It is an adaptation in modern English of William Shakespeare’s play Othello. It was scripted by Andrew Davies and directed by Geoffrey Sax. Through my essay I will deal in depth between both the original text of Othello’s play and its adaptation in modern English based on Geoffrey Sax’s Othello film. The Shakespearian play “Othello” is a story about a person called Othello “the moor” an African American merchant. Othello who is in love with Desdemona driven into acting mad man and committing a murder by killing his wife Desdemona out of jealous after he has the evidence that Iago gives him.
That making him believes that his wife is cheating on him with Cassio. On the other hand, Geoffrey Sax’s Othello film is narrated by Ben Jago, a corrupt police officer who is prepared to manipulate those around him to get what he desires, even the people he loves. After the administrator of London’s Metropolitan Police Sinclair Carver is caught using racist language he is forced to leave. The Home Secretary and Prime Minister choose John Othello, a black policeman and Jago’s best friend, to be the next administrator as publicity performs after a reporter praises him for ending a rebellion.
Jago, Carver’s second-in-command, feels that Othello stole his chance to become administrator himself as he had been the favorite for the job. Jago plans to take revenge on Othello by corruption his life and driving him out of his new job. Jago posts on a pro-Nazi website about Othello’s marriage to Dessy Brabant, a rich white woman, leading her to be attacked in the street. When Othello asks Jago to lend him a person to look after her during the day Jago suggests a man whose name is Michael Cass, an attractive and womanizer one, to look after Dessy.
Jago also seduces Dessy’s best friend, Lulu, to try to get information about Dessy’s history and her relationship with Cass. During this Othello has Jago look into the death of Billy Coates, a black drug user, who was decrepit to death by three policemen which were claiming it was self-defense. He discovers via PC Andy Roderick, that the three policemen actually went to Coastes’ flat with the plan of attacking him due to ethnic hate. Jago sympathizes with Roderick and offers security in come back for him testifying against the other three policemen.
Upon discovering this Othello is given all the credit. Angry that he has once again been overlooked by Othello, Jago decides to damage the case. Roderick is called to give a proof at the trail causing the other policemen to refuse him. The day he is called to trail he is found dead from an overdose, and it is suggested that Jago over does Roderick with alcohol, knowing he was on anti-depressants. Jago offers to take the guilt but Othello refuses telling him that he is the only person he can trust. Jago several isunderstood situations between Dessy and Cass, Othello begins to become obsessed that Dessy is having an affair. Jago suggests they use DNA in order to test whether Dessy and Cass sleeping together. During a television interview Othello has a break down and even attacks Cass in a car park. Jago starts to feel responsible about what has happened. However he decides that it is out of his control. However he tells Othello that he got the DNA tests result, which it was confirming that Dessy is having an affair that night Othello returns home to meet her. When Dessy denies it Othello kills her with anger feeling.
Worried when they don’t get a response at the door, Jago and Lulu break into the flat to find Dessy dead. Jago tells Othello that the tests were negative and Dessy was innocent. Realizing that he had been manipulated, Othello asks Jago why he did it, to which Jago states that Othello took what was his yet, despite everything, Jago states that he still loves Othello and always will. Jago and Lulu wait outside for the police to arrive when Othello kills himself. In a while after the Home Secretary and Prime Minister decide to choose a more reliable pair of hands or the administrator, choosing Jago. The film ends with Jago stating that it wasn’t about the race or politic issues but it was in reality about love. The filmmaker has re-contextualized the original work into a number of more present settings, in an attempt to make his work more understandable to contemporary readers an audience. The film presents in London, it details a black police officer, who is John Othello, a landmark in London’s police department, known for his honesty, moral principles and capability on the job.
After a case of false arrest and death of a black man in protection, he finds himself promoted to the position of administrator of the partition, to please the public because he is seen as a strong link between the poor and rebellious parts of the community, who are sick of all the police cruelty and racism, and the police branch. There are many changes; in the setting, which is different from the play. The setting of Sax’s Othello is the London police branch, which embodies the military force in the play. The river by Othello and Dessy’s apartment symbolizes the Venice setting present in the original text.
In addition, John Othello is the head of the police department, which like the text illustrates his power over the rest of the force. Sax’s choice to make Othello’s character an officer further illustrates his power and strength and creates a direct connection to Othello’s character in the play. Sax took ideas to create a modern outlook on an ordered and disordered society where military power maintains control of the environment. Each version is of a different media showing the ever-changing advances in society.
Shakespeare’s Othello was performed on open-air stages with minimal props and scenery. However, Sax’s Othello was a funded in such these things. In my opinion, I noted that the filmmaker, through his film of Othello did not change more from the original Shakespearian text. What I mean that he did not focused on the focal plot and theme as he focused on others minor things such as the job of Othello… etc. so I concluded that he made just an adaptation for the original text of Othello in our present time.