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About this Lecture
In this module, we think about one of the most controversial aspects of the play – and that is its engagement with issues of race: Othello is a Moor and it seems that at least part of the reason that Iago is intent on his destruction is because he is ethnically different. There are, however, several difficulties when it comes to thinking about issues of race in the play – and four of them are discussed here.
In this course, we explore several aspects of Shakespeare’s Othello, thinking in particular about the play in performance. In the first module, we explore the concept of racism in the play, before moving on in the following three modules to explore issues surrounding the casting of the three main characters of the play: Othello, Iago, and Desdemona. In the final module, we turn to the language of Othello, the so-called Music of Othello.
Born in Bristol, and educated at Oxford and St Louis, Dr John Lennard has taught English, American, and Commonwealth Literature in Cambridge, London, and Jamaica over more than twenty years. He has written two widely used textbooks (on poetry and drama) and monographs on Shakespeare, Paul Scott, Nabokov, and Faulkner, as well as two collections of essays on contemporary genre writers in crime, science fiction and fantasy, and romance. Enthusiastic, discursive, widely knowledgeable, and a demon for punctuation (on which he has also published extensively), he has been a popular Summer School Course Leader and lecturer for the Institute of Continuing Education since 1992.
Cite this Lecture
Lennard, J. (2018, August 15). Shakespeare: Othello - Racism [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/shakespeare-othello-john-lennard/racism
Lennard, J. "Shakespeare: Othello – Racism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/shakespeare-othello-john-lennard/racism