Arctic Tern

  Chris Hawkes

  A.C. Bradley and F.R. Leavis
on Othello

For F.R. Leavis on Othello and A.C.Bradley, click here. For John Jacobs on Bradley and Othello

Bradley on Othello

From Shakespearean Tragedy (1904), by A. C. Bradley.

... Othello is, in one sense of the word, by far the most romantic figure among Shakespeare's heroes; and he is so partly from the strange life of war and adventure which he has lived from childhood. He does not belong to our world, and he seems to enter it we know not whence - almost as if from wonderland. There is something mysterious in his descent from men of royal siege; in his wanderings in vast deserts and among marvellous peoples; in his tales of magic handkerchiefs and prophetic Sibyls; in the sudden vague glimpses we get of numberless battles and sieges in which he has played the hero and has borne a charmed life; even in chance references to his baptism, his being sold to slavery, his sojourn in Aleppo.

And he is not a merely romantic figure; his own nature is romantic. He has not, indeed, the meditative or speculative imagination of Hamlet; but in the strictest sense of the word he is more poetic than Hamlet. Indeed, if one recalls Othello's most famous speeches - those that begin, "Her father loved me", "O now for ever", "Never, Iago", "Had it pleased Heaven", "It is the cause", "Behold, I have a weapon", "Soft you, a word or two before you go" - and if one places side by side with these speeches an equal number by any other hero, one will not doubt that Othello is the greatest poet of them all. There is the same poetry in his casual phrases - like "These nine moons wasted", "Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them", "You chaste stars", "It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper", "It is the very error of the moon" - and in those brief expressions of intense feeling which ever since have been taken as the absolute expression.

And this imagination, we feel, has accompanied his whole life. He has watched with a poet's eye the Arabian trees dropping their med'cinable gum, and the Indian throwing away his chance-found pearl; and has gazed in a fascinated dream at the Pontic sea rushing, never to return, to the Propontic and the Hellespont; and has felt as no other man ever felt (for he speaks of it as none other ever did) the poetry of the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war.

So he comes before us, dark and grand, with a light upon him from the sun where he was born; but no longer young, and now grave, self-controlled, steeled by the experience of countless perils, hardships and vicissitudes, at once simple and stately in bearing and in speech, a great man naturally modest but fully conscious of his worth, proud of his services to the state, unawed by dignitaries and unelated by honours, secure, it would seem, against all dangers from without and all rebellion from within. And he comes to have his life crowned with the final glory of love, a love as strange, adventurous and romantic as any passage of his eventful history, filling his heart with tenderness and his imagination with ecstasy. For there is no love, not that of Romeo in his youth, more steeped in imagination than Othello's.

The sources of danger in this character are revealed but too clearly by the story. In the first place, Othello's mind, for all its poetry, is very simple. He is not observant. His nature tends outward. He is quite free from introspection, and is not given to reflection. Emotion excites his imagination, but it confuses and dulls his intellect. On this side he is the very opposite of Hamlet, with whom, however, he shares a great openness and trustfulness of nature. In addition, he has little experience of the corrupt products of civilised life, and is ignorant of European women.

In the second place, for all his dignity and massive calm (and he has greater dignity than any other of Shakespeare's men), he is by nature full of the most vehement passion. Shakespeare emphasises his self-control, not only by the wonderful pictures of the Fist Act, but by references to the past. Lodovico, amazed at his violence, exclaims:

Is this the noble Moor whom our full Senate Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue The shot of accident nor dart of chance Could neither graze nor pierce?

Iago, who has no motive for lying, asks:

Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon When it hath blown his ranks into the air, And, like the devil, from his very arm Puffed his own brother - and can he be angry?

This, and other aspects of his character, are best exhibited by a single line - one of Shakespeare's miracles - the words by which Othello silences in a moment the night-brawl between his attendants and those of Brabantio:

Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.

