Theater: Toothless Villain

OTHELLO by William Shakespeare

There is no doubt about the identity of the main character in Hamlet or Macbeth, Richard II Coriolanus. Othello, however, does not revolve around the noble Moor but around his henchman lago, who drives him to madness and murder. The most complete and absolute embodiment of evil in all of Shakespeare — and perhaps in all of literature — the character is a supreme challenge to any actor. A wrong reading will make him either baffling or comical, like an oily villain from the silent movies. Unfortunately for this otherwise fine production by the New York Shakespeare Festival,...

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