O and Othello Comparison
‘Othello is among the dazzling plays written by William Shakespeare. It is the story of male named Othello and how his mind was twisted and manipulated by a male called Iago and how Iago made Othello think that his wife Desdemona was cheating on him with his lieutenant Michael Cassio, which results in many deaths. Tim Blake Nelson has actually creatively reorganized ‘Othello’ into a film to attract a teenage audience. It still includes the very same central ideas which are bigotry, jealousy and deception which will be analysed on how they are portrayed in ‘Othello’ and are creatively improved in ‘O’.
Jealously is among the main central ideas and is shown through many character however mainly Iago and Hugo and Othello and O. In act 4, scene 5 Othello enters into an eplileplsy fit after hearing the news that Cassio slept with Othello’s spouse Desdemona and Othello has actually lost almost all control of himself to his jealousy in the play.
Nelson has recreated this scene into a Slam Dunk competitors where Odin is high up on cocaine and Hugo (Iago) has offered him the false information that Desi (Desdemona) and Michael (Cassio) have actually been sleeping together. In the unique ‘Othello’, Othello strikes Desdemona in the company of Lodovico, a Venetian nobleman.
This really action suggests that Othello is so absorbed in his emotion that he simply does not care that other people can see his anger and subsequent violence towards his spouse. In “O,” this idea has actually been magnified where Odin’s violent actions do not take place in front of one individual, but instead in front of an entire crowd of people. Likewise when Lodovico’s see’s this he marvels and Othello needs to fix his actions “My lord, this would not be believed in Venice,/ Though I need to swear I saw’t. ‘Tis quite;/ Make her amends – she weeps” (4. 1. 36) Throughout “O,” when Odin destroys the backboard and pushes the ball kid down, the crowd simply boos at him.
Both responses are appropriate to the contexts they take place in, but both express displeasure at Othello’s actions. To further prove the point that Othello holds no regard for anyone else’s opinion at this point, he ignores the responses in both contexts and continues harboring his jealously. In Shakespeare’s script, Othello continues to rant about how evil he believes Desdemona is: “If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears, / Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile” (IV. 1. 39-240), whereas in “O,” Odin remains silent and simply struts around the basketball court with his arms outstretched while the crowd boos him.
Both actions hint at the more selfish aspect of Othello’s emotions; by ignoring his surroundings and clinging to his beliefs, he proves that he is thinking more about himself at this point than anything else. In ‘O’ when Odin shatters the backboard it is a visual metaphor for destroying Desi as basketball is something that defines Odin so therefore basketball could be interpreted as a symbol for the things Odin loves and enjoys in his life such asDesi.
By having Odin destroy the backboard of the basketball hoop, Nelson illustrates the path that Odin and Othello decided to take, a path that will destroy everything they love, and ultimately themselves. Therefore the image foreshadows their death. Racism is also largely seen in both texts, Shakespeare makes it clear that Othello’s colour has a lot to do with Iago’s problems with him. “The term ‘Moor’ used to describe Othello at various points in the play. The term ‘Moor’ was widely used as a synonym for ‘Negro’ When Shakespeare describes the elopement of Desdemona and Othello, he makes it appear to be unnatural.
He goes so far as to relate their elopement to bestiality. There can be no doubt that Othello’s blackness is a significant part of the play. In ‘Othello’ Desdemona call him the ‘Moor’ and she is his loving and faithful wife whereas when Iago says it, it is offensive. In the film ‘O’ there is a lot of racism, Odin and Desi jokingly discuss their different races. When she disapproves of his use of “nigga,” he tells her that he is allowed to say it but she cannot even think it. Despite his apparently shallow answer, Odin is “haunted…by a profound self-consciousness about his own blackness”.
When Hugo tells Odin that Desi and Mike called him “the nigga,” This is extremely offensive to and he begins to act out his rage and self-loathing. In ‘Othello the word ‘Moor’ has been replaced by with a the word ‘nigga’ to appeal to younger audiences. Deception can also be seen throughout both texts and especially when Iago sets Cassio up to make Othello hear the Cassio has been sleeping with Desdemona. In ‘Othello’ this scene is set in a jail area whereas in ‘O’ it is set in Iago’s bedroom and Othello is hiding outside the room listening in on the conversation.
Nelson has creatively reshaped this scene from early times to the 20th century. During this scene in ‘O’ Cassio talks about Desi as a floosy and talks badly of Odin calling the name Nigga, this in use of language from Michael is the language that teenagers use which is another way Nelson has creatively reshaped Othello. Overall, Nelson has creatively reshaped the central ideas jealousy, racism and deception into the modern film but still keeping the story line. In ‘O’ he has successfully done this by setting it in a high school and making Odin the star basketball player.
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