Essay about Comparing Shakespeare's "Othello" and Nelson's "O"

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William Shakespeare’s Othello & Tim Blake Nelson’s “O” each demonstrate the issues of their respective contexts through the chosen mediums of both composers. Shakespeare’s Othello uses the medium of theatre to present ideas such as jealousy, appearance versus reality and racism through a variety of literary techniques while also encompassing the conventions of a classic Shakespearean tragedy. These ideas remain universally relevant in Blake Nelson’s modern day adaptation “O” which parallels the ideas conveyed in Othello through its cinematic techniques. Both texts, through these universal ideas conveyed, also demonstrate values relevant to both contexts such as honesty, truth and honour.
Shakespeare composed Othello during the Golden Age
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Jealousy is symbolised as “the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on," a complex and destructive human emotion which spawns from human ambition and selfishness. Othello the noble ‘fairer than black’ begins the play characterised as the composed, eloquent protagonist of the play with high status and good reputation, correlating with the social hierarchy of the Elizabethan era. This contrasts with the enraged person he degrades into at the end of the play, consumed by the symbolic “green eyed monster” and engulfed with jealous rage of infidelity and honesty, instigated by the Machiavellian villain, Iago of the play who is also engulfed in jealousy:“…That I put the moor in to a jealousy so strong,” . Iago is spurred on by jealousy caused by Cassio’s promotion which he believed was rightfully his and shows his plan to bring Othello down with jealousy during his first soliloquy in Act 2. Soon after imagery is used to depict Iago as a gardener planting his “seed of doubt” in Othello which results in Othello being entangled in the of lies and deceit on Desdemona’s infidelity. This reduces him to a jealousy induced seizure as : “Is’t possible? – Confess? Handkerchief? O devil! [He] falls into a trance,” Iago’s jealousy is further enhanced during Othello’s seizure where he says “Work on my medicine, work on”. The motif of jealousy leads Othello to feel that he would “Rather
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