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.
Firstly, Othello’s race and the racism around him ruined his marriage with Desdemona. Othello and Desdemona was a good couple, but you know what they say, all good things must come to an end. Almost everybody had a problem with their relationship. In that time, interracial relationships and marriage wasn’t allowed. While Brabantio was sleeping, Iago and Roderigo woke him up out of his sleep saying that Othello was having sex with his daughter Desdemona at that very moment. Brabantio didn’t believe them at first, but when he found out that they were telling the truth and his white daughter was with “the Moor” Othello, he didn’t take it lightly. He couldn’t believe that she would want to be with someone like Othello. He said that Othello must’ve used some type of magic to get Desdemona to fall in love with him. At that time it had to be a miracle for a black person to be with a white person, it was unheard of. Then he started calling Othello a Moor to his face and orders his guards to get him.
Throughout Shakespeare's "Othello", one of the most poignant themes is that of race and racial prejudice. Various critics are of the view that "Othello" was written as a social commentary, depicting the discrimination present in formal Venetian society. These ideas of racial prejudice are portrayed through Othello, the protagonist, who is referred to as "the Moor", an African or a black man.
Othello is different visually from the other characters of his own play, in that he is a Moor (African) among Italians. In a time frame where Africans were not seen as equals to those of Caucasian descent and when black could be seen as evil, Othello had to work harder than most to gain a positive reputation. As he recounts how he wooed Desdemona, he recalls, “These arms of mine had seven years’ pith…They have used
From the very beginning of Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago is held in very high regard within the community in Venice. He is often called “honest Iago” by many people, including his superior, Othello. There is a large juxtaposition between Iago’s character in the beginning of the play, and the general perception at the end of the play, due to Iago’s many character flaws that cause him to create devious plans and a web of deception and lies, spun by his intense anger and hatred. The exposition of Othello holds many indications of the negative traits Iago possesses, and they escalate quickly as the play progresses. There are many points within the play that present Iago falling prey to his issues and therefore lets them control him. Iago’s anger and hatred kept him from dealing with these character flaws and lead to his descent into moral
As Iago's role in the play begins to define itself, the plays main theme, which is jealousy, also begins to develop. Iago's role is unclear to the reader in the first scene. He appears to be an honest, trustworthy soldier who was angry because he was overlooked for a promotion. However, the reader later finds out that he is a "malignant and destructive plotter" and would do anything to destroy Othello and anyone close to him (Epstein 381). The fact that he is an evil character remains undetected by the rest of the characters in the play. "The other characters actually call Iago honest fifteen times throughout the entire play" (Campbell 156). Iago is jealous and resentful of Othello in everyway and uses this festering hatred to infect and destroy Othello. He filled Othello's mind with thoughts of deceit and betrayal until his unwarranted jealousy towards his beautiful, trusting, and innocent wife blinded Othello himself.
Othello is a man who comes from a hard life. In the time period the play is set in, racism is common and Othello is a target for it due to his dark skin. He fought in many battles and was put into slavery for a time. Now he is a high ranking General in the army. Othello, for all that he has been through, is also kind, caring, and trusting of those close to him. He cares and trusts his comrades and is loving and kind to his wife, Desdemona. Othello is also r...
In everyones life there is always the one person who you think you can trust, and later come to find that they have been playing you all along. This is the exact case for Othello. Iago, whom Othello thought was a person he could trust, betrayed him in many horrific ways.As you read the famous Shakespearian play, Othello, the Moor of VeniceI, you come to realise pretty quickly that Iago is the evil charecter in this play. The readers do not actually get to see a good side of Iago, if there is any, because he is constantly using and playing people. Readers will also come to learn that no matter how evil Iago may be perceived as that he is very much a coward, using other people to do most of his dirty work for him.
