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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Othello and Emelia?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1256  Monday, 28 May 2001

From:           Susan St. John <
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Date:           Sunday, 27 May 2001 17:27:01 -0700
Subject:        Othello and Emelia?

I am currently reading OTHELLO (for the 1st time...though I've seen it
several times) but I don't remember this subplot line at all...Iago has
said, twice (Iiii, lines 404-408 and IIi, lines 323-327), that one of
the reasons he hates Othello is that he thinks the Moor slept with
Emelia...are we supposed to believe this??  It feels like we are
supposed to take it for truth because he Iago is alone on stage both in
both instances...why would he lie to himself?  I haven't finished
reading yet, so maybe it is explained later, but I was shocked by
this...it seems to be a HUGE reason for the hatred, and yet all I'd ever
heard of before was the jealousy over Cassio's promotion.

It certainly puts Othello in a bad light if the audience is convinced to
believe it; I'd always felt Othello was a victim of Iago's warped hatred
but this almost makes it seem a just retribution...how has it been
handled in production?  Anyone have experience with this?

Also, what is the source or meaning of Iago's admonition to Roderigo to
go out and make money (he repeats it over and over) instead of killing
himself for love (in Act I sc iii).  I am reading the Folger single
edition, and the notes make no mention of it at all.

Thanks in advance for your expertise!
Susan.

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