“Dear Dr. Lovett” is a weekly advice column dealing with love, relationships, and sex. Need words of wisdom? Tell us all about it at email@example.com.
DEAR DR. LOVETT-VON STRAUSS: The local theater in my town is putting on a production of William Shakespeare's Othello. My girlfriend of 16 months has been cast as the female lead, Desdemona. I'm very happy for her, but I'm worried she's losing herself in the play. Let me be more specific: I think she's become infatuated with her male co-star. He's all she ever talks about, and when I went to visit her during a rehearsal one day, I felt that she was getting way too into the kissing scenes. She doesn't even kiss me like that. And that's not it--she's starting to speak in iambic pentameter, even at home! What should I do? --CALL ME RODERIGO
Your dilemma revolving around the racially-charged Othello brings back painfully memories of my childhood. As a young lad studying at St. Bartholomew’s Preparatory School for Young Boys, I was ridiculed in the second grade when we studied the complete works of William Shakespeare. You can just imagine the torment to which my classmates subjected me once they found that my middle name was that of Shakespeare’s most irredeemable character, Iago. Yet, this experience made me stronger as I found strength in looking upon my namesake as a father figure. His lessons on self-determination and perseverance are shining examples that all young men should strive to emulate.
All this being said, the painful memories of my childhood may taint my usually optimistic and hopeful advice with a darker note for this posting.
Now my young Roderigo, I, as a champion for all things of love and reputation, shall guide you in your journey of amore.
Your dear Desdemona is your love; you, hers. Do not fear the wandering lips of the maiden as long as the other set is never split. Desdemona is not truly in love with thine Othello, but I am sure, rather, that she is of nervous heart for the romantic scenes and simply wants to practice them more. Just like all good actors, she practices the challenging scenes more then the others.
Compare not her kisses with Othello to those from lips your own. Being of the theatre, all emotions and actions must be more intense so that the entire audience in all parts of the house can experience them. Liken it to the wild intercourse of more sultry films that serve to invoke the audience no matter how distant they are.
While I fear that the speech of iambic pentameter is the tell-tale sign of a Shakespearean actor, you need not fear the love of your Desdemona and Othello. ‘Tis transient as the sun and moon. For today, her actor’s heart belongs to Othello, but on the morrow, thine lover’s character will be Juliet or Lady Macbeth, and with this change, her actor’s heart.
However, Dear Roderigo, while my intentions for you and your well being are always noble and pure, the choice is yours to take my advice or not. Your heart is yours and yours alone. Make those choices which you believe to be the truest and right.
Dr. Lovett-Von Strauss
Henry Iago Lovett-Von Strauss is a doctor of love, and love doesn’t need a degree. He lives happily with his family in Cape Cod, MA, where life is perfect.