Thursday, September 28th, 2017...4:58 pmVictoria Wotton

Modern Othello

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The main reason I’d set Othello in modern times is for the added interest of the role of technology in the play. Imagine Othello and Desdemona swiping right for each other on Tinder and Brabantio’s anger and unwillingness to accept a relationship that started online. Othello could be an artist or possibly another less respected profession, which would constantly be commented on instead of his race (as we assume that he would hopefully deal with less prejudice based on his race in modern times).  Iago would also be an artist, but with much less success. Cassio would be Othello’s favorite apprentice, destined to one day be as famous as Othello. Iago would be fueled by his jealousy of the Othello’s success and Cassio’s prospective success because he would wholeheartedly believe that he was the best artist and deserves more recognition. Desdemona’s role would shift, as gender roles are less restrictive, and she would be seen less as the fair maiden and more as the stereotypical “dumb blonde” that Cassio and Othello are both attracted to. In reality, Desdemona would be far superior in intelligence to the other characters. Othello’s jealousy would be in reaction to Desdemona and Cassio’s 400 day streak on Snapchat, which Iago would constantly remind him. Iago would also tag Othello in every picture of Cassio and Desdemona together with the comment “lol isn’t that your gf??? *laugh crying face*” to spur on his jealousy. Emilia would help Iago out as she does in the play by being a two-faced friend to Desdemona and taking pictures of her and Cassio when they hang out to make Othello jealous.


  •   Professor Seiler
    September 29th, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Kara–modern communications technology and social media/dating platforms would be an *excellent* addition to this play, especially with text messages, Tinder profiles, and the like projected onstage. Also, it’s a very fitting idea to have Desdemona seem to be a dumb blonde–and thus to be preceded by cultural stories about this “type”–and then have it turn out that she’s super bright.

  •   Lily Tarwater
    October 1st, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Kara, this is such a funny post! The thought of Othello and Desdemona meeting on Tinder is especially amusing. The complexities technology and social media add to relationships would be interesting to explore in Othello, especially because people get so jealous and paranoid about their significant other’s social media usage.

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