A comparative study of texts allow a responder to examine issues such as race, power and its application, gender, the thirst for revenge and the nature of institutions. A comparative study also challenges the responder to consider how these issues are represented in a specific context.
Discuss the way in which the context of each text has impacted on the way two of these issues have been represented in Shakespeare's play, Othello and Sax & Davies’ film Othello.
By comparing Shakespeare’s Othello, with Sax’s modern film adaptation of the play, the audience can appreciate and explore the extent to which context, or the surrounding influences, impact upon the key concerns in both texts. Othello by William Shakespeare is a tragedy set in the city of Venice, in the 1500s, during a period of strong racial tension within society. It was a highly patriarchal society, as women were objectified by their fathers or husbands, and were considered mere possessions. Sax’s Othello is set in London in the 1980s, at a time of heightened racial hostility between the police force and the African society. It was also a period of great upheaval, with the increase of female autonomy, as many feminist groups were established, aiming to address the gender inequalities prevalent within the communities. Through the comparative study of Shakespeare’s Othello and Sax’s modern interpretation of Othello, the responder has the ability to aptly explore the key ideas of race and women, in light of changing contexts, using literary and filmic devices respectively. By doing so, they are able to appreciate the extent to which context impacts upon the perception of issues in society.
Shakespeare’s Othello revolves around the discrimination that was openly displayed by Venetians in the 1500s, expressing the many obstacles Othello would have had to endure, to attain his high rank in the military. Those of Moorish decent were ostracized by members within society, and ridiculed on the superficial...