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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Othello's Name
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0416  Friday, 4 March 2005

[1]     From:   Martin Mueller <
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        Date:   Friday, 25 Feb 2005 08:37:06 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0387 Othello's Name

[2]     From:   Richard Kennedy <
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        Date:   Friday, 25 Feb 2005 09:17:17 -0800
        Subj:   Othello's Name

[3]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Friday, 25 Feb 2005 20:12:10 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0387 Othello's Name

[4]     From:   Tom Rutter <
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        Date:   Monday, 28 Feb 2005 10:12:19 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0387 Othello's Name


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Mueller <
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Date:           Friday, 25 Feb 2005 08:37:06 -0600
Subject: 16.0387 Othello's Name
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0387 Othello's Name

Othello's name has something to do with the three suitors of Portia:
Morocco, Arragon, and Bassanio, the exotic stranger, the ridiculous
fool, and the hometown boy. They return with clear phonetic resemblances
as Othello, Roderigo, and Cassio.

One of Shakespeare's contemporaries (was it Marston?) wrote a line that
went "O Sofonisba, Sofonisba O."  An element of ring composition is
present in the name. Is it too fanciful to decompose the name into "O
Hell O"?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Kennedy <
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Date:           Friday, 25 Feb 2005 09:17:17 -0800
Subject:        Othello's Name

The Elizabethans would allow Othello to be an anagram for
  Thorello, and it's been long suggested that Caliban might be a tweaked
anagram for Cannible. Therefore, Shakespeare evidently toyed with these
"hard trifles," as Ben Jonson called the anagram foolery, quite popular
in his day. Hamlet, of course, is a perfect anagram for Amleth.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Friday, 25 Feb 2005 20:12:10 -0000
Subject: 16.0387 Othello's Name
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0387 Othello's Name

Florence Amit writes ...

 >In other words Othello, a Moor, was circumcised.

As was Hamlet ...?

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will"

Peter Bridgman

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Rutter <
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Date:           Monday, 28 Feb 2005 10:12:19 -0000
Subject: 16.0387 Othello's Name
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0387 Othello's Name

Could it be a diminutive of Otho/Otto? cf the 1st century Roman Emperor
Otho.

Tom Rutter

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