I find it fascinating that Verdi’s last two operas were both inspired by Shakespeare: Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893), yet they are very different in story, style, and tone. Verdi looked to the Bard’s plays of Othello (1604) and the Merry Wives of Windsor (1600), plus the Henry plays, as a catalyst. There are plenty… Continue Reading »
Posts Tagged: Othello
Desdemona and Emilia’s friendship inspires resistance and the courage to speak the truth, resulting in Iago’s exposure and Desdemona’s exoneration.
Shakespeare characters like Viola and Iago are masters of improvisation, says Folger Director MIchael Witmore in this excerpt from the 2017 Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture.
Promptbooks let us peer into the minds of some of history’s greatest theater-makers and see how they imagined Shakespeare’s plays.
Timon of Athens vs. Iago! Actors Ian Merrill Peakes and Louis Butelli discuss these Shakespeare characters, their degree of self-awareness, and their villain status.
Read this Q&A with Tracy Chevalier about her new novel New Boy, which retells the story of Shakespeare’s Othello and is the latest book in the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
Since their revival by David Garrick in the early eighteenth century, Shakespeare and his plays have always generated a certain aura of celebrity, sometimes referred to as “Bardolatry.” Following in the footsteps of Garrick, stage actors regularly rose to stardom on the strength of their Shakespearean performances, and would continue to play their “signature” roles… Continue Reading »
Paul Robeson was the first modern African American to perform Shakespeare—to perform Othello, and he talks in his letters and in his essays about bringing his experiences as a student in a white arena, his experiences with racism, to the performance. So for him as an actor, he brought his experience as an African American in a racist society to this performance of Othello, a black man in a racist society. Other actors who saw him said it was like seeing Othello for the first time.
Of all Shakespeare’s plays, Othello is the one that is most frequently compared to Spanish literature in the age of Cervantes. This is due in large part to the role that jealousy plays in driving Othello to kill Desdemona. We might recall Iago’s famous warning: “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; / It is the… Continue Reading »
Folger Finds delivers delightful and insightful moments with the Folger collection. Sarah Hovde, a cataloger at the Folger Shakespeare Library, unearths the contract between the producer, the director, and the star of the longest-running Shakespeare play on Broadway, Othello.