Theater: KOed in Venice

OTHELLO by William Shakespeare

James Earl Jones has run in, or at, Othello six times, but he has never quite caught up with either the play or the part. Not that he is wholly to blame for that. To a modern audience, Othello is Shakespeare's least accessible tragedy.Only in Latin countries and certain portions of the Mediterranean basin is Othello's brand of feverish, murderous jealousy readily comprehensible. Othello regards every aspect of Desdemona's being as an extension of his personal honor. By contrast, playgoers are instantly at home with Iago's Machiavellian manipulations.

If Othello is not to seem a monumental ninny,...

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