Othello Transformations Essay (Geoffrey Sax’s 2001 Film Adaptation of Othello)

Othello Transformations Essay (Geoffrey Sax’s 2001 Film Adaptation of Othello)

OTHELLO TRANSFORMATIONS ESSAY OTHELLO Is Among SHAKESPEARE’S GREATEST TRAGEDIES AND CONSEQUENTLY A PILLAR OF WHAT MANY CRITICS TAKE TO BE THE PEAKS OF SHAKESPEARE’S SIGNIFICANT ART. IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, FILMMAKERS HAVE RE-CONTEXTUALIZED HIS WORKS, INTO A VARIETY OF MORE MODERN SETTINGS, IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE HIS WORK MORE UNDERSTANDABLE TO CONTEMPORARY AUDIENCES. ONE SUCH ADJUSTMENT IS GEOFFREY SAX’S ‘OTHELLO’. SET IN LONDON, IT DETAILS AN ENGLISH-BORN BLACK POLICE OFFICER, JOHN OTHELLO, A RISING STAR IN LONDON’S COPS DEPARTMENT, KNOWN FOR HIS INTEGRITY, MORAL PRINCIPLES AND SKILLS ON THE JOB.

AFTER A CASE OF FALSE ARREST AND DEATH OF A BLACK GUY IN CUSTODY, HE FINDS HIMSELF PROMOTED TO THE POSITION OF COMMISSIONER OF THE DIVISION, IN ORDER TO PLEASE The General Public BECAUSE HE IS SEEN AS A STRONG LINK BETWEEN THE POOR AND REBELLIOUS PARTS OF THE COMMUNITY, WHO ARE SICK OF ALL THE COPS CRUELTY AND BIGOTRY, AND THE AUTHORITIES DEPARTMENT. SEEMINGLY, THE FIRST CHANGE IS THE SETTING, WHICH IS RADICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE PLAY. THE SETTING OF SAX’S OTHELLO IS THE LONDON AUTHORITIES DEPARTMENT, WHICH EMBODIES THE MILITARY FORCE IN THE PLAY.

THE RIVER BY OTHELLO AND DESI’S HOUSE SYMBOLIZES THE VENICE SETTING PRESENT IN THE ORIGINAL TEXT. IN ADDITION, JOHN OTHELLO IS THE HEAD OF THE AUTHORITIES DEPARTMENT, WHICH LIKE THE TEXT SHOWS HIS POWER OVER THE REST OF THE REQUIRE. SAX’S CHOICE TO MAKE OTHELLO’S CHARACTER AN OFFICER FURTHER ILLUSTRATES HIS POWER AND STRENGTH AND CREATES A DIRECT CONNECTION TO OTHELLO’S CHARACTER IN THE PLAY. SAX TOOK CONCEPTS TO DEVELOP A MODERN OUTLOOK ON AN PURCHASED AND DISORDERED SOCIETY WHERE MILITARY/LAWFUL POWER PRESERVES CONTROL OF THE ENVIRONMENT.

EACH VERSION IS OF A DIFFERENT MEDIA SHOWING THE EVER-CHANGING ADVANCES IN SOCIETY. SHAKESPEARE’S OTHELLO WAS CARRIED OUT ON OPEN-AIR STAGES WITH VERY LITTLE PROPS AND LANDSCAPES. SAX’S OTHELLO WAS A MONEYED ENGLISH TV MOVIE FOR A MUCH LARGER AUDIENCE TO VIEW. SAX USED CAM ANGLES TO PORTRAY POWER AND CHARACTER’S THOUGHTS. CAM AND LIGHTING WERE USED IN THE CONTEXT OF DRAMATIC PARADOX, WHERE A CHARACTER WOULD BE ARTICULATING ONE LINE, BUT WHAT WE SAW WAS THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE. EG TO HIGHLIGHT BEN JAGO’S WICKED CHARACTER. WHENEVER JAGO HUGGED JOHN, A SLENDER SHADOW WOULD BE CAST UNDER HIS EYES,