Iago uses his ability to convince those around him and his hatred, for seemingly the majority, of the other characters to manipulate and accomplish his own ploys. In the beginning of the play, Iago confesses his hatred for Othello. This hatred compels Iago to manipulate others within the play. Iago wishes to cause the most mayhem that he can, and he uses every character to do so. In the play, Iago acts almost as a puppeteer to the other characters, pulling their strings and getting them to do as he wishes. With Othello, Iago tells him that his wife, Desdemona, is cheating on him with Cassio. This manipulation is done due to the pure hate Iago has for Othello and the plan to get Roderigo together with Desdemona. Iago is also seemingly puppeteering Roderigo in hopes to get Cassio killed for both Roderigo to gain Desdemona and for Othello because of the alleged affair with Desdemona. Iago spares no expense when it comes to his plans in the play. As it states in Act 3 Scene 3 “I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin, / And let him find it. / Trifles light as air / Are to the jealous confirmations strong / As proofs of holy writ” (Shakespeare, Othello lines 1994-1997). In this excerpt, Iago takes Desdemona’s handkerchief in hopes to frame Cassio and prove the affair. This shows that Iago leaves out no details when manipulating the other characters which shows his true ingenuity and cunning ability when
A society consists of different cultures with people of diverse looks, values, and beliefs. In a world with one predominant culture, those perceived as different from the norm are associated with negative images, treated inferior to the superior culture. The negative images associated with color, specifically blackness, has a detrimental effect on the victims who are racially stereotyped. The character of Othello is a unique character in English literature, because unlike the other members of society, Othello was an outsider in Venice, a black man living in a white world, marrying a white woman, and leading white men as a soldier. Othello is persuaded that his wife, Desdemona, is cheating on him leading him to
Othello’s physical appearance is emphasized through out the play, but paints him and blacks negatively. Othello is a well-respected man due to his talent in warfare. He is a general and well respected by his army and Venice for defending it. However, even though he has earned his title he is still targeted and deemed as an inferior just because of his phenotypes. Rodrigo refers to him as thick-lip. This is a racial slur that dehumanizes him due to his physical appearance. Moreover, the scene when Desdemona father discovers that her and Othello are married demonstrates that a black body should not affiliate itself with a white one in any way. There is an invisible race boundary that exists and Othello is breaking it by being with a white woman. He is stealing a white w...
In the tragedy Othello, Shakespeare creates a mood that challenges the way a person sees his or her self and the world. Subjects like racism, sexism, love, hate, jealously, pride, and trickery are thoroughly developed in the play of Othello to enable the audience to view the characters and also themselves. The Shakespearean tragedy of Othello was written in a time of great racial tensions in England. According to Eldred Jones, in 1600 just three years before Othello was written, Queen Elizabeth proclaimed an Edict for the Transportation of all "negars and blackmoores" out of the country ("Othello- An Interpretation" Critical Essays 39). It is in this atmosphere that Shakespeare began the masterpiece of Othello, a drama about a noble black Arab general, Othello, who falls in love with and marries, Desdemona, a young white daughter of a senator. From the above knowledge one may conclude that Shakespeare wrote Othello to express that all people, of all ethnicity, are basically the same in human nature. Shakespeare borrowed the idea of Othello from an Italian love story by Giraldi Cinthio. However, Shakespeare focuses more on the differences in color and age between Othello and Desdemona than Cinthio. Shakespeare does this to escalate Othello’s isolation from the rest of Venetian society and to display Othello’s vulnerability due to his color. In the tragedy not only is Othello susceptible to weaknesses but so is every major character . The tragedy reminds humans that even one’s good nature can be taken advantage of for the worse. The drama Othello expresses, through relationships and emotional attitudes, a theme that all humans are vulnerable to destruction even if they are in positions of power and glory.
Throughout the play, the audience is amazed by just how well Iago’s destructive plan worked. He changed Othello’s emotional state, from a man who holds himself well to a man driven to murder by jealousy, destroying not only the friendship between Othello and Cassio, but also Othello’s marriage to Desdemona. The audience again, may feel a varying degree of repulsion to Iago for the damage he had caused, but deep down the audience is satisfied with the mould of a villain matching Iago so well, and Iago bringing much more to the table. A reason behind the success of his plan, Iago is manipulative to everyone around him. Othello praises Iago as “a man he is of honesty and trust”, giving Iago the nickname, “Honest Iago”. He keeps his ‘friend’ Roderigo close, but his enemy closer, manipulating Othello to believe Desdemona did deceive him as “she did deceive her father marrying you.” His two-faced personality and ability to manipulate everyone around him allows his plan to be even with Othello “wife for wife” to work, while he fits the villainous mould well. He brings more to the table by hiding this behind a ‘heroic’ and ‘trustworthy’ mask, another factor that makes his attributes of a villain more