The Real Othello?

Am I reading the right Othello or are you reading the right Othello? Or is it you?

There have been a number of different Othello versions preserved in various archives. Here is one example from the British Library. The reason for these differences is not a complicated one. Simply, some viewers of the play during the early 1600’s tried to copy down and/or memorize the script and turn it into their own copies. Unsurprisingly, different people heard different things or improvised some words.

After having looked at a few copies of manuscripts, there are definite differences. First and foremost, the types of language the copiers utilize are contrasting. All of them write in English but the wording and spelling of some words a very different. Also, though probably more insignificant, the beginning decorations are unique and the abbreviations for some names differ. 

One specific detail that is interesting is that the first word from the next page is printed on the lower-right corner of each page. Why? My guess would be the fact that the copiers used older printing presses, in which letter blocks are formed into the sentences for each page. For each page, the copier would need to add ink to the letter blocks and press it onto the sheet of paper. Since the copier could only view the wet paper after it dried, he added the first word of the next page to remind himself. Or maybe he did it just in case the pages would get mixed up and he could easily reorder the pages. What do you think?

Music Outlives

In honor of some of the musicians who have passed away recently…

I chose a song by Natalie Cole, an American singer-songwriter and performer who passed away because of kidney failure on December 31st, 2015, called “This Will Be (Everlasting Love)” which was recorded in 1975. This song was one of her hit songs and appeared on her album titled “Inseparable.”

Oooh…..

This will be an everlasting love
This will be the one I’ve waited for
This will be the first time anyone has loved me.

I’m so glad you found me in time
And I’m so glad that you recrefied my mind
This will be an everlasting love for me

Loving you is some kind of wonderful
Because you showed me just how much you care
You’ve given me the thrill of a lifetime
And made me believe you’ve got more thrills to spare, oh!

This will be an everlasting love
Oh, yes it will now!

You brought a lot of a sunshine in to my life
You filled me with happiness I never knew
You gave me more joy then I ever dreamed of
And no one, no one can take the place of you

This will be,
you and me,
yes sir-ee
eternally
Hugging and squeezing, and kissing and pleasing,
Together forever throughever whatever.
Yeah yeah yeah you and me

So long as I’m living true love I’ll be giving
To you I’ll be serving cause you’re so deserving
Hey, you’re so deserving, you’re so deserving
yeah yeah yeah Whoooaaah
Love [x18]
From now on [repeat till fade]

I was actually unfamiliar with Natalie Cole until this blog post and going through some of her songs, I was drawn to this one. With it’s catchy beat and melodious harmonies, “This Will Be” caught my attention. Unlike some of her songs that I listened to which were much more mellow and slow, this song provides a different style. I like the instrumentation behind the song, the clapping, trumpets, drums, and piano, that help to keep the song upbeat and exciting while being simple and not excessive. Additionally, I enjoyed the happiness and carefreeness that Cole tries to relay through her song and lyrics. Although for me the higher notes near the end of the song were a little too high for my taste, I have to agree though that Cole is a talented singer. Her singing, expression, and technique create a strong foundation that allows for this song to be created as it is.

To Translate or Not to Translate – That is the Question

Here is my attempt to translate a passage in one of Shakespeare’s renowned works, Othello (and yes, I know my title references Hamlet)…

Original:

[from Act I, Scene III]

IAGO

It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of
the will. Come, be a man. Drown thyself? drown
cats and blind puppies! I have professed me thy
friend, and I confess me knit to thy deserving
with cables of perdurable toughness.
I could never better stead thee than now. Put
money in thy purse. Follow thou the wars, defeat
thy favor with an usurped beard. I say, put money
in thy purse. It cannot be long that Desdemona
should continue her love to the Moor—put money
in thy purse—nor he his to her. It was a violent
commencement, and thou shalt see an
answerable sequestration—put but money in thy
purse. These Moors are changeable in their
wills—fill thy purse with money. The food that to
him now is as luscious as locusts shall be to him
shortly as bitter as coloquintida. She must change
for youth. When she is sated with his body she will
find the errors of her choice. Therefore, put money
in thy purse. If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do it a
more delicate way than drowning. Make all the
money thou canst. If sanctimony and a frail vow
betwixt an erring barbarian and supersubtle
Venetian be not too hard for my wits and all the
tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her. Therefore make
money. A pox of drowning thyself! ‘Tis clean out of
the way. Seek thou rather to be hanged in
compassing thy joy than to be drowned and go
without her.

