reads Othello not so much as a passionate drama based on jealousy, but rather as a political post-truth play, with the most wicked players on stage winning.

Shakespeare certainly put both jealousy and politics into the plot, and young people who begin their path towards political understanding of the world now, post-2016, feel more strongly about the lying, the manipulation, the slander than about the unreasonable reaction to the suspicion of faithlessness.

For me, reading Shakespeare with more pleasure now than ever, it is proof that his voice is universal and timeless, and that he speaks to yet another generation of readers, just like Dickens.

Unfortunately, we can't write our villains into prisons in the end like Dickens and Shakespeare!
Profile Image for Pakinam Mahmoud.
750 reviews2,899 followers
May 24, 2023
في كتب كدة بعد ما تخلصها تحس إنك مش عاوز تكتب عليها مراجعة لإنك مهماً قلت مش حتقدر تديها حقها..

يعني حكتب ايه عن قصة حب عطيل وديدمونة؟
حوصف إزاي عمق و جمال الحوارات؟
حتكلم إزاي عن شكسبير و أفكاره اللي سابقة عصره؟
حقول ايه عن ترجمة خليل مطران الممتازة؟
والله مينفعش نقول حاجة..الصمت في حرم الجمال جمال..
مسرحية تراجيدية رائعة و شكسبير و كتبه حقيقي في حتة تانية خالص 😍
Profile Image for Renato.
36 reviews142 followers
January 11, 2016
Not trying to upset Proust or Joyce, but these days, it's Shakespeare who's been taking me to bed every night. He's become part of my daily routine and his are my last conscious thoughts before departing to dreamland. Granted, it could be another playwriter or even a regular book. All I need really are small chapters that I can finish quickly when slumber's tentacles start to wrap my body and their calming effects slowly soothe my mind. But it's been Shakespeare... and any insomniac who's recently found a new drug isn't willing to give it up that easily. So Shakespeare stays.

I've recently finished Hamlet and King Lear and rated them 5 stars for I truly considered them nothing short of amazing plays, but I confess so much has been written about them, not only in amazing reviews but also in other literary classics that I'm not sure I have much to add. Plus - while I enjoy writing my usual ramblings about books I just finished, I try to keep this exercise as natural as possible and avoid turning it into a mandatory thing - my feelings about them were not necessarily words - or known words, and I don't want to emulate Joyce's style by having a review filled with weenybeenyveenyteeny. So I let them be, aware that they might come back as ghosts to haunt me at anytime.

"Jealousy is often only an uneasy need to be tyrannical, applied to matters of love."
Marcel Proust, La Prisonnière

Othello, however, has its plot centered around one of my favorite subjects - and on that I always have one or two things to say: jealousy and its outcomes. Ah, that powerful, destroying force that can conjure up hurricanes in sealed bedrooms where the wind wouldn't possibly get in otherwise. That overwhelming emotion that can spontaneously generate - or mutate - fear, anxiety and insecurity out of nothing.

"My jealousy was born of mental images, a form of self torment not based upon probability."
Marcel Proust, La Prisonnière

A mind affecting virus - and the powers of the mind are unlimited, specially when it's running unbridled, wildly on its own - that's invisible, a quality that makes it even more dangerous. Could our eyes perceive jealousy - they can only see it's effects after it has taken over its victims - or had it a distinct color or even a form that we could see surrounding the jealous, Desdemona perhaps would've not been blindsided the way she was by Othello, and Othello perhaps would've been able to escape Iago's double-dealings.

"Jealousy, which wears a bandage over its eyes, is not merely powerless to discover anything in the darkness that enshrouds it, it is also one of those torments where the task must be incessantly repeated, like that of the Danaids, or of Ixion."
Marcel Proust, La Prisonnière

I've read some criticism cast upon Othello (the play) because of how easily he (the character) believes in Iago's schemes and lies. Never, not even for one second, I could doubt the realism of Shakespeare's plot (of course, some of the drama is over the top, but still...) As much as insecurity can act as an inflammatory factor for a little kid to believe he's seeing monsters when he's all alone up in his room, watching different and unsettling shadows dance on his walls, it can also - for a person who's jealous is merely insecure - make a handkerchief look like an indisputable evidence of guilt in the court of jealousy.

