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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning (77 comments)

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  •  Othello's touchy pride (4+ / 0-)

    is increased by the racial aspect - part of him cannot accept that Desdemona really loves him, which I think is what Iago recognizes and plays to.

    He has more dimension that the Duke; after all, Shakespeare believed he was the tragic hero of the play, and for that we need to identify with him to a degree.

    I shudder at Browning's "commands;" I always imagined that meant orders to kill her, but if there was a two year separation before her death, a convent would make sense; and who knows, even there he might have ordered her death. Totally chilling.

    The comparison to the nightengale is apt; I never thought of that.

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 12:24:39 AM PDT

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    •  Othello & Shylock: Two scapegoats in Venice. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ramara, poco, RiveroftheWest

      Okay, Shylock is mean, and suspicious - with good reason. Here we have two hard-working, proud men, the best at what they do. Every week of their lives, enduring the mocking looks and insults of far smaller men, needling away at their egos. What a cross to bear.

      Iago is the distilled envy and spite of a racist society. It's a very strange and ugly thing, this general Schadenfreude, the hunger to tear down great men, as if in our hearts we felt slighted, that we deserved to be above them. Thinking of Obama, of course. And great women get it too - Hillary, certainly.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 10:08:19 AM PDT

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