Language And Power In Othello

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Language And Power In Othello



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Othello Theme of Appearance and Reality Analysis - Shakespeare Today Series

Measure for Measure was selected as the season's "obscure" play, and King Richard the Second was included to begin the eight-part sequence of history plays. When the production of the inaugural episode, Much Ado About Nothing , was abandoned after it had been shot, it was replaced by The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight as the sixth episode of the season. Almost immediately, however, the concept for the historical octology ran into trouble. Messina had wanted to shoot the eight sequential history plays in chronological order of the events they depicted, with linked casting and the same director for all eight adaptations David Giles , with the sequence spread out over the entire six season run.

The second set of four plays were then directed by Jane Howell as one unit, with a common set and linked casting, airing during the fifth season. Another early idea, which never came to fruition, was the concept of forming a single repertory acting company to perform all thirty-seven plays. The RSC, however, were not especially pleased with this idea, as it saw itself as the national repertory.

However, before the plan could be put into practice, the British Actors' Equity Association blocked the proposal, arguing that as many of its members as possible should get the chance to appear in the series. During the planning for season two, when it came to their attention that Messina was trying to cast James Earl Jones as Othello , Equity threatened to have their members strike, thus crippling the series. This forced Messina to abandon the casting of Jones, and Othello was pushed back to a later season. Messina's initial aesthetic concept for the series was realism , especially in terms of the sets, which were to be as naturally representational as possible.

This was based upon what Messina knew of TV audiences and their expectations. His opinion, supported by many of his staff, was that the majority of the audience would not be regular theatregoers who would respond to stylisation or innovation. Both [director] Rakoff and Messina were sure that the play should be staged as naturalistically as possible. I would love to have tried to do Romeo outside in a Verona town somewhere. John Wilders, for example, preferred the "fake realism" of the first plays, which he felt were "much more satisfactory than location work because the deliberate artificiality of the scenery works in harmony with the conventions of the plays.

Unfortunately, it may create the impression that we have tried to build realistic sets but have failed for want of skill or money. When Jonathan Miller took over as producer at the start of season three, realism ceased to be a priority. Prior to the screening of the first episode, UK publicity for the series was extensive, with virtually every department at the BBC involved. Once the series had begun, a major aspect of the publicity campaign involved previews of each episode for the press prior to its public broadcast, so reviews could appear before the episode aired; the idea being that good reviews might get people to watch who otherwise would not.

Other publicity 'events' included a party to celebrate the commencement of the third season, at The George Inn, Southwark , near the site of the Globe Theatre , and a similar party at the start of the sixth season, in Glamis Castle, which was attended by Ian Hogg , Alan Howard , Joss Ackland , Tyler Butterworth , Wendy Hiller , Patrick Ryecart and Cyril Cusack , all of whom were on hand for interviews by the many invited journalists.

Another major aspect of the promotional work was supplementary educational material. For example, the BBC had their books division issue the scripts for each episode, prepared by script editor Alan Shallcross seasons 1 and 2 and David Snodin seasons 3 and 4 and edited by John Wilders. Each publication included a general introduction by Wilders, an essay on the production itself by Henry Fenwick, interviews with the cast and crew, photographs, a glossary, and annotations on textual alterations by Shallcross, and subsequently Snodin, with explanations as to why certain cuts had been made.

As well as the published annotated scripts, the BBC also produced two complementary shows designed to help viewers engage with the plays on a more scholarly level; the radio series Prefaces to Shakespeare and the TV series Shakespeare in Perspective. Prefaces was a series of thirty-minute shows focused on the performance history of each play, with commentary provided by an actor who had performed the play in the past. He or she would discuss the general stage history, as well as their own experiences working on the play, with each episode airing on BBC Radio 4 one to three nights prior to the screening of the actual episode on BBC 2. The TV supplement, Shakespeare in Perspective , was a more generally educational show, with each twenty-five-minute episode dealing with various aspects of the production, hosted by various well-known figures, who, generally speaking, were not involved in Shakespeare per se.

