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Othello

Othello

Overview
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy
Shakespearean tragedy
Shakespeare wrote tragedies from the beginning of his career. One of his earliest plays was the Roman tragedy Titus Andronicus, which he followed a few years later with Romeo and Juliet. However, his most admired tragedies were written in a seven-year period between 1601 and 1608...

 by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello
Othello (character)
Othello is a character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's origin is traced to the tale, "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio. There, he is simply referred to as the Moor....

, a Moorish
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 general in the Venetian army; his wife Desdemona
Desdemona (Othello)
Desdemona is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello . Shakespeare's Desdemona is a Venetian beauty who enrages and disappoints her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a man several years her senior. When her husband is deployed to Cyprus in the service of the...

; his lieutenant, Cassio
Michael Cassio
Michael Cassio, or simply Cassio, is a fictional character in William Shakespeare's Othello. The source of the character is the 1565 tale "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio; Cassio is unnamed in Cinthio but referred to as "the squadron leader." In the play, Cassio is a young and handsome lieutenant...

; and his trusted ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

 Iago
Iago
Iago is a fictional character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's source is traced to Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio's tale "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi . There, the character is simply "the ensign". Iago is a soldier and Othello's ancient . He is the husband of Emilia,...

.
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Quotations

Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,But seeming so, for my peculiar end:For when my outward action doth demonstrateThe native act and figure of my heartIn compliment extern, 'tis not long afterBut I will wear my heart upon my sleeveFor daws to peck at: I am not what I am.

Iago, scene i

Even now, now, very now, an old black ramIs tupping your white ewe.

Iago, scene i

Your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.

Iago, scene i

Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.

Othello, scene ii

My story being done,She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange; 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful.

Othello, scene iii

She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd,And I lov'd her that she did pity them.

Othello, scene iii

The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.

Duke of Venice, scene iii

Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:She has deceived her father, and may thee.

Brabantio, scene iii

Thus do I ever make my fool my purse.

Iago, scene iii

I hate the Moor;And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheetsHe has done my office: I know not if 't be true;But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as if for surety.

Iago, scene iii
Encyclopedia
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy
Shakespearean tragedy
Shakespeare wrote tragedies from the beginning of his career. One of his earliest plays was the Roman tragedy Titus Andronicus, which he followed a few years later with Romeo and Juliet. However, his most admired tragedies were written in a seven-year period between 1601 and 1608...

 by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello
Othello (character)
Othello is a character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's origin is traced to the tale, "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio. There, he is simply referred to as the Moor....

, a Moorish
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 general in the Venetian army; his wife Desdemona
Desdemona (Othello)
Desdemona is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello . Shakespeare's Desdemona is a Venetian beauty who enrages and disappoints her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a man several years her senior. When her husband is deployed to Cyprus in the service of the...

; his lieutenant, Cassio
Michael Cassio
Michael Cassio, or simply Cassio, is a fictional character in William Shakespeare's Othello. The source of the character is the 1565 tale "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio; Cassio is unnamed in Cinthio but referred to as "the squadron leader." In the play, Cassio is a young and handsome lieutenant...

; and his trusted ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

 Iago
Iago
Iago is a fictional character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's source is traced to Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio's tale "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi . There, the character is simply "the ensign". Iago is a soldier and Othello's ancient . He is the husband of Emilia,...

. Because of its varied and current themes of racism, love, jealousy, and betrayal, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatres alike and has been the basis for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations.

Characters



  • Othello
    Othello (character)
    Othello is a character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's origin is traced to the tale, "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio. There, he is simply referred to as the Moor....

    , the Moor: A general in the Venetian military.
  • Desdemona
    Desdemona (Othello)
    Desdemona is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello . Shakespeare's Desdemona is a Venetian beauty who enrages and disappoints her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a man several years her senior. When her husband is deployed to Cyprus in the service of the...

    , Othello's wife and daughter of Brabantio
  • Iago
    Iago
    Iago is a fictional character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's source is traced to Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio's tale "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi . There, the character is simply "the ensign". Iago is a soldier and Othello's ancient . He is the husband of Emilia,...

    , Othello's ensign and Emilia's husband, a villain. He hides his real nature under the veil of 'honesty'.
  • Emilia
    Emilia (Othello)
    Emilia is a character in the tragedy Othello by William Shakespeare. The character's origin is traced to the 1565 tale, "Un capitano Moro" from Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio's Gli Hecatommithi. There, the character is described as young and virtuous, is referred to simply as the ensign's wife,...

    , Iago's wife and Desdemona's maidservant
  • Cassio
    Michael Cassio
    Michael Cassio, or simply Cassio, is a fictional character in William Shakespeare's Othello. The source of the character is the 1565 tale "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio; Cassio is unnamed in Cinthio but referred to as "the squadron leader." In the play, Cassio is a young and handsome lieutenant...

    , Othello's lieutenant.
  • Bianca
    Bianca (Othello)
    Bianca is a fictional character in William Shakespeare's Othello . She is Cassio's jealous lover. Despite her brief appearance on stage, Bianca plays a significant role in the progress of Iago's scheme to incite Othello's jealousy of Cassio. Bianca is traditionally regarded as a courtesan,...

    , Cassio's lover

  • Brabantio
    Brabantio
    Brabantio is a character in William Shakespeare's Othello . He is a Venetian senator and the father of Desdemona. He has entertained Othello is his home countless times before the play opens, thus giving Othello and Desdemona opportunity to fall in love...

    , a Venetian senator, Gratiano's brother, and Desdemona's father
  • Roderigo
    Roderigo
    Roderigo is a fictional character in Shakespeare's Othello . He is a dissolute Venetian lusting after Othello's wife Desdemona. Roderigo has opened his purse to Iago in the mistaken belief that Iago is using his money to pave the way to Desdemona's bed...

    , a dissolute Venetian, in love with Desdemona
  • Duke of Venice, or the "Doge
    Doge of Venice
    The Doge of Venice , often mistranslated Duke was the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Commonly the person selected as Doge was the shrewdest elder in the city...

    "
  • Gratiano, Brabantio's brother
  • Lodovico, Brabantio's kinsman and Desdemona's cousin
  • Montano, Othello's Venetian predecessor in the government of Cyprus
  • Clown, a servant
  • Officers, Gentlemen, Messenger, Herald, Sailor, Attendants, Musicians, etc.


Plot



The play opens with Roderigo, a rich and dissolute gentleman, complaining to Iago, a high-ranking soldier, that Iago has not told him about the secret marriage between Desdemona
Desdemona (Othello)
Desdemona is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello . Shakespeare's Desdemona is a Venetian beauty who enrages and disappoints her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a man several years her senior. When her husband is deployed to Cyprus in the service of the...

, the daughter of a Senator named Brabantio
Brabantio
Brabantio is a character in William Shakespeare's Othello . He is a Venetian senator and the father of Desdemona. He has entertained Othello is his home countless times before the play opens, thus giving Othello and Desdemona opportunity to fall in love...

, and Othello
Othello (character)
Othello is a character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's origin is traced to the tale, "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio. There, he is simply referred to as the Moor....

, a Moorish general in the Venetian army. He is upset by this development because he loves Desdemona and had previously asked her father for her hand in marriage. Iago is upset with Othello for promoting a younger man named Cassio
Cássio
Cássio is a given name and may refer to:*Cássio Oliveira, , Brazilian football player for Adelaide United*Cássio Ramos, , Brazilian football player...

 above him, and tells Roderigo that he plans to use Othello for his own advantage. Iago is also upset because he believes that Othello slept with his wife Emilia. Iago's argument against Cassio is that he is a scholarly tactician with no real battle experience from which he can draw strategy; in contrast, Iago has practical battle skills. By emphasizing Roderigo's failed bid for Desdemona, and his own dissatisfaction with serving under Othello, Iago convinces Roderigo to wake Brabantio, Desdemona's father, and tell him about his daughter's elopement. Iago sneaks away to find Othello and warns him that Brabantio is coming for him.

Before Brabantio reaches Othello, news arrives in Venice that the Turks are going to attack Cyprus; therefore Othello is summoned to advise the senators. Brabantio arrives and accuses Othello of seducing Desdemona by witchcraft, but Othello defends himself successfully before an assembly that includes the Duke of Venice, Brabantio's kinsman Lodovico and Gratiano, and various senators. He explains that Desdemona became enamored of him for the stories he told of his early life, not because of any witchcraft he might have used. The senate is satisfied, but the broken Brabantio leaves saying that Desdemona will betray Othello. By order of the Duke, Othello leaves Venice to command the Venetian armies against invading Turks on the island of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, accompanied by his new wife, his new lieutenant Cassio, his ensign Iago, and Emilia as Desdemona's attendant.

The party arrives in Cyprus to find that a storm has destroyed the Turkish fleet. Othello orders a general celebration. Iago schemes to use Cassio to ruin Othello and takes the opportunity of Othello's absence at the celebration to persuade Roderigo to engage Cassio in a fight. He achieves this by getting Cassio drunk on wine after Cassio's own admission that he cannot hold his drink. The brawl greatly alarms the citizenry, and Othello is forced to quell the disturbance. Othello blames Cassio for the disturbance, and the former strips the latter of his rank. Cassio is distraught, but Iago persuades him to importune Desdemona to act as an intermediary between himself and Othello, and persuade her husband to reinstate him.

Iago now persuades Othello to be suspicious of Cassio and Desdemona. As it happens, Cassio is having a relationship of sorts with Bianca, a prostitute. Desdemona drops the handkerchief
Handkerchief
A handkerchief , also called a handkercher or hanky, is a form of a kerchief, typically a hemmed square of thin fabric that can be carried in the pocket or purse, and which is intended for personal hygiene purposes such as wiping one's hands or face, or blowing one's nose...

 that was Othello's first gift to Desdemona and which he has stated holds great significance to him in the context of their relationship. Emilia, at the request of Iago, but unaware of what he plans to do with the handkerchief, steals it. Iago plants it in Cassio's lodgings as evidence of Cassio and Desdemona's affair. After he has planted the handkerchief, Iago tells Othello to stand apart and watch Cassio's reactions while Iago questions him about the handkerchief. Iago goads Cassio on to talk about his affair with Bianca, but speaks her name so quietly that Othello believes the two other men are talking about Desdemona when Cassio is really speaking of Bianca. Bianca, on discovering the handkerchief, chastises Cassio, accusing him of giving her a second-hand gift which he received from another lover. Othello sees this, and Iago convinces him that Cassio received the handkerchief from Desdemona. Enraged and hurt, Othello resolves to kill his wife and Iago is "asked" to kill Cassio as a duty to their intimacy. Othello proceeds to make Desdemona's life a misery, hitting her in front of her family. Desdemona laments her suffering, remembering the fate of her mother's maid, who was forsaken by her lover.

