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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Double Time in Othello
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1051  Monday, 7 May 2001

From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Sunday, 06 May 2001 23:29:00 -0500
Subject:        Double Time in Othello

Mike Jensen and others concerned about temporal inconsistency in Sh.,

Do note that there are two quite separate and mutually exclusive time
schemes in Oth.  According to one set of rapid time references Iago is
rushing Othello off his feet and so we excuse him for falling into the
trap Iago sets for him.  According to the other set, the action of the
play has been going on for a long time.  Do the deed of darkness a
thousand times in three or four days??!!  These references to long time
suggest that Iago has been working on Othello hard for a long time
before he yields.  Not only are the allusions not seen in the theater to
be ridiculously self-contradictory, the folks in the study did not
notice either until about 1950, I think it was.  That is almost 350 yrs
of non-noticing a deliberately contrived dual set of temporal allusions
in the play.

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