Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Othello by William Shakespeare

Title: Othello
Author: William Shakespeare
Read by:  The Folger Theatre – The Folger Shakespeare Library Full Cast Recording
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: 3 hours (3 CDs)
Source:  Review Copy from Simon & Schuster – Thanks!

I spent an educational drive to work a couple days last week as I listened to a full cast full length dramatic reading of Othello by The Folger Theatre Shakespeare Company.  They did an excellent job with bringing the entire production to life and making it very enjoyable to listen to.  I especially enjoyed the music that accompanied the performance between scenes.

Othello is a Moor and has fallen in love with and married Lady Desdemona who is a Venetian.  Desdemona’s father is in despair as Othello is black and Desdemona is white.  There is much rough talk by other characters on the nature of the two being together when they inform Desdemona’s father.   The marriage is declared valid and the two newlyweds are happy and in love, until Othello’s friend/enemy Iago is driven by jealousy and makes Othello believe that Desdemona is cheating on him.  This is a tragedy so all does not end well.

I enjoyed listening to this Shakespeare play again as it’s been a good 14 years since I’ve read it.  I had an easier time listening to this play as compared to Macbeth as I could tell by the voices who was speaking.  I think the Scottish accents in Macbeth may have thrown me off.  As a modern day listener, I wanted to shake Othello and tell him that he just needed to go and have an adult discussion with his wife rather than listen to everything that his friend told him about her.  Still jealousy did not end in modern times so it’s interesting to ponder human frailties in Othello.  I think Shakespeare is for listening rather than reading, and listening to an audiobook is the next best thing to seeing the plays performed live. 

1 comment:

  1. Laura, it does seem that audiobooks by The Folger Theatre Shakespeare Company are a great way to experience the works of Shakespeare. Wonderful review!

    On a different note, I've been listening to Stickability in my car as I drive around. Thanks again!