Othello

Kennedy, Dennis. “Imaging Shakespeare”. Looking at Shakespeare: A Visual History of Twentieth-Century Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Pp. 266-311. Print.
Kennedy presents an argument of what a postmodern Shakespeare would look like, where the metaphoric imagery replaces the text; in this imagery, the plays create a setting that is “anti-historical”, connecting the contemporary audience to the classic Shakespeare. Kennedy looks towards the substance of “postmodern” productions of Shakespeare plays, especially the works of Peter Zadek, Peter Brook, Ariane Mnouchkine, and Robin Phillips, providing various examples of each of their productions that evoke a visual, subjective retelling of some of Shakespeare’s famous plays. Although Kennedy does provide many of these examples of how directors chose to apply Shakespeare plays to their own subjective interpretations or application to the present world, he failed in synthesizing all of them together back into this argument until the end. This essay is useful in providing some visual basics on how I can recreate Othello in a postmodern lens, calibrating the racial and gender struggles then to the present. (J. Wesson, November 2013)

Weimann, Robert and Douglas Bruster. “’Moralize two meanings’ in one play: contrariety on the Tudor stage”. Shakespeare and the Power of Influence: Stage and Page in the Elizabethan Theater. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. 26-41. Print.
This chapter examines the effectiveness of using contrariety on the production stage to produce the double meaning of Shakespeare lines, particularly on how to convey the two meanings through performance through two opposing characters. Weimann and Bruster initially use Shakespeare’s Richard III, King John, and Othello to bring up the “Vice” that creates these double meanings, but then transcends to the philosophy of contrariety through George Wapull’s The Tide Tarrieth No Man (1576) in order to present a new “language of contrariety” that turns the enunciated into “more complex, arresting and potentially more commensurate utterance” (29). The usage of Wapull’s meta-play to to analyze the role of the Vice is rather useful, presenting a way to perceive the characters of “good and evil” in a Shakespeare play in a more complex, realistic way. (J. Wesson, November 2013)

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