An Examination of "O" The Movie: A Modern Adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello.

Essay by katiemac4University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2007

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Othello is a Shakespearean tragedy, taking place in Venice between 1471-1570. The hero, Othello, is a Moor and leader of the Venetian forces, who is recently married to Desdemona, the light-skinned daughter of the Senator Brabantio. Much to the dismay of Rodrigo, a suitor of Desdemona's, his friend Iago, a solider in the Venetian forces, knew of the elopement between the leader and his bride, yet failed to tell him. It is stated early on in the text that Iago harbors a deep dislike towards Othello, despite appearances. Although he serves under him in the army, he is filled with hatred because he was passed over when Othello appointed another man, Michael Cassio, as his lieutenant. Iago holds this man in great contempt because he feels that although Cassio is courtlier, he himself is better suited for the position, having more experience, having served longer, and is more deserving.

Iago states that service should outweigh connections and courtly manner and devises a plan to trick Othello into believing his wife is unfaithful, to benefit Rodrigo. He also includes Cassio in the ploy as Desdemona's "lover" to incriminate him to Othello as well and ruin his credibility and allow Iago a chance to take his position as lieutenant of the army.

It is proven in this text that Iago is an old fashioned thinker. Although he is jealous of Othello due to his title and standing in the army, it is suggested that his dislike for the hero is related to his race as well. Othello is described as a "Moor" a common name, similar to "Negro" in Shakespearean time. Iago refers back to race many times, calling Othello "thick lips" and even relating his relationship with Desdemona to bestiality. It can be assumed that he feels...