Roderigo complains that he has received nothing for his efforts and threatens to abandon his pursuit of Desdemona, but Iago convinces him to kill Cassio instead, because Cassio has just been appointed in Othello's place as governor of Cyprus, and—Iago argues—if Cassio lives to take office, Othello and Desdemona will leave Cyprus, thwarting Roderigo's plans to win Desdemona. Roderigo attacks Cassio in the street after Cassio leaves Bianca's lodgings. They fight and both are wounded. Cassio's leg is cut from behind by Iago who manages to hide his identity as perpetrator. Passers-by arrive to help; Iago joins them, pretending to help Cassio. When Cassio identifies Roderigo as one of his attackers, Iago secretly stabs Roderigo to stop him from confessing. He then accuses Bianca of the failed conspiracy to kill Cassio.

In the night, Othello confronts Desdemona, and then smothers her to death in bed, before Emilia arrives. Othello tries to justify his actions to the distressed Emilia by accusing Desdemona of adultery. Emilia calls for help. The Governor arrives, with Iago, Cassio, and others, and Emilia begins to explain the situation. When Othello mentions the handkerchief as proof, Emilia realizes what Iago has done. She exposes him, whereupon Iago kills her. Othello, realizing Desdemona's innocence, attacks Iago but does not kill him, saying that he would rather have Iago live the rest of his life in pain. Lodovico, a Venetian nobleman, apprehends both Iago and Othello, but Othello commits suicide with a sword before they can take him into custody. At the end, it can be assumed, Iago is taken off to be tortured, and Cassio becomes governor of Cyprus.

Cinthio source


Othello is an adaptation of the Italian writer Cinthio
Giovanni Battista Giraldi
Giovanni Battista Giraldi was an Italian novelist and poet. He appended the nickname Cinthio to his name and is commonly referred to by that name .Born at Ferrara, he was educated at the university there, and in 1525 became its professor of natural philosophy...

's tale "Un Capitano Moro" ("A Moorish Captain") from his Gli Hecatommithi (1565), a collection of one hundred tales in the style of Boccaccio's Decameron. No English translation of Cinthio was available in Shakespeare's lifetime, and verbal echoes in Othello are closer to the Italian original than to Gabriel Chappuy's 1584 French translation. Cinthio's tale may have been based on an actual incident occurring in Venice about 1508.Shakespeare, William. Four Tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. Bantam Books, 1988. It also resembles an incident described in the earlier tale of "The Three Apples", one of the stories narrated in the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights). Desdemona is the only named character in Cinthio's tale, with his few other characters identified only as "the Moor
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

" (Othello), "the squadron leader" (Cassio), "the ensign" (Iago), and "the ensign's wife" (Emilia). Cinthio drew a moral (which he placed in the mouth of Desdemona) that European women are unwise to marry the temperamental males of other nations.

Cinthio's Moor is the model for Shakespeare's Othello, but some researchers believe the poet also took inspiration from the several Moorish delegations from Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 to Elizabethan England circa 1600. While Shakespeare closely followed Cinthio's tale in composing Othello, he departed from it in some details. Brabantio, Roderigo, and several minor characters are not found in Cinthio, for example, and Shakespeare's Emilia takes part in the handkerchief mischief while her counterpart in Cinthio does not. Unlike in Othello, in Cinthio, Iago lusts after Desdemona and is spurred to revenge when she rejects him. Shakespeare's opening scenes are unique to his tragedy as is the tender scene between Emilia and Desdemona as the lady prepares for bed. Shakespeare's most striking departure from Cinthio is the manner of his heroine's death. In Shakespeare, Othello suffocates Desdemona, but in Cinthio, Othello commissions Iago to bludgeon his wife to death with a sand-filled stocking. Cinthio describes each gruesome blow, and, when the lady is dead, Iago and Othello place her lifeless body upon her bed, smash her skull, and cause the cracked ceiling above the bed to collapse upon her, giving the impression its falling rafters caused her death. In Cinthio, the two murderers escape detection. Othello then misses Desdemona greatly, and comes to loathe the sight of Iago. He demotes him, and refuses to have him in his company. Iago then seeks revenge by disclosing to Cassio Othello's involvement in Desdemona's death. The two depart Cyprus for Venice, and denounce Othello to the Venetian Seignory; he is arrested, taken to Venice, and tortured. He refuses to admit his guilt and is condemned to exile. Desdemona's relatives eventually find and kill him. Iago, however, continues to escape detection in Desdemona's death, but engages in other crimes while in Venice. He is arrested and dies after being tortured. Cinthio's "ensign's wife", Emilia, survives her husband's death to tell her story.

Cinthio's tale has been described as a "partly-racist warning" about the dangers of miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

. While supplying the source of the plot, the book offered nothing of the sense of place
Sense of place
The term sense of place has been defined and used in many different ways by many different people. To some, it is a characteristic that some geographic places have and some do not, while to others it is a feeling or perception held by people...

 of Venice or Cyprus. For knowledge of this Shakespeare would have used Gasparo Contarini
Gasparo Contarini
thumb|240px|Gasparo Contarini.Gasparo Contarini was an Italian diplomat and cardinal. He was one of the first proponents of the dialogue with Protestants, after the Reformation.-Biography:...

's The Commonwealth and Government of Venice, in Lewis Lewkenor's 1599 translation.

Date and text



The earliest mention of the play is found in a 1604 Revels Office account, which records that on "Hallamas Day, being the first of Nouembar ... the Kings Maiesties plaiers" performed "A Play in the Banketinghouse
Banqueting House, Whitehall
The Banqueting House, Whitehall, London, is the grandest and best known survivor of the architectural genre of banqueting house, and the only remaining component of the Palace of Whitehall...

 att Whit Hall
Whitehall
Whitehall is a road in Westminster, in London, England. It is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, towards Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square...

 Called The Moor of Venis." The work is attributed to "Shaxberd." The Revels account was first printed by Peter Cunningham in 1842, and, while its authenticity was once challenged, is now regarded as genuine (as authenticated by A. E. Stamp in 1930). Based on its style, the play is usually dated 1603 or 1604, but arguments have been made for dates as early as 1601 or 1602.

The play was entered into the Register
Stationers' Register
The Stationers' Register was a record book maintained by the Stationers' Company of London. The company is a trade guild given a royal charter in 1557 to regulate the various professions associated with the publishing industry, including printers, bookbinders, booksellers, and publishers in England...

 of the Stationers Company
Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers
The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Stationers' Company was founded in 1403; it received a Royal Charter in 1557...

 on 6 October 1621, by Thomas Walkley
Thomas Walkley
Thomas Walkley was a London publisher and bookseller in the early and middle seventeenth century. He is noted for publishing a range of significant texts in English Renaissance drama, "and much other interesting literature."-Career:...

, and was first published in quarto
Book size
The size of a book is generally measured by the height against the width of a leaf, or sometimes the height and width of its cover. A series of terms is commonly used by libraries and publishers for the general sizes of modern books, ranging from "folio" , to "quarto" and "octavo"...

 format by him in 1622: "Tragœdy of Othello, The Moore of Venice. As it hath beene diuerse times acted at the Globe, and at the Black-Friers, by his Maiesties Seruants. Written by William Shakespeare. London. Printed by N. O. [Nicholas Okes] for Thomas Walkley, and are to be sold at his shop, at the Eagle and Child, in Brittans Bursse, 1622."

One year later, the play was included among the plays in the First Folio
First Folio
Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. is the 1623 published collection of William Shakespeare's plays. Modern scholars commonly refer to it as the First Folio....

 of Shakespeare's collected plays. However, the version in the Folio is rather different in length, and in wording: as the editors of the Folger edition explain: "The Folio play has about 160 lines that do not appear in the Quarto. Some of these cluster together in quite extensive passages. The Folio also lacks a scattering of about a dozen lines or part-lines that are to be found in the Quarto. These two versions also differ from each other in their readings of numerous words. Scholars differ in their explanation of these differences, and no consensus has emerged. One explanation is that the Quarto may have been cut in the printing house to meet a fixed number of pages. Another is that the Quarto is based on an early version of the play, while the Folio represents Shakespeare's revised version. Most modern editions are based on the longer Folio version, but often incorporate Quarto readings of words when the Folio text appears to be in error. Quartos were also published in 1630, 1655, 1681, 1695, 1699 and 1705.

Race


There is no consensus over Othello
Othello (character)
Othello is a character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's origin is traced to the tale, "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio. There, he is simply referred to as the Moor....

's race. E.A.J. Honigmann
E. A. J. Honigmann
Ernst Anselm Joachim Honigmann Professor of English Literature, Shakespeare scholar, and Fellow of the British Academy.- Early life :...

, the editor of the Arden Shakespeare
Arden Shakespeare
The Arden Shakespeare is a long-running series of scholarly editions of the works of William Shakespeare. It presents fully edited modern-spelling editions of the plays and poems, with lengthy introductions and full commentaries...

 edition, concluded that Othello's race is ambiguous. "Renaissance representations of the Moor were vague, varied, inconsistent, and contradictory. As critics have established, the term 'Moor' referred to dark-skinned people in general, used interchangeably with similarly ambiguous terms as 'African', 'Ethiopian', 'Negro', and even 'Indian' to designate a figure from Africa (or beyond)." Various uses of the word 'black' (for example, "Haply for I am black") are insufficient evidence for any accurate racial classification, Honigmann argues, since 'black' could simply mean 'swarthy' to Elizabethans. Iago twice uses the word 'Barbary' or 'Barbarian' to refer to Othello, seemingly referring to the Barbary coast inhabited by the "tawny" Moors. Roderigo calls Othello 'the thicklips', which seems to refer to European conceptions of Sub-Saharan African physiognomy, but Honigmann counters that, as these comments are all intended as insults by the characters, they need not be taken literally.

