Disbelief in Othello

Authors

  • Balz Engler

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.53720/RJCB9385

Abstract

Belief and disbelief play an important role in Othello: between the figures and between the action and the audience. The focus here is on audience reactions. They are notoriously difficult to determine as they are poorly documented. Two general factors apart from historical evidence are used here to sketch them: the difference between reading and attending a performance, and the generic frames suggested by the play: comedy, tragedy and, in Shakespeare’s own time, the morality play. Audiences would easily get confused. It may be surprising, then, that Othello is the Shakespeare play where the most violent audience reactions are documented. It may be the very confusion produced by it that is responsible for them.

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Published

2018-12-31