….Speak of me as I am….

 

Othello, marble and bronze, modeled c. 1868, executed 1873.  Pietro Calvi, 1833-1884, Italian. 

The sculpture is thought to have been modeled on photographs and prints of the African-American actor, Ira Aldridge, 1807-1867.  Famous for his portrayal of Hamlet, the actor used his fame to speak out against slavery. 

Walters Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland

 

 

When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,

 

DSC00259

Speak of me as I am.  Nothing extenuate,

Nor set down aught in malice.

 

DSC00260

                                     Then must you speak

Of one that loved not wisely, but too well;

 

DSC00253

Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,

Perplexed in the extreme,

 

DSC00257

                                          of one whose hand,

Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away

Richer than all his tribe;

 

DSC00255

                        of one whose subdued eyes        

 

DSC00258

Albeit unused to the melting mood,

 

DSC00263

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees

Their medicinable gum.

 

DSC00265

 

Othello, act 5, scene 2, of William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, English

 

 

Leave a Reply