"Damn'd if he do: Othello and Marriage"
Thu, October 15, 2009 • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM • Thompson Conference Center
An Odyssey Course event with Professor Eric Mallin
Othello is black, foreign, probably raised as a Muslim,
hyper-articulate, a famed warrior; in other words, he lists as far from
an early modern audience's knowledge and experience as dramatic
currents allow. But Shakespeare also signals that Othello reaches
towards a statistical norm. And what makes him normal, recognizable? He
is married. And he loves his wife. But he hates — hates! — his
marriage. I shall argue that Othello's specifically religious way of
thinking helps to doom his imagined state of wedded bliss, and that the
marital institution contains more terrors than any enemy he has faced.
Recommended reading: William Shakespeare, Othello
ERIC S. MALLIN is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas, and the author of Inscribing the Time: Shakespeare and the End of Elizabethan England (California) and Godless Shakespeare (Continuum).
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