However, the series often ran into trouble. For the show on Hamlet, Prince of Denmark , for example, when the crew turned up to shoot, the presenter stated simply, "This is one of the silliest plays ever written, and I have nothing to say about it. For example, poet Stephen Spender 's comments about The Winter's Tale being a play of great beauty which celebrates the cycles of nature seemed at odds with Jane Howell's semi-stylised single-set production, where a lone tree was used to represent the change in seasons. The most commented upon example of this disparity was in relation to Cymbeline , which was hosted by playwright and screenwriter Dennis Potter. In his review for The Observer of both the production and the Perspective show, Julian Barnes wrote "several furlongs understandably separate the left hand of the BBC from the right one.

Only rarely, though, do we witness such a cameo of intermanual incomprehension as occurred last week within their Shakespeare cycle: the right hand seizing a hammer and snappishly nailing the left hand to the arm of the chair. He was correct; Potter's Perspective had been recorded before Cymbeline had even been shot. According to Barnes,. Potter was first discovered lurking among the mossy rocks and echoing grottoes of the Forest of Dean , fit backdrop, he explained, to introduce a play full of "the stonily mysterious landscapes of both my own childhood and all our fairytale -ridden memories.

Your eyelids are drooping [ Elijah Moshinsky , the director, obviously hadn't heard. Faerie was out; rocks were off; stonily mysterious landscapes could get stuffed. Ancient Britain in the reign of Augustus Caesar became a foppish 17th-century court, with nods to Rembrandt , Van Dyck and when Helen Mirren was caught in a certain light and a certain dress Vermeer. The fairytale Mr Potter had promised became a play of court intrigue and modern passion: a sort of offcut from Othello.

However, because the show aired on public television , many US newspapers and magazines would not cover it. The main representative was Anthony Quayle , who had been cast as Falstaff for the second season Henry the Fourth episodes. It also helped that, unlike many of the other actors appearing in early episodes, Quayle was well known in the US. James Earl Jones was initially scheduled to appear, in anticipation of the second season production of Othello , but by the time of the reception, Messina had been forced to abandon casting him. This created something of a media circus when they half jokingly asked Joseph Papp if he would be interested in hosting it. However, when the early episodes of the show did not achieve the kind of ratings which had been initially hoped, financing for publicity quickly dried up; a Shakespeare variety show planned for PBS in , set to star Charlton Heston , Robin Williams , Richard Chamberlain and Chita Rivera , failed to find an underwriter and was cancelled.

Much as the UK promotional efforts by the BBC focused at least partially on education, so too did US publicity, where the underwriters spent as much on the educational material as they did on underwriting the series itself. Educational efforts were focused on middle school and high school, which is when US students first encounter Shakespeare. Tel-Ed had a three-pronged goal; to make students familiar with more plays most schools taught only Romeo and Juliet , Julius Caesar and Macbeth , to encourage students to actually enjoy Shakespeare, and to have Shakespeare taught more frequently.

Tel-Ed's aim was to make the entire series available to every high-school in the US. During the first season, they sent out 36, educational packs to English departments, receiving 18, requests for further information. The concept of the show was that episodes of the BBC Television Shakespeare would be presented specifically as educational tools. Planned as a three-year show with five episodes per year over a fifteen-week season, the series would group plays together thematically. Walter Matthau was hired as host, and each episode featured documentary material intercut with extensive clips from the BBC productions themselves.

However, the show achieved very poor ratings and was cancelled at the end of the first season. The scope of the series meant that from the very beginning, scheduling was a major concern. Everyone knew that achieving good ratings for thirty-seven episodes over six years was not going to be easy, and to ensure this could be accomplished, the BBC were at first rigorous about the show's schedule. Each of the six seasons was to be broadcast in two sections; three weekly broadcasts in late winter, followed by a short break, and then three weekly broadcasts in early spring. This was done so as to maximise marketing in the lead up to Christmas, and then capitalise on the traditionally quiet period in early spring. All episodes were broadcast on BBC 2 on a Sunday, and all began at eight o'clock, with a five-minute interval around 9 for News on 2 and a weather report.

However, the schedule then began to run into problems. The fourth episode, Twelfth Night was shown on Sunday, 6 January , but the fifth episode, The Tempest was not shown until Wednesday, 27 February, and the sixth, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark which had been held up because of Derek Jacobi 's schedule did not air until Sunday, 25 May. Moving into the third season, under Jonathan Miller's producership, the scheduling, as was commented upon by many critics at the time, seemed nothing short of random. The next group of episodes did not air until the fifth season in September , under Shaun Sutton 's producership.

