On Thursday, June 3 at 7 p.m., Mark Schenker of Yale University will lead a discussion of Othello here at the Library. Othello will be the summer production of Shakespeare on the Sound, now in its 15th year.
In anticipation of Shakespeare on the Sound's summer production, Mr. Schenker will lead a discussion of Othello both as an individual play and with respect to its place in the Shakespeare canon. Alone among Shakespeare’s major tragedies, Othello does not concern the killing of a king (as in Hamlet and Macbeth) nor the abdication of one (as in King Lear). More intimate in scale and theme, it focuses on the personal rather than the political as its domestic tragedy narrows its focus from the affairs of state to those of the heart. Whereas Hamlet poses the question “To be or not to be” and spends much of his time lodged in the middle ground between planning and realizing his mission, Othello seeks too soon to resolve his implicit question, “To love or not to love?” Unaware that the opportunistic Iago is manipulating his idealistic nature, Othello tragically chooses the destruction of his love and of himself.
Copies of the play will be available and it is not necessary to read the play ahead of time.
Mark Schenker has been at Yale College since 1990. He is currently an associate dean of the College and dean of academic affairs. Born and raised in New York City, he received his Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University and has taught at Columbia, New York University, and Trinity College (Hartford). He has led book discussion series in public libraries in Connecticut for over 20 years through programs sponsored by the Connecticut Humanities Council and lectures frequently on literary topics for public audiences. He was the recipient of the 2001 Wilbur Cross Award for Outstanding Humanities Scholar, presented by the Connecticut Humanities Council.
Shakespeare on the Sound’s 2010 summer production schedule is as follows:
Othello -- Rowayton, Pinkney Park: June 15-26, Greenwich, Baldwin Park: July 2-11 (No performances Mondays.)
Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen’s).