Proseminar: William Shakespeare: Othello
5 ERASMUS-students invited
In this Proseminar we will study William Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Othello,
the Moore of Venice, which was first performed in 1603 or 1604. Subjects of interest
will be plot overview, analysis of major characters, themes, motifs, and imagery.
Among the themes and motifs will be those of intrigue, jealousy and revenge. As to
the motif of jealousy, Samuel Taylor Coleridge had his reservations: “I take it to be
rather an agony that the creature [Desdemona], whom he [Othello] had believed angelic
… should be proved impure and worthless” (Table Talk, 1796). Shakespeare’s
imagery is often sexual, it refers to plants, animals, and especially toward the end it
recurs to hell and damnation. The play is a true specimen of late Elizabethan drama.
A forthcoming Chemnitz production will premiér in the Schauspielhaus in May 2007
and is to remain in repertoire over the summer.
Text of Othello in any scholarly English edition. Recommended: Othello by William Shakespeare, Penguin Books, 2007, ISBN 978-0-14-062105-1, € 3,10. Supplier: Universitas.
Einführungskurs “Introduction to the Study of Literature”.
Requirement for credits:
Regular attendance, 1 oral presentation, 1 term paper in (English or German).