Sutton's scheduling, if anything, was even more random than Miller's; the fifth season began with King Lear on Sunday, 19 September, but this was not followed until The Merry Wives of Windsor on Tuesday, 28 December. The first historical tetralogy temporarily regularised the schedule, and was aired on successive Sundays; 2, 9, 16 and 23 January The sixth season began with Cymbeline on Sunday, 10 July, but the second episode did not follow until Saturday, 5 November Macbeth. US scheduling was even more complex. In the UK, each episode could start at any time and run for any length without any major problems, because shows are not trimmed to fit slots; rather slots are arranged to fit shows. In the US however, TV worked on very rigid time slots; a show could not run, say, minutes, it must run either or minutes to fit into the existing slot.

Additionally, whereas the BBC included an intermission of five minutes roughly halfway through each show, PBS had to have an intermission every sixty minutes. Several of the shows in the first season left 'gaps' in the US time slots of almost twenty minutes, which had to be filled with something. In seasons one and two, any significant time gaps at the end of a show were filled by Renaissance music performed by the Waverly Consort. When Jonathan Miller took over as producer at the end of the second season, WNET suggested something different; each episode should have a two-minute introduction, followed by interviews with the director and a cast member at the end of the episode, which would be edited to run however long, was necessary to plug the gaps.

Running a total of fourteen hours, WNET felt that airing the shows in four straight back-to-back segments would not work. First, they changed the schedule to air the episodes on Sunday afternoon as opposed to the usual Monday evening screening, then they divided the three Henry VI plays into two parts each. Finally, they cut a total of 77 minutes from the three productions 35 were taken from The Third Part of Henry the Sixt alone. In an effort to help trim The First Part of Henry the Sixt , much early dialogue was cut, and instead a voice over introduction recorded, ironically, by James Earl Jones was added, informing viewers of the necessary backstory. Strangely, however, The Tragedy of Richard III the longest of the four was aired as one piece, with only 3 minutes cut.

Because the US investors had put up so much money for the project, the backers were able to write aesthetic guidelines into the contract. However, as most of these guidelines conformed to Messina's vision of the series anyway "to make solid, basic televised versions of Shakespeare's plays to reach a wide television audience and to enhance the teaching of Shakespeare" , [58] they created no major problems. The most important of these stipulations was that the productions must be "traditional" interpretations of the plays set in either Shakespeare's time to or in the period of the events depicted such as ancient Rome for Julius Caesar or c.

A two and a half-hour maximum running time was also mandated, although this was soon jettisoned when it became clear that the major tragedies in particular would suffer if truncated too heavily. The initial way around this was to split the longer plays into two sections, showing them on separate nights, but this idea was also discarded, and it was agreed that for the major plays, length was not an overly important issue.

The restriction regarding conservative, traditional interpretations was non-negotiable, however. The financiers were primarily concerned with ratings, and the restrictions worked to this end, ensuring the plays had "maximum acceptability to the widest possible audience. All of them are, for want of a better word, straightforward productions. Many people, they hoped, might see Shakespeare performed for the first time in the televised series, a point Messina emphasised repeatedly; others would doubtless recite the lines along with the actors [ Being acceptable is not always synonymous with being good, however, and initially the goal seems to have been the former, with a few forays into the latter.

Partly because of this aesthetic credo, the series quickly developed a reputation for being overly conventional. As a result, when Miller would later try to persuade celebrated directors such as Peter Brook , Ingmar Bergman , William Gaskill and John Dexter to direct adaptations, he would fail. In light of such criticism about the conservative nature of the early productions, Jac Venza defended the strictures, pointing out that the BBC was aiming to make programs with a long life span; they were not a theatre company producing a single run of plays for an audience already familiar with those plays, who would value novelty and innovation. They were making TV adaptations of plays for an audience the vast majority of whom would be unfamiliar with most of the material.

