Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Book (play) Review- Othello

For the Shelf Love challenge, Mount TBR Pile Challenge and the Audiobook Challenge I read (listened) to William Shakespeare's play Othello.
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 feel like that synopsis sums it up beautifully. I liked this play... more than I thought I would. I felt so bad for Desdemona and was so mad at Othello. It was a little like Hero and Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing only at least that has a happy ending! The love they had for each other was deep and it was moving how Desdemona retained that deep love for Othello even as he started to emotionally abuse her and thereafter. Othello's speech about never being jealous about her was great... until he turned around right after that and was jealous. Iago was absolutely diabolical! How he schemed and connived everything was terrifying.
This play was truly a tragedy. It told the classic tale of jealousy and a friend turning against a friend. With knowing so little about it before I listened to it, I was surprised how much I liked it. I had to pay a lot closer attention to it because of that but I think that caused me to enjoy it more as I focused on Shakespeare's imaginative and beautiful words.

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  1. This is one of Shakespeare's big plays that for some reason I have never read, seen or studied. Your review makes me think I should rectify that situation pronto!

    1. You should definitely try it out! I still have many of Shakespeare's big plays to read. He has a lot of plays!

  2. I have never seen Othello, nor have I read the script. I should. Thank you for the summary and analysis. I read The Yearling for my SPIN book which some people think of as a kids book because the main character is young, but no way could the kids of today read the book, it is so full of language specific to palce and time. I loved it. I would be honored if you would take a look at my review. The Yearling

    1. I'd say The Yearling is a kids book but as you said probably not one the modern day child would read.... I read it as a kid but I'm far from the average kid. ;)


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