Othello Essay

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Despite the years that divide Shakespeare's "Othello" and the contemporary Sax adaptation the play resonates today due to universal ideas. Discuss how the composers convey their ideas to their audience. The tragedy, Othello by William Shakespeare explores the lust for power and revenge, and the corrupting nature of deception and jealousy that still resonate today. In an attempt to re-contextualise the tragedy, Geoffrey Sax has created Othello, which similarly surrounds the tragic fall of a powerful and esteemed police officer. The depiction of the modified individual characters, combined with textual features, and the shift in emphasis and adaptation of the original story in the two media, clearly reflect the respective creators’ perspectives of the universal ideas of deception and race in the context in which they were produced. The main theme of deception, and the mental destruction wrought when combined with jealousy and the lust for power, finds its most powerful expression in the two main male characters of both Shakespeare’s and Sax’s Othello. In Shakespeare’s play, Othello, general of the armies of Venice, is presented as an eloquent and physically powerful figure publically, respected by all around him, as shown in the opening scene when he is “hotly called for” by the senate as war is imminent. However, in spite of his elevated status, his insecurities and “free and open nature” is used by the villainous Iago to twist his love for his wife, Desdemona, into a powerful and destructive jealousy. This is reflected through the characterisation of Othello in private duologues and soliloquys, and his sudden loss of composure when Iago ‘reveals’ his thoughts that Desdemona has been unfaithful. Dramatic irony is created as the audience witnesses Iago’s duplicity, as Othello continuously refers to him as “honest Iago”, and within his first soliloquy in Act 3 Scene

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