Comparative Text, Othello and O

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Context study; Comparing texts, Othello and O’

William Shakespeare’s Elizabethan play Othello (16th Century) and its modern (21st Century) appropriation O’ by Tim Blake Nelson depict a story of an African American hero, who is deceived by one of his close allies. Both writers have incorporated themes and values appropriate to the context of their time, to shape and form meaning within each piece of work.

In the modern film O’, Odin James, as Othello is the black star of the basketball team at an otherwise white boarding school. He is headed for big time with his sport and is in love with Desi, as Desdemona, the most popular girl in school winning the “most valuable player award” and sharing it with his right hand man and close friend Michel, as Casio. Meanwhile, Hugo is the coach's son, but he is outshone on court by Odin, and feels rejected when Odin chooses Michel to share the award instead of himself. Hugo's feelings of envy and neglect lead him to construct a plot to make Odin doubt Desi's love for him, a plot which Hugo is willing to take to its most extreme consequences. The film ends with the tragic shootings of Desi, Rodger, Emily and the suicide of Odin.

{Othello is a highly esteemed general in the service of Venice. Iago is Othello's ambitious friend. Othello promotes Michael Casio to the position of personal lieutenant and Iago is deadly jealous. Iago begins an evil and malicious campaign against the hero. Othello elopes with Desdemona but Iago starts to plot against them. Othello becomes jealous and suspicious of Desdemona. He confides in Iago that he plans to poison Desdemona. Plots and murders ensue and Othello returns to the castle to kill his innocent wife. He eventually smothers her to death. Emilia tells Othello the truth about the scheming Iago. Othello wounds Iago, then goes on to commit suicide.}

Although both movie and play are very similar in structure, there is a noticeable difference in values that are...
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