Steve Sohmer
Search for other papers by Steve Sohmer in
Current site
Google Scholar
The ‘double time’ crux in Othello solved
in Shakespeare for the wiser sort
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

This chapter suggests that William Shakespeare undertook the writing of Othello in 1603, incorporating that year as the annus praesens of the play. He linked the dramatic action to certain dates on which holy days in the rival Protestant Julian and Catholic Gregorian calendars conflicted ironically. It proposes that Shakespeare contrived the death-struggle between Iago and Cassio to personify the conflict between the Catholic doctrine of works and the Protestant dogma of election. The chapter argues that Jacobeans recognized Cyprus as the penultimate way-station for pilgrims to the Holy Land and that Shakespeare, although he followed Cinthio in setting the action of his drama on Cyprus, and construed Othello's journey as an unconsummated pilgrimage. It also suggests that Shakespeare painted with the colors of Marian idolatry the convert Catholic Othello's obsession with the chastity of his bride.

  • Collapse
  • Expand
  • Top

Shakespeare for the wiser sort

Solving Shakespeare’s riddles in The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, King John, 1–2 Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Othello, Macbeth and Cymberline


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 192 45 5
Full Text Views 81 0 0
PDF Downloads 30 1 1