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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Double Time in Othello
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1102  Friday, 11 May 2001

From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 May 2001 08:50:24 -0700
Subject: 12.1051 Double Time in Othello
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1051 Double Time in Othello

John Velz wrote,

>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.

Many of these time problems may stem from the play having been written
originally much earlier, then revised, in some cases, several times over
the years. There are layers of allusions to different times also that
suggest this possibility.

Stephanie Hughes

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