Parkers Representation of Othello

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Parker’s film version of Othello delves into the notions of a sexual reading focusing on the masculinity of Othello. Also, Parker demonstrates a racial side to the play employed to centralize the theme of jealousy which is the catalyst the ultimate tragedy in Othello. With the omission of parts of the play, Parker employs different characterization relating it to the modern social ladder.

My reading focuses on Othello, the character. Othello was a foolish man who trusted the advice of a colleague whose promotion he had blocked. Instead of Parker’s version of Othello being heroic and with an extremely masculine physique, my reading suggests that Othello was simply a flawed human being. Since Othello was hopelessly in love and succumbed by jealousy and insecurity, he lost his eloquence, confidence and his powerful nature.

In Parker’s film, Othello is given a powerful screen presence emphasizing his masculinity reinforcing the idea of this reading being having racial and sexual overtones. In the scene where Othello confronts Brabantio for the first time, Othello’s costume immediately depicts him as a heroic general as he stands up tall without fear speaking with eloquence. “Most potent, grave and reverend Signors, My very noble and approved masters”, is a clear depiction of the meiosis in his speech revealing his confidence. The fire burns brightly in the scene foreshadowing danger.

My reading of Othello brings his personal characteristics to the foreground. These characteristics are that “The Moor is of a free and open nature” which demonstrates that he is too trusting. Iago has manipulated a weak man into trusting an evil being. “Honest Iago, My Desdemona must I leave to thee”. The transformation which has occurred in Othello from a honest gentleman into a “green eyed monster” figure. Othello’s loss of eloquence in speech and manner is evident when he says, “Farewell the tranquil mind, Farewell Othello’s occupation gone”. This demonstrates how Othello...
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