In Othello, Shakespeare creates powerful drama from a marriage between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona that begins with elopement and mutual devotion and ends with jealous rage and death. Shakespeare builds many differences into his hero and heroine, including race, age, and cultural background. Yet most readers and audiences believe the couple’s strong love would overcome these differences were it not for Iago, who sets out to destroy Othello. Iago’s false insinuations about Desdemona’s infidelity draw Othello into his schemes, and Desdemona is subjected to Othello’s horrifying verbal and physical assaults.
The authoritative edition of Othello from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:
-The exact text of the printed book for easy cross-reference -Hundreds of hypertext links for instant navigation -Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play -Full explanatory notes conveniently linked to the text of the play -Scene-by-scene plot summaries -A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases -An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language -An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play -Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books -An annotated guide to further reading
Essay by Susan Snyder
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
Believed to have been written in 1603, Shakespeare's Othello is a tragedy that puts the playwright's prodigious creative gifts on full display. Based loosely on a Renaissance-era Italian tale, Othello follows the stormy relationship of the Moorish general Othello and his lovely wife Desdemona. Addressing timeless themes of love and betrayal, as well as surprisingly contemporary concepts such as race-based stereotypes, Othello is a satisfying read for modern-day fans of the Bard.
This major new edition of Shakespeare's greatest tragedy of love argues that that play is ultimately Juliet's. The play text is expertly edited and the on-page commentary notes discuss issues of staging, theme, meaning and Shakespeare's use of his sources to give the reader deep and engaging insights into the play. The richly illustrated introduction looks at the play's exceptionally beautiful and complex language and focuses on the figure of Juliet as being at its centre. René Weis discusses the play's critical, stage and film history, including West Side Story and Baz Luhrmann's seminal film Romeo + Juliet. This is an authoritative edition from a leading scholar, giving the reader a penetrating and wide-ranging insight into this ever popular play.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare between 1590 and 1596. It is one of his most played pieces. The events of the play take place in and around Athens in ancient Greece and include scenes from a fairytale world inhabited by characters from Greek mythology. This edition features color illustrations by Arthur Rackham.
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