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4.0 out of 5 stars Naxos complete recording one of their series' best
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,...
Published on Nov. 18 2000 by F. Behrens

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1.0 out of 5 stars Shameful marketing
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...
Published on July 14 2009 by Michael from Montreal


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4.0 out of 5 stars Naxos complete recording one of their series' best, Nov. 18 2000
By 
F. Behrens "Frank Behrens" (Keene, NH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
The running time is just over 3 hours, 11 minutes longer than the venerable Shakespeare Recording Society with Frank Silvera as Othello and Cyril Cusack as Iago, now available on Harper Audio. There still might be available a very dull version with Richard Johnson and Ian Holm, but avoid it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Tragedy, May 22 2001
By 
Yan Timanovsky (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Othello (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows how the People could be so wrong and so well bigotted., Dec 25 2012
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This review is from: Othello (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy way to understand what shakespeare meant, Nov. 11 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Othello (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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1.0 out of 5 stars Shameful marketing, July 14 2009
This review is from: Othello (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting characterizations, Dec 2 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Othello (Mass Market Paperback)
Othello isn't my favorite Shakespeare play, but I found the characterizations in it extremely interesting. I think that Iago's wife, Emilia, is one of the most complex and fascinating female characters Shakespeare ever created, as she is torn between her husband and Desdemona throughout the play. It all comes down to the question--why did she give Iago the handkerchief?? Emilia is certainly worthy of more critical attention than she seems to receive these days.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tragedy, Dec 7 1999
Othello is now one of my favorite Shakesperean plays, right behind Romeo and Juliet. The play contains many universal themes which could be applied to life today, such as jealousy and revenge. The book is sad at the end, but it is very well-written and is effective in evoking emotions in the reader. I recommend this book for anyone who has to read a Shakesperean play or for anyone who wants to read a good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shake's Alive!, Oct. 18 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Othello : Complete and Unabridged (Paperback)
"Othello" is one of my favorite Shakespearean plays, but even the best of things could use a little updating once in a while. That's why I was so excited when I found out about the comic book version. It is the play, the whole play, and nothing but the play, made easier for the layman to understand with interesting contemporary art.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Takes the entire text and dramatizes the presentation, Aug. 11 2001
This full-cast dramatic recording of a classic Shakespeare takes the entire text and dramatizes the presentation, which results in a package capturing the excitement of both live play and written word. Audio listeners will enjoy the results; especially the pairing with classical music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The ruin of the Moor, Feb. 22 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Othello (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. And look what happens to him.

And Shakespeare deftly builds up this tragedy with a subtle, interconnecting web of lies and misdirections, with the tension building slowly until something has to blow. His writing is typically powerful, generating some quotable phrases ("It is the green-ey'd monster") and lots of cynical, dark dialogue ("Who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch?").

"Othello" is a strangely fascinating tragedy, with Shakespeare absorbing us again in the tale of a good man corrupted. Definitely a good, if harrowing play.
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Othello : Complete and Unabridged
Othello : Complete and Unabridged by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (Paperback - 1983)
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