Friday, August 6, 2010

California, Plot Contrivances, Evil

Travener is back, having survived an eight-day road trip with the kids to Davis, California.  We took in Crater Lake and the middle of Oregon on the way back to avoid the horror that is Interstate 5.

While in Kallyfornyuh, we took in Othello at Shakespeare in the Park in Sacramento.  I'd neither seen nor read the play before.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, a key role in driving Othello mad over the alleged indiscretions of his wife Desdemona is played by a dropped handkerchief.  As plot devices go, it's pretty ridiculous, and the fact that the genius Shakes resorted to such nonsense to tie up his plot somehow made me feel better about the workings of the plot in my ms.  Also, Iago is one of the all-time great evil characters.

So, back with new determination to get moving on the WIP, as soon as I finish sketching out all its handkerchief moments.


  1. Nice one! I live about an hour from Davis. It smells like cows there. I can think of many other nicer travel destinations than Davis, but hey.

    Nice to have you back!

  2. The handkerchief has a great deal of meaning to Othello. It was his mother's. It's not just a blow your nose in it handkerchief but a symbol of fidelity and love to him.
    Iago uses this to drive him mad because he knows it's not just a piece of cloth but carries a great deal of emotional weight. The thought of Desdemona giving this precious symbol of their love to another man is beyond endurance for him.
    Hardly a silly little plot device.

  3. welcome back and good luck with the WIP!

  4. Wow, Ariel, nice defense of the Bard! I wasn't talking so much about the meaning of the handkerchief as the silly plot contrivance of it being accidentally dropped at a crucial moment into the hands of Iago's wife, of all people.

  5. Not so silly at all. We already know Iago has been trying to get Emilia to steal the handkerchief, but she knows what it means to Desdemona. But when it falls into her possession she's overcome by her need to please her husband.
    It's a great way of illuminating the desires of these characters. One little piece of cloth has so much meaning to all of them.
    Of course it's a plot device, but I think it works.

  6. Wow, Trav. Ariel kicked your ASS. Welcome back. ;)