Othello vs. O

Length: 5 Pages 1239 Words

Many Shakespearean plays have been used by Hollywood; the text is sometimes used as an exact script for the film and sometimes the text is used as a basis for the film but not an exact replica. A version of the play Othello written by William Shakespeare that appeals to teens is director Tim Blake Nelson’s O. He uses Shakespeare’s Othello as a guideline for his powerful movie about a rich white dominated school and a young black basketball star. Nelson uses many of the ideas from the original play in his adaptation but he uses these ideas in a more modern way as to appeal to a younger generation. There are many similarities between both the play and the film, but there are also some differences which lead to the idea that Nelson did not want to copy the play exactly; he only wanted to use it as a guideline for a modernized story. There are a few similarities between the film and the play which help develop the idea that the movie is based on the play. The comparisons between the play and film are mainly in the plotline used by Nelson in his adaptation. Nelson uses many ideas from Shakespeare for the basis of his film. In both the play and the movie, a black man is living in a white dominated society where he is of hi Continue...


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The language that is used is also quite different. In the film, like in the text, race becomes an issue. He then gives it to Michael to give to his girlfriend but his girlfriend finds out that it belonged to a different girl first and will not accept the gift from him. Hugo makes Odin believe that Desi is cheating on him with Michael and he lies to him constantly about these accusations; this makes Odin wonder if she really is cheating on him. The differences between the film and the movie occur mainly in character names and setting. Both men are also very good at what they do; Othello is a great warrior and Odin is a great basketball player. There is reference to racial slurs in the film; there is reference to how uncivilized black people are in Africa when Othello describes Africans as being "cannibals that eat each other, The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders(Act I, Scene III, 142-144). In the play, the sword is the style of weapon but in the film, a gun is the source of murder. Hugo's plan backfires and, in the end, he is the only one left alive. With both being in different time periods, the weapons used are also different. Odin becomes insanely jealous which drives him to murder, just like Othello. Bob, the dean of Palmetto Grove and Desi's father, brings up that Odin was involved in drugs and the law before he came to this school. In Shakespeare's play, the story takes place in two places: Venice and Cyprus. In Act I Scene III, Othello speaks of his background and black people as being "cannibals that eat each other, The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders(Act I, Scene III, 142-144). This is apparent when the audience sees Odin as a basketball star and not a warrior as he is portrayed in the text.