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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: December ::
Re: Iago's Name

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2230  Thursday, 16 December 1999.

[1]     From:   Lawrence Manley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 15:25:47 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.2213 Iago's Name

[2]     From:   Elena Fernandez del Valle <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 18:36:11 -0600
        Subj:   Iago, the Spanish Connection

[3]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 20:01:13 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.2213 Iago's Name


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lawrence Manley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 15:25:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.2213 Iago's Name
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2213 Iago's Name

Just to follow up on the remarks about Santiago by John Drakakis and
Sean Lawrence: There are some good pages on Iago, Santiago, and the
Moors' legendary extraction of an annual tribute of 100 virgins [as
reported in Edward Daunce's Brief Discourse of the Spanish State
(1590)], in Lena Cowen Orlin's Private Matters and Public Culture in
Post Reformation England. Orlin cites previous work by B. N. Murphy, "A
Note on Iago's Name," in Literature and Society, ed. Bernice Slote
(1964), and Barbara Everett, Young Hamlet (1989).

Lawrence Manley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elena Fernandez del Valle <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 18:36:11 -0600
Subject:        Iago, the Spanish Connection

"Iago" derives from the Latin "Iacobus", not from any Islamic sources.
"Sanctus Iacobus", the patron saint of Spain, became "Sanct Iago" and
"Santiago", called "Santiago Matamoros" (Saint James the Moorslayer)
under whose advocacy were chased from Spain the Arabs.

According to legend, Saint James brought the Christian faith to Spain
and was buried in the place which later became Santiago de Compostela.
"Santiago y cierra España" was the battle cry of the Spaniards, and the
Orden de Santiago the main military order of the kingdom (Any additional
information from Spanish contributors to SHAKSPER?).

In Cinthio's novella, the only character who has a name is "Disdemona".
The Iago  character is referred to as "lo scellerato alfieri" (the
Italian text is at www.ecu.edu/medieval/moor.htm), but never addressed
by name -so maybe Shakespeare did chose Iago's name. The Spanish
connection is suggested too by Iago's use of a Spanish word in 2.3, 144
"Who's that who rings the bell?  Diablo, ho!"

And then, Othello kills himself with a "sword of Spain"...

Elena Mariné

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 20:01:13 -0800
Subject: 10.2213 Iago's Name
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2213 Iago's Name

Santiago was the "hero" who led the crusades against the Moors? What a
nice protection against any protest. Of course, a Catholic Iago (James)
nursing plots against innocent people who trusted him to be what he said
he was (Protestant, in the case of James I) was so uncomfortable that a
smart James would not have noticed the resemblance at all. Particularly
since he was a newbie.

 

 

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