They wanted to reach a wide audience and get more people interested in Shakespeare, and as such, novelty and experimentation was not part of the plan, a decision Venza calls "very sensible. Unfortunately for everyone involved in the series, production got off to the worst possible start. No reasons were given by the BBC for this decision, although initial newspaper reports suggested that the episode had not been abandoned, it had simply been postponed for re-shoots, due to an unspecified actor's "very heavy accent," and concerns that US audiences would not be able to understand the dialogue.

Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that BBC management simply regarded the production as a failure. While Messina was the man to plan the series, it seemed he was not the man to produce it. He was part of too many power struggles; too many directors would not work for him; he proceeded with too many of the traditional production habits. The battle over Much Ado was actually a battle over power and the producership; once Messina lost and the show was cancelled, his tenure as producer was jeopardized. Another early problem for Messina was that the US publicity campaign for the show had touted the productions as "definitive" adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, prompting much criticism from theatre professionals, filmmakers and academics.

The claim that the show would feature "definitive" productions was often raised and attacked by the US media during its seven-year run, especially when an episode did not live up to expectations. From a practical point of view, during his tenure as producer, Messina was not overly involved in the actual taping of each episode. While he chose the director, assisted in the principal casting, attended some rehearsals, visited the set from time to time, and occasionally watched the editing, the director was responsible for the major aesthetic decisions — camera placement and movement, blocking, production design, costumes, music and editing.

That we have the televised Shakespeare series at all is entirely due to Messina; that we have the Shakespeare series we have and not perhaps a better, more exciting one is also in large part due to Messina. During Messina's tenure as producer, as per the financiers' restrictions, the adaptations tended to be conservative, but when Jonathan Miller took over at the start of season three, he completely revamped things.

On a superficial level, for example, he instituted a new title sequence and replaced William Walton 's theme music with a newly composed piece by Stephen Oliver. Miller's changes went much deeper, however. Whereas Messina had favoured a realism-based approach, which worked to simplify the texts for audiences unfamiliar with Shakespeare, Miller was against any kind of aesthetic or intellectual dilution.

Messina's theory was based on his many years of experience in television, and according to Martin Wiggins, it was exactly Miller's lack of such experience that led to his aesthetic overhaul of the show; Miller came from. Miller saw them as products of a creative imagination, artefacts in their own right to be realised in production using the visual and conceptual materials of their period. This led to a major reappraisal of the original production guidelines. Susan Willis makes a similar point; "instead of doing what the BBC usually did, Miller saw the series as a means of examining the limits of televised drama, of seeing what the medium could do; it was an imaginative, creative venture. If television was supposed to be based on realism, Miller took the productions straight into the visual arts of the period.

If most earlier productions had been visually filmic, Miller emphasized the theatrical. If the previous interpretations were basically solid and straightforward, Miller encouraged stronger, sharper renditions, cutting across the grain, vivid and not always mainstream. Miller himself stated "I think it's very unwise to try to represent on the television screen something which Shakespeare did not have in his mind's eye when he wrote those lines. You have to find some counterpart of the unfurnished stage that Shakespeare wrote for without, in fact, necessarily reproducing a version of the Globe theatre.

Because there's no way in which you can do that [ Here was a writer who was immersed in the themes and notions of his time. The only way in which you can unlock that imagination is to immerse yourself in the themes in which he was immersed. And the only way you can do that is by looking at the pictures which reflect the visual world of which he was a part and to acquaint yourself with the political and social issues with which he was preoccupied — trying, in some way, to identify yourself with the world which was his.

The productions Miller himself directed reflect this belief most clearly of course, but he also evoked such an awareness in the other directors. If there was not to be a single stylistic "signature" to the plays under Miller's producership, there was more nearly an attitudinal one. Everything was reflexive for the Renaissance artist, Miller felt, most especially historical references, and so Antony of Rome , Cleopatra of Egypt and both Timon and Theseus of Athens take on a familiar late sixteenth and early seventeenth-century manner and look. As this indicates, Miller adopted a visual and design policy of sets and costumes inspired by great paintings of the era in which the plays were written, although the style was dominated by the post-Shakespearean 17th century artists Vermeer and Rembrandt.

In this sense, "art provides not just a look in Miller's productions; it provided a mode of being, a redolence of the air breathed in that world, an intellectual climate in addition to a physical space. According to Miller himself,. I think this was a misconception: the hypothetical version which they saw as being authentic was actually something remembered from thirty years before; and in itself presumably widely divergent from what was performed at the inaugural production four hundred years ago.

