Oliver Parkers Film Interpretation of Shakespeare's Othello

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Oliver Parkers film interpretation of Shakespeare's Othello uses cinematic techniques to express to the audience two major themes present in the original play. Appearance verses reality and racial discrimination are both significant themes that Parker focuses on throughout the film. Through the use of camera angles, language, tone, symbols, costuming and voice-over, Parker conveys clarity of the themes for the audience to interpret. Appearance verses reality of deception is a strong theme present in the play. Deception is perceived as a powerful and destructive force. In one of the first scenes of the film, it becomes the main source of tension between the protagonists, and continues to degenerate their metal state throughout the film. Eventually a web of deception crafted by Iago leads to the final downfall of the main characters. The most obvious character in Othello that appears to deceive everyone is Iago. He is a character that hides behind the mask of a honest solider who is blunt, unsophisticated, loyal and well-intentioned. This is the view of Iago portrayed in the opening of the film. It is not until the end of the third scene, when we hear his soliloquy, that the audience learns of his true real intentions. The director uses camera angles, voice-over and choice of tone and language to highlight Iago's malicious actions. Iago's direct and menacing soliloquies with the audience via the camera convey his Machiavellian intentions to destroy Othello with much more force. The director deliberately zooms in on Iagos face as he beings his soliloquies and informs the audience of his true plans. In one of the first scenes of the film, when Iago and Roderigo are watching Desdemona and Othello's wedding, Iago says "I follow him t... ... middle of paper ... ...erent colours of costumes in Othello immediately sets him apart from the rest of society, highlight his dark skin colour and establishing he is not like the other characters. The director uses specific language and tone to stress the issue of race in Othello. The controversy of racial relationships is expressed through Brabantio's negative attitudes and words. He refers Othello to a 'foul thief, implying that his daughter could never love a man of a different colour, and that therefore Othello has stolen her from him. Brabantio compares Othello to someone that no one would want and he is disgusted that Desdemona would "run from her guardage to the sooty bosom". Thus implying that Othello is dirty and undesirable. The choice of language from the director highlights the other characters pessimistic and disrespectful attitudes towards Othello due to his skin colour.

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