William Shakespeare's Othello
A Routledge Study Guide and Sourcebook
Edited by Andrew Hadfield
Routledge – 2002 – 196 pages
Series: Routledge Guides to Literature
William Shakespeare's Othello (1601-2) has delighted and disturbed theatre audiences for the past four centuries, and remains one of the most frequently performed and widely studied of his plays. This volume is a broad-ranging guide to Othello, providing an introduction to:
*the contexts of the play, through a concise, accessible overview, a chronology and reprinted documents from the period
*the range of critical responses to the play, through a brief critical history and reprinted critical texts, accompanied by explanatory headnotes
*the play in performance, through a selection of clearly introduced readings on this topic, along with illustrations.
The sourcebook then examines key passages of the play in detail. Each passage is reprinted in full, along with a headnote and annotations offering crucial guidance to Shakespeare's language and the critical issues which surround the text. Throughout the volume, cross-references link together the contextual materials, critical responses and the play's text.
If you are beginning to study Othello, this sourcebook is the one guide you cannot afford to be without.
Series Editor's Preface Acknowledgements List of Illustrations Introduction 1. Contexts Contextual Overview Chronology Contemporary Documents: Giraldi Cinthio, Gli Hecatommithi (1566) Leo Africanus (John Leo) The History and Description of Africa, trans. John Pory (1600) Fynes Moryson An Itinery Containing His Ten Yeeres Travell (1617) Thomas Coryat Coryat's Crudities (1611) Christopher Marlowe The Jew of Malta (c. 1590) Robert Greene Selimus, Emporer of the Turks (1594) William Shakespeare Titus Andronicus (c.1594) 2. Interpretations Critical History Early Reception: Thomas Rymer, from A Short View of Tragedy (1693) Samuel Johnson, from The Plays of Shakespeare (1765) Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from 'Notes on the Tragedies' (published 1836-9) from Table Talk (1835) Edward Dowden, from Shakespeare: A Critical Study of His Mind and Art (1875) A. C. Bradley, from Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth (1904) Twentieth-Century Criticism: G. Wilson Knight The Othello Music E. E. Stoll 'Iago' (1940) William Empson Honest in Othello (1951) F. R. Leavis, from Diabolic Intellect and the Noble Hero (1952) Marvin Rosenberg from The Masks of Othello (1961) G. K. Hunter, Othello and Colour Prejudice (1967) Terry Eagleton Nothing (1986) Karen Newman 'And wash the Ethiop white': femininity and the monstrous in Othello (1987) David McPherson Othello and the Myth of Venice (1990) Lisa Jardine 'Why should he call her a whore?': Defamation and Desdemona's case (1990) Andrew Hadfield The 'gross clasps of a lascivious Moor': The Domestic and Exotic Contexts of Othello (1998) The Work in Performance: Virginia Mason Vaughan Othello on the English Stage 1604-1754 Sir Richard Steele The Tatler, no. 167 (2 May 1710) William Hazlitt 'Mr Macready's Othello' (13 October 1816) Virginina Mason Vaughan 'Paul Robeson's Othello' (1930, 1943) Patricia Tatspaugh 'Orson Welles Othello' (1952) Stanley Wells 'Trevor Nunn's Othello' (1989) 3. Key Passages Introduction Key Passages: Act 1, scene 1, lines 81-80, Act 1, scene 3, lines 1-294, Act 2, scene 3, lines 255-357, Act 3, scene 3, lines 90-281, Act 3, scene 3, lines 333-482, Act 4, scene 1, lines 60-142, Act 4, scene 2, lines 30-92, Act 5, scene 2, lines 257-369 Further Reading Editions and Text Collections of Essays Background Reading Critical Interpretations Stage History Index
Andrew Hadfield is Professor of English at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and Visiting Professor of English at Columbia University.