And the same self-control is strikingly shown where Othello endeavours to elicit some explanation of the fight between Cassio and Montano. Here, however, there occur ominous words, which make us feel how necessary was this self-control, and make us admire it the more:

Now, by heaven, My blood begins my safer guides to rule, And passion, having my best judgment collied, Assays to lead the way.

We remember these words later, when the sun of reason is "collied", blackened and blotted out in total eclipse.

Lastly, Othello's nature is all of one piece. His trust, where he trusts, is absolute. Hesitation is almost impossible to him. He is extremely self-reliant, and decides and acts instantaneously. If stirred to indignation, as "in Aleppo once", he answers with one lightning stroke. Love, if he loves, must be to him the heaven where either he must leave or bear no life. If such a passion as jealousy seizes him, it will swell into a well-night incontrollable flood. He will press for immediate conviction or immediate relief. Convinced, he will act with the authority of a judge and the swiftness of a man in mortal pain. Undeceived, he will do like execution on himself.

This character is so noble, Othello's feelings and actions follow so inevitably from it and from the forces brought to bear on it, and his sufferings are so heart-rending, that he stirs, I believe, in most readers a passion of mingled love and pity which they feel for no other hero in Shakespeare. Yet there are some critics and not a few readers who cherish a grudge against him. They do not merely think that in the later stages of his temptation he showed a certain obtuseness, and that, to speak pedantically, he acted with unjustifiable precipitance and violence; no one, I suppose, denies that. But, even when they admit that he was not of a jealous temper, they consider that he was "easily jealous"; they seem to think that it was inexcusable in him to feel any suspicion of his wife at all; and they blame him for never suspecting Iago or asking him for evidence. I refer to this attitude of mind chiefly in order to draw attention to certain points in the story. It comes partly from inattention (for Othello did suspect Iago and did ask him for evidence); partly from a misconstruction of the text which makes Othello appear jealous long before he really is so; and partly from failure to realise certain essential facts. I will begin with these.

1.Othello, we have seen, was trustful, and thorough in his trust. He put entire confidence in the honesty of Iago, who had not only been his companion in arms, but, as he believed, had just proved his faithfulness in the matter of the marriage. This confidence was misplaced, and we happen to know it; but it was no sign of stupidity in Othello. For his opinion of Iago was the opinion of practically everyone who knew him: and that opinion was that Iago was before all things "honest", his very faults being those of excess in honesty. This being so, even if Othello had not been trustful and simple, it would have been quite unnatural in him to be unmoved by the warnings of so honest a friend, warnings offered with extreme reluctance and manifestly from a friend's sense of duty. Any husband would have been troubled by them.

2. Iago does not bring these warnings to a husband who had lived with a wife for months and years and knew her like his sister or his bosom-friend. Nor is there any ground in Othello's character for supposing that, if he had been such a man, he would have felt and acted as he does in the play. But he was newly married; in the circumstances he cannot have known much of Desdemona before his marriage; and further he was conscious of being under the spell of a feeling which can give glory to the truth but can also give it to a dream.

3. This consciousness in any imaginative man is enough, in such circumstances, to destroy his confidence in his powers of perception. In Othello's case, after a long and most artful preparation, there now comes, to reinforce its effect, the suggestions that he is not an Italian, nor even a European; that he is totally ignorant of the thoughts and the customary morality of Venetian women; that he had himself seen in Desdemona's deception of her father how perfect an actress she could be. As he listens in horror, for a moment at least the past is revealed to him in a new and dreadful light, and the ground seems to sink under feet. These suggestions are followed by a tentative but hideous and humiliating insinuation of what his honest and much-experienced friend fears may be the true explanation of Desdemona's rejection of accepting suitors, and of her strange, and naturally temporary, preference for a black man. Here Iago goes too far. He sees something in Othello's face that frightens him, and he breaks off. Nor does this idea take any hold of Othello's mind. But it is not surprising that his utter powerlessness to repel it on the ground of knowledge of his wife, or even of that instinctive interpretation of character which is possible between persons of the same race, should complete his misery, so that he feels he can bear no more, and abruptly dismisses his friend .