"For what we suppose to be our love or our jealousy is never a single, continuous and indivisible passion. It is composed of an infinity of successive loves, of different jealousies, each of which is ephemeral, although by their uninterrupted multiplicity they give us the impression of continuity, the illusion of unity."
Marcel Proust, Swann's Way

Had it not been written a couple of centuries before Proust was even born, I would suspect Iago read In Search of Lost Time. Not only he understood how jealousy works - he himself was suffering from it - but he also devised a plan that would grant him his revenge by using its vigorous strengths. His only downfall was not foreseeing jealousy would eventually be up against other powers, as it happens constantly in life's battles.

Rating: for yet another masterful play, with great lines and for allowing me to connect his work to my favorite author: 5 stars.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
458 reviews3,240 followers
January 26, 2018
Jealousy, "The green -ey'd monster," that is what the wise Shakespeare wrote...Othello loved his wife, Desdemona, too much so, nothing could continue that fever, emotions lessen over time....The mighty general was a very capable soldier of Venice, commanding respect on the battlefield, he could do no wrong, brave, ferocious, dynamic, his sword deadly, still life is more complicated than just war, though, the Moor was a fish out of water, in a quite different, and strange culture, becoming a Christian, fighting for Europeans, against his former friends, marrying a gorgeous, gentle, young , very sheltered, naive woman, their elopement crushed the spirits of her father, Brabantio, an influential Senator, in the mighty Venetian Republic... Assigned by the Duke, (Doge) to lead in the defense of their important colony, of Cyprus , against the Ottoman Empire's vast , invading fleet, he unwisely takes his new bride, Desdemona, with him. Luckily a boiling sea storm, who's gigantic waves rise, then fall, pulverize the Turkish ships, wrecks spewed over and under the Mediterranean Sea's floor, only a few escape the carnage. Othello's own greatly damaged craft, somehow, stays above the foaming water, and limps into a safe harbor , on the mountainous island, a miracle. Nevertheless the crisis seemingly solved, but not for Othello...it has just begun, for the much too trusting general, has an officer, honest Iago, ( his wife Emilia, is a loyal servant of Desdemona) starting to whisper in his ear, that all is not well in his marriage. That the loving, innocent appearing woman, is not so...he has been betrayed by her with another man, his buddy, Michael Cassio, the second -in -command, in the army, better looking and younger than the Moor. Can this be true ? Disbelief becomes belief, why would the good Iago, lie...Desdemona, his pride, and salvation, maybe is false... The calm, unfazed , in bloody battle, Othello, becomes agitated, seething in uncontrollable rage, his whole body enveloped with it, his one idea, to seek sweet revenge, only by this, can he be satisfied, nothing else matters, yet his career will end, but that is not important now, he must do what his honor demands, less is not acceptable for a respectable man... A magnificent play , that encompasses the thin line between love and hate, animosity, racial hatred, jealousy, suspicion, believing in the evil, not the goodness of the erratic world, everything's an illusion, nobody is what they seem, deception engulfs all...but are these things the whole story... A virtuoso work by an incomparable master...
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,145 reviews2,172 followers
May 3, 2022
Othello is considered not only the greatest of Shakespeare's tragedies but also the timeliest. This might be a play written hundreds of years ago, but all the themes discussed in it are even entirely relevant today. We can see multiple manipulation levels, betrayal, jealousy, and even racism in this book if we read between the lines.

Iago's maudlin concerns and jealousy force him to plot against general Othello and his wife, Desdemona. Othello, a battle-scarred yet lovable person, turns into a mercurial misogynistic and nihilistic personality due to the mundane concerns injected by Iago. Iago’s multiple interventions obfuscated the issues further. His character can be considered the paradigm for jealousy and hatred, a phony partisan who slanders to destroy any relationships. He knew to tell the right things to the right people at the right time to manipulate them to whatever extent he wanted. The way Shakespeare has counter projected jealously is simply brilliant. The way Iago engineers the jealousy of other characters is peerlessly done by the author.

