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How Effectively Does Oliver Parker Translate Othello Act 3 Scene 3 onto the screen?

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Introduction

How Effectively Does Oliver Parker Translate Othello Act 3 Scene 3 onto the screen? I thoroughly enjoyed Oliver Parker's film of Shakespeare's Othello, and I also enjoyed my first experience of Shakespeare's plays, and I'm sure it will not be my last. Parker managed to create a film, easily enjoyed by the modern audience from a play over 100 years old. He accomplished this, by inserting more action into the scenes than Shakespeare had intended. For example there were many changes in costume, and landscape. Parker also made the plot more relevant to modern day viewers, underlining the jealously, damage and deaths of characters, which is a substantial part of modern day film industry. I have chosen to specifically look at the temptation scene, act 3 scene 3. Act 3 scene 3 is the pivotal scene in the play. At the start of the scene Othello pronounces his love for Desdemona, saying "Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul, But I do love Thee! And when I love thee not, Chaos is come again." This tells us that he loves her much at this point, and that he says that his life will be condemned to ruin if he does not love her, and this is exactly what happens at the end of the scene. At the end of the scene 2, Iago tells Cassio, that he will take Othello away, so that Cassio way talk with Desdemona. However, at the start of scene 3, he brings Othello back in time to see the two talking, and when Cassio sees Othello he sneaks off. This is perfect opening to start the mayhem that Iago intends to enforce upon Othello's life. ...read more.

Middle

Parker uses all modern cinema techniques available to him, to make the film more suitable for the modern audience. One such technique that Oliver Parker used frequently, and successfully was the use of costume. Othello had many colourful costumes, with long glittery earrings, and colourful bandannas which underlines Othello's position in society, as a high ranked, and well respected soldier. Desdemona is also dressed in many colourful dresses, and this again shows her importance in society, as Othello's wife. In complete contrast Iago wears one dull brown costume throughout, this shows his place as Othello's servant. However there is great irony, as someone who is seen as low, and less significant i.e. Iago, can control the whole play, and the well being of all the characters. So also is his wife Emilia dressed in humble clothes, showing her low place, as Desdemona's servant. Act 3 scene 3, in all contains 478 lines of speech, Parker cut a large fraction of these out, however he still kept the main lines, and he did by cutting out lines he did not compromise the plot of the play. Furthermore a lot of these lines need not be in the film, as they can be show by images or props. In the play, all 478 are performed in the citadel, whereas in the film there is fewer lines, and many changes of landscape. At the start of Act 3, scene 3, Iago and Othello are walking down the steps to Desdemona and Emilia, there is a sense of elegance, and good will, pathetic fallacy is also used, as there is bright sunshine. The next change in location, is down to the yard, were the two men are pole fighting, still bright and sunny. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago then says "I am yours for ever," Parker uses dramatic irony, this is when the audience knows what a character is up to, but the other characters do not. Another technique that Parker uses commonly, is that of flashback, and dream. This allows Parker to express what Othello is feeling, without having Othello say anything, so it still reads like the play. All the dreams and flashbacks are silent, accompanied by music, and to underline their significance they are in slow motion. They are also hazy, and not clear, this is to underline that they are dreams. He frequently uses one of Cassio and Desdemona together in bed, it is discrete, and romantic, in these particular dreams he puts a hint of red on the bed, as red is associated with whores, this is also confirms how strong Othello's feelings of jealousy are, as his dream of this is exactly the same as him and Desdemona at the start of the play, so he sees Cassio as taking his position. The only dream with words is that of Brabantio saying, "She has deceived her father, and may thee." This is significant, as it confirmation that Desdemona could do such a thing, as she has do it before, to her own father, so it is another piece of proof used to make Othello's killing of Desdemona seem more reasonable to the audience. I think that Oliver Parker translated Act 3 Scene 3 on to the screen very effectively. Through the use of modern cinema techniques, he portrayed the true plot as Shakespeare had intended it, and still created a film very suitable for the modern film audience. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and I believe so would anyone else, especially if they could appreciate the time spent to alter Othello the play, to create Othello the film. Chris Gallagher 5 Lyndon ...read more.

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