Michael Neill, editor of the Oxford Shakespeare edition, notes that the earliest critical references to Othello's colour, (Thomas Rymer
Thomas Rymer
Thomas Rymer , English historiographer royal, was the younger son of Ralph Rymer, lord of the manor of Brafferton in Yorkshire, described by Clarendon as possessed of a good estate, who was executed for his share in the Presbyterian rising of 1663.-Early life and education:Thomas Rymer was born at...

's 1693 critique of the play, and the 1709 engraving in Nicholas Rowe
Nicholas Rowe (dramatist)
Nicholas Rowe , English dramatist, poet and miscellaneous writer, was appointed Poet Laureate in 1715.-Life:...

's edition of Shakespeare), assume him to be Sub-Saharan, while the earliest known North African interpretation was not until Edmund Kean
Edmund Kean
Edmund Kean was an English actor, regarded in his time as the greatest ever.-Early life:Kean was born in London. His father was probably Edmund Kean, an architect’s clerk, and his mother was an actress, Anne Carey, daughter of the 18th century composer and playwright Henry Carey...

's production of 1814. Honigmann discusses the view that Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun
Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud
Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun was principal secretary to the Moroccan ruler "Muly Hamet" , and ambassador to the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1600, to promote the establishment of an Anglo-Moroccan alliance....

, Moorish ambassador of the Arab King of Barbary to Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 in 1600, was one inspiration for Othello. He stayed with his retinue in London for several months and occasioned much discussion. While Shakespeare's play was written only a few years afterwards Honigman questions the view that ben Messaoud himself was a significant influence on it.

Othello is referred to as a “Barbary horse” (1.1.113) and a “lascivious Moor” (1.1.127). In III.III he denounces Desdemona's supposed sin as being "black as mine own face." Desdemona's physical whiteness is otherwise presented in opposition to Othello's dark skin; V.II "that whiter skin of hers than snow." Iago tells Brabantio that "an old black ram / is tupping your white ewe" (1.1.88). In Elizabethan discourse, the word "black" could suggest various concepts that extended beyond the physical colour of skin, including a wide range of negative connotations.

Othello was frequently performed as an Arab Moor during the 19th century. He was first played by a black man on the London stage in 1833, by Ira Aldridge
Ira Aldridge
Ira Frederick Aldridge , was an American stage actor who made his career largely on the London stage and in Europe, especially in Shakespearean roles...

. However, the first major screen production casting a black actor as Othello would not come until 1995 with Laurence Fishburne
Laurence Fishburne
Laurence John Fishburne III is an American film and stage actor, playwright, director, and producer. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Morpheus in the Matrix science fiction film trilogy, as Cowboy Curtis on the 1980's television show Pee-wee's Playhouse, and as singer-musician Ike Turner...

 opposite Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from Northern Ireland. He is best known for directing and starring in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays including Henry V , Much Ado About Nothing , Hamlet Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from...

's Iago. In the past, Othello would often have been portrayed by a white actor in blackface
Blackface
Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup used in minstrel shows, and later vaudeville, in which performers create a stereotyped caricature of a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the proliferation of stereotypes such as the "happy-go-lucky darky...

 or in a black mask; more recent actors who chose to ‘blacken up’ include Ralph Richardson
Ralph Richardson
Sir Ralph David Richardson was an English actor, one of a group of theatrical knights of the mid-20th century who, though more closely associated with the stage, also appeared in several classic films....

 (1937), John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

 (1961), Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 (1964), Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, KBE , best known as Anthony Hopkins, is a Welsh actor of film, stage and television...

 (1981) and Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

.Cartmell, Deborah (2000) Interpreting Shakespeare on screen Palgrave MacMillan pp72-77 ISBN 978-0-312-23393-8 Ground-breaking black American actor Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson
Paul Leroy Robeson was an American concert singer , recording artist, actor, athlete, scholar who was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement in the first half of the twentieth century...

 played the role from 1930–1959. The casting of the role comes with a political subtext. Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart
Sir Patrick Hewes Stewart, OBE is an English film, television and stage actor, who has had a distinguished career in theatre and television for around half a century...

 played the role in the Royal Shakespeare Company
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford-upon-Avon and plays regularly in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and on tour across...

's 1997 staging of the play and Thomas Thieme, also white, played Othello in a 2007 Munich Kammerspiele
Munich Kammerspiele
The Munich Kammerspiele is a successful German language theatre in Munich. The Schauspielhaus in the Maximilianstrasse is the major stage.-History:...

 staging at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a 1,040+ seat thrust stage theatre owned by the Royal Shakespeare Company dedicated to the British playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It is located in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon - Shakespeare's birthplace - in the English Midlands, beside the River Avon...

, Stratford
Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, south east of Birmingham and south west of Warwick. It is the largest and most populous town of the District of Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term "on" to indicate that it covers...

. Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Sir Michael John Gambon, CBE is an Irish actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. A highly respected theatre actor, Gambon is recognised for his roles as Philip Marlowe in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, as Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and as...

 also took the role in 1980 and 1991; their performances critically acclaimed."Black or white? Casting can be a grey area" Guardian article. 5 April 2007"Othello (Theatre review) The Guardian Friday 28 April 2006

Iago / Othello


Although eponymously
Eponym
An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

 titled, suggesting that the tragedy belongs primarily to Othello, Iago plays an important role in the plot he reflects the archetypal villain, and has the biggest share of the dialogue. In
Othello, it is Iago who manipulates all other characters at will, controlling their movements and trapping them in an intricate net of lies. He achieves this by getting close to all characters and playing on their weaknesses while they refer to him as "honest" Iago, thus furthering his control over the characters . A. C. Bradley, and more recently Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom is an American writer and literary critic, and is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. He is known for his defense of 19th-century Romantic poets, his unique and controversial theories of poetic influence, and his prodigious literary output, particularly for a literary...

, have been major advocates of this interpretation. Other critics, most notably in the later twentieth century (after F. R. Leavis
F. R. Leavis
Frank Raymond "F. R." Leavis CH was an influential British literary critic of the early-to-mid-twentieth century. He taught for nearly his entire career at Downing College, Cambridge.-Early life:...

), have focused on Othello. Apart from the common question of jealousy, some argue that his honour
Honour
Honour or honor is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation...

 is his undoing, while others address the hints of instability in his person (in Act IV Scene I, for example, he falls 'into a trance').

Othering


As the Protestant Reformation of England highlighted the importance of pious, controlled behaviour in society; it was the tendency of the contemporary Englishman to displace society's undesirable qualities of barbarism, treachery, jealousy and libidinousness onto those who are considered 'other'. The assumed characteristics of black men, or 'the other', were both instigated and popularised by Renaissance dramas of the time; for example, the treachery of black men inherent to George Peele's 'The Battle of Alcazar' (1588)

The hero


There have been many differing views on the character of Othello over the years. They span from describing Othello as a hero to describing him as an egotistical fool. A.C Bradley calls Othello the "most romantic of all of Shakespeare's heroes" and "the greatest poet of them all". On the other hand, F.R. Leavis describes Othello as "egotistical". There are those who also take a less critical approach to the character of Othello such as William Hazlitt
William Hazlitt
William Hazlitt was an English writer, remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, and as a grammarian and philosopher. He is now considered one of the great critics and essayists of the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. Yet his work is...

 saying that "the nature of the Moor is noble... but his blood is of the most inflammable kind".

Performance history



Pre-20th century


Othello possesses an unusually detailed performance record. The first certainly known performance occurred on 1 November 1604, at Whitehall Palace in London, being mentioned in a Revels account on "Hallamas Day, being the first of Nouembar", 1604, when "the Kings Maiesties plaiers" performed "A Play in the Banketinge house at Whit Hall Called The Moor of Venis." The play is there attributed to "Shaxberd". Subsequent performances took place on Monday, 30 April 1610 at the Globe Theatre
Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613...

, and at Oxford in September 1610. On 22 November 1629, and on 6 May 1635, it played at the Blackfriars Theatre
Blackfriars Theatre
Blackfriars Theatre was the name of a theatre in the Blackfriars district of the City of London during the Renaissance. The theatre began as a venue for child actors associated with the Queen's chapel choirs; in this function, the theatre hosted some of the most innovative drama of Elizabeth and...

. Othello was also one of the twenty plays performed by the King's Men
King's Men (playing company)
The King's Men was the company of actors to which William Shakespeare belonged through most of his career. Formerly known as The Lord Chamberlain's Men during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it became The King's Men in 1603 when King James ascended the throne and became the company's patron.The...

 during the winter of 1612, in celebration of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth
Elizabeth of Bohemia
Elizabeth of Bohemia was the eldest daughter of King James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, Ireland, and Anne of Denmark. As the wife of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, she was Electress Palatine and briefly Queen of Bohemia...

 and Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Frederick V was Elector Palatine , and, as Frederick I , King of Bohemia ....

.

At the start of the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 era, on 11 October 1660, Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys FRS, MP, JP, was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man...

 saw the play at the Cockpit Theatre
Cockpit Theatre
The Cockpit was a theatre in London, operating from 1616 to around 1665. It was the first theatre to be located near Drury Lane. After damage in 1617, it was christened The Phoenix....

. Nicholas Burt
Nicholas Burt
Nicholas Burt , or Birt or Burght among other variants, was a prominent English actor of the seventeenth century. In a long career, he was perhaps best known as the first actor to play the role of Othello in the Restoration era.A "Nicholas Bert" was christened on 27 May 1621, in Norwich; the record...

 played the lead, with Charles Hart
Charles Hart (17th-century actor)
Charles Hart was a prominent British Restoration actor.A Charles Hart was christened on 11 December 1625, in the parish of St. Giles Cripplegate, in London. It is not absolutely certain that this was the actor, though the name was not common at the time...

 as Cassio; Walter Clun
Walter Clun
Walter Clun was a noted English actor of the seventeenth century. His career spanned the difficult period when the theatres were closed during the English Civil War and the Interregnum, from 1642 to 1660....

 won fame for his Iago. Soon after, on 8 December 1660, Thomas Killigrew
Thomas Killigrew
Thomas Killigrew was an English dramatist and theatre manager. He was a witty, dissolute figure at the court of King Charles II of England.-Life and work:...

