OTHELLO & O – Comparative Essay [Draft]
The comparative study of William Shakespeare’s tragedy, ‘Othello’ and Tim Nelson’s film adaption, ‘O’, signifies how composers of different contexts and eras are able to effectively present their ideas to challenge their intended audience, through the use of different techniques and individual mediums. The universal themes of jealousy, racism and appearance vs. reality are explored through the representation and perspectives of both text’s protagonist and antagonist. In addition, readers are made to perceive the importance of human values, such as innocence, honesty, trust and acceptance. The Shakespearean theatrical tragedy, ‘Othello’, was composed under the significant influences of the Renaissance era; a time of war, social hierarchy, political and religious conflict, as well as the emergence of humanism. The idea of humanism impacted on the play, as it promoted human values regarding individualism, change and freedom. Furthermore, Shakespeare employed the use of the classical Greek tragedy, accompanied by the five act Seneca. In contrast, Tim Nelson’s 2001 film adaption, ‘O’, is presented with similar views, but is extended into a more modern context. The modern contextual features evident in this film include teenage rebellion, violence, peer-pressure and prejudice. These issues are accentuated through various cinematic techniques and modern stereotypes. The universal theme of jealousy is evident in the two texts, ‘Othello’ and ‘O’. In Othello, jealousy is depicted as “the green-eyed monster, which doth mock/The meat it feeds on.” It is represented as a complex human emotion; destructive, powerful and corruptive, which ‘consumes’ the lives and souls of the characters. Shakespeare illustrates this theme through the use of characterization and imagery. The trait of jealousy in ‘Othello’ begins with “Honest Iago”, our villain. In Act 1, Scene 1, he begins talking with Roderigo about the ‘Moor’, who provides a...
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