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-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 429

     Either of these suppositions is possible: neither is, to me, probable. The first seems the less unlikely. If the second is true, Shakespeare did in Othello what he seems to do in no other play. I can believe that he may have done so; but I find it very hard to believe that he produced this impossible situation without knowing it. It is one thing to read a drama or see it, quite another to construct and compose it, and he appears to have imagined the action in Othello with even more than his usual intensity.




     The first printed Othello is the first Quarto (Ql), 1622; the second is the first Folio (F1), 1623. These two texts are two distinct versions of the play. Ql contains many oaths and expletives where less 'objectionable' expressions occur in Fl. Partly for this reason it is believed to represent the earlier text, perhaps the text as it stood before the Act of 1605 against profanity on the stage. Its readings are frequently superior to those of F1, but it wants many lines that appear in F1, which probably represents the acting version in I623. I give a list of the longer passages absent from Q1:

  (a) I. i. I22-138. 'If't' . . . 'yourself:'
  (b) I. ii. 72-77. 'Judge' . . . 'thee'
  (c) I. iii. 24-30. 'For' . . . 'profitless.'
  (d) III. iii. 383-390. 'Oth. By' . . . 'satisfied!  Iago.'   (e) III. iii. 453-460. "Iago.' . . . 'heaven,'
  (f) IV. i. 38-44. 'To confess' . . . 'devil!'
  (g) IV. ii. 73-76, 'Committed!' . . . 'committed!'
  (h) IV. ii. 151-164. 'Here' . . . 'make me.'
  (i) IV. iii. 31-53. 'I have' . . . 'not next.' and 55-57 'Des. [Singing]' . . . 'men.'
  (j) IV. iii. 60-63. 'I have' . . . 'question.'
  (k) IV. iii. 87-104. 'But I' . . . 'us so.'
  (l) V. ii. 151-154. 'O mistress' . . . 'Iago.'
  (m) V. ii. 185-193. 'My mistress' . . . 'villany!'
  (n) V. ii. 266-272. 'Be not' . . . 'wench!'

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