We will get many interesting ideas from this play. If you are being robbed, and yet if you can smile about the losses, you are considered superior to the thief who robbed you. If you cry instead of smiling, then you are just wasting your time. This is an interesting way of depicting the concept of letting go and forgiving the people who hurt you.
“What cannot be preserved when fortune takes,
Patience her injury a mock'ry makes.
The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief,
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief."

If you closely observe each line from this play, you can see a vast amount of wisdom hidden within it. If you are a person who loves to think deeply, Othello will be one of the best books you can pick to read.
“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss,
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger:
But O, what damnèd minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!”
Profile Image for Joshua Parkinson.
23 reviews18 followers
October 13, 2017
Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?
-Othello, end of Act V

When I was about 9 years old, I put a healthy, live mouse into my parents' microwave oven. It was a summer day and I was all alone. I had this devilish feeling inside me. I knew it was wrong, but I had to do it. I grabbed a kitchen chair, dragged it across the floor, stood on it, opened the door, and threw the mouse in. Then I hit start.

At first it was no big deal. The light turned on inside, the mouse sniffed around, and I watched from outside, keen to see the first sign of distress. I felt exhilarated, euphoric, omnipotent. This living thing— this twitching, whiskered, beady-eyed creature— its life was mine for the taking, its fate mine for the making.

After ten seconds, I stopped the microwave and cracked the door. The mouse seemed unfazed and crawled toward me. I shut the door again and hit start: another ten seconds. It was just enough. When I cracked the door again, the mouse was visibly shaken. It crawled much slower and traced a clumsy arc across the microwave floor. I shut the door again and hit start. Another ten seconds. Then ten more. Then ten more.

I never felt any hate for that mouse. I wasn't seeking revenge for its past acts. I didn't even draw any specific pleasure from its pain or agony. Why then? Why would I, a young and well-adjusted child of God, a pillar of Cub Scout values and lover of mothers and cousins and little brothers... why would I nuke this helpless rodent in the mortal chamber of parents' microwave oven?

Why? Because I could, that's why.

And I believe Shakespeare's Iago would say the same thing to Othello's question above. Why did Iago ensnare the Moor's soul? Why did he devise, occasion, direct, and execute the collapse of the man's entire world?

Why? Because he could, that's why.

Rodrigo, Cassio, Desdemona, Othello... mere mice in Iago's oven.

The fact that he can destroy them so cleverly, so precisely, so artistically functions as proof to him. It proves the superiority of his will over theirs, just as my minute-mice experiment proved the superiority of a 9-year-old's will over another creature's entire existence.

I find little mystery in the psychology of Shakespeare's Iago. His motivation is clearly all-too-human. The real mystery of the play and the play's deepest question is why that is so. Why do such beings like Iago, like the 9-year-old me, like the thousandfold prison guard, priest and parent who, seduced by omnipotence, inflicts terror and torment on a fellow living being... why do such creatures exist?

It’s a sublime question asked by a sublime play. Iago is evil, no doubt. But the kernel of his wickedness is commonplace among men. Be honest. If I were suddenly to place you at the almighty helm of mankind, can you really be sure you wouldn’t inflict on man the kinds of calamities and catastrophes wrought by old Jehovah? Overflowing with power, knowledge and time, could you really avoid torturing man? Even if you were the only one watching?

Read this play, or better, watch it. I assure you, if you're honest, you will see a bit of yourself in Iago and a bit of him in you. And you will be properly horrified.



Disclaimer: the "mouse" was actually a spider. Sorry for the embellishment, but an arachnid didn't have the same "punch" as a mammal.
Profile Image for Alex.
1,418 reviews4,382 followers
September 4, 2021
The thing with Othello is that he's a fuckin’ idiot and he sucks. There's this towering scene, Act 3 scene 3, it’s the centerpiece of the play. Iago's convincing him that his wife Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio, and he has this whole complicated plan worked out involving handkerchiefs and innuendo, but he needs none of it: at the first drop of poison in his ear, Othello's like,

"Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore.
Be sure of it, give me the ocular proof."

