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Shakespeare's Othello Performed for the First Time (1604) Options
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Shakespeare's Othello Performed for the First Time (1604)

First performed at London's Whitehall Palace, Shakespeare's Othello—a timeless story of jealousy, betrayal, and racism—is still studied and debated today. The play is likely an adaptation of a short story by Italian writer Cinthio called "Un Capitano Moro" and may have been inspired by certain events of the day—such as the arrival of a Moorish delegation in London in 1600. In Shakespeare's tale, the protagonist strangles his wife, but in Cinthio's story, she is killed in what brutal way? More...
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Shakespeare's Othello Performed for the First Time (1604)
First performed at London's Whitehall Palace, Shakespeare's Othello—a timeless story of jealousy, betrayal, and racism—is still studied and debated today. The play is likely an adaptation of a short story by Italian writer Cinthio called "Un Capitano Moro" and may have been inspired by certain events of the day—such as the arrival of a Moorish delegation in London in 1600.
raghd muhi al-deen
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Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.
The Russian actor and theatre practitioner Constantin Stanislavski as Othello in 1896

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his new wife, Desdemona; his lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted ensign, Iago. Because of its varied and current themes of racism, love, jealousy and betrayal, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatres alike and has been the basis for numerous operatic, film and literary adaptations.

Othello, the Moor: A general in the Venetian military.
Desdemona, Othello's wife and daughter of Brabantio
Iago, Othello's ensign and Emilia's husband. Antagonist.
Cassio, Othello's lieutenant.
Emilia, Iago's wife and Desdemona's maidservant
Bianca, Cassio's lover
Brabantio, a Venetian senator, Gratiano's brother, and Desdemona's father
Roderigo, a dissolute Venetian, in love with Desdemona

Duke of Venice, or the "Doge"
Gratiano, Brabantio's brother
Lodovico, Brabantio's kinsman and Desdemona's cousin
Montano, Othello's Venetian predecessor in the government of Cyprus
Clown, a servant
Officers, Gentlemen, Messenger, Herald, Sailor, Attendants, Musicians, etc.


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Rice, Grantland
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Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice 1921 04590r.jpg
Grantland Rice in 1921
Born Henry Grantland Rice
November 1, 1880
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Died July 13, 1954 (aged 73)
New York, New York
Occupation Sportswriter
Alma mater Vanderbilt University
Spouse(s) Katherine Hollis
Children Florence Rice

Grantland Rice (November 1, 1880 – July 13, 1954) was an early 20th-century American sportswriter known for his elegant prose. His writing was published in newspapers around the country and broadcast on the radio.

Henry Grantland Rice was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the son of Bolling H. Rice, a cotton dealer,[1] and his wife, Beulah Grantland Rice.[2] His grandfather Major H. W. Rice was a Confederate veteran of the Civil War.[3]

Rice attended Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he was a member of the football team for three years, a brother in the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and graduated with a BA degree in 1901.[4] After taking early jobs with the Atlanta Journal and the Cleveland News, he later became a sportswriter for the Nashville Tennessean. Afterwards he obtained a series of prestigious jobs with major newspapers in the Northeastern United States. He is best known for being the successor to Walter Camp in the selection of College Football All-America Teams beginning in 1925, and for being the writer who dubbed the great backfield of the 1924 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team the "Four Horsemen" of Notre Dame. A Biblical reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, this famous account was published in the New York Herald Tribune on October 18, describing the Notre Dame vs. Army game played at the Polo Grounds:

Outlined against a blue-gray October sky the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down upon the bewildering panorama spread out upon the green plain below.