——————————————————

Definitions:

perdurable – enduring continuously, imperishable
usurped – encroach or infringe upon (someone’s rights)
commencement – a beginning or start
sequestration – the action of taking legal possession of assets until a debt has been paid or other claims have been met
coloquintida (colocynth) – a plant bearing a round, yellow or green fruit with a bitter pulp
sated – to satisfy (any appetite or desire) fully
betwixt – archaic term for between

——————————————————

Paraphrase (aka my attempt to translate):

You love her because you want to. Come on, be a man. Drown yourself? Drowning is for wimps! I am your friend and I promise to help you. I could never be as much help as I will be now. Get money. Follow the wars and your troubles. Get money. Desdemona’s love for Othello is short – get money – and so is his love for her. Her actions were rash and you will soon see the consequences – get money. Moors can not be trusted – get money. His now rich food will soon turn bitter. When her desires are not fulfilled, she will see the error in her choice. Therefore, get money. If you want to punish yourself, choose something other than drowning. Make all the money you can. If you trust me, she will soon be yours. Therefore make money. And you thought of drowning yourself! That’s crazy. You should rather want to be hanged while enjoying your joy than drown without her.
——————————————————

Literary Devices:

Metaphors:

“I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables of perdurable happiness”                                 – emphasizes strong trust and reliability (and Iago’s antithetical intentions)

Figures of Speech:

“Put money in thy purse”                                                                                                                         – Iago casually demanding the unaware Roderigo to accumulate money that will soon be in Iago’s hands (adds to the characterization of Roderigo as easily manipulative)

Similes:

“The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida”                                                                                                                                               – Iago describes what will soon happen to Othello after his intricate plan succeeds (underscores the bitterness Iago feels toward Othello and hints at the true evilness in Iago that allows him to continue on with his revenge)

 

 

 

The Force Awakens Review

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

The newest edition to the Star Wars saga has come out, sparking both enthusiasm and skepticism. The galactic battles, storm troopers, light sabers have finally returned to the big screen.

Personally I feel two ways about this film. In one sense, I really enjoyed the newest Star Wars adventure. Old characters were brought back to life such as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and who could forget R2D2 and Chewbacca (rooooaaaar). Furthermore, the new cast of actors and droids added new aspects to the journey itself. Additionally, Disney did a pretty good job with the special effects, trying to incorporate similar actions from previous films. This film also allows for those of my generation to really experience watching a Star Wars film at the movie theater.

However, the plot and the details of the film are far from exceeding the great expectations of fans. The coincidental family lines (Han Solo and Leia having a son and possibly Rey being Luke’s daughter) are slightly excessive and many events are quite predictable. Many of the scenes in this film are almost identical to those in previous films. For example, the scenes from Tatooine, where Finn crashes and meets Rey, are very similar to those in Star Wars I when Anakin is first introduced and the scene where Han Solo meets Kylo Ren on the bridge is the same as the scene in Star Wars VI when Luke meets the Chancellor and Darth Vador (father and son meet again). Some occurrences seem to merely be present to keep the plot going on and are uncaring of details such as Finn’s quick rejection of his role as a storm trooper and Rey’s ability to persuade Kylo Ren’s mask off (the actor who plays Kylo Ren does not have the same drawing in and catching look of the actor who plays Anakin).

In the end, The Force Awakens may be a big let down for those hoping to see a great addition to the Star Wars Saga story. The plot itself is far from inspiring or touching and the development of the characters, both new and old, is not that good. But least to say, if you like Star Wars in general, the cool sounds, characters, and light saber battles, you will not be disappointed.