Now I repeat that any man situated as Othello was would have been disturbed by Iago's communications, and I add that many men would have been made wildly jealous. But up to this point, where Iago is dismissed, Othello, I must maintain, does not show jealousy. His confidence is shaken, he is confused and deeply troubled, he even feels horror; but he is not yet jealous in the proper sense of that word. The beginning of this passion may be traced; but it is only after an interval of solitude, when he has had time to dwell on the idea presented to him, and especially after statements of fact, not mere general grounds of suspicion, are offered, that the passion lays hold of him. Even then, however, and indeed to the very end, he is quite unlike the essentially jealous man, quite unlike Leontes. No doubt the thought of another man's possessing the woman he loves is intolerable to him; no doubt the sense of insult and the impulse of revenge are at times most violent; and these are the feelings of jealousy proper. But these are not the chief or the deepest source of Othello's suffering. It is the wreck of his faith and his love. It is the feeling,

If she be false, oh then Heaven mocks itself;

the feeling,

Iago, the pity of it, Iago!

the feeling,

But there where I have garner'd up my heart, Where either I must live, or bear no life; The fountain from the which my current runs, Or else dries up - to be discarded thence ...

You will find nothing like this in Leontes.

Up to this point, it appears to me, there is not a syllable to be said against Othello. But the play is a tragedy, and from this point we may abandon the ungrateful and undramatic task of awarding praise and blame. When Othello, after a brief interval, re-enters, we see at once that the poison has been at work, and "burns like the mines of sulphur".

Look where he comes! Not poppy, nor mandragora, Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world, Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep Which thou owedst yesterday.

He is "on the rack", in an agony so unbearable that he cannot endure the sight of Iago. Anticipating the probability that Iago has spared him the whole truth, he feels that in the case his life is over and his "occupation gone" with all its glories. But he has not abandoned hope. The bare possibility that his friend is deliberately deceiving him - though such a deception would be a thing so monstrously wicked that he can scarcely conceive it credible - is a kind of hope. He furiously demands proof, ocular proof. And when he is compelled to see that he is demanding an impossibility he still demands evidence. He forces it from the unwilling witness, and hears the maddening tale of Cassio's dream. It is enough. And if it were not enough, has he not sometimes seen a handkerchief spotted with strawberries in his wife's hand? Yes, it was his first gift to her.

I know not that; but such a handkerchief - I am sure it was your wife's - did I to-day See Cassio wipe his beard with.

"If it be that," he answers - but what need to test the fact? The "madness of revenge" is in his blood, and hesitation is a thing he never knew. He passes judgment, and controls himself only to make his sentence a solemn vow.

The Othello of the Fourth Act is Othello in his fall. His fall is never complete, but he is much changed. Towards the close of the Temptation-scene he becomes at times most terrible, but his grandeur remains almost undiminished. Even in the following scene, where he goes to test Desdemona in the matter of the handkerchief, and receives a fatal confirmation of her guilt, our sympathy with him is hardly touched by any feeling of humiliation. But in the Fourth Act "Chaos has come". A slight interval of time may be admitted here. It is but slight; for it was necessary for Iago to hurry on, and terribly dangerous to leave a chance for a meeting of Cassio with Othello; and his insight into Othello's nature taught him that his plan was to deliver blow on blow, and never to allow his victim to recover from the confusion of the first shock. Still there is a slight interval; and when Othello reappears we see at a glance that he is a changed man. He is physically exhausted, and his mind is dazed. He sees everything blurred through a mist of blood and tears. He has actually forgotten the incident of the handkerchief, and has to be reminded of it. When Iago, perceiving that he can now risk almost any lie, tells him that Cassio has confessed his guilt, Othello, the hero who has seemed to us only second to Coriolanus in physical power, trembles all over; he mutters disjointed words; a blackness suddenly intervenes between his eyes and the world; he takes it for the shuddering testimony of nature to the horror he has just heard, and he falls senseless to the ground. When he recovers it is to watch Cassio, as he imagines, laughing over his shame. It is an imposition so gross, and should have been one so perilous, that Iago would never have ventured it before. But he is safe now. The sight only adds to the confusion of intellect the madness of rage; and a ravenous thirst for revenge, contending with motions of infinite longing and regret, conquers them. The delay till night-fall is torture to him. His self-control has wholly deserted him, and he strikes his wife in the presence of the Venetian envoy. He is so lost to all sense of reality that he never asks himself what will follow the deaths of Cassio and his wife. An ineradicable instinct of justice, rather than any last quiver of hope, leads him to question Emilia; but nothing could convince him now, and there follows the dreadful scene of accusation; and then, to allow us the relief of burning hatred and burning tears, this interview of Desdemona with Iago, and that last talk of hers with Emilia, and her last song.