I thought it was much better to acknowledge the open-ended creativity of any Shakespeare production, since there is no way of returning to an authentic Globe Theatre version [ Speaking more directly, Elijah Moshinsky assessed Miller's contribution to the series by arguing that "it was only Miller's appointment that pulled the series out of its artistic nosedive. A monkey-trick that comes off is a stroke of genius. If you start out with a quite comprehensive self-denying ordinance of "no monkey-tricks," then you really are very much shackled. And I said, okay, fine, but, I'll disturb them with bizarre interpretations. His Othello had little to do with race and his Lear was more of a family man than a regal titan. Miller himself spoke of his dislike for "canonical performances," stating "I think there is a conspiracy in the theatre to perpetuate certain prototypes in the belief that they contain the secret truth of the characters in question.

This collusion between actors and directors is broken only by successful innovation which interrupts the prevailing mode. However, although there was definitely a new sense of aesthetic freedom with Miller as producer, this freedom could not be pushed too far. For example, when he hired Michael Bogdanov to direct Timon of Athens , Bogdanov proposed an Oriental themed modern-dress production.

The financiers refused to sanction the idea, and Miller had to insist Bogdanov remain within the aesthetic guidelines. This led to Bogdanov quitting, and Miller himself taking over as director. After appointing a director and choosing a cast, he would make suggestions and be on hand to answer questions, but his belief was that "the job of the producer is to make conditions as favourable and friendly as they possibly can be, so that [the directors'] imagination is given the best possible chance to work.

Whereas the BBC had looked for an outsider to inject fresh ideas into the project at the start of season three, they turned inwards once more in finding someone to bring the series to a conclusion; Shaun Sutton. Miller had rejuvenated the series aesthetically and his productions had saved its reputation with critics, but the show had fallen behind schedule, with Miller overseeing only nine episodes instead of twelve during his two-year producership. Sutton was brought in to make sure the show was completed without going too far over schedule.

Sutton also produced the Miller directed King Lear , which was shot in March and April , and aired as the season five opener in October As such, unlike the transition from Messina to Miller, the transition from Miller to Sutton was virtually unnoticeable. At the start of season six, Sutton followed in Miller's footsteps by altering the opening of the show. He kept Miller's title sequence, but he dropped Stephen Oliver's theme music, and instead the music composed specifically for each episode served as the opening title music for that episode except for The Two Gentlemen of Verona , which had no original music, so Oliver's theme music from seasons 3—5 was used.

When asked how he felt about Messina's time as producer, Sutton responded simply "I thought the approach was a little ordinary, and that we could do better. If you've got those three right, it doesn't matter if you do it on cardboard sets, or moderately lit — it doesn't even matter in television sometimes if it is badly shot [ Writers, directors, actors; if those three are good, you can do it on the back of a cart.

The project was Sutton's retirement job after twelve years as the head of BBC Drama and he was under strict orders to bring the series to a close, something which he did successfully, with the broadcast of Titus Andronicus roughly twelve months later than the series had initially been set to wrap. Messina's gamble in ultimately proved successful, as the series was a financial success, and by was already turning a profit. Writing for the Los Angeles Times in , Cecil Smith noted "the series has been the target of critical catcalls on both sides of the Atlantic, shabbily treated by many PBS stations, and often ignored or damned as dull, dull, dull.

The fact that this artificiality was half accepted, half denied, told you that you were not in Verona at all, but in that semi-abstract, semi-concrete, wholly uninteresting city which is known to students as Messina. Tradition and consolidation, rather than adventure or experiment, are to be the touchstones. However, even in the failures, he found qualities and as such, "it has not been a bad start, given some directors new to the problems of translating Shakespeare to television.

Reviewing the second season production of The Tempest for The Times Literary Supplement , Stanley Reynolds opined that although "there is very little for purists to find fault with [ What we got was some more of the BBC's ghastly middle taste. As the series came to a close, Literary Review ' s Andrew Rissik wrote "it must now be apparent as the BBC wind up their Shakespeare with Titus Andronicus — that the whole venture has been reckless and misguided [ Miller's productions were a clear improvement; their visual style was precise and distinctive and the casting, on the whole, intelligently done [ Rebecca Saire was only fourteen when the production was filmed, an unusually young age for an actress playing Juliet, although the character is just thirteen.

