"Othello" and "O" tells the story of a great man who suffers terrible destruction as a result of external evil. "Othello" is a tale that weaves an intricate pattern of lies and deceit that shows that even the strongest of men can be twisted and turned and used to bind the will of others (Iago).
The fact that Othello and Odin are black immediately creates a tension in the story because they are seen as the minority and inferior to the greater population of both texts. During "Shakespeare's" time in the 1600's, a white noble woman eloping with a black man, especially one much older than her was looked down upon. In "O', Desi's father does not approve of Odin and Desi's relationship, forcing them to have a semi-secret affair. Othello and Odin are black in white societies. Their isolation and differences in background and upbringing fills them with great uncertainty.
The relationship between Othello and Desdemona was seen as breaking Elizabethan whims. Even in today's modern world, as depicted in "O", couples such as Desi and can be unsupported by their families. Also the modern setting is in America where discrimination based on race has been widespread. The director Blake Nelson cleverly uses U.S. context of race discrimination and applies it to the tragedy of Othello.
Desi plays a strong woman who won't let any man put her down. She stands up to Odin several times during the movie, showing that twentieth century women have higher status in society than they did in Shakespeare's time. In the movie "O", Desi assertively says, "If you want to be with me don't ever talk like that to me again, ever!"Desdemona seems much more compliant to her husband's demands, even when she knows that she is going to die.