n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - The Liberation of Emilia




No episode in Shakespeare's tragedies is more shocking and more heart-rending than the murder of Desdemona, an event 'too dreadful to be endured'. From the Renaissance to the present, the dastardliness of this excruciating spectacle has evoked strong emotions in viewers, readers and critics alike. "What instruction can we make out of this Catastrophe?" Thomas Rymer (141) asked in 1693 : "Is not this to envenome and sour our spirits, to make us repine and grumble at Providence and the government of the World? If this be our end, what boots it to be Vertuous?"(142).


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