[Dixielandjazz] Re: White Othello

LeslieMRag at aol.com LeslieMRag at aol.com
Mon Nov 17 14:38:15 PST 2003

Hi, Listmates:

I caught a PBS broadcast of "Othello," my favorite play by Shakespeare, some 
years ago wherein Anthony Hopkins played Othello without "blacking 
up"--instead playing Othello as a great leader who was an outsider due to psychological 
reasons rather than ethnicity. It was a fabulous portrayal and the final scene 
was as powerful as any I've ever seen in any production of this great play. I 
can still see that scene in my mind's eye--that's how memorable it was. As I 
understand it, it was Hopkins' choice to play Othello as a white man, not the 

Leslie Johnson
editor at mississippirag.com OR
lesliemrag at aol.com

In a message dated 11/17/2003 11:11:10 AM Central Standard Time, 
dixielandjazz-request at ml.islandnet.com writes:

> "I dont think we have had a white Othello..."
> Until very recently Othello has always been portrayed by "blacked up"  white
> actors, e.g. Olivier, Anthony Hopkins, and Orson Welles. I would bet that it
> at some point in early traveling shows the Moor was portrayed without the
> customary makeup.  More recently (1998) Patrick Stewart played the part in
> white-face, so to speak. The Lawrence Fishburn Othello is the only one that
> I know of that has portrayed the character as an African.
> Best,
> Bill

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list