But before the end there is again a change. The supposed death of Cassio satiates the thirst for vengeance. The Othello who enters the bed-chamber with the words,

It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul,

is not the man of the Fourth Act. The deed he is bound to do is no murder, but a sacrifice. He is to save Desdemona from herself, not in hate but in honour; in honour, and also in love. His anger has passed; a boundless sorrow has taken its place; and this sorrow's heavenly: It strikes where it doth love.

Even when, at the sight of her apparent obduracy, and at the hearing of words which by a crowning fatality can only reconvince him of her guilt, these feelings give way to others, it is to righteous indignation they give way, not to rage; and, terribly painful as this scene is, there is almost nothing here to diminish the admiration and love which heighten pity. And pity itself vanishes, and love and admiration alone remain, in the majestic dignity and sovereign ascendancy of the close. Chaos has come and gone; and the Othello of the Council-chamber and the quay of Cyprus has returned, or a greater and nobler Othello still. As he speaks those final words in which all the glory and agony of his life - long ago in India and Arabia and Aleppo, and afterwards in Venice, and now in Cyprus - seem to pass before us, like the pictures that flash before the eyes of a drowning man, a triumphant scorn for the fetters of the flesh and the littleness of all the lives that must survive him sweeps our grief away, and when he dies upon a kiss the most painful of all tragedies leaves us for the moment free from pain, and exulting in the power of "love and man's unconquerable mind".

 

 

F.R. Leavis “Diabolic Intellect, or the Noble Hero” (The Common Pursuit, 1958)

[Here Leavis discusses Othello, focusing on attacking the arguments in A.C. Bradley’s lecture ‘Othello’, (Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth Macmillan, 1904.)]

Othello, it will be very generally granted, is of all Shakespeare’s great tragedies the simplest: the theme is limited and sharply defined, and the play, everyone agrees, is a brilliantly successful piece of workmanship. The effect is one of a noble, “classical” clarity - of firm, clear outlines, unblurred and undistracted by cloudy recessions, metaphysical aura, or richly symbolic ambiguities . . . And yet it is of Othello that one can say bluntly, as of no other of the great tragedies, that it suffers in current appreciation an essential and denaturing falsification . . .

According to the version of Othello elaborated by Bradley, the tragedy is the undoing of the noble Moor by the devilish cunning of Iago. Othello we are to see as a nearly faultless hero whose strength and virtue are turned against him. Othello and Desdemona, so far as their fate depended on their characters and un-tampered-with mutual relations, had every ground for expecting the happiness that romantic courtship had promised. It was external evil, the malice of the demi-devil, that turned a happy story of romantic love - of romantic lovers who were qualified to live happily ever after, so to speak - into a tragedy. This - it is the traditional version of Othello and has, moreover, the support of Coleridge - is to sentimentalize Shakespeare’s tragedy and to displace its centre . . .

The plain fact that has to be asserted in the face of this sustained and sanctioned perversity is that in Shakespeare’s tragedy of Othello Othello is the chief personage - the chief personage in such a sense that the tragedy may fairly be said to be Othello’s character in action. Iago is subordinate and merely ancillary. He is not much more than a necessary piece of dramatic mechanism - that at any rate is a fit reply to the view of Othello as necessary material and provocation for a display of Iago’s fiendish intellectual superiority .

