In Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello Is as Much a Victim of His Own Weaknesses as of Iago’s Plotting. Write an Essay That Explores the Construction of Othello’s Character in Parker’s Film and Shakespeare’s Play.

902 Words Aug 27th, 2012 4 Pages
Oliver Parker’s 1995 interpretation of Shakespeare’s 1600’s timeless classic Othello presents a differing construction of Othello from the original play, achieved through uses of a plethora of film devices. Both the play and the film masterfully spin a tale of romance, tragedy and death telling the fall of glory of Othello due to the acts of his ensign Iago, albeit with several differences in the presentation. Both Shakespeare and Parker explore themes of jealousy, power, and racism through the key characters of Othello and Iago. Parker utilises cutting, close-ups, mise-en-scene, music and a variety of others to bring his own in-depth dissection and construction of Othello.
In the opening scenes of the play, Othello is the noble hero, he
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At the same time along with the audience seeing the surface of Othello, Iago is introduced a dark and destructive force filled with jealousy, ‘I am not what I am’. As opposed to the play in which Iago is an incomprehensible identity one whose true goals leave viewers guessing today, the Iago of the film has a much clearer purpose, ‘I hate the moor’.
Parker hints towards Othello’s true nature as the film progresses, conducting a study on the very basis of the character of Othello. During the sex-scene between Othello and Desdemona, Parker uses quick and abrupt cuts between the two characters alongside a fast paced but passionate sound track, all of this inferring the unreflecting nature of Othello, his red clothing and the tortures also being symbolic of this. His downfall is further indulged in through the symbolic black and white chess pieces, with Othello the black king tumbling into darkness due to Iago’s pushes.

As the play progresses, Othello’s decline exponentially increases, in his obsessive need of power, his insecurities are shown, through which Iago takes advantage, eventually resulting in the crumbling of Othello’s mental state. Othello’s insecurities about Desdemona have been taken full advantage of by Iago whom now manipulates Othello like a puppet in act 3 scene 3 the previously noble knight is gone,

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