's new King's Company
King's Company
The King's Company was one of two enterprises granted the rights to mount theatrical productions in London at the start of the English Restoration. It existed from 1660 to 1682.-History:...

 acted the play at their Vere Street theatre, with Margaret Hughes
Margaret Hughes
Margaret Hughes , also Peg Hughes or Margaret Hewes, is often credited as the first professional actress on the English stage...

 as Desdemona – probably the first time a professional actress appeared on a public stage in England.

It may be one index of the play's power that Othello was one of the very few Shakespearean plays that was never adapted and changed during the Restoration and the eighteenth century.

As Shakespeare regained popularity among nineteenth-century French Romantics, poet, playwright, and novelist Alfred de Vigny
Alfred de Vigny
Alfred Victor de Vigny was a French poet, playwright, and novelist.-Life:Alfred de Vigny was born in Loches into an aristocratic family...

 created a French translation of
Othello, titled Le More de Venise, which premiered at the Comédie-Française
Comédie-Française
The Comédie-Française or Théâtre-Français is one of the few state theaters in France. It is the only state theater to have its own troupe of actors. It is located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris....

 on 24 October 1829.

Famous nineteenth century Othellos included Edmund Kean
Edmund Kean
Edmund Kean was an English actor, regarded in his time as the greatest ever.-Early life:Kean was born in London. His father was probably Edmund Kean, an architect’s clerk, and his mother was an actress, Anne Carey, daughter of the 18th century composer and playwright Henry Carey...

, Edwin Forrest
Edwin Forrest
Edwin Forrest was an American actor.-Early life:Forrest was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of Scottish and German descent. His father died and he was brought up by his mother, a German woman of humble origins. He was educated at the common schools in Philadelphia, and early evinced a taste...

, Ira Aldridge
Ira Aldridge
Ira Frederick Aldridge , was an American stage actor who made his career largely on the London stage and in Europe, especially in Shakespearean roles...

, and Tommaso Salvini
Tommaso Salvini
Tommaso Salvini was an Italian actor. His father and mother were both actors, and Tommaso first appeared when he was barely fourteen as Pasquino in Goldoni's Donne curiose. In 1847 he joined the company of Adelaide Ristori, who was then at the beginning of her brilliant career...

, and outstanding Iagos were Edwin Booth
Edwin Booth
Edwin Thomas Booth was a famous 19th century American actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time...

 and Henry Irving
Henry Irving
Sir Henry Irving , born John Henry Brodribb, was an English stage actor in the Victorian era, known as an actor-manager because he took complete responsibility for season after season at the Lyceum Theatre, establishing himself and his company as...

.

20th century


The most notable American production may be Margaret Webster
Margaret Webster
Margaret Webster was an American-born theater actress, producer and director. Through her parents, she held dual US/UK citizenship.-Career:...

's 1943 staging starring Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson
Paul Leroy Robeson was an American concert singer , recording artist, actor, athlete, scholar who was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement in the first half of the twentieth century...

 as Othello and Jose Ferrer
José Ferrer
José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón , best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, as well as a theater and film director...

 as Iago. This production was the first ever in America to feature a black actor playing Othello with an otherwise all-white cast (there had been all-black productions of the play before). It ran for 296 performances, almost twice as long as any other Shakespearean play ever produced on Broadway. Although it was never filmed, it was the first nearly complete performance of a Shakespeare play released on records. Robeson had first played the role in London in 1931 opposite a cast that included Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
Dame Peggy Ashcroft, DBE was an English actress.-Early years:Born as Edith Margaret Emily Ashcroft in Croydon, Ashcroft attended the Woodford School, Croydon and the Central School of Speech and Drama...

 as Desdemona and Ralph Richardson
Ralph Richardson
Sir Ralph David Richardson was an English actor, one of a group of theatrical knights of the mid-20th century who, though more closely associated with the stage, also appeared in several classic films....

 as Roderigo, and would return to it in 1959 at Stratford on Avon with co-stars Mary Ure
Mary Ure
Eileen Mary Ure was a Scottish actress of stage and film.-Early life:Born in Glasgow where she studied at the school of drama, Ure was the daughter of civil engineer Colin McGregor Ure and Edith Swinburne. She went to the independent Mount School in York and trained for the stage at the Central...

, Sam Wanamaker
Sam Wanamaker
Samuel Wanamaker was an American film director and actor and is credited as the person most responsible for the modern recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London...

 and Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave, CBE is an English actress of stage, screen and television, as well as a political activist.She rose to prominence in 1961 playing Rosalind in As You Like It with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has since made more than 35 appearances on London's West End and Broadway, winning...

. The critics had mixed reactions to the "flashy" 1959 production which included mid western accents and rock-and roll drumbeats but gave Robeson primarily good reviews. W.A. Darlington of The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

 ranked Robeson's Othello as the best he'd ever seen while the Daily Express
Daily Express
The Daily Express switched from broadsheet to tabloid in 1977 and was bought by the construction company Trafalgar House in the same year. Its publishing company, Beaverbrook Newspapers, was renamed Express Newspapers...

, which had for years prior published consistently scathing articles about him for his leftist views, praised his "strong and stately" performance (though in turn suggested it was a "triumph of presence not acting").

Actors have alternated the roles of Iago and Othello in productions to stir audience interest since the nineteenth century. Two of the most notable examples of this role swap were William Charles Macready
William Charles Macready
-Life:He was born in London, and educated at Rugby.It was his intention to go up to Oxford, but in 1809 the embarrassed affairs of his father, the lessee of several provincial theatres, called him to share the responsibilities of theatrical management. On 7 June 1810 he made a successful first...

 and Samuel Phelps
Samuel Phelps
Samuel Phelps was an English actor and theatre manager...

 at Drury Lane
Drury Lane
Drury Lane is a street on the eastern boundary of the Covent Garden area of London, running between Aldwych and High Holborn. The northern part is in the borough of Camden and the southern part in the City of Westminster....

 (1837) and Richard Burton
Richard Burton
Richard Burton, CBE was a Welsh actor. He was nominated seven times for an Academy Award, six of which were for Best Actor in a Leading Role , and was a recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony Awards for Best Actor. Although never trained as an actor, Burton was, at one time, the highest-paid...

 and John Neville at the Old Vic Theatre (1955). When Edwin Booth
Edwin Booth
Edwin Thomas Booth was a famous 19th century American actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time...

's tour of England in 1880 was not well attended, Henry Irving
Henry Irving
Sir Henry Irving , born John Henry Brodribb, was an English stage actor in the Victorian era, known as an actor-manager because he took complete responsibility for season after season at the Lyceum Theatre, establishing himself and his company as...

 invited Booth to alternate the roles of Othello and Iago with him in London. The stunt renewed interest in Booth's tour. James O'Neill
James O'Neill (actor)
James O'Neill was an actor and the father of the American playwright Eugene O'Neill....

 also alternated the roles of Othello and Iago with Booth.

The American actor William Marshall
William Marshall (actor)
William Marshall was an American singer, bandleader and a motion picture actor, director and producer.Born in Chicago, Illinois, he became a vocalist for Fred Waring and his band, the "Pennsylvanians " before forming his own band in 1937...

 performed the title role in at least six productions. His Othello was called by Harold Hobson
Harold Hobson
Sir Harold Hobson was an influential English drama critic and author.He was born in Thorpe Hesley near Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England and read History at Oxford University. He was an assistant literary editor for the Sunday Times from 1944 and later became its drama critic...

 of the London Sunday Times "the best Othello of our time," continuing: "...nobler than Tearle
Godfrey Tearle
Sir Godfrey Seymour Tearle was a British actor who portrayed the quintessential Englishman on stage and in both English and US films.-Biography:...

, more martial than Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

, more poetic than Valk
Frederick Valk
Frederick Valk was a German-born Jewish stage and screen actor of Czech descent who fled to the United Kingdom in the late 1930s to escape Nazi persecution, and subsequently became a naturalised British citizen...

. From his first entry, slender and magnificently tall, framed in a high Byzantine arch, clad in white samite, mystic, wonderful, a figure of Arabian romance and grace, to his last plunging of the knife into his stomach, Mr Marshall rode without faltering the play's enormous rhetoric, and at the end the house rose to him." Marshall also played Othello in a jazz musical version, Catch My Soul, with Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis is an American rock and roll and country music singer-songwriter and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, Lewis's career faltered after he married his young cousin, and he afterwards made a career extension to country and western music. He is known by the nickname 'The...

 as Iago
Iago
Iago is a fictional character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's source is traced to Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio's tale "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi . There, the character is simply "the ensign". Iago is a soldier and Othello's ancient . He is the husband of Emilia,...

, in Los Angeles in 1968. His Othello was captured on record in 1964 with Jay Robinson
Jay Robinson
Jay Robinson is an American actor specialising in character roles. He was born in New York City.-Career:Robinson began his acting career in summer stock theatre and repertory companies, and eventually made his way to the Broadway stage, where he appeared in Shakespeare's As You Like It and Much...

 as Iago and on video in 1981 with Ron Moody
Ron Moody
Ron Moody is an English actor.- Personal life :Moody was born in Tottenham, North London, England, the son of Kate and Bernard Moodnick, a studio executive. His father was of Russian Jewish descent and his mother was a Lithuanian Jew. He is a cousin of director Laurence Moody and actress Clare...

 as Iago. The 1982 Broadway staging starred James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones is an American actor. He is well-known for his distinctive bass voice and for his portrayal of characters of substance, gravitas and leadership...

 as Othello and Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
Arthur Christopher Orne Plummer, CC is a Canadian theatre, film and television actor. He made his film debut in 1957's Stage Struck, and notable early film performances include Night of the Generals, The Return of the Pink Panther and The Man Who Would Be King.In a career that spans over five...

 as Iago, who became the only actor to receive a Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 nomination for a performance in the play.

When Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 gave his acclaimed performance of Othello at the Royal National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

 in 1964, he had developed a case of stage fright that was so profound that when he was alone onstage, Frank Finlay
Frank Finlay
Francis Finlay, CBE is an English stage, film and television actor.-Personal life:Finlay was born in Farnworth, Lancashire, the son of Margaret and Josiah Finlay, a butcher. A devout Catholic, he belongs to the British Catholic Stage Guild. He was educated at St...

 (who was playing Iago) would have to stand offstage where Olivier could see him to settle his nerves. This performance was recorded complete on LP, and filmed by popular demand in 1965 (according to a biography of Olivier, tickets for the stage production were notoriously hard to get). The film version
Othello (1965 film)
Othello is a 1965 film based on the National Theatre's staging of Shakespeare's Othello staged by John Dexter. Directed by Stuart Burge, the film starred Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Frank Finlay, and Joyce Redman, providing film debuts for both Derek Jacobi and Michael...

 still holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for acting ever given to a Shakespeare film – Olivier, Finlay, Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, DBE , better known as Maggie Smith, is an English film, stage, and television actress who made her stage debut in 1952 and is still performing after 59 years...

 (as Desdemona) and Joyce Redman
Joyce Redman
-Biography:She was born in County Mayo, Ireland, to an Anglo-Irish family. She was educated by a private governess in Ireland, along with her three sisters. She was trained in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art....

 (as Emilia, Iago's wife) were all nominated for Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

. Olivier was among the last white actors to be greatly acclaimed as Othello, although the role continued to be played by such performers as Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
David Paul Scofield, CH, CBE , better known as Paul Scofield, was an English actor of stage and screen...

 at the Royal National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

 in 1980, Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, KBE , best known as Anthony Hopkins, is a Welsh actor of film, stage and television...

 in the BBC Shakespeare television production on videotape. (1981), and Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Sir Michael John Gambon, CBE is an Irish actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. A highly respected theatre actor, Gambon is recognised for his roles as Philip Marlowe in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, as Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and as...

 in a stage production at Scarborough directed by Alan Ayckbourn
Alan Ayckbourn
Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE is a prolific English playwright. He has written and produced seventy-three full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their...

 in 1990. Gambon had been in Olivier's earlier production. In an interview Gambon commented "I wasn't even the second gentleman in that. I didn't have any lines at all. I was at the back like that, standing for an hour. [It's] what I used to do – I had a metal helmet, I had an earplug, and we used to listen to The Archers
The Archers
The Archers is a long-running British soap opera broadcast on the BBC's main spoken-word channel, Radio 4. It was originally billed as "an everyday story of country folk", but is now described on its Radio 4 web site as "contemporary drama in a rural setting"...

. No one knew. All the line used to listen to The Archers. And then I went and played Othello myself at Birmingham Rep
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Birmingham Repertory Theatre is a theatre and theatre company based on Centenary Square in Birmingham, England...

 I was 27. Olivier sent me a telegram on the first night. He said, "Copy me." He said, "Do what I used to do." Olivier used to lower his voice for Othello so I did mine. He used to paint the big negro lips on. You couldn't do it today, you'd get shot. He had the complete negro face. And the hips. I did all that. I copied him exactly. Except I had a pony tail. I played him as an Arab. I stuck a pony tail on with a bell on the end of it. I thought that would be nice. Every time I moved my hair went wild." British blacking-up for Othello ended with Gambon in 1990, however the Royal Shakespeare Company
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford-upon-Avon and plays regularly in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and on tour across...

 didn't run the play at all on the main Stratford stage until 1999, when Ray Fearon
Ray Fearon
Fitzroy Raymond "Ray" Fearon is a British actor who has worked extensively in theatre, and is known for playing garage mechanic Nathan Harding on ITV's long-running soap opera Coronation Street.-Early life:...

 became the first black British actor to take the part, the first black man to play Othello with the RSC since Robeson.

In 1997, Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart
Sir Patrick Hewes Stewart, OBE is an English film, television and stage actor, who has had a distinguished career in theatre and television for around half a century...

 took the role of Othello with the Shakespeare Theatre Company
Shakespeare Theatre Company
The Shakespeare Theatre Company is a regional theatre company located in Washington, D.C. Their self professed mission "is to present classic theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights’ language and intentions while viewing their...

 (Washington, D.C.) in a race-bending performance, in a "photo negative" production of a white Othello with an otherwise all-black cast. Stewart had wanted to play the title role since the age of 14, so he and director Jude Kelly
Jude Kelly
Judith Pamela Kelly OBE is a theatre director and producer from Liverpool, England.Kelly founded Solent People's Theatre, a touring company in 1976, and was artistic director of the Battersea Arts Centre from 1980 to 1985. In 1986, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company...

 inverted the play so Othello became a comment on a white man entering a black society. The interpretation of the role is broadening, with theatre companies casting Othello as a woman or inverting the gender of the whole cast to explore gender questions in Shakespeare's text. Companies also have chosen to share the role between several actors during a performance.

21st century


Othello opened at the Donmar Warehouse
Donmar Warehouse
Donmar Warehouse is a small not-for-profit theatre in the Covent Garden area of London, with a capacity of 251.-About:Under the artistic leadership of Michael Grandage, the theatre has presented some of London’s most memorable award-winning theatrical experiences, as well as garnered critical...

 in London on 4 December 2007, directed by Michael Grandage
Michael Grandage
Michael Grandage CBE is a British theatre director and producer, and current Artistic Director at the Donmar Warehouse, London. Grandage won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for Red.-Early years:...

, with Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetelu Umeadi "Chiwetel" Ejiofor, OBE is an English actor of stage and screen. He has received numerous acting awards and award nominations, including the 2006 BAFTA Awards Rising Star, three Golden Globe Awards' nominations, and the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his...

 as Othello, Ewan McGregor
Ewan McGregor
Ewan Gordon McGregor is a Scottish actor. He has had success in mainstream, indie, and art house films. McGregor is perhaps best known for his roles as heroin addict Mark Renton in the drama Trainspotting , young Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy , and poet Christian in the...

 as Iago and Kelly Reilly as Desdemona. Despite tickets selling as high as £2000 on web-based vendors, only Ejiofor was praised by critics, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for his performance; with McGregor and Reilly's performances receiving largely negative notices. Stand up comedian Lenny Henry
Lenny Henry
Lenworth George "Lenny" Henry, is a British actor, writer, comedian and occasional television presenter.- Early life :...

 was the latest big name to play Othello. He did so on a tour at the start of 2009 produced by Northern Broadsides
Northern Broadsides
Northern Broadsides is a theatre company formed in 1992 and based at Dean Clough Mill in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. The founder and artistic director is Barrie Rutter. The company performs in Halifax and on tour, a mix of Shakespeare and other productions. Music is specially written for...

 in collaboration with West Yorkshire Playhouse
West Yorkshire Playhouse
The West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, England is a theatre which opened in March 1990 as part of the regeneration of the Quarry Hill area of the city...

. Canadian playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald
Ann-Marie MacDonald
Ann-Marie MacDonald is a Canadian playwright, novelist, actor and broadcast journalist who lives in Toronto, Ontario. The daughter of a member of Canada's military, she was born at an air force base near Baden-Baden, West Germany....

's 1988 award-winning
1990 Governor General's Awards
Each winner of the 1990 Governor General's Awards for Literary Merit received $10000 and a specially bound edition of his or her book. The winners were selected by a panel of judges administered by the Canada Council for the Arts.-Fiction:Winner:...

 play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)
Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)
Goodnight Desdemona is a 1988 comedic play by Ann-Marie MacDonald in which Constance Ledbelly, a young English literature professor from Queen's University, goes on a subconscious journey of self-discovery....

 is a revision of Othello and Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

in which an academic diciphers a cryptic manuscript she believes to be the original source for the tragedies, and is transported into the plays themselves.

Opera



Otello
Otello (Rossini)
Otello is an opera in three acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Berio di Salsi, based on Shakespeare's play Othello....

, a three act opera with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Berio di Salsi and music by Gioachino Rossini was first performed at the Teatro del Fondo
Teatro del Fondo
The Teatro del Fondo is a theatre in Naples, now known as the Teatro Mercadante. Together with the Teatro San Carlo, it was originally one of the two royal opera houses of the 18th and 19th-century city....

, Naples, on 4 December 1816. The opera deviates from Shakespeare's original in some aspects: Jago is less diabolical than his Shakespearean counterpart, the setting is Venice rather than Cyprus, and the composer and librettist provided an alternative happy ending to the work, a common practice with drama and opera at one time. The opera is rarely performed.

Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century...

 and librettist Arrigo Boito
Arrigo Boito
Arrigo Boito , aka Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito, pseudonym Tobia Gorrio, was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist and composer, best known today for his libretti, especially those for Giuseppe Verdi's operas Otello and Falstaff, and his own opera Mefistofele...

 adapted Shakespeare's play to Otello
Otello
Otello is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare's play Othello. It was Verdi's penultimate opera, and was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on February 5, 1887....

, an Italian grand opera in four acts that was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan on 5 February 1887. It was Verdi's second to last opera (followed by another Shakespeare adaptation, Falstaff
Falstaff (opera)
Falstaff is an operatic commedia lirica in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, adapted by Arrigo Boito from Shakespeare's plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and scenes from Henry IV. It was Verdi's last opera, written in the composer's ninth decade, and only the second of his 26 operas to be a comedy...

) and is considered by many to be Verdi's greatest opera. Verdi and his librettist dispensed with the first act of the play. The popular opera attracts world class singers and is found in the repertoire of prominent opera houses. Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli
Franco Zeffirelli KBE is an Italian director and producer of films and television. He is also a director and designer of operas and a former senator for the Italian center-right Forza Italia party....

