William Shakespeare: Othello
"Othello" is perhaps Shakespeare's most troublesome tragedy. While it has retained its popularity on the stage, many critics have struggled to come to terms with it. The Romantics warmed to the figure of Othello himself and wrung their hands over the plight of Desdemona; the Modernists looked down on the play as an achievement of Shakespeare's stagecraft rather than of his imagination.
Excerpting and discussing the critical history of the play from the earliest pronouncements to present-day criticism, this guide does justice to the variety of opinion and points out significant themes and recurring critical concerns, without glossing over the ugly racism of many critical accounts and the inadequacy of many attempts to face up to the issues raised by the play.
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