The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0430  Wednesday, 10 May 2006

From: 		Ros King <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 10 May 2006 09:28:31 +0100
Subject: 17.0420 Othello Chooses Cassio?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0420 Othello Chooses Cassio?

Cassio's social pretensions are part of the problem, not the solution. 
His finger-kissing behaviour alone is grounds for suspicion! Would they 
were clyster pipes, is Iago's earthy response.  And he has little in the 
way of political sense when dealing with his own disgrace. No. Othello's 
choice of Cassio as his lieutenant lies, as Iago also recognises, in the 
fact that he is a mathematician - although were I playing Iago, I'd spit 
that word out in scorn too.  The most important innovation in warfare in 
the sixteenth century was the kind of star-shaped fortifications, built 
in response to developments in artillery, that you can still see dotted 
round the Mediterranean. You need a mathematician in order to build and 
repair them, and also to dig mines and countermines under enemy 
positions.  Othello doesn't need another person who can set a squadron 
in the field. He's perfectly capable of doing that for himself, and 
besides which, the technical developments had made sieges rather than 
pitched battles the more usual type of warfare. He needs a mathematician.

Best wishes

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