It is plain that what we should see in Iago’s prompt success is not so much Iago’s diabolic intellect as Othello’s readiness to respond. Iago’s power, in fact, in the temptation-scene is that he represents something that is in Othello - in Othello the husband of Desdemona; the essential traitor is within the gates. For if Shakespeare’s Othello too is simple-minded, he is nevertheless more complex than Bradley’s. Bradley’s Othello is, rather, Othello’s; it being an essential datum regarding the Shakespearean Othello that he has an ideal conception of himself . . .

Othello, in his magnanimous way, is egotistical. He really is, beyond any question, the nobly massive man of action, the captain of men, he sees himself as being, but he does very much see himself: “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.” In short, a habit of self-approving self-dramatization is an essential element on Othello’s make-up, and remains so at the very end.

It is, at the best, the impressive manifestation of a noble egotism. But, in the new marital situation, this egotism isn’t going to be the less dangerous for its nobility. This self-centeredness doesn’t mean self-knowledge: that is a virtue which Othello, as soldier of fortune, hasn’t had much need of. He has been well provided by nature to meet all the trials a life of action has exposed him to. The trials facing him now that he has married this Venetian girl with whom he’s “in love” so imaginatively (we’re told) as to outdo Romeo and who is so many years younger than himself (his color, whether or not “color-feeling” existed among the Elizabethans, we are certainly to take as emphasizing the disparity of the match) - the trials facing him now are of a different order . . .

Iago, like Bradley, points out that Othello didn’t really know Desdemona, and Othello acquiesces in considering her as a type - a type outside his experience - the Venetian wife. It is plain, then, that his love is composed very largely of ignorance of self as well as ignorance of her . . . It may be love, but it can be only in an oddly qualified sense love of her: it must be much more a matter of self-centered and self-regarding satisfactions - pride, sensual possessiveness, appetite, love of loving - than he suspects.

This comes out unmistakably when he begins to let himself go; for instance, in the soliloquy that follows Iago’s exit:

“She’s gone; I am abused, and my relief Must be to loathe her . . . I had rather be a toad, And live upon the vapor of a dungeon, Than keep a corner in the thing I love For others’ uses . . .”

It is significant that, at the climax of the play, when Othello, having exclaimed

“O blood, blood, blood,”

kneels to take a formal vow of revenge, he does so in the heroic strain . . . he reassumes formally his heroic self-dramatization - reassumes formally his heroic self-dramatization - reassumes the Othello of “the big wars that make ambition virtue” . . . Othello’s self-idealization, his promptness to jealousy and his blindness are shown in their essential relation. The self-idealization is shown as blindness and the nobility as here no longer something real, but the disguise of an obtuse and brutal egotism. Self-pride becomes stupidity, ferocious stupidity, an insane and self-deceiving passion. The habitual “nobility” is seen to make self-deception invincible, the egotism it expresses being the drive to catastrophe. Othello’s noble lack of self-knowledge is shown as humiliating and disastrous . . . When he discovers his mistake, his reaction is an intolerably intensified form of the common “I could kick myself”:

“Whip me, ye devils, From the possession of this heavenly sight! Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur! Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire! O Desdemona . . .

But he remains the same Othello, he has discovered his mistake, but there is no tragic self-discovery . . . He is ruined, but he is the same Othello in whose essential make-up the tragedy lay: the tragedy doesn’t involve the idea of the hero’s learning through suffering. The fact that Othello tends to sentimentalize should be the reverse of a reason for our sentimentalizing too . .

 

 

“Bring Back Bradley: Shakespearean criticism and the problem of graphocentrism”

(Excerpt)

John Jacobs

Deakin University (The full article can be found here on In/Stead Journal.)

[“Graphocentrism” – analysing a play as if it were a written text only, rather than a performance text.]

