Othello Film Review

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Othello Film Review
Texts reflect their contexts and this is evident in both William Shakespeare’s Othello and Geoffrey Sax’s film Othello. This reflection is established through the two ideas of racism and the inequality between genders. The context of a text plays an essential role as it is the way in which the composers convey their message and this is done effectively as both composers are conveying an important message about racism and gender inequality. Racism is a theme that is prominently evident throughout Shakespeare's Othello. Through this theme, there are several perceptions of an individual's race which are exhibited to establish the text's context. During the Elizabethan era, those who were coloured were viewed as being inferior in comparison to those of an Anglo-Saxon background. Iago portrays this view upon race in as he, as well as other characters, judges Othello based on his appearance. In the opening scene, Iago warns Brabantio, “An old black ram is tupping your white ewe”.
Through the use of animal imagery, Iago parallels Othello to a racial subtext of black versus white and thus degrades Othello’s status, placing himself on a higher social platform. The use of racial slur highlights the continuation of Elizabethan concepts that black men are assumed to have an animal-like sexual behaviour. Also in the play, Brabantio states “…in spite of nature…to fall in love with what she feared to look on! It is a judgment most imperfect… against all rules of nature” (1.3.6). This quote refers to how Brabantio considers his daughter’s love with the Moor to be unnatural as Desdemona would apparently never fall in love with a black man. Brabantio uses repetition to insist that Othello must have “enchanted” his daughter with black magic rather than their relationship consisting of true love. Similarly to the play, the film adaptation of Othello
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