WHICH WOULD IN TURN MAKE HIS SMILE LOOK EVIL. THIS AFFECTED INDICATING AS IN THE PLAY THE AUDIENCE COUNTED ON SHAKESPEARE’S RICH POETIC LANGUAGE TO TRANSLATE CHARACTER’S THOUGHTS WHERE THE MOVIE COMBINED SEVERAL MODERN TECHNOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES TO HIGHLIGHT AND REQUIRE CHARACTER’S FEELINGS UPON US. IN ELIZABETHAN TIMES, WOMEN WERE SEEN AS GUYS’S PAWNS AND WERE ABUSED AND MANIPULATED, AS GUYS WERE THE DOMINANT FIGURE IN SOCIETY. WOMEN WERE BELITTLED AMONGST SOCIETY AND WEREN’T PART OF THE WORKING FORCE OTHER THAN IN SLAVERY AND PROSTITUTION.

IT WAS ACCEPTABLE FOR OTHELLO TO KILL HIS SPOUSE, HAD SHE TRULY BEEN UNFAITHFUL. WHAT MADE OTHELLO An AWFUL CRIMINAL TO SHAKESPEARE AND HIS GLOBE AUDIENCE WAS THAT THE MOOR MISJUDGED HIS WIFE, THAT IS NO LONGER THE CASE IN THE LATE 20TH AND EARLY 21ST CENTURIES. THIS SOCIETY DOESN’T ACKNOWLEDGE OTHELLO’S RIGHT TO MURDER HIS PARTNER UNDER ANY SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES IS SEEN AS POLITICALLY WRONG TO ELIMINATE ANOTHER BEING AND THIS MADE JOHN LOOK MORE LIKE A CRIMINAL. WOMEN ARE NOW EQUAL IN SOCIETY AND MORE POWERFUL AND EDUCATED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE SECURED BY RIGHTS.

THE THEMES AND IDEAS DEPICTED ARE TYPICAL OF A ELIZABETHEAN AUDIENCE WHERE SPIRITUAL MESSAGES AND BELIEFS WERE STRONG. OTHELLO HAD ALL OF SHAKESPEARE’S THEMES OF JEALOUSY, BETRAYAL, CORRUPTION, VINDICTIVENESS, AND SEX YET AMONGST ALL OF THIS IT COULD BE SEEN THAT ORDER ENDED UP BEING DISORDER BUT RESTORED TOWARDS THE END. THIS WAS NORMAL OF A SOCIETY WHERE THEY BELIEVED IN WORLD ORDER WITH GREAT ALWAYS PREVAILING OVER ANY EVIL. THIS IS SHOWN BY IAGO WHEN QUOTING: “I AM NOT WHAT I AM” ACT I SCENE I LINE 66 THIS IS COMPARING HIM TO GOD WHO SAID WITHIN THE BIBLE, “I AM WHAT I AM”.

IT COULD BE SHOWN TO THE AUDIENCE THAT IAGO WAS THE REVERSE TO GOD AND FOR THAT REASON THE DEVIL. FOR THAT REASON THE EXTREMELY SPIRITUAL AUDIENCE COULD NEVER SEE HIM TRIUMPHING AND ACCOMPLISHING HIS GOALS AT THE END. WHEREAS IN TODAY’S SECULAR SOCIETY, WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GOOD CAN’T ALWAYS ACCOMPLISHMENT OVER EVIL AND THAT SOCIETIES CAN’T ALWAYS REMAIN PURCHASED. THIS SHOWS THE MODIFICATION IN ENDING WHERE JAGO COMPLETES HIS PLANS AND ENDS UP BEING ASSIGNED COMMISIONER OF THE POLICE REVEALING A CLEAR SIGN OF HOW IN TODAY’S WORLD THERE IS A RUST OF JUSTICE AND LACK OF ‘TRUST’ TOWARDS THE JUSTICE SYSTEM.

IT STRENGTHENED THAT CRIMES CAN GO UNAVENGED. IN A TIME WHEN SOCIETIES WERE STILL LEARNING ABOUT THE WORLD, BIGOTRY WAS AN UNIDENTIFIED EVENT AND ENGLISH FOLK SAW COLOURED PEOPLE AS A RARITY. IN A PREDOMINANTLY WHITE SOCIETY, YOU COULD SAY THE RACIAL SLURS WERE THROUGH IGNORANCE AND ABSENCE OF UNDERSTANDING AND THE ARGUMENTS WERE MORE INTENSELY INDIVIDUAL. YET AMONGST THESE RACIST CHARACTERS, THE PLAY AND TO SOME EXTENT, SOCIETY, DOES IN NO OTHER WAY ASSISTANCE BIGOTRY. HOW COULD IT BE THAT A “THICK LIPPED” NEGRO SUPERVISE OF An EFFECTIVE ARMY IF THERE WASN’T REGARDS AND ADMIRATION SHOWN TOWARDS HIM?

