Othello : Critical Essays book cover
1st Edition

Critical Essays

Edited By

Philip Kolin

ISBN 9780415411011
Published December 21, 2001 by Routledge
472 Pages

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Book Description

Including twenty-one groundbreaking chapters that examine one of Shakespeare's most complex tragedies. Othello: Critical Essays explores issues of friendship and fealty, love and betrayal, race and gender issues, and much more.

Table of Contents

1. Darkness Made Visible: A survey of Othello in Criticism and on Stage Philip C. Kolin 2. The Audience's Role in Othello Hugh Macrae Richmond 3. White Faces, Black-Face" The Production of "Race" in Othello Sujata Iyengar 4. Images of White Identity in Othello Peter Erickson 5. 'Words and Performance": Roderigo and the Mixed Dramaturgy of Race and Gender in Othello John R. Ford 6. The Curse of Cush: Othello's Judaic Ancestry James R. Andreas 7. Relating Things to the State: "The State" and the Subject of Othello Thomas Moisan 8. Venetian Ideology or Transversal Power? Iago's Motives and the Means by which Othello Falls Bryan Reynolds & Joseph Fitzpatrick 9. Othello: Portrait of a Marriage David Bevington 10. "Truly, an Obedient Lady": Desdemona, Emilia, and the Doctrine of Obedience in Othello Sara Deats 11. Morality, Ethics, and the Failure of Love in Othello John Gronbeck-Tedesco 12. Keeping Faith: Water Imagery and Religious Diversity in Othello Clifford Ronan 13. Representing Othello: Early Modern Jury Trials and the Equitable Judgments of Tragedy Nicholas Moschovakis 14. Othello Among the Sonnets James Schiffer 15. The "O" in Othello: Tropes of Damnation and Nothingness Dabiel J. Vitkus 16. Trumpeting and "Seeled" Eyes: A Semiotics of [Eye]conography in Othello LaRue Love Sloan 17. "Work on My Medicine": Physiology and Consumption in Othello Mary Lux 18. Reading Othello Backwards Jay L. Halio 19. "The Mystery of the Early Othello Texts" Scott McMillin 20. "My Cue to Fight": Stage Violence in Othello Francis X. Kuhn 21. An Interview with Kent Thompson, Artistic Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Philip C. Kolin

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Philip Kolin is Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is the series editor of the Shakespeare Criticism series.


"Kolin's article is a masterful survey and in itself makes the book worthwhile. He is especially comprehensive and even-handed with the most recent era. Anyone undertaking the study of this play should begin here." William Procter Williams, Shakespeare Bulletin

"...unlike many collections of Shakespeare criticism, this volume does not include well-worn essays, but rather new, thought-provoking selections that extend the critical discourse; open up the play's connection to such diverse concepts as feminism, Marxism, new historicism, and semiotics; consider the play's relevance to broad cultural issues; and examine challenging new stagings. . .This title will be the go-to book on the play for scholars and theater practitioners, offering value for both students at the beginning of their Shakespeare study and scholars at an advanced level of study." Choice

"Professor Kolin has given us more than yet another addition to Shakespeareana. This volume of essays is stimulating and sound both in its scholarly conclusinos as well as in its noteworthy considerations of both the critical and the theatrical. These complementary assessments increase its value as a resource to both critics and producers of Shakespeare." Sidney Berger, University of Houston/Houston Shakespeare Festival, Journal of Drama Theory and Criticism

"Put together these essays are complementary rather than competing, the sign of an editor with a wide vision and critical horizon." Rodney Stenning Edgecombe, University of Cape Town, The Shakespeare Newsletter

"In this exceptional collection of essays on Othello, twenty authors range across a vast landscape of critical practice, regularly startling us with insights about this play and performances of it. Where else can one read in side-by-side essays a lucid account of the textual intricacies of the quarto and folio editions of the play and then a compelling study of stage violence, citing actual productions? Roderigo, a dangerous guide for the audience; Iago, a master actor in a metatheatrical allegory; and Desdemona, caught in conflicting matrimonial models, all emerge in astute new critical understanding. Philip Kolin deserves our thanks for initiating and producing this volume that will compel every serious student of Shakespeare to think anew about the joys and terror of this spare and frightening tragedy." David M. Bergeron, University of Kansas

"This is a well-organized, comprehensive, and often innovative account of issues in current Othello criticism. The volume includes a refreshing array of critical and ideological perspectives in essays which are uniformly scholarly and thorough in their treatment of the subject matter. The collection makes clear that while Othello may well be a play for all times, it is especially a play for our times when questions of racial and religious difference and the relation between the private individual and the state beset us with renewed and ever-more urgent intensity." Dympna Callaghan, Syracuse University

"In this fascinating collection, some of today's liveliest and most distinguished Shakespeareans engage with Othello from across a broad spectrum of historical and theoretical perspectives. Along with Kolin's substantial introductory survey of the play's critical and performance history, this book is bound to reinforce Othello's extraordinary current appeal, not just to scholars and students of Shakespeare but to non-academic readers, theatrical audiences and moviegoers as well." Edward Pechter, Concordia