Shakespeare - Strawberries at Midnight or Lesser..

29/04/2008

Strawberries at Midnight or Lesser Chaos
Shakespeare an inspiration:

‘But I do love thee! and when I love thee not, Chaos Is come again..." Othello Act 3 Scene 3

The fair and beautiful Desdemona a Venetian lady who considered that a man's mind mattered more than a man's complexion or physical attributes when choosing a suitor, independently chose a Moor the noble and courageous Othello whom she married secretly without her father's approval.

Shakespeare's play Othello as most know it unravels itself to portray Desdemona as a devoted, intelligent and loving wife who presents herself as a feeble ‘Portia' (Merchant of Venice) vowing to be Michael Cassio's solicitor to win suit, play mediator and persuade her husband Othello to bring Cassio back into the fold, to reconcile their differences and regain their (Othello & Cassio's) long-standing friendship but with devastating consequences.

Othello a general, respected and trusted by the State of Venice, a man of high intellect with much worldly wisdom, well-travelled with experience in warfare having survived many a battle and outwitting enemy stratagems - 

How could such a man have stooped so low and committed such a bestial and base act as to murder a woman his loyal and loving wife Desdemona!  Where was Othello's inquisitive mind when the issue arose of the antique handkerchief embroidered with strawberries on which Desdemona's fate lay.  How could Othello of sharp intellect not have questioned in earnest the villain Iago's insinuations, accusations and the plotting against Desdemona and Cassio.  Was there really a ménage a trois?

It seems Othello was finally made out to be a big, bad, senseless Moor who'd lost his marbles and in a fit of jealousy killed Desdemona and himself causing a sensation in a Cypriot castle.

But, the Moor's strong personality, character and intellect suggest otherwise - Othello the doting husband, brave and sensible man as portrayed in the first place could never have smothered his beloved wife Desdemona - 

He never really killed her and guess what, she's alive and so is he!

The principals Othello and Desdemona are reconciled, have discovered the truth and are happily living in another tale on the sunny island of Cyprus...where strife still prevails.

By Amita Chatterji © 

Othello2 Othello1

Poem below:

Like a Great White Coconut Confection
She sits wigged, shimmering across
The river, thick dark chocolate
Beams trickling down her sides
And framing her windows -

The Globe, resurrected from an
Elizabethan Rose will mature with
Ongoing plays like her splitting
Green oak structure now rooted
To new roots and history.

A celebration of life! Shakespeare's
Tempestuous players playing between
Heaven and hell on earth supported
By Herecule's parodied pillars
Of conscience. Here, "As You Like It"
And as in the golden age, thespians,
Poets stage factual, fictional carnal or
Comical carnivals, realising a
Wanamaker dream at last.

By Amita Chatterji © 
Written 10 April 1997 and read on stage at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, St Georges Day April 04

Photos below from film Shakespeare in Love

ShakespeareinLove2  ShakespeareinLove3

ShakespearinLove

GlobeTheatre1

GlobeTheatre2

2 above Globe Photos by Gina Chrysanthou

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