In interviews with the press prior to broadcast, Saire was critical of director Alvin Rakoff, stating that in his interpretation, Juliet is too childlike and asexual. This horrified the series' producers, who cancelled several scheduled interviews with the actress in the lead-up to broadcast. The Shakespeare in Perspective episode was presented by feminist academic and journalist Germaine Greer. The Shakespeare in Perspective episode which introduced King Richard the Second was presented by historian Paul Johnson , who argued that the Henriad very much advanced the Tudor myth , something also argued by Graham Holderness who saw the BBC's presentation of the Henriad as "illustrating the violation of natural social 'order' by the deposition of a legitimate king.

Director David Giles shot the episode in such a way as to create a visual metaphor for Richard's position in relation to the court. Early in the production, he is constantly seen above the rest of the characters, especially at the top of stairs, but he always descends to the same level as everyone else, and often ends up below them. As the episode goes on, his positioning above characters becomes less and less frequent. The production was shot at Glamis Castle in Scotland, one of only two productions shot on location, with the other being The Famous History of the Life of Henry the Eight. The location shooting received a lukewarm response from both critics and the BBC's own people, however, with the general consensus being that the natural world in the episode overwhelmed the actors and the story.

This, in turn, meant the harshness of the forest described in the text was replaced by lush greenery, which was distinctly unthreatening, with the characters' "time in the forest appear[ing] to be more an upscale camping expedition rather than exile. The Shakespeare in Perspective episode was presented by novelist Brigid Brophy. Director Herbert Wise felt that Julius Caesar should be set in the Elizabethan era , but as per the emphasis on realism, he instead set it in a Roman milieu. It's an Elizabethan play and it's a view of Rome from an Elizabethan standpoint.

It's not a jaded theatre audience seeing the play for the umpteenth time: for them that would be an interesting approach and might throw new light on the play. But for an audience many of whom won't have seen the play before, I believe it would only be confusing. The Shakespeare in Perspective episode was presented by political commentator Jonathan Dimbleby. The role of the Duke was originally offered to Alec Guinness. After he turned it down, the role was offered to a further thirty-one actors before Kenneth Colley accepted the part. Director Desmond Davis based the brothel in the play on a traditional Western saloon and the prison on a typical horror film dungeon. Gradually, the shots then move towards each other's style so that, by the end of the scene, they are both shot in the same framing.

The second of only two episodes shot on location, after As You Like It. Whereas the location shooting in that episode was heavily criticised as taking away from the play, here, the location work was celebrated. I wanted to feel the reality. I wanted great stone walls [ The episode was shot in winter, and on occasions, characters' breath can be seen, which was also impossible to achieve in studio. However, because of the cost, logistics and planning required for shooting on location, Messina decided that all subsequent productions would be done in-studio, a decision which did not go down well with several of the directors lined up for work on the second season.

This episode was not originally supposed to be part of the first season, but was moved forward in the schedule to replace the abandoned production of Much Ado About Nothing. The Shakespeare in Perspective episode was presented by novelist and literary scholar Anthony Burgess. The week prior to the screening of this episode in both the UK and the US, the first-season episode King Richard the Second was repeated as a lead-in to the trilogy. The episode also began with Richard's death scene from the previous play. The Shakespeare in Perspective episode was presented by musician, art historian and critic George Melly.

This episode starts with a reprise of the death of Richard, followed by an excerpt from the first-season episode King Richard the Second. Rumour's opening soliloquy is then heard in voice-over , played over scenes from the previous week's The First Part of King Henry the Fourth ; Henry's lamentation that he has not been able to visit the Holy Land , and the death of Hotspur at the hands of Prince Hal. With over a quarter of the lines from the Folio text cut, this production had more material omitted than any other in the entire series. The Shakespeare in Perspective episode was presented by psychologist Fred Emery. Whilst they had been focused on rooms and domestic interiors, Henry V was focused on large open spaces. As such, because they could not shoot on location, and because creating realistic reproductions of such spaces in a studio was not possible, they decided on a more stylised approach to production design than had hitherto been seen in the series.

