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Othello?! – the Symbolist Theatre

Othello?! – the Symbolist Theatre

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Published by Patrik Voicu
othello by zholdak and othello by shakespeare
othello by zholdak and othello by shakespeare

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Published by: Patrik Voicu on Feb 11, 2010
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10/24/2015

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Othello?!

– the symbolist theatre
Othello?! Is a stage adaptation of Andriy Zholdak after the tragedy "Othello or the Moor of Venice" by William Shakespeare. Already in the first minutes of the show you feel that you have entered into another world, you no longer know what is happening, you suddenly wake up to reality every time you tend to fall into reverie: noise, music, screams, agitation, movement, scenery, everything is as it detached from our world. Everything seems strange, a hostile atmosphere, heavy, you feel like death is haunting in the air, you even visualize how is playing with the humans destiny, realizing it's own time and space, trough the many freeze moments. The multitude of symbols that fills this show makes it, I might say, a symbolic demonstration theater, a different type of theatre. Milking cows, milk in abundance, the bloody red, the crow, the flour, the oranges, the matches, the huge doors, the mirrors, the plates, the clocks, all leading to infinite interpretations and resolutions. Maybe we can not fully understand what Zholdak wanted to tell but the images remain unpublished after such a show, but also the spiritual sense of disorder because it is impossible not to touch you for ever. One thing to be mentioned is the presence of these symbols on the poster show in advance, which makes it a clear the director's tendency to integrate all the symbols, the mystery, to some travel to the unknown, to fantastic.

Othello, synopsis
The play opens with Roderigo, a rich and dissolute gentleman, complaining to Iago, a high-ranking soldier, that Iago has not told him about the secret marriage between Desdemona, the daughter of a Senator named Brabantio, and Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army. He is upset by this development because he loves Desdemona and had previously asked her father for her hand in marriage. Iago is upset with Othello for promoting a younger man named Michael Cassio above him, and tells Roderigo that he plans to use Othello for his own advantage. Iago's argument against Cassio is that he is a scholarly tactician with no real battle experience from which he can draw strategy; in contrast, Iago has practical battle skills. By emphasizing Roderigo's failed bid for Desdemona, and his own dissatisfaction with serving under Othello, Iago convinces Roderigo to wake Brabantio, Desdemona's father, and tell him about his daughter's elopement. Next, Iago sneaks away to find Othello and warns him that Brabantio is coming for him. However, before Brabantio reaches Othello, news arrives in Venice that the Turks are going to attack Cyprus; therefore Othello is summoned to advise the senators. Brabantio arrives and accuses Othello of seducing Desdemona by witchcraft, but Othello defends himself successfully before an assembly that includes the Duke of Venice, Brabantio's kinsman Lodovico and Gratiano, and various senators, explaining that Desdemona became enamored of him for the stories he told of his early life. By order of the Duke, Othello leaves Venice to command the Venetian armies against invading Turks on the island of Cyprus, accompanied by his new wife, his new lieutenant Cassio, his ensign Iago, and Emilia as Desdemona's attendant. The party arrives in Cyprus to find that a storm has destroyed the Turkish fleet. Othello orders a general celebration. Iago schemes to use Cassio to ruin Othello and takes the opportunity of Othello's absence at the celebration to persuade Roderigo to engage Cassio in a fight. He achieves this by getting Cassio drunk on wine. The brawl greatly alarms the citizenry, and Othello is forced to quell the disturbance. Othello blames Cassio for the disturbance, and strips him of his rank. Cassio is distraught, but Iago persuades him to importune Desdemona to act as an intermediary between himself and Othello, and persuade her husband to reinstate him. Iago now persuades Othello to be suspicious of Cassio and Desdemona. As it happens, Cassio is courting a courtesan named Bianca. Desdemona drops a handkerchief that was Othello's first gift to her and which he has stated holds great significance to him in the context of their relationship. Iago asks Emilia to steal it. Emilia, unaware of what Iago plans to do with the handkerchief, steals it. Iago plants it in Cassio's lodgings as evidence of Cassio and Desdemona's affair. After he has planted the handkerchief, Iago tells Othello to stand apart and watch Cassio's reactions while Iago questions him about the handkerchief. Iago goads Cassio on to talk about his affair with Bianca, without mentioning her name; because no name is mentioned, Othello thinks that Cassio is referring to Desdemona. Bianca, on discovering the handkerchief, chastises Cassio, accusing him of giving her a second-hand gift which he received from another lover. Othello sees this, and Iago convinces him that Cassio received the handkerchief from Desdemona. Enraged and hurt, Othello decides he is going to kill his wife and Iago offers to kill Cassio. Othello proceeds to make Desdemona's life a misery, hitting her in front of

her family. Desdemona laments her suffering, remembering the fate of her mother's maid, who was forsaken by her lover. Iago convinces Roderigo to kill Cassio instead, because Cassio has just been appointed in Othello's place, whereas if Cassio lives to take office, Othello and Desdemona will leave Cyprus, thwarting Roderigo's plans to win Desdemona. Roderigo attacks Cassio in the street after Cassio leaves Bianca's lodgings. They fight and both are wounded. Cassio's leg is cut from behind by Iago who manages to hide his identity as perpetrator. Passers-by arrive to help; Iago joins them, pretending to help Cassio. Iago secretly stabs Roderigo to stop him from confessing and accuses Bianca of conspiracy to kill Cassio. In the night, Othello confronts Desdemona, and then kills her by smothering her in bed, before Emilia arrives. At Emilia's distress, Othello tries to explain himself, justifying his actions by accusing Desdemona of adultery. Emilia calls for help. The Governor arrives, with Iago and others, and Emilia begins to explain the situation. When Othello mentions the handkerchief as proof, Emilia realizes what Iago has done; she exposes him, whereupon Iago kills her. Othello, realizing Desdemona's innocence, attacks Iago but does not kill him, saying that he would rather have Iago live the rest of his life in pain. Lodovico, a Venetian nobleman, apprehends both Iago and Othello, but Othello commits suicide with a dagger before they can take him into custody. At the end, it can be assumed, Iago is taken off to be tortured and possibly executed.

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