52 in 52 Week 7: Shakespearean Tragedy - Othello


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Iago is EVIL! Just sayin'. Iago is the serpent of Genesis 3 in human form.  He is possibly the most evil character of all of literature. Which is why this play is so amazing! 


I saw this performed on stage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, but this is the first time I have ever read the play. It was good to have the visual picture of the blond haired Iago on the black background of the stage with the big, burly, black Othello contrasted on the white part of the stage, and the shift in the colors and lights when Iago gets a hold of Othello's ear. Chilling. I remember all of us who had attended the play sitting, unnerved at the end. It reaches to your heart . . . and rips it out.


I think Shakespeare was meant to be heard. So, I listened to this unabridged dramatic version while following along on my Kindle. The host of actors in this were superb. 






Here is the cast: 


Othello, The Moor, a general in the service of Venice – Hugh Quarshie
Desdemona, a daughter to Brabantio, and wife to Othello – Emma Fielding
Iago, his ancient, a villain – Anton Lesser
Emilia, wife to Iago – Patience Tomlinson
Cassio, his honourable lieutenant/2nd senator – Roger May
Bianca, a courtesan, in love with Cassio – Alison Pettit
Duke of Venice/2nd Gentleman/Herald – Roy Spencer
Brabantio, senator, father to Desdemona/3rd Gentleman/Gratiano, brother to Brabantio – Peter Yapp
Roderigo, a Venetian gentleman/1st Gentleman/Sailor (I,iii) – John McAndrew
Lodovico, kinsman to Brabantio/1st Musician/1st Senator/Messenger (III) – Stephen Thorne
Montano, Governor of Cyprus before Othello/Messenger (I,iii)/Clown – 

Jonathan Keeble


This story always makes me think of this Ginny Owens song:


This is your life,
And yet somehow,
They decide,
What you're about,
You learn your lines,
And take your cues,
But who are you listening to?

You change your clothes,
And how you speak,
You place your hope,
In what they think,
Before you know
There's no more you,
Who are you listening to-
Have you noticed how much you fear,
All the voices you choose to hear

Who are you listening to?
Who tells you what to do?
Who rules your thoughts at night?
Whose rules define your life?
Oh, you know it's up to you,
So who are you listening to

This is your life,
You have no choice,
You will rely
On someone's voice,
And it's all right
To question who,
Who are you listening to?
Do the words that you believe
Set your soul and spirit free

There's a quiet voice,
Whispering in your heart,
It's been there all along,
It believes in you,
It will tell the truth,
Can't you hear it call? 
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