A.C.Bradley

I have given my essay the title ‘Bring Back Bradley’ because of a wonderful quality that some of his writing possesses, even though most of the time he in fact falls as squarely into the graphocentric trap as any other writer discussed here.

Like the darlings of many generations, Bradley was undoubtedly ‘the bete noir of the next’ (Katharine Cook, 1972): his lectures on Shakespeare were still provoking rage more than fifty years after their publication in 1904. Up until the 1970s it is quite difficult to find a work of Shakespearian criticism which omits all reference to his name. In 1988 Peter Davison wrote that, despite the attacks by, amongst others, F.R.Leavis, ‘his stock still rides high and with justice…..his passionate engagement with his subject is perennially attractive’. Whilst Davison’s rather quaint phrasing itself recalls the Edwardian Bradley’s, there are passages in the lectures which really do confirm what Davison is saying: the account of Emilia, for example, in lecture six. For Bradley, Emilia’s retort ‘A halter pardon him, and hell gnaw his bones’ (IV-ii, 138) says what

we long to say, and helps us. And who has not felt in the last scene how her glorious carelessness of her own life, and her outbursts against Othello…lift the overwhelming weight of calamity that oppresses us, and bring us an extraordinary lightening of the heart. (p.198)

The dispensing here with Bradley’s customary term ‘the reader’ and the emphatic repetitions of ‘we’ suggest a body of people responding together: an audience. Here is the quality of ‘engagement’ to which Davison is referring. Elsewhere Bradley defines plays repeatedly as texts for reading rather than for performance. The phrasing of some later criticism, such as ‘to the reader, or audience’ are absent, and the premise is maintained throughout. The majority of earlier interpretations of Iago’s character, for example, are described in lecture six as being ‘inadequate not only to Shakespeare’s conception, but, I believe, to the impressions of most readers of taste who are bewildered by analysis’ (p.170.) Iago’s ‘extraordinary deadness of feeling’ is something ‘few readers are in danger of ignoring’. Bradley goes on to praise ‘the poet who painted Macbeth and Shylock’; and in the end the improbability of the entire success of Iago’s design ‘forces itself on the reader’ (p.190.)

There is in lecture six a sole explicit reference to the play as play rather than novel or poem, to which Bradley is led quite accidentally by probing the function of the soliloquies:

…with Shakespeare soliloquy generally gives information regarding the secret springs as well as the outward course of the plot; and, moreover, it is a curious point of technique with him that the soliloquies of his villains sometimes read almost like explanations offered to the audience (p.182.)

The fragility of this moment is evident in ‘curious’ (Bradley never goes on to explore why), ‘almost’ and ‘read’, the last of which terms leads to a familiar confusion: audiences do not read soliloquies, at least not in the sense in which Bradley appears to be using the word in 1904; they listen to them and look at the actor performing them. Why did Bradley find this ‘technique’ of explanation curious and pass on quickly to a new point rather than explore it further? The answer appears to lie in a failure to consider either the diverse dramatic genres on which Renaissance plays were based (an omission shared with, amongst many other later critics, Rymer) or the playing conditions in the theatres of Shakespeare’s time. The explanatory element in soliloquy goes back to the very first ‘actor’ in the Western tradition, Thespis, and flourishes in the plays of Euripides and others. In outdoor (medieval) and semi-outdoor (Globe) theatre-spaces this direct ‘offer’, to use Bradley’s term, at once secures the audience’s attention (no easy matter in such spaces) and makes its members party to what is unfolding in their midst. To Bradley this is curious, for to him, as to a host of critics following him, the soliloquies are more readily associated with meditation and reflection. Yet Iago’s soliloquies work also, as we have already seen, as generation of plot, as exposition, and as the fashioning of Iago as quasi-author figure.

