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Othello 2 Hour Edit

Othello 2 Hour Edit

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Published by JOHN HUDSON

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Published by: JOHN HUDSON on Dec 03, 2012
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02/09/2013

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www.darkladyplayers.com
1


TWOHOURCUT
Version3.0
OTHELLO:ABIBLICALCOMEDY
1
Synopsis
TheHebrewGod(whosenameinGreekisIAO)andtheMarranoJewishpoetAmeliaBassano,takerevengeontheturncoatJewishgeneralJosephusbarMatthias.TheytrickhisliterarysurrogateOthello(theCapitanoorfoolishbraggartfromtheCommedia),intohavingtheChristianstorytakeoverhislife---whichdestroyshim.OthelloappearsasfourdifferentJoseph figures:initially(A)asanallegoryforgeneralJosephus(bar)Matthias.(B)mirroredattheendashisnamesakeJoseph(us)ariMattheawiththesheetandhandkerchiefforChrist’sburial.
2
Inthecenterlike(C)theJealousJosephinthegospelsandmysteryplays,hebecomesfranticwiththesuspicionthathiswife,theallegoricalVirginMary(Desdemona)hascuckoldedhimwiththe AngeloftheAnnunciation(Cassio)bywhomshehasindeedbecomepregnant.Hisjealousyisraisedtosuchapitchduringthefrustrating12weeksofsexualabstinenceduringtwosuccessiveLents,thathekillsherandtheunbornbaby.Indoingso,somewhatlike(D)JosephsonofJacob,herevertstohisoriginalidentityasaJew,whoweretypicallyaccusedofbeingChristkillers.
3
 AndbydoingsohepreventstheentireChristiannarrativefromhappening.

MajorCommediaroles
OTHELLOasthe
CAPITANO
,abraggartsoldierandfoolknownastheMatamorosorMoorkiller,hisspeechistedious,bombasticandfancifulIAGOasthe
ZANNI
ortricksterservant;heiswitty,manipulative,devisesintrigues.BRABANTIOasthe
MAGNIFICO
asheisspecificallycalled,afoolishtalkativeoldVenetianmanwhogetsdupedbyhiswifeordaughter,alsoknownasPanatlone.RODERIGOisthe
DUMBZANNI,
adupeCASSIOisthe
PEDROLINO
akind,personable,trustedservantwhowearsnomaskbuthashisfacepowderedwhite.HeisinducedbytheZannitoplaytricksandhegetscaught.DESDEMONAisthe
INAMORATA
thelongsufferinggirlfriend,whowearsnomaskEMILIAisthe
MAID,
whoisthetruthteller,boldandoutspokenand/orthe
COLOMBINA
asmartservantgirlwhoinitiatesmuchoftheactionintheCommedia.CLOWNis
PULCINELLA
theclown,oftenbignosedwearingahalfmask

1
Thecomedicnatureoftheplaywasrecognizedearly.Rymercalledit“ABloodyFarce”(1693)
.
SeeRichardWhalen,‘
Commediadell’arte
in
Othello
:aSatiricComedyendingintragedy’
BriefChronicles
(2011),TeresaFaherty,‘Othellodell’Arte:thePresenceof“Commedia”inShakespeare’sTragedy’
TheaterJournal 
(1991).Therehasbeenonlyoneproductionof 
Othello
as
commedia
,astudentproductioninNewSouthWalesAustraliain2000directedbyAdrianKiernander.
2
JosephuswasinstrumentalininventingtheChristiangospels.DuringtheRoman-Jewishwar,hetooksomeonedownfromacross,whosurvived,whichledhimtoappearinthegospelasJosephAriMatthea.
3
PreviousattemptsatsolvingtheChristianallegoryfailedbecausethecharactersweremisidentified.ForinstanceJosephBryantmisidentifiedOthelloasGod,CassioasAdam,andDesdemonaasChrist:thisdoesnotwork.NordoesSiegel’sidentificationofOthelloasAdamandDesdemonaaseternaltruth.SeeRobertH.West(1964)‘TheChristiannessofOthello’.
 
