Contextualization And Racism In William Shakespeare's Othello

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Wrought with deception and half truth, William Shakespeare’s Othello brings forth a tale of tragic jealousy and mistrust. The contextualization of Othello is vital in its meaning and interpretation, but the essential theme of marginalization and racism remains constant. In altering the setting of this story, many aspects of the characters and plot points must transform to fit its new environment. Television and film adaptations transcend the original play, allowing for movement, fluidity, and creative license within the story. By changing the setting from Venice and Cyprus to a military camp during the Korean War, the characters, positions, relations, and situations of the play must change accordingly. In staging the scenes throughout this adaptation, select attention to the marginalization of Koreans by the United States army and the mindset of soldiers translated from its original 17th century setting to the early 1950s is essential to maintaining Othello’s significance. Building upon…show more content…
Throughout Othello, Iago's motivation is unclear. In this rendition of Othello, his motivation is even more unclear as Othello does not promote Michael Cassio ahead of Iago as in the play, instead, the commander promotes Michael Cassio. Although a rumor of Othello sleeping with Emilia, another nurse and Iago's girlfriend in this version, as in the novel does arise, no other explanation for Iago’s actions will be given. Although the motivation is not obvious, the theme of racism interwoven in the novel will be at the forefront of this adaptation. Iago's plan to convince Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him with Michael Cassio is fueled and motivated by racial tension. Through suggestion, set up, and stealing and planting a handkerchief that Othello gives to Desdemona, Iago convinces Othello of Desdemona’s
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