Othello Essay

There is much comparison and contrast between William Shakespeare’s original play Othello, and Oliver Parker’s film adaptation. The main themes of Shakespeare’s play are tragedy and romance, however, Parker’s film highlights particular themes including passion and lust, manipulation and disloyalty. Shakespeare’s original concepts of tragedy, racism and social-class, are undermined in Parker’s self-acclaimed erotically charged production of passion and lust. Their contrast has been the issue of many a critic.

The first, and most eminent, point of contention is that of Parker’s view to transform Othello into what is billed as “One of the most erotically charged productions ever committed to film”. Parker significantly highlights the passion and lust of the characters through symbolism, camera techniques and the use of film to portray this lust. There are a multitude of scenes and flashbacks to passionate and physical confrontations. In the scene where Iago is has persuaded Cassio to become drunk and start a fight, Othello quickly appears in his bed sheets. As shown earlier in the film, Othello and Desdemona had consummated their relationship, and Othello had obviously, blatantly, allowed the people of his court to learn of his sexual relationship. Another example of this passion is a scene where Roderigo is asking Iago to entice Desdemona to fall in love with him. The ensuing scene takes place beneath two people making love on a cart, and the camera is cleverly set to incorporate both exchanges in the same frame. This comparative scene between conversation and the actual act places further emphasis on the passionate theme of the movie.

The villain, Iago, and his manipulative plans are another comparison of both the stage production and the motion picture. His sinister and cunning acts are a perpetration of his character and can be demonstrated thus; when confessing to Roderigo his plans to betray Othello he declares ‘I follow him to serve any term upon him......