's 1986 film version of Verdi's
Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century...

 opera starring Plácido Domingo
Plácido Domingo
Plácido Domingo KBE , born José Plácido Domingo Embil, is a Spanish tenor and conductor known for his versatile and strong voice, possessing a ringing and dramatic tone throughout its range...

 as Othello won the BAFTA
British Academy of Film and Television Arts
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is a charity in the United Kingdom that hosts annual awards shows for excellence in film, television, television craft, video games and forms of animation.-Introduction:...

 for foreign language film. (Indeed, according to the Kennedy Center's biographical note on Domingo, Laurence Olivier saw Domingo in Otello
Otello
Otello is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare's play Othello. It was Verdi's penultimate opera, and was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on February 5, 1887....

and, in a mockingly furious voice, told Franco Zeffirelli: "You realise that Domingo plays Othello as well as I do, and he has that voice!")

On 25 February 1999,
Bandanna, an English language opera in a prologue and two acts with a libretto by Irish poet Paul Muldoon and music by Daron Hagen
Daron Hagen
Daron Aric Hagen , is an American composer, conductor, pianist, educator, librettist, and stage director of contemporary classical music and opera.- Early life and education :...

 was performed by the opera theatre at The University of Texas in Austin. The opera is set in 1968 on the United States–Mexican border and borrows elements from Cinthio's tale, Shakespeare's play, and Verdi's opera.

Ballet


Mexican choreographer José Limón
José Limón
José Arcadio Limón was a pioneer in the field of modern dance and choreography. In 1928, at age 20, he moved to New York City where he studied under Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. In 1946, Limón founded the José Limón Dance Company...

 created a 20-minute, four character ballet called The Moor's Pavane
The Moor's Pavane
The Moor's Pavane is a 20-minute ballet based upon the tragedy Othello by William Shakespeare. The ballet was choreographed by José Limón to music arranged by Simon Sadoff from Henry Purcell's Abdelazer, The Gordion Knot Untied, and the pavane from Pavane and Chaconne for Strings. The ballet's four...

to the music of Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music...

 in 1949. The work premiered at the Connecticut College American Dance Festival in the same year. American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre , based in New York City, was one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century. It continues as a leading dance company in the world today...

 was the first dance company outside Limon's to include the work in its repertory. It is a standard in dance companies around the world and notable interpreters of the Moor include Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev was a Russian dancer, considered one of the most celebrated ballet dancers of the 20th century. Nureyev's artistic skills explored expressive areas of the dance, providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as support to the women.In 1961 he...

.

The ballet
Othello was choreographed by John Neumeier
John Neumeier
John Neumeier is a well-known American ballet dancer, choreographer, and director. He has been the director and chief choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet since 1973. 5 years later he founded the Hamburg Ballet School, which also includes a boarding school...

 to music by Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke, Naná Vasconcelos et al. and was premiered by the Hamburg Ballet in Hamburg on 27 January 1985, with Gamal Gouda as Othello, Gigi Hyatt as Desdemona, and Max Midinet as Iago. The work remains in the repertoire of the Hamburg Ballet
Hamburg Ballet
Hamburg Ballet, also known as the Hamburg State Opera Ballet, is an internationally acclaimed ballet company located in Hamburg, Germany. Since 1973 it is directed by the American dancer and choreographer John Neumeier....

, seeing its 100th performance in 2008.

In 2002, modern dance choreographer Lar Lubovitch
Lar Lubovitch
Lar Lubovitch is an American choreographer and founded his own dance company, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1968. Based in New York City, he and the company have toured worldwide....

 created a full-length ballet in three acts based on the Shakespeare play and Cinthio's tale with a score by Elliot Goldenthal
Elliot Goldenthal
Elliot Goldenthal is an American composer of contemporary classical music. He was a student of Aaron Copland and John Corigliano, and is best known for his distinctive style and ability to blend various musical styles and techniques in original and inventive ways...

. The work has been staged by the San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Ballet
The San Francisco Ballet is a ballet company, founded in 1933 as the San Francisco Opera Ballet. The company is currently based in the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, under the direction of Helgi Tomasson. SFB is the first professional ballet company in the United States...

 with Desmond Richardson
Desmond Richardson
Desmond Richardson is co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He has mastered a wide range of dance forms including classical, modern, and contemporary.- Life and career :...

, Yuan Yuan Tan
Yuan Yuan Tan
Yuanyuan Tan She won multiple international awards at an early age; including a gold medal and the Nijinsky Award at the 1st Japan International Ballet and Modern Dance Competition and a gold medal in the 5th International Ballet Competition in Paris . At age 18, she became a soloist dancer with...

, and Parrish Maynard in the principal roles. The ballet was broadcast on PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

's Great Performances
Great Performances
Great Performances, a television series devoted to the performing arts, has been telecast on Public Broadcasting Service public television since 1972...

: Dance in America and the program was nominated for an Emmy Award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

. The ballet is recorded on Kultur video.
Othello was first performed in New York City at the Metropolitan Opera House
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager...

, 23 May 1997, by American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre , based in New York City, was one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century. It continues as a leading dance company in the world today...

.

Other ballets include
Prologue choreographed by Jacques d'Amboise for the New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet is a ballet company founded in 1948 by choreographer George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein. Leon Barzin was the company's first music director. Balanchine and Jerome Robbins are considered the founding choreographers of the company...

 in 1967 as a prequel to Shakespeare's play,
Othello choreographed by John Butler to the music of Dvořák for Carla Fracci
Carla Fracci
Carla Fracci is a ballet dancer and actress. Her career highlights include Nijinsky, Giselle , Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances: Erik Bruhn 1961-1967.-FAO Ambassador:...

 and the La Scala Ballet in 1976, and a version choreographed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefous for the Louisville Ballet
Louisville Ballet
The Louisville Ballet is a ballet school and company based in Louisville, Kentucky and is the official state ballet of The Commonwealth of Kentucky. More than 100,000 people attend the company's productions annually of which most are accompanied by the Louisville Orchestra...

 in the 1980s.

Film


See also Shakespeare on screen (Othello).

Shot between 1948–52, Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

 directed The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice
Othello (1952 film)
Othello is a 1952 drama film based on the Shakespearean play, made by Mercury Productions Inc. and Les Films Marceau and distributed by United Artists . It was directed and produced by Orson Welles, who also played the title role . The screenplay was adapted by Welles and an uncredited Jean Sacha...

(1952), produced as a black and white film noir
Film noir
Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s...

. The film stars Welles as Othello and Suzanne Cloutier
Suzanne Cloutier
Suzanne Cloutier was a Canadian film actress.She was born in Ottawa, Ontario. In 1952 she appeared in the film Derby Day as a maid who wins a trip to the Epsom Derby in the company of a famous film star. She appeared as Desdemona in Orson Welles' 1952 film adaptation of Othello...

 as Desdemona. The troubled production was filmed over the course of three years as Welles' time and money permitted, in Mogador, Morocco and Venice. Lack of funds (and costumes) forced Roderigo's death scene to be shot in a Turkish bath with performers wearing only large, ragged towels. The film won the Palme D'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

 at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

. Rather than focusing on racial mis-matching, the film plays on a difference between Desdemona and Othello in age, size and personal attractiveness. The film noir colouring of the picture minimised any commentary on Othello's blackness, to the point that the critic F. R. Leavis
F. R. Leavis
Frank Raymond "F. R." Leavis CH was an influential British literary critic of the early-to-mid-twentieth century. He taught for nearly his entire career at Downing College, Cambridge.-Early life:...

 wrote that the film made no reference to Othello's colour.

Unlike Welles's film, Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

's Othello (1965), based on John Dexter
John Dexter
John Dexter was an English theatre, opera, and film director.- Theatre :Born in Derby, England, Dexter left school at the age of fourteen to serve in the British army during World War II. Following the war, he began working as a stage actor before turning to producing and directing shows for...

's National Theatre's production, brings issues of race to the fore, with Olivier putting on an 'African accent' and entering in a large 'ethnic' necklace and a dressing gown. He commented, however, that he did "not dare to play the Moor as a full-blooded negro". One contemporary critic found the coloration too much, commenting that Olivier was "blacker than black, almost blue" . Trevor Nunn
Trevor Nunn
Sir Trevor Robert Nunn, CBE is an English theatre, film and television director. Nunn has been the Artistic Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and, currently, the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. He has directed musicals and dramas for the stage, as well as opera...

's 1989 version filmed at Stratford
Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, south east of Birmingham and south west of Warwick. It is the largest and most populous town of the District of Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term "on" to indicate that it covers...

, cast black opera singer Willard White
Willard White
Sir Willard Wentworth White, OM, CBE is a Jamaican-born British bass-baritone.-Early life:He was born into a poor but supportive Jamaican family in Kingston. His father was a dockworker, his mother a housewife. White first began to learn music by listening to the radio and singing Nat King Cole...

 in the leading role, opposite Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen
Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE is an English actor. He has received a Tony Award, two Academy Award nominations, and five Emmy Award nominations. His work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction...

's Iago. The first major screen production casting a black actor as Othello would not come until 1995 with Laurence Fishburne
Laurence Fishburne
Laurence John Fishburne III is an American film and stage actor, playwright, director, and producer. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Morpheus in the Matrix science fiction film trilogy, as Cowboy Curtis on the 1980's television show Pee-wee's Playhouse, and as singer-musician Ike Turner...

 opposite Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from Northern Ireland. He is best known for directing and starring in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays including Henry V , Much Ado About Nothing , Hamlet Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from...

's Iago (not that there have been many major screen productions of Othello, most film versions to date have been filmed stage productions). It was made during the O. J. Simpson trial and commentators such as Cartmell draw parallels between the two "who-dunnit" murder stories, and wonder if the film's release was not a little to do with the publicity surrounding the film star's drama.

