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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: December ::
(R) Re: Othello and Iago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2853 (R) Monday, 17 December 2001

From:           John Ramsay <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Dec 2001 13:27:57 -0500
Subject: 12.2831 Re: Othello and Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2831 Re: Othello and Iago

> John Velz, who was privileged to see Robeson and Ferrer do _Othello_ on
> Broadway right after WW2, writes:
>
> "[Ferrer as Iago] made the most of his soliloquies which are sure to
> ensnare an audience if spoken well."
>
> This classic production has, as John knows, become legendary, and one of
> the legends (which, perhaps, John can confirm or no) is that in Iago's
> scene-ending soliloquy in 2.3, Ferrer catapulted himself into a sitting
> position on the edge of the stage while chuckling, "And what's he then
> that says I play the villain?" (330), and looked the audience right in
> the eye for the whole speech, clearly intending that they so fall in
> love with the cleverness of his villainy that they go over to HIS side
> and just sit back and enjoy what is about to happen!
>
> What we know, we know: evil can be a lot of fun!
>
> Yours in the ranks of death,
> --Ed Taft

True. Olivier looking right into the camera and chuckling in R3. A
gleeful Bruno Gerussi as Edmund, sitting on the edge of the stage and
addressing the audience directly, saying 'Gods, stand up for bastards!'
in KL at Stratford Ontario in the 60's.

The villains are often much more interesting than clean-cut,
self-righteous heroes.

John Ramsay

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