Bradley’s letters show that he went to the theatre, but he most likely would only have seen Othello performed on the other side of a proscenium-arch. Proscenium-arch theatre divides speaker from audience and hence lends itself to a view of soliloquy as private meditation rather than audience-address. Such playing conditions contrast sharply with those which pertained in, for example, the Globe, in which an actor standing on the front of the platform was in fact standing in the very middle of a circular or polygonal building, in an afternoon light embracing both himself and the audience which surrounded him on three sides.

In the light of this narrow perspective it is hardly surprising that Bradley’s discussion cannot fathom the ‘secret springs’ of which he writes, and that his Iago remains as much a ‘character’ (p.186) as he was to Rymer, a ‘thoroughly bad, cold man’, in whose psychology ‘there is no mystery’(p.188.)

Nevertheless, because of his passion and intuition, I prefer Bradley’s lecture to all the other essays reviewed in the present discussion, even Greenblatt’s.

In a future article I would like to explore the Othello -criticism of the last fifteen years, with a view mainly to establishing to what extent graphocentrism remains a problem in performance studies.

REFERENCES

Auden, W.H. ‘The Joker in the Pack’. In his The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essayss. London: Faber and Faber, 1948.

Boswell, J. Life of Johnson. Ed. G.B.Hill. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934.

Bradley, A.C. ‘Othello’ (Lecture six). In his Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. Macmillan, 1904.

Chambers, R. Story and Situation: Narrative Seduction and the Power of Fiction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

Coleridge, S.T. Shakespearian Criticism (1836-9). Vol.1. Ed. T.M. Raysor. London: Everyman’s Library, 1960.

Cook, Katharine. A.C.Bradley and his influence in Twentieth Century Shakespeare Criticism. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.

Davison, P., ed. Othello: The Critics Debate. London: Macmillan, 1988.

French, M. Shakespeare’s Division of Experience. London: Jonathan Cape, 1982.

Greenblatt, S. ‘Loudun and London’. In Critical Inquiry, 12 (1986), pp.326-346.

Greenblatt, S. Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Jacobs, J. ‘The Double History of Othello: performance against Criticism. In Practice, 1(1996/7), pp.37-44.

Johnson, S. ‘Preface to Shakespeare (1765). In Dr. Johnson on Shakespeare. Ed. Arthur Sherbo. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1968.

Knight, G. Wilson ‘The Othello Music.’ In his The Wheel of Fire: Interpretations of Shakespearean Tragedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1930.

Leavis, F.R. ‘Diabolic Intellect, or the Noble Hero.’ In his The Common Pursuit. London: Chatto and Windus, 1958.

McCaughey, J. ‘Talking about Greek Tragedy’. In Ramus, 1 (1972) pp.26-47.

Newman, K. ‘"And wash the Ethiop white": femininity and the monstrous in Othello.’ In Shakespeare Reproduced: The Text in history and ideology. Ed. J.E.Howard and M.F.O’Connor. New York and London: Methuen, 1987.

Pope, A., Ed. ‘Editor’s Preface.’ In The Works of Shakespeare (1725). Rpt. Oxford and Conneticut: Basil Blackwell, 1986.

Raleigh, W. Shakespeare. English Men of Letters series. London: Macmillan, 1907.

Rymer, T. ‘Othello.’ In his A Short View of Tragedy (1693). Rpt. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1956.

Vickers, B., Ed. Shakespeare (1693-1733). Vol. 2 of The Critical Heritage. London and Boston: Routledge and KeganPaul, 1974.

  The drudge

 Writing an Essay - Tips

 Sixth Form Reading List

 Comedy: an Introduction

 Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice

 William Blake

 Chaucer: The Wife of Bath

 Coleridge: Rime of the Ancient Mariner

 John Donne: Selected Poems

 Euripides: Medea

 Gerard Manley Hopkins: Selected Poems

 Arthur Miller: The Death of a Salesman

 Milton: Paradise Lost

 Christina Rossetti Poems

 Shakespeare: Measure for Measure

 Shakespeare: Bradley and Leavis on Othello

 A-level Essays

 Literature Texts

  Home (Back to NMH's front page)

e-mail us! E-mail me.