Omkara
Omkara (film)
Omkara is a 2006 Indian film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello, co-written and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. It starred Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles, supported by Vivek Oberoi, Naseeruddin Shah, and Konkona Sen Sharma with a cameo role from Bipasha Basu...

is a version in Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 set in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

, starring Ajay Devgan
Ajay Devgan
Ajay Devgan , born Vishal Veeru Devgan on 2 April 1969, is an Indian film actor, director, and producer.He made his film debut with Phool Aur Kaante in 1991 and received a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut for his performance in the film and for which he won a Filmfare Best Debut Award...

 as Omkara (Othello), Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan is an Indian actor known for his work in Bollywood films. He is the son of the late former Nawab of Pataudi, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, and actress Sharmila Tagore. He has two sisters: Saba Ali Khan and actress Soha Ali Khan....

 as Langda Tyagi (Iago), Kareena Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor , often informally referred to as Bebo, is an Indian actress who appears in Bollywood films. During her career, Kapoor has received six Filmfare Awards, among nine nominations, and has been noted for her performances in a range of film genres; these include her work from contemporary...

 as Dolly (Desdemona), Vivek Oberoi
Vivek Oberoi
Vivek Oberoi is an Indian actor. He is the son of Bollywood actor Suresh Oberoi and Yashodhara Oberoi.- Early life :Vivek attended Mayo college in Ajmer. At an actors' workshop in London he was spotted by the director of New York University who took Vivek off to New York, where he completed his...

 as Kesu (Cassio), Bipasha Basu
Bipasha Basu
Bipasha Basu is an Indian actress who mainly appears in Bollywood films. A former model, she was the winner of the Ford's Godrej Cinthol Supermodel contest in 1996.-Early life:...

 as Billo (Bianca) and Konkona Sen Sharma
Konkona Sen Sharma
Konkona Sen Sharma is an Indian actress. She is the daughter of actress and filmmaker Aparna Sen. Sharma appears primarily in Indian arthouse and independent films, and her achievements in the genre have established her as one of the leading actresses of contemporary parallel cinema.Making her...

 as Indu (Emilia). The film was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj
Vishal Bhardwaj
Vishal Bhardwaj is an Indian film director, writer, screenwriter, music composer and playback singer.-Early life:Bhardwaj was born in Bijnor but raised in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh to Satya Bhardwaj, a homemaker, and Ram Bhardwaj, a popular poet and lyricist. His father was a government employee and...

 who earlier adapted Shakespeare's Macbeth
Macbeth
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607...

 as Maqbool
Maqbool
Maqbool , a 2004 Indian film directed by Vishal Bhardwaj and starring Pankaj Kapoor, Irfan Khan, Tabu and Masumeh Makhija is an adaptation of the play Macbeth by Shakespeare....

. All characters in the film share the same letter or sound in their first name as in the original Shakespeare classic. It is one of the few mainstream Indian movies
Cinema of India
The cinema of India consists of films produced across India, which includes the cinematic culture of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. Indian films came to be followed throughout South Asia and...

 to contain uncensored profanity.

Other film adaptations

  • 1909 silent film shot in VeniceBuchanan, Shakespeare on Silent Film (2009)
  • 1909 German directed by, and stars, Franz Porten as Othello, Henny Porten as Desdemona, and Rosa Porten as Emilia.
  • 1914 silent film shot in Venice
  • 1922 German, starring Emil Jannings
    Emil Jannings
    Emil Jannings was a German actor. He was not only the first actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, but also the first person to be presented an Oscar...

     as Othello, Werner Krauss
    Werner Krauss
    Werner Johannes Krauss was a German stage and film actor.-Early life:Krauss was born at the parsonage of Gestungshausen in Upper Franconia, where his grandfather was Protestant pastor. He spent his childhood in Breslau and from 1901 attended the teacher's college at Kreuzburg...

     as Iago, and Ica von Lenkeffy
    Ica von Lenkeffy
    Ica von Lenkeffy was a Hungarian film actress of the silent era. She appeared in 26 films between 1912 and 1928.She was born in Miskolc, Hungary and died in Budapest.-Selected filmography:* A Vörös Sámson...

     as Desdemona
  • 1955 Othello
    Othello (1955 film)
    Othello is a 1955 Soviet drama film directed by Sergei Yutkevich, based on the play Othello by William Shakespeare. It was entered into the 1956 Cannes Film Festival.-Cast:* Sergei Bondarchuk - Othello* Irina Skobtseva - Desdemona...

    , USSR, starring Sergei Bondarchuk
    Sergei Bondarchuk
    Sergei Fedorovich Bondarchuk was a Soviet film director, screenwriter, and actor.- Biography :Born in Belozerka, in the Kherson Governorate, Sergei Bondarchuk spent his childhood in the cities of Yeysk and Taganrog, graduating from the Taganrog School Number 4 in 1938. His first performance as an...

    , Irina Skobtseva
    Irina Skobtseva
    Irina Konstantinova Skobtseva is a Russian/Soviet actress, wife of Sergei Bondarchuk, and mother of Elena and Fyodor Bondarchuk.She first met Sergei shooting Othello in 1955, and became his second wife in 1959. She starred as Pierre Bezukhov's wife Elena Kuragina Bezukhova in the juggernaut War...

    , Andrei Popov. Directed by Sergei Yutkevich
    Sergei Yutkevich
    Sergei Iosifovich Yutkevich was an award-winning Soviet film director and screenwriter.-Life and career:He began work as a teen doing puppet shows. Later he helped found the Factory of the Eccentric Actor , which was primarily concerned with circus and music hall acts. He entered films in the...

    .
  • 1962 All Night Long (British) Othello is Rex, a jazz bandleader. Dave Brubeck
    Dave Brubeck
    David Warren "Dave" Brubeck is an American jazz pianist. He has written a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranges from refined to bombastic, reflecting his mother's attempts at classical training and his improvisational skills...

     and other jazz musicians.
  • 1965 Othello
    Othello (1965 film)
    Othello is a 1965 film based on the National Theatre's staging of Shakespeare's Othello staged by John Dexter. Directed by Stuart Burge, the film starred Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Frank Finlay, and Joyce Redman, providing film debuts for both Derek Jacobi and Michael...

    with Laurence Olivier
    Laurence Olivier
    Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

    , Maggie Smith
    Maggie Smith
    Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, DBE , better known as Maggie Smith, is an English film, stage, and television actress who made her stage debut in 1952 and is still performing after 59 years...

    , Frank Finlay
    Frank Finlay
    Francis Finlay, CBE is an English stage, film and television actor.-Personal life:Finlay was born in Farnworth, Lancashire, the son of Margaret and Josiah Finlay, a butcher. A devout Catholic, he belongs to the British Catholic Stage Guild. He was educated at St...

    , and Joyce Redman
    Joyce Redman
    -Biography:She was born in County Mayo, Ireland, to an Anglo-Irish family. She was educated by a private governess in Ireland, along with her three sisters. She was trained in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art....

  • 1974 Catch My Soul
    Catch My Soul
    For UK Stage version see Catch My Soul Catch My Soul is a 1974 film produced by Jack Good and Richard M. Rosenbloom, and directed by Patrick McGoohan. It was an adaptation of Good's stage musical of the same title, which itself was loosely adapted from William Shakespeare's Othello...

    adapted from Jack Good
    Jack Good (producer)
    Jack Good is a pioneering former TV television producer, musical theatre producer, record producer, musician and painter of icons.-Career:...

    's rock musical
    Catch My Soul (UK stage version)
    Disambiguation: for Film version see Catch My SoulCatch My Soul was the UK stage version of the rock musical produced by Jack Good. The show was a showcase for the talents of Lance LeGault, PP Arnold, P.J. Proby and an introduction to the rock musician Robert Tench and the band Gass...

    , directed by Patrick McGoohan
    Patrick McGoohan
    Patrick Joseph McGoohan was an American-born actor, raised in Ireland and England, with an extensive stage and film career, most notably in the 1960s television series Danger Man , and The Prisoner, which he co-created...

     and starring Richie Havens
    Richie Havens
    Richard P. "Richie" Havens is an African American folk singer and guitarist. He is best known for his intense, rhythmic guitar style , soulful covers of pop and folk songs, and his opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.-Career:Born in Brooklyn, Havens was the eldest of nine children...

    , Lance LeGault
    Lance LeGault
    Lance LeGault , sometimes credited as W. L. LeGault, is an American film and television actor, best known as Colonel Roderick Decker in the 1980s American television series The A-Team.-Personal life:...

    , Season Hubley
    Season Hubley
    -Biography:Hubley was born Susan Hubley in New York City, the daughter of Julia Kaul and Grant Shelby Hubley, a writer and entrepreneur. Her brother is actor Whip Hubley....

     and Tony Joe White
    Tony Joe White
    Tony Joe White is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his 1969 hit "Polk Salad Annie"; "Rainy Night in Georgia", which he wrote but was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970; and "Steamy Windows", a hit for Tina Turner in 1989...

    .
  • 1982 Othello, the Black Commando written by and starring Max H. Boulois with Tony Curtis
    Tony Curtis
    Tony Curtis was an American film actor whose career spanned six decades, but had his greatest popularity during the 1950s and early 1960s. He acted in over 100 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama...

     as Colonel Iago and Joanna Pettet
    Joanna Pettet
    Joanna Pettet is a British actress.-Biography:Her parents, Harold Nigel Edgerton Salmon, a British Royal Air Force pilot killed in World War II, and mother, Cecily J. Tremaine, were married in London in 1940...

     as Desdemona
  • 1995 Othello
    Othello (1995 film)
    Othello is a 1995 film based on William Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name. It was directed by Oliver Parker and stars Laurence Fishburne as Othello, Irène Jacob as Desdemona, and Kenneth Branagh as Iago...

    with Kenneth Branagh
    Kenneth Branagh
    Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from Northern Ireland. He is best known for directing and starring in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays including Henry V , Much Ado About Nothing , Hamlet Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from...

    , Laurence Fishburne
    Laurence Fishburne
    Laurence John Fishburne III is an American film and stage actor, playwright, director, and producer. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Morpheus in the Matrix science fiction film trilogy, as Cowboy Curtis on the 1980's television show Pee-wee's Playhouse, and as singer-musician Ike Turner...

    , and Irene Jacob
    Irène Jacob
    Irène Marie Jacob is a French-born Swiss actress considered one of the preeminent French actresses of her generation. Jacob gained international recognition and acclaim through her work with Polish film director Krzysztof Kieślowski, who cast her in the lead role of The Double Life of Véronique...

    . Directed by Oliver Parker
    Oliver Parker
    Oliver Parker is an English film director.-Biography:Parker was born in London, the son of Jillian, Lady Parker, a writer and GP , and Sir Peter Parker, formerly Chief executive of British Rail...

