Friday, October 14, 2011

May his pernicious soul rot half a grain a day...

I have never hated anyone more.

This week I got to read the play Othello as well as view a film production on it. I thought about how to approach this and decided to first view the play and then to read it. After all, in Shakespeare's day everyone had to watch the play only, I doubt many people were able to obtain copies of the script to peruse at their own leisure.

I watched the film and LOVED IT!!! Fantastic! I was a little skeptical about a low budget BBC film but the talent of the actors, namely Anthony Hopkins, made it magnificent. I found myself sincerely moved and invested in the play. Totally being pulled into the part I was set to play as the viewer. I didn't know how much I would like the play, but this viewing experience has made it one of my favorites. While it is not my favorite tragedy of Will's, it is the most tragic tragedy.

I then read the script and found that this was a lot of fun after viewing the film. I find when I read before I see a production that I don't really grasp the emphasis in sentences or words. Everyone speaks very calmly and fluidly in my head. I didn't get as lost in the language now that I had seen how these lines were handled. Two lines stuck out to me.

He that is robbed, not wanting what is stolen,
Let him not know 't, and he's not robbed at all.
Othello, 3. 3

Someone who has something taken, if he doesn't know it's missing, he might as well not be robbed at all, he doens't know so it doesn't hurt him. When it is pointed out that something is taken then he falls into sadness and want, for he has "drunk and seen the spider" you might say.

This makes me so sad with Othello because nothing has really been stolen, but he thinks it has and that is enough to make him fly into a destructive rage. This tragedy is worse to me that Romeo and Juliet for example, because the cause of the two hormonal teenage tragedy is their own stupidity. Othello had a wonderful, almost enviable realationship with his wife. It was just as it should be, but due to the evil of a calculating devil, Othello lost it all. That is so tragic.

This brings me to my second line I like. The title of my post today, it is a punishment described for evil Iago. It sounds terrible, but it's still not enough in my opinion. I really detest this man who is nothing but pure evil inside, who can laugh when he sees other human beings tormented.

Elder Holland, says it best for me, "In the tale of Othello and Desdemona the sorrow and destruction is calculated--it is maliciously driven from the beginning. Of all the villains in Shakespeare's writing, and perhaps in all of literature, there is no one I loathe so much as I loathe Iago. Even his name sounds evil to me, or at least it has become so. And what is his evil...Sowing doubt and devilish innuendo, playing on jealousy and deceit and finally murderous rage, Iago provokes Othello into taking Desdemona's life--virtue turned into pitch, goodness twisted into a fatal net."

So, may his pernicious soul rot half a grain a day!


  1. I love Othello, it's my absolute favorite. I think you new that...

  2. I know. I mentioned it in my earlier post on Othello. So...why is it your favorite?