Shakespeare in Black and White

by David P. Gontar (June 2013)

Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
Would I perform if I might have my will.
If one good deed in all my life I did
I do repent it from my very soul.
(V, iii, 186-189)

barbaric is shown to be incorrect. (PAEE)

Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
There will the lovely Roman ladies troop.
The forest walks are wide and spacious,
And many unfrequented plots there are,
Fitted by kind for rape and villainy.
Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words,
This way or not at all stand you in hope.
(II, i, 109-120)

Having said all this, and having been tutored by Mr. Ungere, we are now in a position to proceed to The Merchant of Venice.

Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadowed livery of the burnished sun,
To whom I am a neighbor and near bred.
Bring me the fairest creature northward born,
And let us make incision for your love
To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine.
I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine
Hath feared the valiant. By my love I swear,
The best regarded virgins of our clime
Have loved it too. I would not change this hue
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.
(II, i, 1-12)

That slew the Sophy and a Persian prince
That won three fields of Sultan Suleiman,
Outbrave the heart most daring on the earth,
Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear,
Yea, mock the lion when a roars for prey,
To win the lady.
(II, i, 24-31)

pose he assumes as the imperial rapist. (PPM, 112)

What makes us doubt?


Awake, what ho, Brabantio, thieves, thieves, thieves!
Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags.
Thieves, thieves!
(I, i, 79-81)

Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul.
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.
Arise, I say.
(I, i, 85-92)

That will not serve God if the devil bid you. Because we
come to do you service and you think we are ruffians,
(I, i, 112-116)

What dost thou, or what art thou, Angelo?
Dost thou desire her foully for those things
That make her good?

Well praised! How if she be black and witty?


If she be black and thereto have a wit,
(II, i, 134-136)

Had Othello made his conjugal advances she would have warmly welcomed him. But, caught in mental shackles, he cannot.

Why, all delights are vain, but that most vain
As painfully to pore upon a book
To seek the light of truth while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look.
So ere you find where light in darkness lies
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
Study me how to please the eye indeed
By fixing it upon a fairer eye,
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed,
And give him light that it was blinded by.
That will not be searched with saucy looks.
Small have continual plodders ever won
Have no more profit of their shining nights
Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
Too much to know is to know naught but fame,
And every godfather can give a name.

latest book is Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays.

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