    .
  • 1997 Kaliyattam
    Kaliyattam
    Kaliyattam is a 1997 Malayalam film directed by Jayaraaj, and starring Suresh Gopi, Lal, and Manju Warrier. The film is an adapted version of William Shakespeare's play Othello against the backdrop of the Hindu Theyyam performance...

    in Malayalam
    Malayalam language
    Malayalam , is one of the four major Dravidian languages of southern India. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India with official language status in the state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry. It is spoken by 35.9 million people...

    , a modern update, set in Kerala
    Kerala
    or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

    , starring Suresh Gopi
    Suresh Gopi
    Suresh Gopinathan Nair , often credited as Suresh Gopi , is an Indian film actor who works mainly in Malayalam cinema; he is famous for his roles in police dramas. He is noted for his leading roles as much as his character roles...

     as Othello, which won him the national award for best actor, Lal as Iago, Manju Warrier
    Manju Warrier
    Manju Warrier is an Indian film actress. She was among the popular lead actress in Malayalam cinema during the mid to late-1990s.She made her debut in Saakshyam...

     as Desdemona, directed by Jayaraaj.
  • 2001 O
    O (film)
    O is a 2001 American drama film, and a loose modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's Othello.The film's intended release date was April 1999, but due to the Columbine High School massacre, the film was shelved for two years by its original distributor, Miramax Films. Ultimately, it was sold...

    , a modern update, set in an American high school. Stars Mekhi Phifer
    Mekhi Phifer
    Mekhi Thira Phifer is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his multi-year role as Dr. Greg Pratt on NBC's long-running medical drama ER and his co-starring role opposite Eminem in the feature film 8 Mile...

     as Odin (Othello), Julia Stiles
    Julia Stiles
    Julia O'Hara Stiles is an American actress.After beginning her career in small parts in a New York City theatre troupe, she has moved on to leading roles in plays by writers as diverse as William Shakespeare and David Mamet...

     as Desi (Desdemona), and Josh Hartnett
    Josh Hartnett
    Joshua Daniel "Josh" Hartnett is an American actor and aspiring producer. He first came to audiences' attention in 1997 as "Michael Fitzgerald" in the television series Cracker. He made his feature film debut in 1998, co-starring with Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later for Miramax...

     as Hugo (Iago).
  • 2002 Eloise
    Eloise (2002 film)
    Eloise is a 2002 low-budget digital feature film written and directed by Australian film director Brenden Dannaher and starring Melanie Holt, Mark Jensen and Paul Parker....

     a modern update, set in Sydney, Australia.
  • 2006 Omkara
    Omkara (film)
    Omkara is a 2006 Indian film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello, co-written and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. It starred Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles, supported by Vivek Oberoi, Naseeruddin Shah, and Konkona Sen Sharma with a cameo role from Bipasha Basu...

    , a Hindi film adaptation of Othello directed by Vishal Bhardwaj
    Vishal Bhardwaj
    Vishal Bhardwaj is an Indian film director, writer, screenwriter, music composer and playback singer.-Early life:Bhardwaj was born in Bijnor but raised in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh to Satya Bhardwaj, a homemaker, and Ram Bhardwaj, a popular poet and lyricist. His father was a government employee and...

  • 2008 Jarum Halus
    Jarum Halus
    Jarum Halus is a 2008 Malaysian drama film. It is a modern day adaptation of William Shakespeare's Othello. The film’s title is derived from a Malay idiom meaning web of deceit or conspiracy, which is a major theme in the plot of the film....

     a modern updated Malaysian version, in English and Malay by Mark Tan.

Television

  • 1981 Othello
    BBC Television Shakespeare
    The BBC Television Shakespeare was a set of television adaptations of the plays of William Shakespeare, produced by the BBC between 1978 and 1985.-Origins:...

    part of the BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

    's complete works Shakespeare. Starring Anthony Hopkins
    Anthony Hopkins
    Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, KBE , best known as Anthony Hopkins, is a Welsh actor of film, stage and television...

     and Bob Hoskins
    Bob Hoskins
    Robert William "Bob" Hoskins, Jr. is an English actor known for playing Cockney rough diamonds, psychopaths and gangsters, in films such as The Long Good Friday , and Mona Lisa , and lighter roles in family films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Hook .- Early life :Hoskins was born in Bury St...

    .
  • 1990 Othello
    Othello (1990 television)
    Othello is a film produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. It is based on Shakespeare's Othello. It was shot in a black box theater, so minimal props or scenery were needed. Also, the uniforms worn by characters seem reminiscent of United States Civil War uniforms....

    (1990) A film version of the last Royal Shakespeare Company
    Royal Shakespeare Company
    The Royal Shakespeare Company is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford-upon-Avon and plays regularly in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and on tour across...

     production at The Other Place
    The Other Place (theatre)
    The Other Place was a black box theatre on Southern Lane, near to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. It was owned and operated by the Royal Shakespeare Company....

     starring Michael Grandage
    Michael Grandage
    Michael Grandage CBE is a British theatre director and producer, and current Artistic Director at the Donmar Warehouse, London. Grandage won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for Red.-Early years:...

    , Ian McKellen
    Ian McKellen
    Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE is an English actor. He has received a Tony Award, two Academy Award nominations, and five Emmy Award nominations. His work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction...

    , Clive Swift
    Clive Swift
    Clive Walter Swift is an English character comedy actor and songwriter. He is best known for his role as character Richard Bucket in the British television series Keeping Up Appearances. He is less known for his role as character Roy in the British television series The Old Guys...

    , Willard White
    Willard White
    Sir Willard Wentworth White, OM, CBE is a Jamaican-born British bass-baritone.-Early life:He was born into a poor but supportive Jamaican family in Kingston. His father was a dockworker, his mother a housewife. White first began to learn music by listening to the radio and singing Nat King Cole...

    , Sean Baker
    Sean Baker
    Sean Baker, a native of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, is a United States Air Force veteran and former member of the Kentucky National Guard, who served during the first Gulf War, and as a member of the 438th Military Police at Guantanamo Bay....

    , and Imogen Stubbs
    Imogen Stubbs
    Imogen Stubbs, Lady Nunn is an English actress and playwright.-Early life:Imogen Stubbs was born in Northumberland, lived briefly in Portsmouth, where her father was a naval officer, and then moved with her parents to London, where they lived on an elderly river barge on the Thames...

    . Directed by Trevor Nunn
    Trevor Nunn
    Sir Trevor Robert Nunn, CBE is an English theatre, film and television director. Nunn has been the Artistic Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and, currently, the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. He has directed musicals and dramas for the stage, as well as opera...

    .
  • 2001 Othello
    Othello (2001 TV film)
    Othello is a 2001 British television film starring Eamonn Walker, Christopher Eccleston and Keeley Hawes. It is an adaptation in modern English of William Shakespeare's play Othello...

    . British made-for-TV film. A modern-day adaptation in modern English, in which Othello is the first black Commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police
    Metropolitan police
    Metropolitan Police is a generic title for the municipal police force for a major metropolitan area, and it may be part of the official title of the force...

    . Made for ITV
    ITV
    ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

     by LWT
    London Weekend Television
    London Weekend Television was the name of the ITV network franchise holder for Greater London and the Home Counties including south Suffolk, middle and east Hampshire, Oxfordshire, south Bedfordshire, south Northamptonshire, parts of Herefordshire & Worcestershire, Warwickshire, east Dorset and...

    . Scripted by Andrew Davies
    Andrew Davies (writer)
    Andrew Wynford Davies is a British author and screenwriter. He was made a Fellow of BAFTA in 2002.-Education and early career:...

    . Directed by Geoffrey Sax
    Geoffrey Sax
    Geoffrey Sax is a British film and television director, who has worked on a variety of critically acclaimed and popular drama productions in both the UK and the United States....

    . Starring Eamonn Walker
    Eamonn Walker
    Eamonn Walker is an English film, television and theatre actor. In the United States, he is known for playing Kareem Said in the HBO television series Oz, for which he won a CableACE Award, and elsewere as Winston, the gay, black thorn in Alf Garnett's side in In Sickness and in Health and John...

    , Christopher Eccleston
    Christopher Eccleston
    Christopher Eccleston is an English stage, film and television actor. His films include Let Him Have It, Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, 28 Days Later, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Others, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra...

     and Keeley Hawes
    Keeley Hawes
    Keeley Hawes is an English actress and model, known for many television roles. She is best known for her roles as Zoe Reynolds in Spooks and Alex Drake in Ashes to Ashes and Lady Agnes in the remake of Upstairs, Downstairs...

    .

Graphic novels


Othello, an adaptation by Oscar Zarate
Oscar Zarate
Oscar Zarate is an Argentine comic book artist and illustrator. He has drawn for the UK comics magazine Crisis. He is probably best known in the United States as the artist for Alan Moore's graphic novel A Small Killing. He has drawn an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Othello...

, Oval Projects Ltd (1985). It was reprinted in 2005 by Can of Worms Press and includes the complete text of the play.

In January 2009, a manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 adaptation was published in the United Kingdom, with art by Ryuta Osada. It is part of the Manga Shakespeare series by Richard Appiganesi, and is set in Venice in carnival season.

Painting


Othello
Othello (paintings)
Othello is a series of paintings executed in 1985 by Nabil Kanso. The subjects of the paintings are loosely based on Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello. The series comprises 60 paintings dealing with themes of love, race, jealousy, betrayal, and evil...

, a series of 60 paintings executed in 1985 by Nabil Kanso
Nabil Kanso
Nabil Kanso is a Lebanese-American painter born in Beirut, Lebanon.His works deal with contemporary, historical and literary themes, and are marked by figurative imagery executed with spontaneous and vigorous handling of the paint and often done on large-scale formats...

. It was published in 1996 by NEV Editions.

External links


  • Othello Navigator—Includes the annotated text, a search engine, and scene summaries.
  • Cinthio's Tale—A Nineteenth Century English translation of Shakespeare's primary source.
  • Othello—analysis, explanatory notes, and lectures.
  • Othello—text by PublicLiterature.org
  • Othello—Scene-indexed and searchable version of the text.
  • Othello at IBDB—lists numerous productions.
  • Othello study guide, themes, quotes, multimedia, and teacher resources