What It Was, Was Shakespeare

Disclaimer:  This is the blog that almost wasn’t.  It was written satirically, tongue in cheek.  This was my first Shakespeare play.  I was totally enthralled with the performances and the production.  When I sat down at my keyboard to write this, my mind drifted back to many years ago when I heard a comedy routine that inspired this style of writing.  My apologies to Andy Griffith.

What It Was, Was Shakespeare

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We was in the city but we were out in the country.  We took a turn on this little blacktop road into the woods until we got to this place where chairs were set up on the side of a hill looking down on a pasture Someone there had started building a barn.  This is where they were going to do the play acting.  It was a play called Othello.

Well, let me tell you about the stage. This what I thought at first was a barn.  It wasn’t.  There was a big porch and they had some bricks stacked up to look like walls and arches.  They would move them around during the play to make it look like different places.  It was pretty slick they way they did that.

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Oh, and the guys acting all carried swords and talked like they did back in the castle days.  Lots of wherefors and thou arts and stuff like that.  Kinda hard to follow at first, but if you listen real good you can catch on pretty quick.

But back to my story about Othello.

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Othello was a general and he had married Desdemona but they kept it a secret.

Now Rodrigo wanted to marry Desdemona and her daddy said it was OK.  But Desdemona hadn’t told her daddy she was already married to Othello.

Well, one night Rodrigo was moaning to Iago about his situation.  Now Iago was a conniving fella.  He worked for Othello but he didn’t like him and he wanted to make his life miserable. So he made a deal with Rodrigo. Iago sent Rodrigo to tell Desdemona’s daddy, Brabantio, that Desdemona was going to elope with Othello.

Brabantio gets mad as a wet hen and sends the police to get Othello and bring him to court to get his head cut off.  Meanwhile, that ole rascal Iago went to Othello’s house and told him the law was coming for him.  I know, I know, it gets confusing and it gets worse.

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Let me figure a way to make this quicker.  Othello gave Desdemona a special handkerchief, but she lost it.  Her handmaid, Emilia, who is Iago’s wife found it.  That scheming Iago told Othello that Cassio was to blame because he loved Desdemona and he would take care of Cassio.  Iago sent Rodrigo to kill Cassio hoping he would get Cassio’s job, but Cassio killed Rodrigo instead.  That really messed up Iago’s plans.

Meanwhile…..Othello was a jealous guy and he was convinced by Iago that Desdemona was seeing Cassio.  So he choked and smothered Desdemona.  Emilia saw what he had done and Othello stabbed her.

Then the law showed up with Iago and explained what had really happened.  Othello got mad and stabbed Iago but it didn’t kill him.  They took Iago to jail.

Othello got real mad at himself for what he had done and he stabbed himself and died.  When it was done, there was dead people laying all over the place.

Well, that pretty much explains it.

They really shouldn’t let crazy people have knives back in those days.  They just went around stabbing people.

Shakespeare in the Park productions are held in cities around the country.  In Dallas, this season’s schedule has “Taming of the Shrew”, “Comedy of Errors” and “Othello”.

In Oklahoma City, this season’s program has “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Richard III”.

We highly recommend going, expect to have a wonderful evening.

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6 thoughts on “What It Was, Was Shakespeare

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  1. I grew up watching reruns of Andy Griffith Show. I cannot recall which bit you are referring to exactly, but the feel of your post does it justice. This was quite an amusing read. And there’s a lot of truth in how absurd and complicated Shakespearean plots can be when you really stop to think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey guys, Nice to have you guys back in town! This inspiration wasn’t from the TV show. Before then, AG was a singer and a “country bumpkin” comedian. The routine that inspired this was “What It Was Was Football” from a 1953 variety TV show. It’s on Utube. It was just so wonderful sitting in the Delecourte theater watching Shakespeare.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting! Maybe it’s faulty memories. It has been 30 years or more since I watched it, afterall. I’ll definitely check out the original that inspired it, though. Thanks for the additional background.


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