At the moment (11th March ’17), we’re busy preparing Othello for a play-reading. That means that we’ll update the play script for the play-reading; create a few videos for the “Let’s Explore” and “Let’s Play” sections, and we’ll publish the new version of the play, with the additions towards the end of March.
This is the first of the videos which go with the play. It’s one of my favourite speeches of Iago. Of course it’s not so important or dramatic as the scenes with Othello when Iago subtly stimulates Othello’s jealousy and then leads him to murder Desdemona, but it has its own charm and difficulties. There are two main difficulties for the actor are:
- In the speech Iago says ‘Put money in thy pocket”, or some variation of that eight times. The trick is to find different ways to say it, and to make sure that they build up so as to persuade Roderigo that there better things to do than drown himself.
- The second difficulty is that the scene occurs early in the play (A1S3) and is the first opportunity for the player playing Iago to show just how devious Iago can be. He has to appear to Roderigo as if he is is friend – indeed he claims to be a firm friend in the speech – whilst making it clear to the audience that he is persuading Roderigo not to do what is in Roderigo’s interest, but what suits Iago best.
I’ve loved the speech since I first got to know the play, particularly the repetitions of ‘Put money in thy purse’, and so I thought I’d try and explore the speech myself. I don’t suppose the result will have Kenneth Branagh quaking in his boots, but I had enormous fun trying to get it right. Play the video by clicking on the arrow in the video below to see what you think.
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So now you’ve heard that speech, did you notice the deliberate mistake – there’s five bonus points to anyone who does spot it. But what about the interpretation? You probably think you can do better than that. Why don’t you try it out?
- Click on the following link to go to the Othello script, A1S3, Iago: Link to Othello Script
- Scroll down in the script until you come to Iago’s speech which starts:
- “It is merely a Lust of the blood”
- Read the speech out loud, starting at: “Drown thyself? Drown Cats and blind Puppies.”
If you’ve enjoyed that there’s some other things you can do:
- You can see all the videos we’ve published like that by clicking on this link: “Let’s Explore” Videos
- You can explore other plays where the “Let’s Explore” and “Let’s Play” sections are complete. Click on one of the following links, and then look for the “Let’s Explore” and “Let’s Play” sections in the index to the right of the script::
We’ll be adding more plays as they become available (Othello by the end of March)
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