Monday, July 6, 2009

A Shakespearean Summer - Othello

A summary by me:
This play follows a military guy named Othello. He's pretty high up and has control of a large number of troops and minions.
His right hand man/best friend is named Cassio. Cassio is a good guy through and through. He's content with his position and with his life.
Othello's standard-bearer guy is named Iago and Iago is Cassio's opposite. He's wily, selfish, conniving, and greedy but he's able to hide it and get people to trust him.
Othello is married to a lovely woman named Desdemona who adores Othello and is always faithful to him.
The big event of the play is that Iago wants to take hold of Cassio's position and will stop at nothing to get there.
He convinces Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio and much drama ensues including lots of death and lots of sexual innuendoes.
In the end, Othello stabs Desdemona and then kills himself once he learns that Iago's been lying to him all along. And that's basically it. No joke.

So what did I think?
I thought that it was and sort of pointless play. It made me wonder how these works have actually stood the test of time. I guess a bunch of it was probably in the delivery. Also, I think there was a lot of satire and medeival naughtiness that I didn't get. Shakespeare was a pretty sexual guy. But I did enjoy some of the different passages and lines. There were deeper, more intellectual undertones in certain scenes that really stood out to me. Like when they talked about honesty and intelligence and worth. I think that Shakespeare offers something to everybody. He's able to please the cynic, the comdedian, and the intellectual all in one play. That takes skill. And while the plot might have been a little weird, I think that it was worth reading. Just to say that I did it.

What plays have you guys read for the challenge so far? And what did you think of them?


  1. So I really am going to complete this challenge but I'm a bit behind...

    I haven't read Othello but I've read numerous other plays by Shakespeare.

    You are 100% right about the delivery. Shakespeare's plays are meant to be watched not read! And the medieval satire/naughtiness is difficult to understand. Shakespeare is great at creating something that many different types of people can relate to. Back in the Elizabethan Era both the Royalty & Peasants flocked to his theatre.

    I'll hopefully read some Shakespeare soon!!

  2. I've read Romeo and Juliet so was pretty good:

  3. I'm almost done with Macbeth. Actually, off to read right now...

  4. I think the thing about shakespeare is that it's meant to be acted and not dissected. I hate they way in English Lit we are forced to over-anaylise it and only read certain scenes. I'd really like to have a go at reading an entire play of his; any recommendations?

  5. I finished Macbeth and posted my review!

  6. My favorite play has always been a Midsummer's Night Dream, mostly because of the rougishly handsome faery who turned Nick Bottom into an ass and made Titania fall in love with him. (She had it coming.)

    Loving the Shakespearean Summer!

    Robin Goodfellow


Pour your heart out. :)