Front cover image for The improbability of Othello : rhetorical anthropology and shakespearean selfhood

The improbability of Othello : rhetorical anthropology and shakespearean selfhood

Shakespeare's dramatis personae exist in a world of supposition, struggling to connect knowledge that cannot be had, judgments that must be made, and actions that need to be taken. For them, probability--what they and others might be persuaded to believe--governs human affairs, not certainty. Yet negotiating the space of probability is fraught with difficulty. Here, Joel B. Altman explores the problematics of probability and the psychology of persuasion in Renaissance rhetoric and Shakespeare's theater. Focusing on the Tragedy of Othello, Altman investigates Shakespeare's representation of the s
eBook, English, 2010
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2010
1 online resource (450 pages)
9780226016122, 9780226016108, 0226016129, 0226016102
Prologue. 'As if for surety': the problematics of shakespearean probability
Toward a rhetorical genealogy of Othello
'My parts, my title, and my perfect soul': ingenuity, apodeixis, and the origins of rhetorical anthropology
'Against my estimation': ciceronian decorum, stoic constancy, and the production of ethos
The logic of Renaissance rhetoric
'Apt and true': speech, world, and thought in Shakespeare's humanist dialectic
'Yonder's foul murders done': place, predicament, and grammatical space on Cyprus
Willful words, Christian anxieties, and shakespearean dramaturgy
'Tis in ourselves that we are thus, or thus': will, habit, and the discourse of res
'Preposterous conclusions': eros, enargeia, and composition in Othello
'Prophetic fury': the language of theatrical potentiality and the economy of shakespearean reception
Tropings of the self in Shakespeare's scripts
'I am not what I am': Shakespeare's scripted subject
'Nobody. I myself': discovering what passes show
Performing the improbable other on Shakespeare's stage
'Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago': ligatures of self and stranger
'It is not words that shakes me thus': Burbage, as if Othello
Epilogue. 'Make not impossible/that which but seems unlike': the twilight of probability and the dawn of shakespearean romance