Children of the Market Place
I could not help but overhear and follow the conversation of the people who sat next to me. They were wondering what moved Shakespeare to depict the story of a black man married to a white woman. Could such a theme be dramatized now? How could a woman, fair and high-bred, become the wife of a sooty creature like Othello? Was it real? If not real, what was Shakespeare trying to do? And much more to the same effect, together with remarks about negroes and that slavery should be let alone by New England, and by everyone else.
The play was dreary to me, played listlessly where it was not ranted and torn to tatters. I sat it through and then went back to my hotel.... The loneliness of that room as I entered it has never left my memory. For long hours I did not sleep. The city had 600 night watch, so the manual said, and I could hear some of the