Othello - Literary Touchstone

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Prestwick House, Incorporated, Jan 1, 2005 - Interracial marriage - 118 pages
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"For when my outward action doth demonstrateThe native act and figure of my heartIn complement extern, tis not long afterBut I will wear my heart upon my sleeveFor daws to peck at. I am not what I am."To make Othello more accessible for the modern reader, our Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary of the more difficult words, as well as convenient sidebar notes to enlighten the reader on aspects that may be confusing or overlooked. In doing this, it is our intention that the reader may more fully enjoy the beauty of the verse, the wisdom of the insights, and the impact of the drama.In the governors bedroom in Cyprus, a brilliant schemer, an innocent bride, and a general who loves "not wisely, but too well" confront one another for the last time. What treachery has brought them to this moment of mutual destruction?The second of Shakespeare's four greatest tragedies, Othello follows a celebrated man's spiral into madness and his utter defeat at the hands of the confidant he trusts most. Sympathetic characters, heartbreaking speeches, and the perfect villain make this play one of Shakespeare's most powerful and frequently performed.

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Contents

Strategies for Understanding Shakespeares Language
6
Dramatis Personae
13
Act IV
77
Copyright

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Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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