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Shakespeare Forever: “I will not charm my tongue”: The Perils of Speaking Out in Othello and The Winter’s Tale

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I will not charm my tongue”: The Perils of Speaking Out in Othello and The Winter’s Tale.      A talk by  Maureen McFeeley, Adjunct Professor at Hofstra, English Department.                           Program sponsored by the Port Washington Public Library in association with LIU Post

 This talk will examine the perils associated with speaking out in an age when women were expected to be “chaste, obedient and silent.” Both Desdemona and Hermione speak out; both are accused of adultery; both are defended by their confidantes, Emilia and Paulina. Their very different fates are partly determined by how, when and to what purpose they speak. Comparing the heroines of OTHELLO and THE WINTER’S TALE allows us to examine how Shakespeare refashions the same fabric – the wife falsely accused by an excessively jealous husband – weaving tragedy of one, comedy of the other.