Dicuss how Oliver Parker has interpreted Shakespeare's "Othello", to what end and how successfully.

Essay by DoobyHigh School, 11th gradeA, June 2004

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The many years between the 17th and 21st Centuries have seen society evolve into the society we live in today, and most filmmakers have considered this evolution while directing their works. This concept is illustrated clearly, with the comparison of the play, "Othello" (William Shakespeare) and the modern day film reproduction of the play, by Oliver Parker. Parker's interpretation depicts the differences in the two stages of society, through his conveyance of several themes and issues, central to the play. Throughout his film, Parker has used excision, transposition, connotation, characterisation and applied film techniques, to place various degrees of emphasis on particular concepts that "Othello" explores.

Jealousy will always be a part of the human personality, regardless of the era. The fact that all humans can relate to feelings of jealousy, means that Shakespeare can connect with his audience successfully. Jealousy manifests itself through two main characters in the play; Othello and Iago.

In Othello's case his jealousy can be directly linked to his insecurity, feelings of inferiority, faltering pride but most importantly, his skin colour. Throughout the play, Othello is slowly transformed from a confident leader, to an insecure, epileptic 'tool.' However, Othello's path to destruction was not entirely his fault. The destructive words from 'honest' Iago, brought out the worst in Othello. As said before his intense feelings of jealousy, were represented as epileptic fits by Shakespeare. This is mainly to emphasise how deep the feelings of jealousy actually were. However, jealousy is first shown through Iago. It is Iago's jealousy of Cassio's promotion which ignites the denouement of the play. This jealousy is a direct cause of Iago's hate for Othello, which Shakespeare makes very obvious to the audience, through blatant comments such as, "I hate the Moor." This may reflect the education level...