Thursday, December 01, 2005

Shakespeare for Warriors

Ha! You may think that an article entitled Shakespeare for Warriors is going to be all about Henry V and the infamous "St. Crispin's Day" speech, but you'd be wrong!

Well, after the first couple of paragraphs, that is. "We happy few, we band of brothers" is brought up as something that one SEAL quotes to his fellows before heading into battle. (Oddly, I actually wrote that quote on a card for one of my groomsmen at my wedding. Although I took out the "sheds blood with me" part :))

But what's cool is that the article then totally goes in a different direction - to Othello, no less. Quick show of hands, how many people think of Othello as a particularly military play? I never did. But the article looks at Othello's weaknesses (and Iago's strengths) from that perspective, about how Othello is a total fish out of water in Venice rather than the tented fields, and how quick he is to believe Iago simply because he is more comfortable with the military language that Iago speaks to him.

Desdemona does not come off well here. She's entirely the instigator, says the author. And "When given the choice between trusting the diabolical Iago, a warrior with many kills under his belt, or his new wife Desdemona, the Venetian, Othello doesn't hesitate. He goes with what his officer says : soldiers don't lie." "Band of brothers" ends up being Othello's downfall.

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1 comment:

bardseyeview said...

Dear Such,

I enjoyed perusing your blog. Very thoughtful posts and it's nice to meet a fellow Shakespeare lover.

I've linked to your blog on the sidebar of my own Shakespeare-themed blog, and invite you to visit if interested at:


Jeremy Abrams