Film Adaptations of "Othello" Film Review by Sarah6099

Film Adaptations of "Othello"
A discussion on how William Shakespeare's "Othello" has been adapted for film audiences.
# 107217 | 1,645 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2006 | GB
Published on Aug 29, 2008 in Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.) , Shakespeare (Othello)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper discuses the premise that alterations made in film adaptations of literary sources are a conscious effort to market the film to a contemporary audience. In particular, the paper looks at how Orson Welles' "Othello" and Tim Blake Nelson's "O", two famous film adaptations of "Othello", exemplify this premise and how the alterations made in the films signify social approaches towards the literary status of the play. The paper further examines how Tim Blake Nelson's "O", released in 2001, is intended to make Shakespeare more appealing to a contemporary, young audience. The paper also looks at how, although Orson Welles originally aimed his adaptation at a 1950s audience, with its restoration in 1992, it was then re-marketed, and its 'relevance' changed.

From the Paper:

"Unlike O, however, Orson Welles' Othello makes very few changes to Shakespeare's language. He does, however, leave out certain lines. For example, in the scene where Iago and Roderigo incite Brabantio, the screenplay jumps from Roderigo's line, 'signor, is all your family within?' to 'transported, with no worse or better guard but with a knave of common hire, a gondolier, to the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor' . In this small section alone, Welles skips thirty nine lines of the play. Among the lines omitted are Iago's racist taunts about Othello, for example, 'an old black ram is tupping your white ewe' (I.i.89-90). A reference to Desdemona as a possession - 'look to your house, your daughter, and your bags' (I.i.81) - is also excluded. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Nelson, Tim Blake (dir), O (2001)
  • Shakespeare, William, Othello in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth, 1999)
  • Welles, Orson (dir), Orson Welles' Othello (1952/1992)
  • Preston, Valerie, 'O Soars High' on 'IMDb: O (2001)' available online at, accessed on 18 April 2006
  • Welles, Beatrice, in 'Restoring Othello' on Orson Welles (dir) Orson Welles' Othello DVD

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

Film Adaptations of "Othello" (2008, August 29) Retrieved September 29, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Film Adaptations of "Othello"" 29 August 2008. Web. 29 September. 2022. <>