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"I kissed thee ere I killed thee, no way but this,
Killing myself, to die upon a kiss."
One of the four great tragedies—alongside Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth–Othello is among the darkest of Shakespeare's plays, illumining the shadows of the gloomiest recesses of the human psyche and serving as a damning indictment of the world in which it was written. A cautionary tale of the destructiveness of sin and the ruinous consequences of bad philosophy, Othello seems to express Shakespeare's rage at the cynicism and brutality of the age in which he lived. From the Machiavellian menace of Iago to the blind and prideful jealousy of Othello, this classic of world literature shows us the shadow falling over a society that has turned its back on the light and life of virtue.
A look at the essays
- "'A Monstrous Birth' Brought 'to the World's Light': The Assault on Authority and the Darkening of the Soul in Othello" – Robert Carballo
- "Is Venice in Shakespeare's Othello a Racist Society?" – Robert C. Evans
- "The Unreason of Iago: A Close Reading of the Beginning of Othello" – Jay Graham
- "Some Observations on Othello, Act 1" – Michael Hanke
- "Shakespeare's Othello and Man's Fallen Nature" – Michael M. Jordan
- "Othello as Meta-Drama" – Peter Milward, S.J.
- "Othello—the Classical-Medieval Synthesis, and the Platonic Concept of the Soul" – Rebecca Munro
Joseph Pearce situates the reader with the introductory essay.
Books by Author
by last name, except for Wm. Shakespeare
Meet the Minds behind the Othello Edition
Joseph Pearce is writer in residence at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, and director of the Aquinas Center for Faith and Culture. He is the editor of the St. Austin Review and the Ignatius Critical Editions series editor. He is the author of three books on Shakespeare, published by Ignatius Press: The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome (2008), Through Shakespeare's Eyes: Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays (2010), and Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Juliet (2013). He has also published books on a number of modern literary figures, including Oscar Wilde, G. K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Roy Campbell, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Robert Carballo is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where he served for many years as Director of Graduate English Studies. He teaches courses in Victorian literature, the Romantic poets, drama, comparative literature, and the short story. His publications include studies on John Henry Newman, Matthew Arnold, John Dryden, and Shakespeare, among others, and have appeared in scholarly journals in the United States, England, France, Puerto Rico, and Hungary.
Robert C. Evans
Robert C. Evans is I. B. Young Professor of English at Auburn University at Montgomery. He is the author or editor of more than thirty books and of over three hundred essays, both in print and in online databases. Much of his writing focuses on close reading and critical pluralism. He is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Newberry Library, the Huntington Library, the American Philosophical Society, the Mellon Foundation, and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at UCLA. Much of his recent work has dealt with American literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is the editor of a forthcoming volume of essays on Othello (Arden Press).
Jay Graham received his doctorate in English in 1979 from the University of Denver and subsequently taught at colleges in Denver, North Dakota, and Wyoming before retiring in 2010. Sadly, he died in February 2014 after a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Susan, and their four sons and three daughters.
Michael Hanke obtained his PhD and his habilitation at German universities. He taught English Literature at the universities of Hamburg, Duisburg, and Gießen; has published books on John Crowe Ransom, Roy Campbell, and German Expressionist poetry; has written many articles on English literature; and has edited several collections of critical essays.
Michael M. Jordan
Michael M. Jordan is a professor of English at Hillsdale College, in Hillsdale, Michigan. He is the editor of a collection of Marion Montgomery's essays (On Matters Southern: Essays About Literature and Culture, 1964–2000), and he occasionally writes essays and book reviews for Modern Age, Saint Austin Review, the University Bookman, and other periodicals.
Peter Milward, S.J.
Peter Milward, S.J., is an English Jesuit who has been teaching English literature, with special emphasis on Shakespeare?s plays, at Sophia University in Japan from 1962 onward. Though now emeritus, he still teaches at the Sophia Community College. Among his numerous publications are Shakespeare's Religious Background (1973), Shakespeare the Papist (2005), and The Pattern in Shakespeare's Carpet (2012).
Rebecca Munro received her Ph.D. in English at Baylor University in 2003. She currently teaches English at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, specializing in Shakespeare and the English Renaissance. She has contributed several book reviews to Boston College's Religion and the Arts, served as juror for the Lilly Fellows annual book award, and presented papers on Shakespeare, Renaissance, and Medieval literature. At Belmont Abbey College, she is at the center of vibrant creative activity as advisor for the prize-winning student-edited literary journal Agora as well as for the school's creative writing club WIT, Writers in Training. Activities that spring from both include four yearly on-campus celebrations of literary art and music, which she hosts with her editors.