Thursday, May 03, 2007

"Smooth as monumental alabaster": Healthy skin as subtext in Othello

In my Intro. to Lit. class we are wrapping up the semester by reading Othello. The class has had some troubles with comprehension, so last night I decided I'd divide the class in half (there are 10 total, all women--maybe important, maybe not, given the reason for this post) and ask each group to a) choose a moment in Act IV which to them seems decisive regarding Othello's deteriorating relationship with Desdemona; and b) act it out for the class.

One group chose a section of IV.i that has Othello saying this:

Get me some poison, Iago, this night. I'll not expostulate with her, lest her body and her beauty unprovide my mind again. This night Iago.

Came the performance, and here's what got said:
I'll not exfoliate with her, lest her body and her beauty . . .

They had to take a brief break to get the giggles out.

3 comments:

R. Sherman said...

Ummm, right.

emawkc said...

Reminds me of my freshman high school general science class. One of the big football player types was asked to read aloud from the textbook to the class and, accidentally(?), used the read the word "organism" but without the "ni".

Ah, good times.

Aunty Marianne said...

It doesn't do to exfoliate with other people, it tends to depress one.

Unless of course you're all eating artichokes.