Othello: Reading and Performing

Barry Wood

“Othello” is one of the most celebrated of Shakespeare’s tragedies but also one of the most controversial. The controversy arises mainly—though not
exclusively—from the portrayal of Othello himself: “ the Moor of Venice”. The course will concentrate on detailed study of the text with a focus on language, characterization and plot.
It will also consider major productions and performances, particularly those involving Paul Robeson, Lawrence Olivier, and more recently James Earl Jones and Lawrence Fishburne.
Sidney Poitier refused an offer to play the part. It’s a tangled web and morally perplexing for the 21 st century reader and theatre-goer. However, it’s worth reflecting on the words of
Ayanna Thompson in her introduction to the 2016 Revised Edition of the Arden Shakespeare: “While Othello continues to inspire artists, audience members and scholars to re-tell the story
as a way to control the play’s stories, frames and contexts, it really should inspire a new breed of listener, one who can discern the significance and validity of those stories, frames and

Recommended Reading: Please buy or borrow the Arden Revised Edition (2016) of the play and/or the Penguin Classics series, edited by Kenneth Muir—first issued 1968; reissued
2005/ 2015.

Day: Thursdays         Time: 10.30-12.30

8 weeks, 3 October – 28 November 2024 Mid-term break: 31 October.

Cross Street Chapel,
Cross Street,
M2 1NL

Bookings for all lectures

Price Concessions Minimum No. Maximum No.
£80 n/a 12 20

To book, please email  barrywood42@hotmail.com . Please, complete the MANCENT booking form and send it with a cheque (made payable to “Barry Wood”) to:
Barry Wood, 12 St Brannock’s Road, Manchester,  M21 0UP.
Email: barrywood42@hotmail.com