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“Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners.”
― William Shakespeare, Othello
Othello is one of my favorite of Shakespeare's plays. I'm all about the villians, and damn, Iago isn't JUST a nearly perfect villian, but carries away almost 1/3 the lines in this play. He owns the stage. It is like Shakespeare scraped every rotten grain off the soiled shoe of humanity and mixed it with beautiful prose. Iago isn't a monster because he is foreign to us, he is a perfect monster because he so closely resembles the worst in all of us. Wicked man. Wicked us.
Othello, while not as interesting (to me) is still a great character. His decent into madness, his fits, his passion, his otherness, his race, etc., make him a dynamic and powerful character. Enough to balance Iago, but not enough (in the end) to beat him. One of the reasons this play has been, is, and will be for a while, so powerful is the reactions interracial/interethnic evoke. It seems like every couple steps society takes forward, we fall (hard) back at least one. Anyway, Shakespeare jumped into this mess 400+ years ago. Bravo.
Just a few of my favorite lines:
― “The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.” (Act 1, Scene 3)
― “It is silliness to live when to live is torment, and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.” (Act 1, Scene 3)
― “O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!" (Act 2, Scene 3)
― “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving." (Act 2, scene 3)
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This is a high quality performance of Othello that I found worked well as an Audiobook. It would probably help to read up a little bit on the overall plot before listening.
Well worth the purchase.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful