Segments in this Video

Physical Acting (01:31)


David Harewood works out and discusses his approach to acting. He talks about being drawn toward Othello.

Othello and Desdemona (02:00)

Othello begins as a love story about two different people. Actress Imogen Stubbs describes Desdemona's view of Othello.

Shakespeare's Interest in Othello (02:48)

Germaine Greer says that the audience never gets a solid account of who Othello really is. Harewood calls Othello an outsider. He visits historian Jerry Brotton to discuss how Shakespeare's viewers would have responded to this title character.

What Does Iago Want? (03:46)

Harewood calls Iago one of Shakespeare's most famous villains. Listen to several academics share their opinions on who Iago is. Gail Kern Paster describes the many reasons that Iago offers for hating Othello.

Psychological Warfare (02:12)

Watch actors from the Globe Theatre work on Act III sc.iii. Iago begins his work against Othello. Dr. Gwen Adshead explains that Iago's plan works because he knows how to push Othello.

General and Assistant (02:16)

Harewood reunites with his Iago, Simon Russell Beale. Beale describes his opinion of Iago and Othello's relationship. He believes that Iago loathes the good in Othello.

Fueling the Fire (02:36)

Othello protests jealousy as Iago continues to prod him. Sir Patrick Stewart believes that Othello was jelous before Iago got involved.

Generations of Prejudice (01:35)

Harewood is the first black actor to play Othello at the National Theatre. Ira Aldridge is the first black Othello on the London Stage.

Red Velvet (03:25)

Adrian Lester stars in a play about Aldridge's historic performance. Reviews on Aldridge are bad, and the actor is not invited back. Harewood and Lester read some of the racist reviews.

White Actors Play Othello (02:03)

Anthony Hopkins has a darker tint applied to his skin to play Othello. Harewood responds to Laurence Olivier's darkened skin in "Othello."

Iago's Plot Continues (02:36)

Harewood describes Iago's continuing efforts towards manipulation. Desdemona agrees to help Cassio. Watch a performance of Act III sc. iii.

Othello Commits To Murder (02:10)

Iago's lie changes Othello. Professor Stephen Greenblatt calls this one of the most brilliant scenes that Shakespeare ever wrote.

Othello Puts Desdemona to the Test (02:09)

Iago convinces his wife to steal Desdamona's handkerchief. Watch a performance of Act III sc. iv as Othello asks to see the gift he gave her.

Modern Interpretation (02:02)

Watch a scene from the 2001 film "O." Professor Greenblatt describes the audience response to the handkerchief scene. Beale wishes Othello would have just asked Desdemona if she was having an affair.

Vulnerable and Alone (02:23)

Germaine Greer believes that without a reliable advisor, Othello is profoundly alone. Professor Laurie Maguire supposes that a good friend would have slowed Othello down so that he could think clearly.

Othello Wrestles with Doubt (02:37)

Watch a clip from Orson Welles' 1952 version of "Othello." Harewood visits director Nicholas Hytner to discuss how he keeps the tension up.

Terror of Betrayal (02:15)

Iago suggests that Othello strangle Desdemona. Othello confronts Desdemona. Actress Imogen Stubbs describes Desdemona's frame of mind during this scene.

Desdemona and Her Maid (02:37)

Harewood visits the Globe Theatre to watch the actors playing Desdemona and Emilia. Othello has told Desdemona to dismiss her attendant, and there is an air of tension in the room. Watch a rehearsal of Act IV sc. iii.

Will He or Won't He? (03:26)

Harewood explains that everything slows down when Othello enters the bedroom. Gail Paster Kern describes the audience vulnerability in this moment. Harewood describes Othello's internal struggle.

Briefly Alive (03:31)

Germaine Greers explains why she thinks Desdemona took the blame for her own death. Sir Ian McKellen describes the importance of Iago claiming a life of silence. Listen to a closing from Harewood.

Credits: Othello with David Harewood: Shakespeare Uncovered (Series 2) (01:59)

Credits: Othello with David Harewood: Shakespeare Uncovered (Series 2)

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Othello with David Harewood: Shakespeare Uncovered (Series 2)

Part of the Series : Shakespeare Uncovered (Series 2)
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



David Harewood, the first black actor to play the lead role at the National theatre in London, explores the complexities and contradictions of Othello. He discovers how trade and diplomatic envoys were making the city more cosmopolitan in the early seventeenth century and explores the power of the language that makes Othello arguably the tightest piece of thriller writing in Shakespeare’s body of work.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL95254

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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