Throughout history the works of Shakespeare have been merged and appropriated to fit in with our current context, changing aspects such as the written language. Despite the fact hundreds of years have past since the play Othello was created, the ideas and themes expressed still appeal to our modern society. The different adaptations which were produced were not set to be perceived with a single meaning, but were made to be understood with alternate meanings depending on the values and beliefs of the viewer. ‘Othello’ has been appropriated to appeal and engage modern audiences.
Deception is a predominant theme expressed in Othello, forming the backbone of the play. Whilst the discussion between Iago and Roderigo occurs in the start of the play, Iago reveals his purpose “Were I the moor I would not be Iago, in following him I follow but myself” (Act 1 Scene 1). He exposes his intentions to mislead and exploit Othello’s mind into the wrong direction, as he did the same with several others. From his perspective Iago see’s that if he was in Othello’s place, he would not want to be Iago.
The pessimistic view on Othello continues as Iago racially describes Othello to Brabantio to inform him of the current whereabouts of his daughter, “An old black ram is tupping your white ewe” (Act 1 Scene 1). Through the use of animal imagery and a racial slur, Iago has lowered Brabanatio’s reputation towards Othello. Othello is also given the name of the more violent animal ‘ram’ over Desdemona’s ‘ewe’ resulting in Brabantio to visualize his daughter being over powered and having things done to her against her will.
Shakespeare’s plays have the ability to be appropriated into the modern context because the issues expressed in the plays form similar relations to issues of the modern world. Feminism is a theme that had run though the periods before the Elizabethan context until now. Iago is most likely to be the main feminist of the whole play. As Iago argues with Desdemona, he...