Mekhi Phifer and Josh Hartnett in 2001 high school Othello, I love this version

He's like ooh, show me. Iago's all, it can’t be this easy.
"Beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster."

But it is! Othello careens totally off the rails:
"I had been happy if the general camp,
Pioneers and all, had tasted her sweet body,
So I had nothing known."

He instantly believes the worst, and then he makes it entirely about him, right? "She could have fucked the whole army - it's the part where I found out that hurts." Othello sucks.

Top Five Worst Husbands
5. Othello (would also accept the Duke of Cornwall from Lear)
4. Heathcliff
3. Agamemnon
2. Humbert Humbert
1. Tie, Bluebeard & Shahryar (that's Scheherezade's husband from Arabian Nights; I had to look up his name)

If there's a problem with Othello it's that, it's what an irredeemable dickbag Othello is. He sounds great. He's maybe my favorite Shakespearean character to read. Try it, read some out loud: everyone sounds like Shakespeare but him. But he has no real character arc, and that’s frustrating. He talks big but he's flimsy.

Only one thing happens here: Iago subverts Othello. There are none of Shakespeare’s characteristic parallel, wandering subplots, which is mostly a good thing. Othello is his most focused work. It's as close as he comes to classic Greek tragedy. One - thing - happens.

Lawrence Fishburne in Branagh’s 1995 version

Right, so on to that one thing: Iago. He's Shakespeare's best villain ever, the apotheosis of a certain thing Shakespeare loves to do, what James Earl Jones called "motiveless malignity." He tosses motives around - he thinks Othello fucked his wife? - but he doesn't really go into it and you don't get the sense he really cares any more than you do. Motiveless malignity. Iago gets compared to the personified Vice character in old morality plays, who was (of course) always the most fun. Vice for Vice's sake. He snickers to the audience. He's the one who connects with us; no one else is paying attention.

Iago works in darkness. He's enshadowed at the beginning, and in most of his key scenes. He works by suggestion and sudden moves from alleys. There are maybe hints of gayness? In 3.3, as "proof" of Desdemona's infidelity, he says he shared an army cot with Cassio and in the middle of the night Cassio started dreaming, called him Desdemona, and frenched him. It's not less weird than it sounds.

We like Iago because he's fun and he's not an idiot, and this is a play mostly populated by idiots - Othello, Roderigo, Cassio, omg is Cassio a chump. The only other characters with any sense are the women: Desdemona, the sex worker Bianca, and Iago's wife Emilia, the actual linchpin of the play. Shakespeare's women are often powerful. Here’s my favorite part with Desdemona: Othello gets called off to war on their wedding day and he’s like oh, man, bummer, see you when I get back, and she’s like fuuuuuuuuck that, I'm coming too! “The rites for why I love him are bereft me,” she complains. I was promised sex! That was the point! Where is the sex? You’re not getting rid of me until you sex me!

Carver from The Wire and Marianna Bassham in 2010 Othello on the Boston Common, which I got to see and it was fun

Later on, she will feel differently about the other sex. “Oh these men,” she cries, “These men!” Emilia agrees:

They are all but stomachs, and we all but food:
They eat us hungerly, and when they are full
They belch us.

And the ending is as painful as anything Shakespeare's ever written. Watching Desdemona beg for life:

D: But half an hour!
O: Being done, there is no pause.
D: But while I say one prayer!
O: It is too late.
It's wrenching.

