Episode 164: Shakespeare’s “Othello”, Acts 1 & 2
This week on The Literary Life Podcast with Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins, and Thomas Banks, we have our second episode covering Shakespeare’s play Othello. Today’s episode is a discussion of Acts 1 and 2. Our hosts talk about the problem of Iago’s antagonism toward Othello, the way in which Shakespeare asks “what if?” to develop new treatments of old stories, the question of Othello’s ethnicity, Shakespeare’s method of building up layers of disorder in the story, the theme of people out of harmony with the community, plus so much more!
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It has only been for a short time, a recent and disturbed time of transition, that each writer has been expected to write a new theory of all things or draw a new wild map of the world. The old writers were content to write of the old world, but to write of it with an imaginative freshness which made it in each case look like a new world. The poets taught in a continuous tradition and were not in the least ashamed of being traditional. Each taught in an individual way with a perpetual slight novelty, as Aristotle said, but they were not a series of separate lunatics looking at separate worlds. One poet did not provide a pair of spectacles by which it appeared that the grass was blue, or another poet lecture on optics to teach people to say that the grass was orange. They both had the far harder and more heroic task of teaching people to feel that the grass is green. And because they continue their heroic task, the world, after every epoch of doubt and despair, always grows green again.G. K. Chesterton
Our age was cultivated thus at length;John Dryden
But what we gained in skill we lost in strength.
Our builders were with want of genius curst;
The second temple was not like the first.
The atmosphere of the homeschool is on the mother’s face.Lynn Bruce
My Pretty Rose Tree
by William Blake
A flower was offered to me,
Such a flower as May never bore;
But I said “I’ve a pretty rose tree,”
And I passed the sweet flower o’er.
Then I went to my pretty rose tree,
To tend her by day and by night;
But my rose turned away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.
Othello by William Shakespeare
The Soul of Wit by G. K. Chesterton, edited by Dale Ahlquist
Paradise Lost by John Milton
The Meaning of Shakespeare by Harold Goddard
The Elizabethan World Picture by E. M. Tillyard
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