Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: December ::
Othello's Pronouns and Double Time
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0602  Monday, 14 December 2009

[1] From:   Mari Bonomi <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
     Date:   Friday, 11 Dec 2009 16:10:04 -0500
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0592 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time

[2] From:   Justin Alexander <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
     Date:   Friday, 11 Dec 2009 19:00:00 -0600
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0592 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Mari Bonomi <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:       Friday, 11 Dec 2009 16:10:04 -0500
Subject: 20.0592 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0592 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time

Jim Fess writes of Iago's dying words "I believe it's a joke by the 
author to entertain certain readers, not for the stage"

Please correct me if I am mistaken (being merely a retired high school 
English teacher) but I did not think any of Shakespeare's plays were 
actually written for a *reader* - the sonnets and poems yes of course, 
but the plays were so far as I understand written to be performed, not 
to be read.

And if that is the case, it calls into question Jim's suggestion of a 
joke for "certain readers."

Mari Bonomi

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Justin Alexander <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:       Friday, 11 Dec 2009 19:00:00 -0600
Subject: 20.0592 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0592 Othello's Pronouns and Double Time

Jim Fess wrote:

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

By itself, the line is fine. But you're failing to look at the actual 
context of the scene:

    IAG: Did Michael Cassio when *he* wooed my Lady, know of your love?
...
    IAG: I did not think he had been acquainted with her.

How could Iago possibly think that Michael Cassio was unacquainted with 
Desdemona at the same time that Cassio was wooing her? What sort of 
seduction is he supposed to be postulating here?

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

It's certainly an interesting interpretation of Iago, but the line 
you're postulating doesn't make any sense in the context of the scene.

    IAG: And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets
        *She ha's* done my Office. I know not if't be true;

She who, exactly? Emilia isn't mentioned anywhere else in the entire 
scene. Even if we accept your conclusion that Iago is talking 
possessively about Othello's sheets, the only logical conclusion would 
be that this "she" is Desdemona (the woman he's just been talking to 
Roderigo about and about whom he's going to continue talking about in a 
few more lines). But Desdemona doesn't make sense, either. How could he 
possibly "know not" if it's true that Othello is sleeping with his wife?

Justin Alexander
http://www.american-shakespeare.com

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.