So that’s part of what the play’s about: these men, these men, these men and their posturing and their dicks. How weak they are, and what chumps. “Thou hast not half that power to do me harm,” says Emilia optimistically in the final act, “As I have to be hurt.” But it’s a lot of harm.
Profile Image for Guille.
756 reviews1,545 followers
July 15, 2020

Leí Otelo justo después de terminar Macbeth y me decanto claramente por el moro de Venecia, aunque lo digo sin demasiado entusiasmo. No le cojo el gusto al autor. No negaré su relevancia histórica en la literatura y en el teatro, la tendrá, sin duda, pero no son argumentos que a mí me sirvan para disfrutar una lectura. Tampoco puedo negar su habilidad en el manejo del lenguaje, en la forma en la que juega con él, pero sus obras me parecen que recalcan en exceso lo obvio y que en algún momento, más en Macbeth que en esta, su argumento o las situaciones que plantea presentan goteras más que apreciables.
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
422 reviews1,629 followers
March 1, 2017
Here's my thing:

Who am I supposed to root for?


Othello? Who doesn't seem to know how to communicate with anyone? He gets so jealous and infuriated by conjecture about his wife (of less than a week, I believe) that he has a seizure. Then proceeds to treat said wife absolutely horribly?

Desmonda? In her first speech, she defends her marriage to Othello then does nothing else. She seemed constantly determined to please everyone. Joking with Iago, defending Cassio, repeatedly proclaiming her love for Othello-- she never had any motivation outside of the happiness of whoever she was with.

Cassio? Who doesn't have any personality outside of reacting the exact way Iago predicts he will?

Roderigo? The 14th century "nice-guy" who complains about being "friend-zoned" the entire play, and seems incapable of thinking for himself?

I couldn't even root for the villain. Iago all-but admits he has no clear-cut motive, and he spends large amounts of time detracting from the plot to illustrate the reasons he hates women.

I guess I still prefer Shakespeare's comedies to his tragedies. While this clearly was a well-constructed situation and a true tragedy-- I just didn't care at all?

Also, my childish brain went to this every time I read Iago's name:
Profile Image for Dolors.
527 reviews2,210 followers
November 16, 2015
“The trust, the office I do hold of you
Not only take away, but let your sentence
Even fall upon my life.”
Act I, Scene 3.

This is the Othello the reader meets at the beginning of this tragedy. The Renaissance ideal, an archetypal hero, sure of himself, valiant and honorable, in complete self-control when falsely accused of forcing fair Desdemona, the daughter of a nobleman, to marry him. When confronted by the Duke, his defense plea shines with splendid poetry, calm dignity and the voice of reason, charming everybody who listens to his refined soliloquy.
But Othello is also a black African, known as The Moor, a General in the Venetian Army and a Christian. He is the epitome of many stereotypical paradoxes that coexist in him that somehow anticipate disaster, for there are evil forces that lure the gullible man to give way to the savage instincts of his double nature.
Ironically, Othello’s word is taken at face value in Act I, no sentence is imposed on him and his life is spared but his vows become darkly prophetic when he doesn’t grant innocent Desdemona the same just treatment in the brutal Act V.

“O perjured woman! Thou dost stone my heart,
And mak’st me call what I intend to do
A murder, which I thought a sacrifice.”
Act V, Scene 2.

This is the other Othello, the barbarous beast that possesses the man and transforms him into a “civil monster”, into his opposite image, the good Christian “turning Turk”, the “forked-animal”, who blinded by rage and jealousy, kills his wife Desdemona believing she has been unfaithful to him with lieutenant Cassio.
At the root of such violent development, there is the malignant Iago, the most villain of villains whose whole “raison d’être” is wickedness. Never a character was so duplicitous in his machinations, his “direct and honest” glib moralizing so overtly treacherous and his misanthropy so sublimely revealed in the perpetual flow of verbal splendor that blooms in his lines, where there is place for rhymed oaths, sexual puns and degrading animal imagery.

“To show the love and duty that I bear you
With franker spirit. Therefore, as I am bound,
Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio.”
Act III, Scene 3.

“Love and duty” are at odds and radically confronted in this strangely powerful yet moving tragedy. One can locate them between father and daughter, husband and wife, General and official. But as it’s usual in Shakespeare’s plays, the dramaturge’s main intention remains elusive, for beyond the Christian myth of the temptation scene and the ploys of the devil that influenced centuries of sermons, legends and fables, beyond the crime of passion, there is a pattern of interacting opposites; black vs white, Christian vs Pagan, civilized vs dehumanized, honest vs two-faced; that denotes a superb psychological realism, which echoes with racial prejudice and the inequality in gender relations.

