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message 1: by Jody (last edited Dec 07, 2018 04:15AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jody (jodybell) | 3469 comments 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.

I read this for AtY 2018, Week 48 (A book related to one of the seven deadly sins). I loved it! It was pretty much an Elizabethan soap opera - deception, jealousy, betrayal. Very enjoyable!

Sara (phantomswife) | 926 comments For Week 5 (Shakespeare or inspired by him), I decided to read Othello. I read this first when I was in college and again when I was in my mid-thirties. I found myself reading from a different perspective this time. I suppose the story itself not being new I concentrated more on what the choice of a black man meant to Shakespeare at the time of his writing.

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