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4. Casting Desdemona
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the character of Desdemona. Firstly, we think about why it is that Shakespeare has written such a simple role for what might well have been a very interesting character. After that, we consider the impact of having Desdemona played by a boy (as she would have been in the original production), before thinking about the issue of Desdemona’s age.
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 - Casting Desdemona [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/shakespeare-othello-john-lennard/casting-desdemona
Lennard, J. "Shakespeare: Othello – Casting Desdemona." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://massolit.io/courses/shakespeare-othello-john-lennard/casting-desdemona