Originally published in 1988. Selections here are organised chronologically looking at both theatrical commentary and literary criticism. The organisation brings out the shifts in emphasis as each generation reinvents Shakespeare, and Othello, by the questions asked, those not asked, and the answers given. Chapters cover the theme of heroic action, Iago’s motivation, guilt and jealousy, and obsession. Some entries from the world of theatre delve into the portrayal of the Moor, Desdemona and Iago from the 1940s on. Authors include A. C. Bradley, William Hazlitt, Ellen Terry, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Helen Gardner and Edward A. Snow.
Table of Contents
Preface Joseph Price Introduction Susan Snyder 1. from A Treatise on the Passions Samuel Foote 2. from Notes and Lectures Upon Shakespeare Samuel Taylor Coleridge 3. Mr. Kean’s Iago William Hazlitt 4. Booth and Salvini in the Temptation Scene Edwin Booth and Edward T. Mason 5. from Shakespearean Tragedy A. C. Bradley 6. Desdemona Ellen Terry 7. from Stanislavsky Produces Othello Konstantin Stanislavsky 8. Desdemona’s Handkerchief John Middleton Murray 9. Diabolic Intellect and the Noble Hero: or, The Sentimentalist’s Othello F. R. Leavis 10. Othello: An Essay to Illustrate a Method Kenneth Burke 11. The Noble Moor Helen Gardner 12. Wit and Witchcraft: Thematic Form in Othello Robert B. Heilman 13. Barbarism and the City Alvin Kernan 14. Sexual Anxiety and the Male Order of Things in Othello Edward A. Snow 15. Patriarchal Territories: The Body Enclosed Peter Stallybrass
Susan Snyder was scholar in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library.