Othello Scene Re-Interpretations

 

Students were asked to "modernize" one scene from Shakespeare's Othello.  Below is the "redneck" version of the scene in which Othello smothers Desdemona.  It was memorably portrayed by Steve Elliot (Desy Sue: complete with dress) and Heather Ellis (Othetus: complete with cover-alls and a cowboy hat).

 

Heather Ellis 

Steven Elliot 

Ms. Borger 

English 2-5th hour 

March 23, 2004

 

Redneck Othello

 

**Characters:  

Othello- Othetus (Heather E.)

Desdemona- Desy Sue (Steven E.)

Cassio- The Cow

Iago- Iago Joe

 

Desdemona:

            Who’s there?  Is that you Othetus?

 

Othello:

            Yea, I reckon so.

 

Desdemona:

            Come here and get on this here haystack so we can cuddle a ‘lil.

 

Othello: 

            You done talked to the Lord tonight, Desy Sue?

 

Desdemona:

            Yea, I done that.

 

Othello:

            Ya know, if you done any crime ya best come out and say it right now.

 

Desdemona:

            Whatcha talkin’ ‘bout Othetus?

 

Othello:

            Just go on and do it.  I wouldn’t kill no one with no guilty spirit.

 

Desdemona:

            Whatcha talkin’ ‘bout…deers ain’t got no spirits.

 

Othello:

            This time Desy Sue I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout no deer.

 

Desdemona:

            A bird?

 

Othello:

            No.

 

Desdemona:

            Oh Lord have mercy!

 

Othello:

            Ya best ask for mercy.

 

Desdemona:

            Ya ain’t gonna kill me, is ya?

 

Othello:

            Mmm…

 

Desdemona:

I’m skeert ‘a you when you looks the way you do!  I’m sure I ain’t done nothin’ but you’s a scarin’ me.

 

Othello:

            Think ‘bout your sins.

 

Desdemona:

            Alls they is – is my love for you.

 

Othello:

            Yea and theys gonna kill’tcha.

 

Desdemona:

This just ain’t right.  Whats wrong with you, Othetus?  You’re eyes is burnin’ like a fox in a hen house and I’m just ‘a hopin’ that I ain’t the hen.

 

Othello:

            Be still woman!

 

Desdemona:

            M’kay…what’s goin’ on Othetus?

 

Othello:

That skillet which I loved so and that my Granny gave me – you done gave it to that cow.

 

Desdemona:

I swears on everythin’ Holy I ain’t done that.  You get that there cow and ‘ell tell ya.

 

Othello:

            Woman ya’ best shut up for I’m fixin’ to knock ya one.

 

Desdemona:

            I ain’t ready to die.

 

Othello:

Ya’ right, but now confess your sins.  Cuz ya ain’t gonna get another chance – you’s is about to die.

 

Desdemona:

            Of Lord have mercy!

 

Othello:

            I say amen.

 

Desdemona:

You is needing mercy too!  I ain’t never done nothin’ to you, ne’er loved that cow – just you.  And I sure as hell didn’t give ‘em that skillet.

 

Othello:

By all that’s Holy I saw that cow with my Granny’s skillet!  You city woman!!  You make me sick.  Ya know what I’m ‘a gonna do?  I’m ‘a gonna kill ya.  I saw the skillet.

 

Desdemona:

            Then he found it.  I never gave it to him.  Get him here.  He tell ya’ the truth.

 

Othello:

            He done already confessed.

 

Desdemona:

            Huh?

 

Othello:

            He done used you.

 

Desdemona:

            How he done that?

 

Othello:

            Mmm…

 

Desdemona:

            He’d not say that.

 

Othello:

            C’urse he ain’t gonna say that.  He done been kill’t already by Iago Joe.

 

Desdemona:

            He done been sent to heaven?

 

Othello:

If all his calves had been another life of his I’d had slaughtered them all.  And filled my stomach will all the meat.

 

Desdemona:

            You’re screwing us both over!

 

Othello:

            You would dare to feel sorry for him to my face?

 

Desdemona:

You can do anything to me; take my apron, kill my chicken, kick me off the farm, just don’t kill me.

 

Othello:

            Shut up!

 

Desdemona:

Kill me ‘morrow.  Let me live tonight.  Let me feed the pigs and watch the sun rise o’er the kern one more time!

 

Othello:

            No way.  I’d…

 

Desdemona:

            Jus’ ‘a bit more!

 

Othello:

            Naw I’m ‘a doin’ it now.

 

Desdemona:

            Oh wait!

 

Othello:

            Nope- it’s too late.  It’s done happened.