Internet Shakespeare Editions


Othello and the Stage

The role of Othello has been played by a number of famous actors in history. The first was Richard Burbage, one of the leading actors listed in the First Folio. At the time, Shakespeare's stage was a model of flexibility and efficiency. How did actors manage to perform such a variety of scenes on one stage? One dramatic moment occurs in the final bed scene in Act 5, Scene 2, when Desdemona appears in bed. How did they play a "bed" scene?