Iago and Ben Jago

Satisfactory Essays
Geoffrey Sax's interpretation of William Shakespeare's wicked villain Iago is extraordinary. While reading the play, I envisioned Iago precisely as Christopher Eccleston portrayed him--diabolical and amoral--the pathetic antagonist of Othello, bursting with frustration and dominance throughout the text and film. Iago, or Ben Jago--the characters name in the film--is the backbone of both works, moving the plot along with his deceit and mendacity, progressively leading the audience to the tragic climax.

Sax displays Ben Jago's asides by breaking down the forth wall. His madness, in the course of the play and film, is presented in different ways, yet the film demonstrates it better. By telling the audience all of his thoughts, and not just showing his actions, the viewer receives an in-depth examination of his character. When Ben Jago goes mad after John Othello tells him of his promotion he races through the corridors of the building screaming and jumping and swinging his arms as his jealousy reaches a high. No one around him notices him, just as no one in any of Shakespeare's plays hears other characters asides.

Because of his jealousy, Ben (Iago), begins planting seeds of doubt in John Othello by suggesting disloyalty of Dessie (Desdemona) and Michael (Cassio). Andrew Davies, the screenwriter, removes all dramatic structure from the film, and instead focuses on modern conversation. The drama is not lost; in fact it develops further with Eccleston's performance. In a lavishly furnished room, Ben and John sit between a burning fireplace talking about a prosecution witness, Ben--through his confidence and control--turns the conversation over to Dessie. John says, "I never thought I could feel so much for another person." Ben replies, "Oh, yeah John. I know what you're talking about. I've been there."

"I've been there" is a saying Ben employs a lot to make others believe that they can relate and open up to him.

Immediately this comes into effect as John says, "But...Between you and me, you understand?... Well, I wake in the night... and watch her dream... and sometimes her mouth even moves, just a little bit. It's like a whisper. I can never make that out. I don't know where she goes, in her dreams. I don't even know if I'm in them...I don't think I can bear losing her."

Ben takes advantage of this, knowing how much John trusts him. "I don't think there's much chance of that. I don't think I've ever seen a girl so keen.
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