The passage added great import to the event described and elevated it to a level far beyond that of a mere football game. This passage, although famous, is far from atypical, as Rice's writing tended to be of an "inspirational" or "heroic" style, raising games to the level of ancient combat and their heroes to the status of demigods. He became even better known after his columns were nationally syndicated beginning in 1930, and became known as the "Dean of American Sports Writers". He and his writing are among the reasons that the 1920s in the United States are sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age of Sports".
The grave of Grantland Rice

His sense of honor can be seen in his own actions. Before leaving for service in World War I, he entrusted his entire fortune, about $75,000, to a friend. On his return from the war, Rice discovered that his friend had lost all the money in bad investments, and then had committed suicide. Rice accepted the blame for putting “that much temptation” in his friend’s way. Rice then made monthly contributions to the man’s widow for the next 30 years.[5]

According to author Mark Inabinett in his 1994 work, Grantland Rice and His Heroes: The Sportswriter as Mythmaker in the 1920s, Rice very consciously set out to make heroes of sports figures who impressed him, most notably Jack Dempsey, Babe Ruth, Bobby Jones, Bill Tilden, Red Grange, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, and Knute Rockne. Unlike many writers of his era, Rice defended the right of football players such as Grange, and tennis players such as Tilden, to make a living as professionals, but he also decried the warping influence of big money in sports, once writing in his column:

"Money to the left of them and money to the right
Money everywhere they turn from morning to the night
Only two things count at all from mountain to the sea
Part of it's percentage, and the rest is guarantee"¹

Rice authored a book of poetry, Songs of the Stalwart, which was published in 1917 by D. Appleton and Company of New York.

Rice married Katherine Hollis in 1906; they had one child, the actress Florence Rice. Rice died at the age 73 on July 13, 1954, following a stroke.[2]

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Cinthio's Hecatommithi (1565), "Un Capitano Moro."

The original tale, "Un Capitano Moro," concerns an unnamed Moor who marries a beautiful lady, Desdemona, despite her parents' opposition. The Moor and Desdemona live happily in Venice, and the Moor is appointed commander of troops sent to the garrison at Cyprus. He takes his wife with him.

The Moor's wicked ensign falls in love with his commander's wife, Desdemona. The ensign is afraid he will be killed if the Moor discovers his secret, and all his efforts to impress Desdemona go unnoticed because she only thinks of her husband. The ensign imagines that she loves someone else, a handsome young captain who is also in Venice, and his love turns to bitter hatred. He plots to kill the captain and revenge himself on Desdemona.

The ensign bides his time. He sees his opportunity when the Moor degrades the captain for wounding a soldier and Desdemona tries to make peace between her husband and the captain. The ensign hints that Desdemona has her own reason to want the captain reinstated. When his wife claims that the demotion was an overreaction, the Moor becomes very angry and suspects that his ensign had spoken truthfully. When the ensign tells the Moor that the captain told him of the affair, the Moor demands to see proof of it.

The ensign and his wife have a daughter aged about three, and one day when Desdemona visits their house, he puts the child on her lap. As Desdemona and the child play, the ensign steals one of her handkerchiefs. The ensign then leaves the handkerchief on the bed of the young captain, who recognizes it and goes to return it to Desdemona. When the Moor answers his knock at the door, the captain runs away, but not before the Moor recognizes him.

Later, the ensign laughs and jokes with the captain where the Moor can see them; he then tells the Moor him that he and the captain were talking about the captain's love affair with Desdemona and a handkerchief that she had given him. The Moor, believing that the handkerchief constitutes proof of his wife's infidelity, demands it of his wife, who, of course, cannot produce it. The Moor decides that he must kill his wife and plots with the ensign to kill both his wife and the captain.

The ensign, after a large payment, waylays the captain, attacks him with his sword, and manages to wound him on the leg. Desdemona is tearful to see the captain in pain, and the Moor and the ensign beat her to death with a sand filled stocking. Then they pulled down the rotten timber ceiling on her, making it appear that the falling roof had killed her. The Moor, distracted with grief for his dead wife, turns against the ensign and cashiers him.

The ensign now plots to ruin the Moor. He goes back to Venice with the captain, now one-legged, and they accuse the Moor of injuring him and murdering Desdemona. The Moor is arrested, refuses to speak under torture, and is banished and later killed by Desdemona's family. The ensign pursues his career of villainy with other victims, but in the end is arrested and dies under torture.

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