Othello - First in Emma Smith's Approaching Shakespeare lecture series; looking at the central question of race and its significance in the play.
Shakespeare wrote Othello in 1603-4, and one of its most remarkable features is its depiction of a Moor as the central tragic protagonist. In this lecture Emma Smith tries to understand what the implications of this decision might be - how important for the play is it that Othello is a Moor? Along the way Smith covers some of the different meanings of that term in the early modern period, and for more recent audiences, thinking about modern film adaptations as well as original staging. As throughout this series, the lecture is more interested in the question than the answers, but it points out some routes to come to something more conclusive.