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The Oxford Shakespeare: Othello Paperback – 17 Apr 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reissue edition (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199535876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535873
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and was baptised on 26 April 1564. Thought to have been educated at the local grammar school, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he went on to have three children, at the age of eighteen, before moving to London to work in the theatre. Two erotic poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were published in 1593 and 1594 and records of his plays begin to appear in 1594 for Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. Shakespeare's tragic period lasted from around 1600 to 1608, during which period he wrote plays including Hamlet and Othello. The first editions of the sonnets were published in 1609 but evidence suggests that Shakespeare had been writing them for years for a private readership.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, by now a wealthy man. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623.

(The portrait details: The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. NPG1, © National Portrait Gallery, London)

Product Description

Review

...For the wealth of helpful material and stimulating ideas this is surely the most valuable edition of Shakespeare's disturbing and controversial tragedy available today. (Dieter Mehl, Archiv)

The text of this edition is close to perfect (Eric Rasmussen)

About the Author

Michael Neill has also edited Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra for the Oxford Shakespeare.

Inside This Book

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By William Burn VINE VOICE on 6 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
In writing a review of this book, I will make a (possibly rather dangerous) assumption; namely, that you will already know the story of Othello and his awful downfall at the hands of the utterly unscrupulous Iago. If not, then I won't spoil the story, but will say that it is a remarkable and very moving tale indeed.

However, most people looking for a copy of the play are likely to be in the business of studying or performing it, so my review will focus on this particular edition's merits and drawbacks. Of the former there are a great many, and of the latter there are a few.

To start with the practicalities of the book, the layout follows the pattern of the Arden Shakespeare, with the text at the top of the page, below that alternative readings, and on the lower half or so, explanatory notes. This works very well for me, but some readers prefer to work with editions which have facing page annotations, so they might be advised to look elsewhere. Moreover, the book itself is very well made, printed on excellent paper and strongly bound, so if it will be in your company for some time, you won't suffer the annoyances of pages falling out. Lastly, it is clearly typeset in the distinctive font used by all Oxford editions (and is infinitely more legible than the Oxford edition of the collected plays and sonnets).

This edition was first published in 2006, so it is admirably up-to-date in scholarship and approach. Some Oxford editions (such as that of "Hamlet") are over twenty years old, and feel a little dated, but this is very fresh. The editor is Michael Neill, professor of English at Auckland, and he has done an outstanding job.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Drayton on 13 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Oxford Shakespeares are, I think, an excellent first choice for non-academic readers such as myself. The introduction is helpful, readable and - most importantly for those of us who are actually reading for pleasure - actually adds to one's enjoyment of the play.

Tone of footnotes and introduction is, thankfully, never of awful dumbing-down that besets the Macmillan current editions,

References are all on the page rather than collected at the back of the book,

Paper is of a high quality,

Binding is solid,

Typeface is clear and elegant.
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By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 12 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is one of Shakespeare's tautest tragedies with an inexorable forward momentum and hardly a wasted word. From the opening scene with its language of hate and dissolution to the final, inevitable, ending we are swept along with no pause to catch our breaths.

But beneath the surface of this play which seems to be about jealousy, the text also probes other ideas. In particular, the idea of stereotypes, whether of race or gender, are interrogated and exposed.

With its claustrophobic atmosphere, its brilliant pacing and its deep characterisation, this is one of Shakespeare's most accessible plays, even for those new or relatively unfamiliar with either Shakespeare or Renaissance drama.

I like these Oxford editions for Stanley Wells' close attention to the most reliable texts, and the provocative and stimulating notes and context.

A highly recommended edition of a passionate, powerful and ultimately truly tragic play.
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Having read other Shakespearean works published by Oxford Worlds Classics I knew this would a superbly informative work.
There is no point in this review going into the work of Shakespeare and this tragedy, Othello. I will use this review to write about the all the parts that make up this particular book.
There is a wonderful and informative 179 page introduction that consists of sections on the play's reception, sources, the play in performance and the interpretation of the play. There are six appendices which include headings such as, The Texts of the Play, The Music in the Play and Longer Notes.
But what I believe sets this book apart is the excellent, comprehensive and well researched footnotes.
I am using this book in conjunction with my English Literature degree and would highly recommended it to others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ebony24 on 3 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
Very dark and tragic tail of love and revenge. A bitter ending to a couple so much in love. Arrived in perfect time to!
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This is a brilliant piece of writing which is a relevant today as the day it was written. The issues it deals with and how Shekespeare tackles them are brilliant. I never knew how much racism exhisted during the 17th Century and reading 'Othello' has given me a new insight into how life must have been for people of colour in white Europe. This is one of those 'must read' books that will enlighten and better oneself.
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By Andrew T. Dollery on 29 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not much can be said really other than this, like most works attributed to Shakespeare, is a classic; which in my mind deals with issues and themes ahead of it's time.

The Oxford addition is very good with helpful notes and extras.
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By essieb on 18 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought for OU coursework; notes helpful for study and essay writing, otherwise, no better than my Wordsworth Classics edition, but cost much more.
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