Othello: Beyond Jealousy

First Friday Lecture: Fear of Doubt in Shakespeare’s Othello 
Let’s go beyond jealousy! This lecture is an invitation to consider Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello (1603) as an intellectual play about the ambiguities of self-knowledge. While acknowledging the influence of philosophical skepticism, exemplified by the character of Iago, we will focus on the non-skeptical characters. The female characters in the play exhibit radical suppression of doubt before it has reached conscious awareness. Othello, on the other hand, epitomizes active fear of doubt – he is unable to tolerate disbelief and uncertainty and strives for an immediate, radical resolution. We will explore how the tension between passive and active fear of doubt contributes to the paradoxical plausibility of the play.
First Friday Lecture Series
Basic Program of Liberal Education, University of Chicago
Friday, December 4, 12:15 PM -1:45 PM
Claudia Cassidy Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center
78 E Washington Street, ChicagoIL 60611