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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: February ::
A Titus Tangent of Tone
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0097  Thursday, 14 February 2008

From:		Joseph Egert <
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Date:		Monday, 11 Feb 2008 14:14:06 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 19.0084 A Titus Tangent of Tone
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0084 A Titus Tangent of Tone

Paul Doniger writes:

 >Kristen McDermott paraphrases Robert Hornback's "Emblems of Folly in the
 >First Othello: Renaissance Blackface, Moor's Coat, and 'Muckender',"
 >Comparative Drama 35.1 (2001): 69-99: "He argues persuasively that
 >blackface was equally associated with stage fools as with devils-very
 >interesting stuff."

 >I wonder if this association is somehow connected with the black leather
 >masks of Harlequin and others from the Italian Comedy (Brighella & Il
 >Dottore also had black masks)? Does anyone know?

Hornback addresses this very question in the referenced article. He 
believes the black-faced Harlequin tradition down through Tarlton 
clearly influenced Shakespeare's representation of Othello as the black 
gull, or Renaissance era Harlequin figure, prey to Iago, the trickster 
Brighella figure.

Joe Egert

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