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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Re: Othello in Aleppo
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0652  Tuesday, 20 March 2001

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Friday, 16 Mar 2001 11:31:33 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0635 Re: Othello in Aleppo

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 16 Mar 2001 13:58:59 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0635 Re: Othello in Aleppo


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Mar 2001 11:31:33 -0500
Subject: 12.0635 Re: Othello in Aleppo
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0635 Re: Othello in Aleppo

>If Othello in his Aleppo phase was a Moslem as Asimov suggests why would
>he refer to the Turk as a 'circumcised dog.'? Even after conversion to
>Christianity, as a lapsed Moslem would he not still retain the status of
>a circumcised?

Asks J. Birjepatil.  Asimov would respond (I think) that Othello still
remembers when he called Christians "uncircumcized dogs."  Now that he
is a Christian, Othello uses the opposite phrase for Moslems.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Mar 2001 13:58:59 -0600
Subject: 12.0635 Re: Othello in Aleppo
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0635 Re: Othello in Aleppo

Good point about circumcision. Vasectomy may be reversible, but
circumcision was not, at least not that I know of.

Since Chaucer's Knight fought for the Turkish "lord of Palatye / Agayn
another hethen in Turkye" (GP 65), there would certainly be no reason
why Othello couldn't have been in Aleppo as a professional in the pay of
the Turks, especially since he was so clearly non-European. The question
is why he would grow furious at a Turk insulting a Venetian before his
professional alliance with Venice. I suspect either that Shakespeare
didn't notice the inconsistency, or that he assumed the audience would
write it off as the raving of a man in the extremity of grief and guilt
(as heretofore suggested).

don
 

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