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OTHELLO William Shakespeare Performed by Hugh Quarshie Anton Lesser Emma Fielding and full cast audio book Audio CD


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626342064
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626342060
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Othello" is sort of a companion piece to "Macbeth" -- both are about noble, upstanding men who are destroyed by their own weaknesses. But where Macbeth was ruined by ambition, Othello's destruction comes from his jealousy and gullibility. And the play is really ruled by the nastiest, cruelest, most devious villain Shakespeare ever wrote.

That villain is Iago, a high-ranking soldier who has a grudge against the noble Moorish soldier Othello, who has just eloped with the beautiful Desdemona. Using a nobleman as his pawn, Iago first turns Desdemona's father against Othello, but the new soldier defends himself agains claims of witchcraft.

But Iago's true plan is far more devious, as he disgraces Othello's lieutenant Cassion and plants Desdemona's handkerchief in Cassio's room. Othello finds himself confronted by a chess game of lies, deceit and suspected infidelity, and his jealousy reaches a fever pitch that can only end in death.

Yeah, the real star of this play is undoubtedly Iago. This is the most repellent mixture of absolute malicious evil and crazy-smart intellect that anyone could write -- he is the person you love to hate, even as you admire how devilishly perfect he is at playing the chessmaster who whispers poison into your ear while playing your "friend." He doesn't quite think of EVERYTHING, but he comes close enough that you would NEVER want to deal with someone like this.

But this tragedy is also underscored by the depiction of Othello, a truly noble and loyal soldier who is turned into a deranged homicidal mess. It's somehow even more disturbing to see him deteriorate than it was to see Macbeth, because this guy was on top of the world in every way -- he was smart, eloquent, a brilliant soldier and a newlywed.
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To read Shakespeare presents the reader with a dilemma and he either gets into the play and the personalities as the author presents them, in his realism as he understands their psychology, which is a world away from the soap operas and film world, and you may agree or disagree with the ancient playwrights view. Here we are in the ancient world
a city, as an existence unto itself. The city prospers it needs to be defended raise money and so on and so
fourth and functions almost like a country..here we have the moorish othello in to defend the nation, the city of Venice, and the ancient politics of Rome with its senate and republican system of government seems to have fascinated Shakespeare in a different way from his own nations history, and he often plays these stories, from a history drawn from his own sources, but its the characters he creats, the poems, the love, virtue, lust, fall from grace, debauchery and all this exists within a christian world. Some live to the heights of the ancient christian view, perfections or virtues and others live lives of privation, or deprivation..Othello is one of his best and among all the stress and strain of being a battlefield commander lies the heartache of his attempt to realize love and his thought hes been cuckolded. That is the drama..adultery not only as a fact, but more succinctly his love does not love him anymore in thought..her love is elsewhere..and DEsdemona is on eof his most beautifully realized creations and she comes off best radiant in her defense a s a christian woman of the middle ages slandered, and abused in aa cutthroat world. "let heaven and men and angels let them all.cry"(p 87)..at the break up of a loving relationship much more than any concern for marriage. The whole of creation mourns..as God's work being frustrated.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What is more inticing than a story involving war-like patrons and scandal? This book has been absolutely entertaining and suspensful to read. It was stunning how many false stories, insinuations, and accussations the character "Iago" had set up from the beginning to the end. There were also so many other character types such as the pawn-like Roderigo, the seemingly calm yet furiously jealous Othello, the bleeding-heart of Desdemona, the honorable Cassio, and more! It was amazing how Iago had actually set up his false stories from the very beginning of the novel where he first employes Roderigo as his foolish pawn. The only factor of this book that was somewhat unsettling was how easily swayed Othello had gotten from Iago's insinuations. To a certain point, it almost seemed unrealistic. For example, towards the end of the play, when Iago retrieves the seemingly precious and invaluable handkercheif and uses it to make it seem that Cassio had recently been with Desdemona, that seems to be a little bit illogical. Just because Othello finds that Cassion has been holding the precious handkercheif doesn't abosuletly mean the Desdemona has been unfaithful. However, some could argue that the heavy pile of insinuations and false stories/accusations that Iago has placed on Othello could be seen as reason enough for Othello's furious rage and jealous behavior. All in all, though, this book has been quite pleasing. The amount of scandal (scandal as in the falsness of Iago) has been enough to please anyone looking for a suspensful tragedy to read.
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