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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on May 9, 2004
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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on November 18, 2000
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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on December 2, 1998
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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on December 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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on September 27, 1999
the play is good. i have seen the movie and i think it's not as good as the book...othello in the book is stronger...also iago (my favourite,yes) is more serious.
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on September 10, 2014
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