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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: October ::
Re: Gay Iago; Gay Merchant
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1097.  Thursday, 30 October 1997.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Oct 1997 16:46:47 +0000
        Subj:   SHK 8.1090  Q: Iago

[2]     From:   Andrew Walker White <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Oct 1997 16:14:31 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1084 Re: Gay Merchant


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Oct 1997 16:46:47 +0000
Subject: Q: Iago
Comment:        SHK 8.1090  Q: Iago

Jennifer Joy Lowery wondered about the attempts to read Iago as a
homosexual.  Olivier played him that way to Ralph Richardson's Othello
at the New Theater in the 40s.  (Facts about theater and decade are from
my leaky memory.  Double check me.)

This production, not considered a success, was much commented upon.
Reading up on it may bear fruit.

Cheers,
Mike Jensen

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Oct 1997 16:14:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.1084 Re: Gay Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1084 Re: Gay Merchant

Not to complicate the debate here, but I recall a recording of Merchant
in which Jeremy Brett (RIP) did an astounding rendition of Bassanio, the
Casket Scene in particular was deeply moving.  Having heard him in the
role, I have my doubts as to Bassanio's orientation.  Bisexual,
perhaps?  If we accept the idea that the language between him and
Antonio indicates that they are on intimate terms as well?  I know he's
in it at least at first for the money, but since their romance is
supposed to be the centerpiece of the play, reducing the marriage to a
financial proposition would undermine the comedy and render the play a
tawdry piece not worth the watch.

Just my two cents ...

Andy White
Arlington, VA
 

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