Shakespeare, the Man and His Works; Being All the Subject Matter about Shakespeare Contained in Moulton's Library of Literary Criticism
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1904 edition. Excerpt: ...--to whom?--to Cassio, who has been able neither to see her nor to converse with her. And Iago speaks of his passion as a thing already ancient, and yet--and yet as a thing posterior to her marriage with Othello; for he represents Cassio as exclaiming, "Cursed fate, that gave thee to the Moor!" and Iago speaks of Cassio's intrigue with innumerable details and interminable explanations. Which is the greatest simpleton, the man who conceives such a project, or the man who allows himself to be entrapped by it?... The author is himself successful: but why? Because, such is the intensity and vivacity of his original conception, that the most revolting improbabilities, the most inconceivable absurdities, pass by unperceived; because no one is so ungracious, no one has the time to notice the stratagems of the drama. It is, however, another thing to offer these absurdities to be admired as merits.--Guizot, Francois Pierre Guillaume, 182152, Shakspeare and His Times, pp. 279, 280. Othello must not be conceived as a negro, but a high and chivalrous Moorish chief. Shakspere learned the spirit of the character from the Spanish poetry, which was prevalent in England in his time. Jealousy does not strike me as the point in his passion; I take it to be rather an agony that the creature, whom he had believed angelic, with whom he had garnered up his heart, and whom he could not help still loving, should be proved impure and worthless. It was the struggle not to love her. It was a moral indignation and regret that virtue should so fall: --"But yet the pity of it, Iago!--O Iago! the pity of it, Iago!" In addition to this, his honour was concerned: Iago would not have succeeded but by hinting that his honour was compromised. There is no ferocity...
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