Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ferguson Witchcraft / Othello, Act I, sc iii

 "Her father loved me, oft invited me,
Still questioned me the story of my life
From year to year-  the battles, sieges, fortunes
That I have passed.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days
To the very moment that he bade me tell it..."  Othello.  Act I, sc. iii

(Othello, the Moor, explains how Desdemona came to love him.  Her father has accused him of using witchcraft.)
"Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field, 
Of hair breadth scapes i'th 'imminent deadly breach,
Of being taken by the  insolent foe
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence
And portance in my travels' history,
Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven..."  -Othello.  Act I, sc. iii

(The pictures above and below are from The Cathedral of Barcelona in the old Gothic district.  There was a concert and old men and women were dancing)
"It was my hint to speak-  such was my process-
And of the cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders.  This to hear
Would Desdemona seriously incline;
But still the house affairs would draw her thence,
Which ever as she could with haste dispath
She'd come again, and with her greedy ear
Devour up my discourses."  -Othello .  Act I, sc. iii

(Artists were making bubbles in the sky for children to catch and street musicians strummed tunes)
 "Which, I observing,
Took once a pliant hour and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard
But not inventively.  I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffered."  -Othello.  Act I, sc. iii

(I love these lines from Othello, the trials and adventures we live through, how we choose to tell them... perhaps just to one person... and how those stories make love for the world)
"My story being done
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs.
She swore in faith 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange,
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful.
She wished she had not heard it, yet she wished
That heaven had made her such a man.  She
Thanked me.
And bad me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her.  Upon this hint I spake:
She loved me for the dangers I had passed
And I loved her that she did not pity them."  -Othello.  Act I, sc. iii

(I also chose Othello for Ferguson, MO, because ... I just can't watch it.  I'm overcome by this event...and this passage...Othello accused of witchcraft when really... really... he was the most amazing of men.  He keeps his hope because his belief in this love.)

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