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Shakespeare’s Play “Othello” And Tim Nelson’s Film “O” Prelim English Essay

1477 words - 6 pages

Othello vs ‘O’
Task: “In order for a text to remain relevant, the form and features must adapt to
suit the current audience over time, but yet the original composer’s values will
always remain the same.” Evaluate this statement in relation to William
Shakespeare’s play “Othello” and Tim Nelson’s film “O”
A Text will remain relevant when its form and features adapt to suit the time-
changing audience with the original’s composer’s values unscathed. William
Shakespeare’s play “Othello” and Tim Nelson’s film “O”, was created on a different
contextual basis in order to render different understandings and perceptions of the
timeless themes of the plot line, in accordance to the different mindsets of
alternating audiences. Shakespeare uses different language and literary techniques
in comparison to Nelson’s film delivery to best portray the themes and values of the
story to suit the apprehension of the audience’s morals and intellect-context is the
basis of perception and inspiration. The story of Othello remains relevant because
the original composer, Shakespeare, wrote the plot on the foundation of the human
composition, which is ultimately a perpetual condition that explores the art of
human jealousy and deception which are destructive ideals so ingrained in the
human makeup it becomes an ageless source- so no matter the setting, language
and cultural differences of the adaptations, the themes are interminable. Nelson
sustains these themes through assimilating them in a modern day scenario of a high
school environment which opts for the perfect opportunity to highlight these traits
through the modern contextual issues such as peer pressure, drugs, youth violence
and crime. Despite the progression of time, Shakespeare and Nelson through
different language and mediums, clearly present the themes of jealousy, and
deception.
Shakespeare’s “Othello” is a perpetual story; it showcases timeless themes and by
changing the forms and features of the Elizabethan play such as language to suit a
contemporary audience as shown in Nelson’s “O”, life experiences of different
generations that involve themes of jealousy and deception are expressed,
contributing to the universality of the story. The language used in Shakespeare’s
‘Othello’ is very formal and poetic- use of metaphors, similes and puns- as it was the
form of entertainment for the Elizabethan people. Iago’s heavy use of asides reveals
his cunning and caustic power; it directs the action of the play. His use of soliloquies
reinforces his power and evokes his characterisation that presents his true self to the
audience. Even if the language Shakespeare used has gotten more difficult to
decipher over time, the meaning behind his words is as modern as ever. Nelson’s ‘O’
compared to the original text, had a few differences regarding the purpose,
audience and language used in the text as the targeted audience changes from
Elizabethan high class to modern day adults and teenagers who could cope with
what is...

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