Love and war on Venus’ Island: Othello and the lover’s melancholy

HOPKINS, Lisa (2016). Love and war on Venus’ Island: Othello and the lover’s melancholy. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 25 (1), 51-63.

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This essay argues that Othello’s and Desdemona’s imaginations work in different ways, with his drawn to the mythopoeic and hers to the practical and personal. This diference finds expression in the play in a tension between women’s lived experience and a culturally validated urge to see the feminine in terms of the abstract and symbolic, embodied in its setting on Cyprus, the legendary home of the goddess Venus. The essay traces how the connection to Venus is explored not only in Othello but also in John Ford’s The Lover’s Melancholy (1628), which like so much of Ford’s work builds on and responds to Othello, and which helps us understand the importance of Venus’s island both to Ford’s own play and to Othello.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Humanities Research Centre
Departments: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Hopkins
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 17:01
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2017 10:06

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