William Shakespeare’s play Othello and Tim Blake Nelsons movie O both share common themes and story lines that are clearly evident. People may go as far to say that O is a 21st century rip off of Othello. With that aside, both authors use different techniques to show common themes. Even though they are writing in very different times; themes such as jealousy, racism and appearance versus reality are still common in both stories. Shakespeare expresses these themes using different tools such as soliloquys and literary devices while Nelson uses different shots, a variety of film techniques, sound effects and music to display these themes.
In Shakespeare’s Othello, jealousy is a common theme throughout the play. Shakespeare uses characterization and imagery to show this. By characterizing people such as Othello with jealousy the reader is able to understand the destruction of jealousy and what it does to even the greatest of people. Othello is introduced as a high class Venetian, who is at the top of the military. He is presented as a very high social status and when he talks about his newly wedded wife, he is only able to speak about the pure love between them two. As the mystical power of jealousy takes over Othello, he turns into a completely different man; he is enraged with jealousy and treats Desdemona as if she is nothing to him. The wife that he could only speak lovely words to contrasts to the end of the story when he calls her terrible comments such as an “Ipendunt strumpet!” Despite Desdemona’s pleas and her innocence, jealousy is able to take over the mind of any individual and take away the values of honor and trust. Othello’s mind becomes so corrupt by Iago that the once calm and honorable figure ends up going so crazy …
…n but also represents the theme of illusion verses reality. Hugo is able to say things that make people think he is a person who he is not set out to be. Tim Blake Nelson aims to set a more contemporary view on this theme, instead of using values such as high status or power to deceive people; he expressed values more important to a contemporary society such as popularity and social image.
Although both authors write in completely different era’s to a very diverse audience, they both effectively use techniques to express the themes of jealousy and illusion verses reality. Shakespeare uses literary devices such as soliloquys to demonstrate these themes while Tim Blake Nelson is able to use pop music and a variety of different camera effects to attract a more contemporary audience but both composers are able to express the same themes using a very similar story line.