www.darkladyplayers.com
2
ACTI
4
SCENEI.Venice.Astreet.PeoplewearingmasksarecelebratingtheCarnivalwhichisabouttofinish,beforethecomingofLent.
EnterthetwoZannis,RODERIGOandIAGO
RODERIGOTush!nevertellme;ItakeitmuchunkindlyThatthou,Iago,
whohasthadmypurse
Asifthestringswerethine,shouldstknowofthis.IAGO'Sblood,butyouwillnothearme:IfeverIdiddreamofsuchamatter,Abhorme.RODERIGOThoutold'stmethoudidstholdhiminthyhate.IAGODespiseme,ifIdonot.Threegreatonesofthecity,Inpersonalsuittomakemehislieutenant,Off-capp'dtohim:and,bythefaithofman,Iknowmyprice,Iamworthnoworseaplace:Buthe;aslovinghisownprideandpurposes,
Nonsuits
mymediators;for,'Certes,'sayshe,
5
'Ihavealreadychosemyofficer.'Andwhatwashe?Forsooth,agreatarithmetician,OneMichaelCassio,aFlorentine,Afellowalmostdamn'dinafairwise;
6
Thatneversetasquadroninthefield,NorthedivisionofabattleknowsMorethanaspinster.Buthe,sir,hadtheelection:AndI,ofwhomhiseyeshadseentheproofAtRhodes,atCyprusandonothergroundsChristianandheathen,mustbebe-lee'dandcalm'dBydebitorandcreditor:thiscounter-caster,He,ingoodtime,musthislieutenantbe,AndI--Godblessthemark!--hisMoorship's
Ancient
.
7

4
Thiscutreducestheplayfrom27,800wordstojustunder18,000,acutofabout10,000words.

Inthe1680stheplaywasperformedwith420linescut,andinthe18
th
centuryacutof800wordswasusual

5
Thisistheonlyuseoftheterm‘nonsuits’inShakespeareandissignificantlypairedwithreferencetoRoderigo’spurse,echoedlaterinIago’repeateddemandthatheputmoneyinhispurse.ThisseemstoderivefromapassageinNashe’s
Christ’sTearsOverJerusalem,
andsinceRogerigoendsupbankrupt,parodiesJesus’adviceongivingtothepoor.SeeJ.M.Tobin‘NasheandIago’(2003).
6
Wiseorface,notwife.Hischaracterinthecommediahadahandsomewhitepowderedface.
 
www.darkladyplayers.com
3
Prefermentgoesbyletterandaffection,
Andnotbyoldgradation,whereeachsecondStoodheirtothefirst.Now,sir,bejudgeyourself,WhetherIinanyjusttermamaffinedTolovetheMoor.
8
RODERIGOIwouldnotfollowhimthen.IAGOO,sir,contentyou;Ifollowhimtoservemyturnuponhim:ButIwillwearmyheartuponmysleeveFordawstopeckat
:IamnotwhatIam.
9
RODERIGOHereisherfather'shouse;I'llcallaloud.What,ho,Brabantio!SigniorBrabantio,ho!IAGOAwake!what,ho,Brabantio!thieves!thieves!thieves!Looktoyourhouse,yourdaughterandyourbags!Thieves!thieves!
BRABANTIOappearsabove,atawindow
BRABANTIOWhatisthereasonofthisterriblesummons?Whatisthematterthere?

7
InCinthio’soriginalheissimplyanEnsignorflagcarrier.Herehoweverheisreferredtoatypeofensign,‘Ancient’.ThisalludestotheconceptionoftheHebrewGodasthe‘ancientofdays’intheBookofDaniel.IntheHebrewmysticaltext
TheZohar 
wefind“WheneverJudgmentlooms…….theForeheadoftheAncientofAncientsisrevealed”.
8
Iago’smotivationsforwantingtodestroyOthelloandCassioaresuspect.Initially,here,heclaimsthathehasbeenpassedoverforpromotion.LaterhewillclaimthathesuspectsOthellohasbeensleepingwithhiswifeEmilia.HealsoclaimsthatCassiohasbeensleepingwithEmilia.Thesemotivesareinconsistent.HemightnotneedanyspecificmotivationifhewereinherentlyevilasSatanoradevil---butheisn’tanysimpledevilsincehedoesn'thaveaclovenhoofasOthelloobservestowardstheendoftheplay.HeisatricksterbecausethatisJacob’sroleinthebookofGenesis,itishisroleasacommediaclown,anditistheroleoftheViceontheElizabethanstage.(SeeJudithLivingstonBurgess
TheTricksterinElizabethan-JacobeanDrama,
StanfordUniversity,1978).
9
Indicatingclearlythatwhatwillfollowisatheologicalplay,
IagoishereechoingtheTetragrammaton,‘IamwhoIam’,whichintheBibleistheunspokennameoftheHebrewGod.HisnamehoweverresemblesIAOwhichistheGreekequivalent.HealsoresemblestheBiblicaltricksterJacob(Israel)andappearsdiabolicalbecauseJewsweretypicallydepictedon-stageasdevilishfigures.Theplaywrightaddsin64differentdevilishexpressionstodepictIagoas“sonearlyastageJewthathetalksabouthistribe”(asWilliamEmpsonnotes).DesdemonaistheVirginMary,herhusbandisJealousJoseph(plusotherJosephfigures).CassioastheArchangeloftheAnnunciationcompletesthemaincharactersinthismysteryplay.ItcouldhardlyreflectorthodoxChristiandoctrinesinceitseemstobewrittenfromaHebrewstandpointandtheplotturnsondestroyingtheChristianstory.

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