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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Othello in Aleppo
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0761  Wednesday, 4 April 2001

From:           Robert Knapp <
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Date:           Friday, 30 Mar 2001 15:47:56 PST
Subject: 12.0734 Re: Othello in Aleppo
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0734 Re: Othello in Aleppo

Graham Bradshaw wrote:

>DO we admire the Noble Moor's attitude to circumcised Turkish dogs? If
>we don't, what can we do instead?

Perhaps it's worth recalling Eliot's famous remarks, that he has never
"read a more terrible exposure of human weakness--of universal human
weakness-- than the last great speech," in which Othello cheers himself
up by "adopting an aesthetic rather than a moral attitude, dramatizing
himself against his environment."  Circumcised or not, Othello killing
himself kills the double of that Turk, and in calling him "dog" still
seems confirmed in Iago's (but not just his) belief that racial
outsiders stand to Venetians as animals to human beings.  Following
Graham Bradshaw's lead  (I think), I take the play as opening a
skeptical perspective on such certainties and such self-dramatizations.

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