Making virtuous use of symbols, an allegoric storm that separates Othello and Desdemona at sea anticipating Iago’s “foul ad violent” designs, or the macabre incantation of Emilia’s summoning of the General “My Lord, my lord!” when she enters the bedchamber where Desdemona has just pleaded for her life screaming “O Lord, Lord, Lord!” before being mercilessly smothered to death, Shakespeare’s language mesmerizes with stylistic brilliance, intricate syntax and inner rhythms. It is this sumptuous style, which oscillates between majestic control and wild rage, that reflects Othello’s double nature and his tormented love for noble-hearted Desdemona, giving imaginative veracity to the action that won’t fail to moisten the eyes of the most detached of audiences when the fallen hero consumed by “pure grief” seals his own fate with anguished lines that will pierce through the heart of anyone whose love has topped extremity, enough to temporally madden the most lucid of minds. Words never felt more unjust and sublime than in Shakespeare's tragedies:

“Cold, cold, my girl,
Even like thy chastity.
O cursed, cursed slave! Whip me, ye devils,
From the possession of this heavenly sight!
Blow me about in winds! Roast me in sulphur!
Wash me in steep-down gulf of liquid fire!
O Desdemon! Dead Desdemon! Dead! O! O!”

Profile Image for Luís.
1,859 reviews517 followers
May 31, 2023
It had been a while since I had read Shakespeare. As usual, it took me time to adapt to the narrative style. I take this opportunity to say that the method (as well as the translation, my level is far from being good enough for the original) is magnificent, especially Othello's tirades which I often find full of lyricism. The character of Othello himself is fascinating, with so much quality, and yet very destructive, like any good tragic hero. I wondered about Shakespeare's choice of a Moorish hero. Relations with the Ottoman world were in good shape at writing, with an ambassador recently visiting London. A little historical discovery is the icing on the cake.
But the character I like the most is undoubtedly the puppeteer of this tragedy, the famous Iago! At some point, when he seems too omniscient, Iago artfully deploys the strings of his revenge, which is much more critical than the "wrong" at the beginning. I recommend a great time with this classic to anyone wanting to get into Shakespeare.
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,574 followers
June 29, 2017
Book Review
4+ of 5 stars to Othello, a tragic play written in 1603, by William Shakespeare. When it comes to writing a thorough review about this Shakespearean work of art, it could take weeks and days to craft perfection; however, I've already stumbled upon a few across Goodreads, and the world doesn't need another interpretation by a middle-aged white guy. Nor does it need my opinion about what this says of a person's ethnic background, skin color or personality traits. But what the world does need to hear from me... at least if I'm going to post a review... is why I liked it. And I'll keep it shorts, as we've all likely studied this one in high school or college, read it on our own, or watched a TV/Film adaption at some point. If you haven't, shame on you... stop reading right now, go find one, then come back and let's chat.

All sarcasm aside, my commentary on Othello is going to purely reflect my thoughts on three characters: Desdemona, Othello and Iago. Your non-classic classic triangle. A battle of good versus evil. Issues of trust in a marriage. All themes that have been explored countless times in literature. What captivates my attention in this play, over 400 years old, is the connection between Desdemona and Othello. A pure love tortured by all the games people play.

Desdemona is an enigma. She is a beautiful woman. A Greek goddess by any other means. She has it all. But she still falls prey to another's claws. We've all been there. None of us are strong enough to resist with 100% force that our lover, partner, significant other or spouse are truly perfect. Doubt will always pervade our minds. Sometimes it's just a momentary twitch. Others, you stalk the person until you are convinced chastity remains. :)

Othello is brilliant. He's strong and faithful. He is powerful. But he is weak. As are we all. We allow ourselves to get into these positions, all because of experience and hearsay and tunnel vision. He is flawed, but he is every single one of us.

