Othello vs O the Modern Spin Essay

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‘O is a modern spin on Othello that attempts to address issues that are relevant for a contemporary audience. However, ultimately the literary value of Othello is lost in this appropriation”

The film ‘O’ directed by Tim Blake Nelson is a recognised contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Othello, which addresses a number of issues that are relevant to a modern day audience compared to that of the past. The director of the film has changed crucial parts of the play which makes the play such a classic, which has essentially ruined the literary value of Othello. This is evident for a number of concepts including, the overt links between the play and film, the power of words and language and Iago and his motives

The
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The basis of Othello is that words play a crucial role in the downfall of the character Othello. The audience is left to interpret Shakespeare’s language. This is what gives the play its beauty. In ‘O’ the power of words is lacking, and the director has created a film which involves the audience not being left to interpret the film for themselves. This immediately destroys the beauty and literary value of the play. In the play Iago only has to say one word and Othello makes grand presumptions completely unrelated to the that sole word. For example when Iago says ‘Lie’ to Othello, Othello replies with ‘Lie with her? Lie on her?’. Iago knows that ‘lie’ has two meanings and knows that Othello will instantly relate it to Desdemona’s affair. However, in the film there is no evidence on power and manipulation of words, which causes the film to look bad compared with Shakespeare’s version.
Actors are expected to rely on facial expressions and actions rather than dialogue to manipulate each other. The major mistake that the director has made is making the film into a typical American style movie. The language in the play is very colloquial using terms such as ‘mother fucker’. This in itself completely shatters Shakespeare’s artistic works. The modern spin on Othello has entirely removed the literary value that the play had simply through the language and word change.

The director has
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