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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: December ::
Othello's Pronouns and Double Time
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0592  Friday, 11 December 2009

[1] From:   Joseph Egert <
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     Date:   Wednesday, 9 Dec 2009 12:42:05 -0800 (PST)
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0575 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time

[2] From:   Jim Fess <
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     Date:   Friday, 11 Dec 2009 16:42:02 +0800
     Subj:   SHK 20.0575 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Joseph Egert <
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Date:       Wednesday, 9 Dec 2009 12:42:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 20.0575 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0575 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time

Jim Fess believes the 1623 First Folio (F1) variants of Iago's lines in 
3.3 and 1.3 should prevail over their 1622 Quarto (Q1) and 1632 Second 
Folio (F2) competitors. Yet the intermittently scrupulous editor of the 
1630 Quarto (Q2), though closer in time to F1, rejects F1  --  a course 
followed in the main by modern editors like Honigmann (H) (1997 Arden) 
and Neill (N) (2006 Oxford):

A partial line comparison therefore yields for 3.3:

        1622 Q1:  when you wooed my Lady
        1623 F1:  When he woo'd my Lady
        1630 Q2:  when you wooed my Lady
        1632 F2:  when you wooed my Lady
        H; N:     when you wooed my lady

And for 1.3:

         1622 Q1:  Ha's done my Office.
         1623 F1:  She ha's done my Office.
         1630 Q2:  Ha's done my Office.
         1632 F2:  He ha's done my Office.
         H; N:     He's done my office.

As for the role of real poison in the play, I believe Shakespeare 
stresses the toxic power of the Word as sufficient in itself to turn men 
into murderers who may use real poison (Othello's first choice of 
execution mode for hapless Desdemona). Indeed, there may be echoes here 
of recusants converted by the wit-craft of their spiritual mentors into 
such would-be poisoners:

http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2009/0228.html

Joe Egert

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Jim Fess <
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Date:       Friday, 11 Dec 2009 16:42:02 +0800
Subject: Othello's Pronouns and Double Time
Comment:    SHK 20.0575 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time

1. Maybe I miss something in this dialogue, but I can't see what's wrong.

IAG: I did not think he had been acquainted with her.
OTH: O yes, and went between us very oft.

2. This translation -- Iago desires Othello more than his wife sexually 
-- fits Iago's role in the play.

3. To poison Othello is the key, an act with sexual aim. (Iago: "Fools 
are caught, and many worthy, and chaste Dames even thus.")

4. Iago didn't curse Othello at the end as he did to his wife, 
"Villainous Whore"; instead, his last word to Othello (who just stabbed 
him), "Demand me nothing: what you know, you know: From this time forth, 
I never will speak word," shows his love to Othello, mentally.

I believe it's a joke by the author to entertain certain readers, not 
for the stage.

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