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p. 556. Othellolocked

  • Stanley Wells

Abstract

Like Romeo and Juliet, Othello is a fictional love tragedy focusing on two private individuals whose lives are not bound up with the fate of nations. The play is based on an Italian tale—a prosaic story of love and jealousy—by Giraldi Cinthio, which Shakespeare romanticizes and dignifies. Compact, fast-moving, tensely dramatic, emotionally compelling, and rising to a riveting tragic conclusion with the murder of Desdemona by Othello followed by his suicide, it is an immensely effective piece of theatre written in dialogue, sometimes racy and conversational, which rises to great heights of eloquence. ‘Othello’ describes the key characters Othello, Iago, and Desdemona, and the plot of the play.

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