Othell Essay

Othello Essay Question

Texts reflect the values of the society that produces them.
Explain how Andrew Davies’ 2001 film version of Othello appeals to a contemporary audience, shedding light on the 1604 play and expanding your knowledge of it.
In your answer you should consider:
  * At least Two scenes with close reference
  * The ideas explored in both texts
  * The language/ dramatic features used to shape your understanding of the texts

When William Shakespeare wrote the play Othello, little did he know that over four-hundred years later that, his play is still appealing and relevant for a contemporary audience. Andrew Davies’ film version of Othello; captures the meanings/ values, themes, characterisation, language and dramatic techniques of the Elizabethan era and recontextualised and adapts it for a contemporary audience.   With the above and the relation to specific and vital scenes we can articulate how Andrew Davies’ Othello appeals to a modern audience.
Firstly, Andrew Davies had to look at the original Othello and determine how he can make it relate to the audience and context of modern times. He found that many of the themes and values of the Elizabethan era are still relevant today. This is seen in such themes as race, role of women, jealousy (that of Iago and Ben Jago), honour and revenge. Also the values of integrity, trust, truth, loyalty and respect all still relevant as well, are just seen in different forms. This is one of the reasons why Andrew Davies’ Othello is appealing and relevant to a contemporary audience.

For Andrew Davies’ 2001 film, Othello, to be appealing and relevant for a contemporary audience, the characterisation of the play needed to be altered so fit into today’s society. The change in names is important, such as the name Desdemona and Cassio are rarely seen in nowadays, this is why their names are now Dessie Brabant and Michael Cass respectively. Also their roles in the play and their ranking in society had to...