Oxford Shakespeare Othello - The Moor of Venice

ISBN-10: 0199535876
ISBN-13: 9780199535873
Edition: 2008
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Description: Along with Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, Othello is one of Shakespeare's four great tragedies. What distinguishes Othello is its bold treatment of racial and gender themes. It is also the only tragedy to feature a main character, Iago, who truly  More...

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Book details

List price: $10.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 512
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

Along with Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, Othello is one of Shakespeare's four great tragedies. What distinguishes Othello is its bold treatment of racial and gender themes. It is also the only tragedy to feature a main character, Iago, who truly seems evil, betraying and deceiving those that trust him purely for spite and with no political goal. This edition, the first to give full attention to these themes, includes an extensive introduction stresses the public dimensions of the tragedy, paying particular attention to its treatment of color and social relations. Designed to meet the needs of theatre professionals, the edition includes an extensive performance history, while on-page commentary and notes explain language, word play, and staging. Collated and edited from all existing printings, this entirely new edition uses modern day spelling to make readings smoother. Appendices are included which explain the dating problems many have found in the play, describe the music that has traditionally accompanied it, and provide a full translation of the Italian novella from which the story derives. Like all editions of the Oxford Shakespeare in the Oxford World Classics series, Othello includes a full index to the introduction and commentary. It is illustrated with production photographs and related art, and features a durable sewn binding for lasting use. The Oxford Shakespeare offers authoritative texts from leading scholars in editions designed to interpret and

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

Michael Neill is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Auckland and Professor of Early Modern Literature at the University of Kent. He is the author of Issues of Death: Mortality and Identity in English Renaissance Tragedy and Putting History to the Question. His editions include Antony and Cleopatra and Othello for the Oxford Shakespeare, Middleton's The Changeling for New Mermaids, and Massinger's The Renegado for Arden Early Modern Drama.

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