Andrew Davis Othello Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 16 December 2016

Andrew Davis Othello

Explain how Andrew Davies’ 2001 film version of Othello appeals to a contemporary audience, shedding light on 1604 play and expanding your knowledge of it. Davies 2001 film version of Othello appeals to a contemporary audience, shedding light on the 1604 play through the use of new filming techniques, the implementation of a new storyline (the Death of Billy Coates) and the use of modern language which appeals more too today’s audience.

Filming techniques appeal to a contemporary audience as they capture the audience’s attention, engage us more as viewers and entertain the audience more in an interacting way. Techniques such as short sharp editing, camera sweeping and close ups are us in Davies 2001 film to grab the attention of the audience, and keep them interacted. In the 1604 play, Shakespeare was not able to implement these filming techniques in order to highly engage his audience.

This is an example as to how Davies film sheds light on Shakespeare’s play. Through the use of filming techniques, Davies is able to expand the viewer’s knowledge of the play. He is able to emphasise the chaos and seriousness when Othello addresses the angry mob through the use of short sharp editing, highlight themes such as sex through the use of camera sweeping in the opening scene and the theme of religion through the use of close ups on the cross.

Davies is able to expand on Shakespeare’s themes such as racism in the scene where Othello addresses the angry mob outside the police headquarters. In this scene, Davies uses short sharp editing to create a sense of chaos and foreshadowing. He expands on Shakespeare’s theme of racism by using an angry mob to highlight the need to change racial prejudice within society. In Davies film, we see that there is a need to get rid of racism, whereas in the play, racism is an accepted aspect of society. Davies illustrates the changes in society overtime.

Davies expands the knowledge of the contemporary audience on the hidden messages on racism by highlighting racial prejudice and showing the ways on how the perspective of racism has changed over time. Another way that Davies sheds light on the 1604 play is through the implementation of a new storyline, the Death of Billy Coates. This expands the audience’s knowledge on the theme of racism. The Death of Billy Coates is implemented in the film for the audience to better understand the racial prejudice that existed in society.

It expands our knowledge on the theme of racism as it is an easier way for a contemporary audience to understand racism in society, rather than interpreting a text that uses complicating language to show the racism in society in phrases such as ‘’moor’’ and ‘’thick lips’’. Modern language is used in the film so that the audience can relate more to what the characters are saying and therefore understand it better. The Shakespearean language can be hard to understand, it is complex and a modern audience may find it difficult to relate to.

Davies film takes out old Shakespearean language and implements modern language in order to expand the knowledge of the audience. Modern language helps the audience better understand characterisation, key themes such as deception and jealousy; which is shown in Iago’s lines of ‘’you big black bastard’’; and contextual values such as gender representation, which is shown when Lulu refers to Iago as being an ‘’arsehole’, showing the liberation of women and how they are able to speak out, which would be highly unaccepted back in Shakespearean times.

In Act 1 Scene 3, we see a soliloquy used to address the audience and to voice Iago’s opinions. The soliloquy includes very complex language such as: If I would time expend with such a snipe. But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor. In this soliloquy Shakespeare is trying to outline to the audience the theme of jealousy. Davies achieved this by breaking the fourth wall, in the scene where Ben Jago goes on a rant leaving his office. His thoughts are expressed through a simple voiceover.

This is much easier for a contemporary audience to interpret the messages of jealousy within the context than it is to read a soliloquy, This is a great example as to how Davies film sheds light on the 1604 play Through the use of techniques such as modern language, the implementation of a new storyline and new filming techniques, Davies is able to expand on the messages highlighted in Shakespeare’s 1604, and even further, highly engage a contemporary audience.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 16 December 2016

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