Ironically, the finished product looked more realistic that either of them had anticipated or desired. The episode was repeated on Saint George's Day 23 April in He then shot the episode in such a way that the audience becomes aware of the logical geography, often shooting characters entering and exiting doorways into rooms and corridors. The Shakespeare in Perspective episode was presented by painter and poet David Jones. The episode used a degree set, which allowed actors to move from the beach to the cliff to the orchard without edits. The orchard was composed of real apple trees. They had been developed for Top of the Pops and Doctor Who. The Shakespeare in Perspective episode was presented by philosopher Laurens van der Post.

Originally, director Rodney Bennett had wanted to shoot the production on location, but after the first season, it was decreed that all productions were to be studio based. Bennett made a virtue of this restriction and his Hamlet, Prince of Denmark "was the first fully stylized production of the series. She defies the expectations and desires of her father to marry a man of his choice. Instead she marries the black soldier Othello and determines to travel with him to Cyprus. There she is manipulated by a series of male figures, and strangled in her bed by Othello.

In the end she replicates the fate of Barbary, her mother's maid whose love proved mad and 'did forsake her'. Emilia is another victim of love and another victim of the abuse of women by men. However, unlike Desdemona, who dies claiming she herself is responsible for her own death and wishing to be commended to her 'kind lord', Emilia unleashes a tirade of rebukes on the 'dull Moor' who has been so gulled and also on her husband, delivering a blow to male authority when she denounces him.

However, in true tragic fashion, her rebellion comes too late to avert the tragic outcome. At the end of the play Lodovico instructs Iago and the audience to 'Look on the tragic loading' of the bed of Desdemona and Othello where the married couple and Emelia lie dead. It is a stark image and completes the tragic pattern. Roderigo has also died, bled dry by Iago and stabbed to death in the dark. The final judgments rest with the audience. We are left to think about our emotions and about moral, social, political and philosophical issues. Is Othello redeemed?

Is there catharsis? Is there a feeling that the world is somehow diminished by his passing? Is there a feeling that there are moral forces at work and the world is striving to become a better place? Cassio will rule in Cyprus so there is restoration of order of a sort. But how comfortable does an audience feel with this appointment? Certainly his attitudes towards women are questionable.

Desdemona had challenged the patriarchal order in marrying Othello, had shown a free and open spirit but she is murdered. The patriarchal attitudes that existed at the start of the play are reinforced by Cassio's appointment. Therefore how safe is the future with him? The tragic villain Iago still lives and defiantly says that though he bleeds he is not killed and that 'from this time forth' he 'never will speak word'.

Lodovico sentences Iago to 'cunning cruelty' and 'torture', though disturbingly perhaps there is still some kind of triumph at his indestructibility. The resolution is uncomfortable and with the deaths of Desdemona, Emelia and Othello, there is a terrible sense of waste. This resource is part of the Aspects of tragedy resource package. AQA is not responsible for the content of external sites. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Please either accept the cookies, or find out how to remove them Accept Accept cookies. More information Accept. Othello Othello is a play that is a mainstream Shakespearean tragedy and therefore is an obvious text for Paper 1.

Settings The main action of the play is set in Cyprus, away from the known, civilised world of Venice, where capitalism thrives. Othello as Tragic Hero Othello's position as tragic hero is interesting and complex. Iago as Villain For many, Iago is the ultimate stage villain — calculating, manipulative, clever and ruthless. Victims Othello is a play with many victims, not least the title character himself who falls victim to Iago's manipulation and his own jealous rage.

Deaths At the end of the play Lodovico instructs Iago and the audience to 'Look on the tragic loading' of the bed of Desdemona and Othello where the married couple and Emelia lie dead. USA By state. Enter less keywords for more results. Suggestions may be selected. Day Week Month Any. Advanced Search. What does a Web Developer Analyst do? Responsibilities: - Manage the development, planning and execution of all in - house video shoots, including, managing cross - functional Location: Arizona - iT1, a leading national technology solution provider headquartered in Tempe, AZ, is looking for a motivated Senior Job Responsibilities -? Provide analytical support, conduct assessments, and make recommendations in maintaining and updating document

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