Fall of Man in Othello

Marchers for Life, bundle up! See you on Constitution Avenue.

“For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like
Another fall of man.” Henry V, Act II, Scene 2

The two great “turning-to-evil” Shakespeare plays are Macbeth and Othello. Let us, as time allows, study both of them for insights into the mysterium iniquitatis, the mystery of evil, the Fall. Othello first. Continue reading “Fall of Man in Othello

Long-Term Questions

You may reasonably wonder:

What are the long-term intellectual projects underway behind the scenes at this weblog?

Indeed, two avenues of research occupy my mind. They will be addressed, dear reader, in good time. Please be patient with me.

1. Is it indeed true, as Mark Twain asserted, that Sir Walter Scott bears primary responsibility for the American Civil War?

2. Is not “Othello” perhaps Sheakespeare’s greatest?

Question #1 poses many convoluted problems. First of all, Mark Twain basically spent the Civil War in Hawaii. So: Can he really be regarded as an authority?

Secondly, Scott’s “Ivanhoe,” while enormously appealing as possible bed-time reading, requires seven years of uninterrupted leisure actually to read from cover to cover. Only the gentry of the Old South would have had a chance to read it all.

But I will get to the bottom of this question somehow, I promise.

Question #2 raises other questions…

1. Must not Verdi’s “Otello” be regarded as an altogether different story, since the opera does not include the crucial opening sequence of events in Shakespeare’s play, namely Othello and Desdemona’s elopement?

2. Does Ian McKellen “own” Iago on film?

In 1990, he played Iago as a fussy neat-freak, twitchy and (just a little too) grabby in his fidgets. Watching him truly does make a man’s blood run cold.

I have to admit that I have no great brief for McKellen. His Gandalf does nothing for me. He mumbles too much, and when he comes back as Gandalf the White, he looks like a cross between Wilfred Brimley and Fabio.

But I think the man does indeed own Iago in the movies. At least he owns the 1989 Othello movie, leaving plenty of altogether worthy co-stars in the dust.

Ian McKellen Iago


Greedy and Envious? Try Poverty and Love

He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables…At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?”
(John 2:14-19)

The Lord Jesus drove the greedy merchants and money-changers from the Temple. The Jewish leaders envied Christ’s authority and power. So in the gospel reading, we have seen both greed and envy. These are two of the seven deadly sins.

Continue reading “Greedy and Envious? Try Poverty and Love”