Othello: Play Verses Film Essay

1492 words - 6 pages

The Tragedy of Othello: the Moor of Venice was written by William Shakespeare in the 1620s. Othello passes over Iago and gives the lieutenancy to Cassio. Iago concocts a malicious plan to get back at Othello by claiming that Othello?s wife is having an affair with Cassio. But in the end Iago gets caught and ends up causing the deaths of everyone around him; including Othello, Desdemona, his wife, Emilia and his friend, Roderigo. In 1995, Oliver Parker directed a film version of this play called Othello. The Tragedy of Othello: the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare is not precisely represented in the film version of Othello. The plot of the play is adjusted for the film. The characters are not depicted identically in the film as they are in the play. The ways in which the characters die in the play and the film are contrasting. These inconsistencies distinguish the film version from the original play.The plot of the 1995 film version of Othello varies from the original play written by William Shakespeare. In the opening of the play, Roderigo and Iago are talking about Othello and his decision to make Michael Cassio the lieutenant. Roderigo says, ?Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate? (Act I, Scene I line 6). Iago responds by saying: Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones of the city, In personal suit to make me his lieutenant, Off-capp'd to him: and, by the faith of man, I know my price, I am worth no worse a place: But he; as loving his own pride and purposes, Evades them, with a bombast circumstance Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war; And, in conclusion, Nonsuits my mediators; for, 'Certes,' says he, 'I have already chose my officer.' And what was he? Forsooth, a great arithmetician, One Michael Cassio, a Florentine? (Act I, Scene I lines 6-21).But the film opens with the Duke and army leaders rowing on a dark waterway discussing future military actions in Cyprus. Although both events occur sometime in the play and film, Roderigo and Iago discuss Cassio?s appointment to lieutenant later in the film than in the play. Another difference between the film and play is Desdemona and Othello marry sometime before the start of the play, but in the movie the wedding ceremony is shown. In the play, Othello makes Iago his lieutenant at the close of Act III Scene III. Othello says, ?Now art thou my lieutenant? (Act III, Scene III line 545) and Iago responds, ?I am your own for ever? (Act III, Scene III line 546). In the movie, though, Othello makes Iago his lieutenant in the beginning of Act IV. These changes in plot make the film an inaccurate representation of the original play.The descriptions and actions of the characters in the play differ from their portrayal in the film. In the play of Othello by William Shakespeare Desdemona is blonde, ?Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy? (Act I, Scene II line 85). But in the film, Irène Jacob, a dark-haired Swiss actress plays the role of Desdemona. Also, to be noted, in the film...

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