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Othello (Norton Critical Editions) Paperback – 6 Feb 2004
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...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) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
William Shakespeare's dramatic and tragic play about love and jealousy --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Othello is a Moorish general who has saved Venice and who is now based on the exotic Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Here is a man who, despite his 'alien' origins, is hailed as the saviour of his community, a man who is universally loved and admired, except by his lieutenant, Iago.
In Iago Shakespeare beats out with blacksmith rhythm one of his greatest creations, a man fired by jealousy, tempered by hatred, a man whose determination is hammered into shape and whose evil expresses itself in duplicitous twists and malignant turns enough to topple Othello. It is the nature of Shakespearean tragedy that the hero should plunge from the sublime heights to utter destitution, despair, and death.
The cornerstone of Othello's triumph is his great love for his lady, Desdemona. Winning her hand, securing her devotion is his greatest achievement and elevates him to unimagined happiness. Yet it this very foundation which Iago undermines with the seed of jealousy. As suspicion takes root, the whole edifice of Othello's power and completeness collapses about him. He murders his wife, faces the realisation of what he has done, and recognises that eternal damnation is less of a punishment that enduring life aware of his own guilt.
Shakespeare is a major architect of English. His phraseology permeates the language like the mortar binding together a building.Read more ›
True, Venice is no longer a major world power. But the principle geo-political concern in Othello is the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, an event which reoccurred since my high school days. The political leadership in Venice recruited Othello, a dark-skinned Muslim, to defend their interests in Cyprus, and defeat the Turks. Nature proves to be the best ally of Venice, and a Mediterranean storm sinks most of the Turkish fleet. Thus, there are no scenes of combat. The real combat is much closer to home - as it so often is - and involves those who portray themselves as your friend.
Religion, per se, is not an issue. So, there is no Christian-Muslim conflict portrayed. But skin color is very much an issue. As topical as today's headlines concerning a white woman passing for black, and being an official in a predominately black organization. Othello marries Desdemona, a white woman. The father, Brabantio, feels betrayed, in part because he did not know his daughter's plans.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for my son as part of his A level English texts. Was exactly as expected, arrived promptly, couldn't be more pleased.Published 1 month ago by Lisa Hafey
I openly admit that the task of studying Othello for my A-Levels is severely haunting however buying this book is definitely a step in the right direction. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lucy
the book purchased wasn't the same cover or the new edition of othello but the old one and a blue cover. very disappointed and misleading.Published 4 months ago by nirusha
This is a fantastic play, I bought this copy for English Literature. Perfect font size however some of the stage direcrions are inaccurate, Iago's 'aside' notes are frequently... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer