July 20, 2008

The Merchant of Venice has long been problematic to perform, because of its stereotypical depiction of Shylock, the Jew. ("My daughter! My ducats!")

Yet performances of Othello seem to have posed no problem, even though they draw every bit as deeply upon another stereotype, that of Islamic misogynism and intrinsic violence. For all Iago drove him to it, Othello has demonstrated that he has the capacity to commit spousal murder, something only the vilest of Christians shares with this noblest of Moors.

You know what you know. (V.ii)

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