othello & moby-dick


everyone (including me) went to see mark rylance’s iago; for the first scene or so i was confused as he spoke so fast i missed lots of the content

but we settled, and really enjoyed rylance’s nervy subservience, running around, shooing one manipulee off the stage one way while other victims of his plan were coming on from the other side; one review described his costume as (US?) civil war soldier; i saw it more as hotel bellhop – ridiculous and boyish, indicative perhaps of the way he felt treated by his master


a poem more than a novel

and what a surprise ending {spoiler} – i was convinced along that Moby Dick and Ahab’s final confrontation would be internecine; the cataclysmic destruction of the ship by a whale head-butt was an amazing finish, especially as Moby Dick (we are led to believe) survives

How they are related

Which one is Ahab and which Iago? Iago and the whale win, so let’s do it that way round. But Ahab pursues the whale in vengeance, so let’s swap and start again. Ahab, littler, consumed with a cancer of anger and humiliation, pursues the dignified, differently-coloured, greater being – but the outcome is the opposite. The novel is no tragedy, therefore, but a moral fable telling of the power of nature, and the impotence of (human) hatred.

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