Iago, of course, the villain. Perhaps he simply has his own needs and wants. Maybe he is trying to meet his own objectives in some strange manner. But he is what so many future evil characters are based upon.

Reading this story in play format would be hard by today's standards. But Shakespeare made it glisten during his time, and for me, it does so now, as well.

I love this story for all the hidden gems. It has more complexities than most of his other works, though many would argue it's a basic story of love, betrayal, revenge and confusion. At first glance, yes. But when you dig deeper, you'll find all the treasures.

I promised short... I've gone overboard. But hopefully your eyes are tearing from boredom. Read it please. And let's converse, friends.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
August 28, 2017
*Reread for class January 2016*
This is the first Shakespeare play I read on my own and rereading it and studying it in class is giving me a whole new perspective on it which makes me love it even more!
April 2, 2016
I’ve always believed that Iago is one of the greatest literary villains ever! A nemesis who was so twisted by hate and even acknowledged that he had no good reason for wanting to destroy the hero. Iago is the archetype for so many modern villains.

Whenever I reread “Othello”, I picture a cinematic version where Denzel Washington plays Othello, Cate Blanchett plays Desdemona, and Tim Roth plays Iago…the movie wouldn’t even have to be titled “William Shakespeare’s Othello”, it could simply be named “Greatest Movie Ever” instead!

Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.6k followers
November 11, 2018
Over breakfast this morning, Not and I invented a new game. It's called Insensitive!™ and the rules are very simple: in twenty-five words or less, write a summary of a book, movie or play that offends as many socio-economic groups as possible. My first entry is below. Not will be posting hers in due course.

Italian bitch with learning disability and daddy issues gets involved with mentally unstable armed forces type and becomes another victim of black-on-white domestic violence.
(24 words. I'm not quite sure how many groups are referenced in an Insensitive!™ way, but surely at least seven?)
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
May 17, 2015
Othello and Macbeth have long been competing for the title of my favourite Shakespeare play. I'm still not sure. The protagonists are similar in that they both instigate their own downfall through fear and paranoia and jealousy - that's what makes their tales so wonderfully tragic. The fantasy aspect of Macbeth works in its favour, but then, it doesn't have Iago. It's a difficult one.
Profile Image for Duane.
828 reviews404 followers
May 16, 2017
I have now read Shakespeare's Sonnets and 9 of his 38 plays, mostly the better known ones, slowly working my way through his canon. Othello was, compared to some of the others, an easy read. The themes running through the play are familiar ones with jealously being primary. But interracial prejudice and racism is what sets this play apart from the others, and probably defines it for most modern day readers.
Profile Image for Araz Goran.
817 reviews3,514 followers
September 7, 2020
ربما من يريد أن يتعرف على عبقرية شكسبير فعليه ان يقرأ هذه المسرحية المأساوية، هي المسرحية هي من اشهر الأعمال التي كتبها شكسبير والتي مازالت خالدة بنصها وعبقريتها وعمق تصويرها الفني والنفسي والشخصيات والدراما الهائلة التي قدمها شكسبير هنا ، في الواقع أنه يقدم عملاً متزناً متكاملاً فيه بعد مأساوي عميق كتلك التي قدمها سوفوكليس في الملك أوديب، هي إمتداد حي وناضج لكل مأساة كتبت ورابط قوي ومتين للأعمال القادمة التي ستكتبها يد المأساة ..

عطيل الشخص الساذج جداً الذي يقع ضحية الغيرة ، يقع ضحية الشك والتسرع وعدم إحسان الظن بأقرب الناس إليه قلباً وعاطفة ، (ديدمونة) التي أحبها وتزوجها رغماً عن أبيها، تلك الإنسانة النقية الطاهرة صاحبة القلب المحب، التي لم يحافظ عليها (عطيل) أمام أول إختبار حقيقي، ياله من أبله حقيقي ، بعض الناس ليس لأنهم غير جديرون بالح��، بل لأنهم لا يعرفون كيف يحبون ولا كيف يحافظون على علاقاتهم الطيبة من الوشاية والمكر ، جسد شكسبير هنا الصراع بين الحقيقة والوهم وكيف أن الوهم يمكن أن يسيطر على الإنسان بسهولة أكثر مما نتوقع، بل نجد أن الواشي والخبيث (ياجو) نفسه كان مستغرباً من بلاهة (عطيل) وتسرعه في الحكم على الوشايات ، هكذا يمكن أن يتحطم كل شيء جميل أمام ظن سيء وفكرة خاطئة، وتبقى النهاية مأساة لا تحتمل ..

