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Othello Paperback – Aug 1 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (Aug. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743482824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743482820
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #491,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

If anything, Othello has increased its stature as one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies ever since it was first written, between 1603 and 1604, due to the victimisation suffered by its tragic hero, Othello, as a result of his skin colour. Othello is a "noble Moor", a North African Muslim who has converted to Christianity and is deemed one of the Venetian state's most reliable soldiers. However, his ensign Iago harbours an obscure hatred against his general, and when Othello secretly marries the beautiful daughter of the Venetian senator Brabanzio, Iago begins his subtle campaign of vilification, which will inevitably lead to the deaths of more than just Othello and Desdemona.

An extraordinary play, both for its dramatic economy and power as well as its remarkable language, from Othello's bombastic "traveller's history" to Desdemona's elegiac "willow song", the play raises uncomfortable questions about ongoing questions of not only racial identity but also sexuality, as Othello and Desdemona's sexual relationship becomes the voyeuristic site of Iago's attempt to destroy them. Particularly fascinated with the question of what it means to "see", Othello also contains one of the greatest tragic death scenes in all of Shakespeare, with Othello's final identification with "a malignant and a turbaned Turk". --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up-Naxos AudioBooks' top-drawer Classic Drama Series blissfully continues with this exquisite rendition of Othello starring Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser, Emma Fielding, and a full cast of professional English actors with extensive credits in the Royal National Theatre, BBC Radio Drama Company, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Shakespeare's most domestic tragedy is an exceedingly complex journey through jealousy, self-doubt, inadequacies, and societal acceptance. Passed over for military promotion, Iago, perhaps Shakespeare's most nefarious character, manipulates Othello's downfall, culminating in the murder of his beloved wife, Desdemona, and Othello's subsequent suicide. Under David Timson's stewardship as director, the story is beautifully and simply told, embellished only with intermittent brassy flourishes of classical music and a dramatic echo effect and throbbing heart beat to underscore Othello's chaotic descent and rage. While the entire cast is excellent, the trio of Quarshie (Othello), Lesser (Iago), and Fielding (Desdemona) are outstanding. An outline of each individual cassette, complete synopsis, full notes regarding the text, and cast biographies are included in a compact 24-page supplemental booklet. For all collections.-Barry X. Miller, Austin Public Library, TX

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

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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Format: Audio CD
The recent Naxos AudioBook entry in their Classic Drama Series, <Othello> NA 320612), is so well directed by David Timson that it fairly boils along. Granted that some passages are read a bit too swiftly to be followed by those without texts open before them, but one gets the feeling that this is a play and not a 400 year old monument. There are moments, however, when one could use some extra noises-on, so to speak. When Iago gets Cassio drunk, a little more rowdiness from extras would be appropriate--but perhaps I am spoiled by too many film versions and certainly by the full chorus in Verdi's opera.
Hugh Quarshie makes a more interesting Othello than a great one. He does not have that Paul Robeson voice that one tends to associate with the role, and he understands the part light years better than the Othello of that unfortunate film version a few years back. But his lightweight approach does not work when the mouth-filling flights of poetry make their demands after he is convinced of Desdamona's infidelity.
Anton Lesser also makes a fine but not great impression as Iago. Perhaps he needs to use more variety of delivery when he is being "honest" with the other characters. After all, his approach to Othello should not be in the same key as that to Roderigo or even to Cassio. Iago is a supreme actor, so it takes an equally supreme one to play him.
For once, we can hear Emilia (Patience Tomlinson) hesitate when she speaks of the "lost" handkerchief; although on a sound recording she cannot give us the body-language to explain why she betrays her lady for the sake of her husband. The Cassio (Roger May) is very good in the handkerchief scene with Iago and the hidden, miscomprehending Othello.
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By Yan Timanovsky on May 22 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This play embodies tragedy, and may be my favorite play by Shakes. Othello has wonderful elements - some of the most unbearable and longest dramatic irony of any play, a devilish villain whose true motives we are left to guess, a virtuous but flawed protagonist, the triumph of evil over good. Othello is a gut-wrenching play and should be appreciated for its sheer dramatic energy and passion. Certainly other questions are explored - such as the issue of racial insecurities even in a successful and admired man among prejudiced people. However, perhaps the most important things to take out of it is the sheer evil that Iago spreads around him, puppeteering the good characters with strings of wickedness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By fileman on Dec 25 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Othello, comes out as a man wronged and tried to right a wrong and the only way in those days was by murder most foul, but it is the way of that world.
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By A Customer on Nov. 11 2000
Format: Library Binding
I think that as the author explained in the intro the original is hard to understand due to the venacular at use. The author took the story and munipulated it to fit the style of our times. He did this well and kept the story captivating and uses actual words for the story. He also eases the reader by making it a novel with inside feelings and thoughts which are harder to comprehend in play form. Its a great book to read. I recommend it for anyone that has ever had to read shakespeare and not completly understood what they were reading.
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Format: Paperback
Can't complain about the price, but the cover illustration is wrong (wrong publisher), there are no 'notes, 'sources', 'index' and too many more to mention, and the book is 92 pages, not 469+ (as according to 'Click to look...' nor 112 as stated in the product description section). Why do you show me the 2006 Oxford University Press edition if that's not what you're selling me? The fact that you mention you're showing me another edition of the book does not make this any less misleading.
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