HOWEVER IN THE 400 YEARS BECAUSE, THE WORLD HAS BECOME MORE KNOWLEDGABLE OF VARIOUS CULTURES. IN A CHANGING WORLD, MULTICULTURALISM HAS END UP BEING A MAJOR POINT AMONGST COMMUNITIES. THERE IS NOT MEANT TO BE ANY ONE CITIZENSHIP THAT BE MORE EFFECTIVE AND DOMINANT THAN ANOTHER (YET IN SAX’S OTHELLO THE “WHITE” AUTHORITIES FORCE REWARD THE POORER SOCIOECONOMICAL BLACKS AND ASIANS WITH LITTLE REPECT AND BEAT A BLACK TO DEATH FOR FUN.) ABOVE ALL, THE CATASTROPHE IS OPENED OUT BY OFFERING IT A POLITICAL CONTEXT.

OTHELLO AS THE FIRST BLACK HEAD OF LONDON’S METROPOLITAN COPS WAS SEEN AS A POLITICAL MESSAGE, GIVEN CURRENT ARGUMENTS OVER “INSTITUTIONALISED BIGOTRY”1. THIS OFFERS JAGO A CONVINCING AND CLEAR INTENTION THAN HIS NEAR-NAMESAKE AFTER HIS FRIEND IS PROMOTED FOR WHAT JAGO SEES AS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RATHER THAN MERIT. OTHELLO WRECKS NOT ONLY HIS MARRIAGE BUT ALSO HIS OPPORTUNITIES OF REFORMING THE AUTHORITIES ACCORDING TO REAL-LIFE SUGGESTIONS. JAGO’S “SAFE SET OF HANDS” TRIUMPH IS TWICE AS DEVASTATING, AS We Understand THIS MEANS SUPPORTING THE STATUS QUO.

THIS REVEALED THAT NO MATTER HOW MUCH CIVILISATION DEVELOPS; BIGOTRY WILL ALWAYS STAY IN SOME FORM. IN CONCLUSION, BOTH VERSIONS OF OTHELLO HAVE THEIR VALUES THAT RELATE TO SOCIETY AND SHOW HOW ONE MAN’S JEALOUSY CAN CAUSE OTHER’S DOWNFALLS AND THAT INDIVIDUALS END UP BEING EXCESSIVELY POWER-DRIVEN. THE CONTEMPORARY VARIATION HAS VALUES THAT ARE SIGNIFICANT TO TODAY’S CHANGING SOCIETY AND SHOW United States HOW SOME TRAITS IN LIFE WILL REMAIN UNIVERSAL WHILE OTHERS WILL CHANGE AS MODERN CULTURES CONTINUE TO LEARN AND DEVELOP.

WORD COUNT: 1091 … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … NOTES 1 A term coined by Sir William McPherson in his 1999 report into the police examination of the murder of English black teen Stephen Lawrence. The following definition was utilized:’The collective failure of an organisation to supply an appropriate and expert service to individuals since of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin’IT MADE 70 RECOMMENDATIONS ON RACIAL INJUSTICE. INFO THANKS TO: THE BBC’S STEPHEN LAWRENCE QUERY SITE HTTP://NEWS. BBC. CO. UK/2/HI/ SPECIAL_REPORT

/ 1999/02/99/ STEPHEN_LAWRENCE/ 285357. STM … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … BIBLIOGRAPHY OTHELLO(2001 MOTION PICTURE)DIRETED BY GEOFFREY SAX OTHELLO(PLAY)WRITTEN BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE WWW. IMDB. COM/TITLE/TT0275577/ WWW. SCREENONLINE. ORG. UK/TV/ID/ 527422/INDEX. HTML EN. WIKIPEDIA. ORG/WIKI/GEOFFREY _ SAX WWW. PBS. ORG/WGBH/MASTERPIECE/ OTHELLO/EI _ WALKER. HTML

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