320 reviews348 followers
August 22, 2020
وكم من ياجو حاقد و طالب مال وسلطة وحقير أشعل ناراً للفتنة وغذاها حتى صارت حريقاً هائلاً إلتهم الحب والوفاء وكم من عُطيل معدوم الثقة بالنفس وأبله شرب المقلب فخنق سعادته بيديه

المسرحية التى بين أيدينا الآن هى عن الشجاعة والإقدام والحب والتضحية ثم الحقد والكراهية وأخيراً البلاهة والقتل
ديدمونة تلك الفتاة التى تمناها بنو جلدتها وحلموا بها واختارت هى ذو البشرة السمراء القادم من أحراش المغرب القائد المغوار حبيباً لها وتزوجته سراً وعلى غير رغبة أبيها فنسج الحاقدون حول حبيبها خيوط المؤامرة ليقنعوه بخيانتها وما هى بخائن لكن القائد الحربى المغوار كان قليل الفهم عديم البصيرة فاختار الحل الأسهل وحل الضعفاء فسولت له نفسه قتل حبيبته بدلاً من مصارحتها ومكاشفتها عن أسرار الوشاية .. ولكن جاء العقاب الآلهى سريعاً بأن كشفت إميليا زوجة الخائن ياجو خيوط المؤامرة ليقرر القاتل المخدوع قتل نفسه فى الحال
مسرحية رائعة لكاتب عظيم وترجمة خليل مطران أكثر من رائعة أثقلت النص الأدبى الأصلى فظهر وكأن لغته الأصلية هى العربية
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,559 reviews8,688 followers
September 17, 2017
“Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners.”
― William Shakespeare, Othello


Othello is one of my favorite of Shakespeare's plays. I'm all about the villians, and damn, Iago isn't JUST a nearly perfect villian, but carries away almost 1/3 the lines in this play. He owns the stage. It is like Shakespeare scraped every rotten grain off the soiled shoe of humanity and mixed it with beautiful prose. Iago isn't a monster because he is foreign to us, he is a perfect monster because he so closely resembles the worst in all of us. Wicked man. Wicked us.

Othello, while not as interesting (to me) is still a great character. His decent into madness, his fits, his passion, his otherness, his race, etc., make him a dynamic and powerful character. Enough to balance Iago, but not enough (in the end) to beat him. One of the reasons this play has been, is, and will be for a while, so powerful is the reactions interracial/interethnic evoke. It seems like every couple steps society takes forward, we fall (hard) back at least one. Anyway, Shakespeare jumped into this mess 400+ years ago. Bravo.

Just a few of my favorite lines:

“The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.” (Act 1, Scene 3)

“It is silliness to live when to live is torment, and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.” (Act 1, Scene 3)

“O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!" (Act 2, Scene 3)

“Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving." (Act 2, scene 3)

Profile Image for Pavel Nedelcu.
303 reviews124 followers
February 1, 2022

Reading Shakespeare you never know what you'll end up reading about.

Depending on the perspective, this play can be seen as an anticipation of postcolonialism, a reflexion on the frailty of human condition, a critical representation of male-dominated society in which women do not count at all.

Everyone is condemned in this tragedy from the beginning, each of the characters has vices and weaknesses that cannot be contained or removed.

Maybe the only true heroine is Emilia, who fiercely (and paying with her life) denounces the misdeeds of her villain husband in front of everyone. Still, it is too late to change anything at that point.

Life goes on in Cyprus and everything is soon to be forgotten. Of Othello, only a line pronounced by his supposed rival remains: "For he was great of heart".
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