Othello: A Guide to the Play

By Joan Lord Hall | Go to book overview

"words" ( Hamlet II. ii. 585). Instead, this commander in chief mistakenly moves to kill Desdemona at the end of their first full day in Cyprus. Whereas Hamlet, the reflective intellectual, is borne "like a soldier" onto the battlements at the end of his tragedy, one of Othello's most biting ironies is that the hero's restored identity as a warrior is never acknowledged by the Venetians. They simply order that the bed on which this soldier-lover dies "be hid" (5. 2. 361).


NOTES
1
E. A. J. Honigmann (ed.), Othello, The Arden Shakespeare, 3rd ed. (Walton-on Thames: Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd., 1977), pp. 25, 20.
2
Barbara Everett, "Reflections on the Sentimentalist's Othello", CritQ, 3.2 (Summer 1961): 127-39, quote at 130.
3
Michael D. Bristol, "Charivari and the Comedy of Abjection in Othello", RenD, n.s. 20 ( 1990): 3-21, quote at 12.
4
Rochelle Smith, "Admirable Musicians: Women's Songs in Othello and The Maid's Tragedy"," CompD, 28.3 (Fall 1996): 311-24, points out that the willow scene (4. 3) is "the only time when our view is unmediated by the gaze of the men who surround [Desdemona]" (p. 313).
5
James Henry Hackett, Notes, Criticism, and Correspondence upon Shakespeare Plays and Actors ( New York: Carleton, 1863), p. 224.
6
Ann Jenalie Cook, "The Design of Desdemona: Doubt Raised and Resolved", ShStud, 13 ( 1980): 187-96, quote at 187.
7
A. P. Rossiter, "Othello: A Moral Essay", in Angel with Horns ( London: Longman, 1961), p. 206.
8
See Valerie Wayne, "Historical Differences: Misogyny and Othello"," in The Matter of Difference: Materialist Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare ( Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1991), pp. 153-79. Rodney Poisson, "The 'Calumniator Credited'and the Code of Honour in Shakespeare's Othello", ESC, 11 ( 1976): 381-401, also explores the effects of Iago's "Italianate anti-feminism" (p. 382).
9
See, for example, Coppelia Kahn, Man's Estate: Masculine Identity in Shakespeare ( Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1981), pp. 127-146; and Edward A. Snow, "Sexual Anxiety and the Male Order of Things in Othello", ELR, 10 ( 1980): 384-412.
10
See Janet Adelman, "Iago's Alter Ego: Race as Projection in Othello", SQ, 48.3 (Summer 1997): 125-44, quote at 126. Edward Berry also suggests this in "Othello's Alienation", SEL, 30 ( 1990): 315-33, as does Snow, "Sexual Anxiety and the Male Order of Things", p. 401.
11
Margaret Loftus Ranald, "The Indiscretions of Desdemona", SQ, 14 ( 1963): 127-39, quote at 134.
12
Janet Overmyer, "Shakespeare's Desdemona: A Twentieth Century View", University Review, 37 ( 1971): 304-5, also considers that Desdemona is "partially responsible" for the tragic outcome; had she been "a bit more worldly-wise" and sophisticated, she might have been able to deflect Othello's suspicions (p. 304).
13
Robert Dickes, "Desdemona: An Innocent Victim?" American Imago, 27.3 (Fall 1970): 279-97, quotes at 295-96. Stephen Reid, "Desdemona's Guilt", American Imago, 27.3 (Fall 1970): 245-62, goes further, finding Desdemona's sense of guilt a consequence of trying to punish her father by marrying Othello.

-94-

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Othello: A Guide to the Play
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes x
  • Journal Abbreviations xi
  • 1 - Textual History 1
  • Notes 8
  • 2 - Contexts and Sources 11
  • Notes 22
  • 3 - Dramatic Structure 29
  • Notes 57
  • 4 - The Major Characters 63
  • Notes 94
  • 5 - Themes 103
  • Notes 116
  • 6 - Critical Approaches 121
  • Notes 142
  • 7 - The Play in Performance 151
  • Notes 200
  • Bibliographical Essay 209
  • Index 217
  • About the Author *
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