September 28th, 2017 by kropfm

The Importance of Talking Animals

Our discussion on Tuesday about the significance of the parrot in Aladdin being named Iago led me to think of other Disney animated films and how their choice of animals is often secretly symbolic. Obviously Disney doesn’t expect children to realize the symbolism in animals. However, if you think about it, Disney is being pretty clever with its choices. One of my favorite talking animal films is the classic Robin Hood rendition in which all of the characters are animals, including Robin Hood as a clever and sneaky fox and King Richard (the Lionheart) as an actual lion.

If I were to create a new production of Othello, I would make it into an animated movie with talking animals as all of the characters. As cheesy as that sounds, it would act as a visual representation of each character’s personality traits, while also making it a fun and exotic show. I mean, who doesn’t want to see talking animals performing a classic Shakespeare play?

Iago’s character would become a snake in my version. His manipulative personality is easily represented through the typical devilish association with snakes. The biblical animal is well known for whispering secrets in others’ ears to get them to do things for its own benefit.

Desdemona would be a swan, due to her fair and elegant appearance. A white swan is often associated with beauty, one of Desdemona’s most prominent qualities.

Othello would be a lion. Lions, the king of the jungle, represent nobility, courage, and majesty. Othello’s character definitely incorporates these traits as a soldier as well as a man that faces many obstacles from Iago’s manipulations.

These changes to the original Othello focus on some of the most important parts of the story and enhance it by highlighting what motivates each character (i.e. beauty, nobility, malice).

September 28th, 2017 by tarwatel

Another Teen Shakespeare Movie

While it’s inflicted upon Shakespeare too frequently- I’m looking at you, “10 Things I Hate About You” and “She’s the Man”- it’s time for Othello to be adapted into a horribly written, cringingly sentimental, and embarrassingly enjoyable guilty-pleasure teen-romantic-comedy. This may seem like an awful idea due to Othello’s subject matter and its rampant racism and sexism; the truth is, it’s absolutely a horrible idea. However, these themes could be transformed, with a distant enough plot, into an entertaining, yet slightly offensive, dramedy.

CAST:

Othello (Ollie): Jaden Smith

Desdemona (Debbie)-Bella Thorne

Iago (Iggy)-Ansel Elgort

Cassio (Charlie)- Tyler Posey

PLOT:

It’s the summer of 1972 in Alabama, and Ollie and Debbie have returned from their jobs as counsellors at summer camp the week before their first day of sophomore year of high school. At camp, Debbie and Ollie unexpectedly fell in love; however, due to Debbie’s conservative father Brad, Ollie and Debbie hide their affair. The last night of camp, Ollie proposed to Debbie, saying that they “will never forget their love.” To complicate things, Othello is running for class president and chose Charlie over Iggy to be his running mate, despite Iggy’s higher GPA. Once Iggy hears of Ollie’s betrayal, he looks for his revenge. After finding a note from Debbie in Ollie’s backpack, he runs and tells Brad. They drive off to look for her and find Debbie and Ollie hiding in the woods. Brad, due to his ignorance, assumes Debbie is under witchcraft.

Since I’ve only read the first two acts of Othello, I have no idea where this problematic love story will go. However, I do know it will have a happy ending where Brad overcomes his racism and Debbie and Ollie attend prom together.

September 28th, 2017 by borchert

Othelloship of the rings

I thought it would be interesting to see Othello played out in the world of Lord of the The Rings. The stark contrasts of multiple races mixed with an object that literally corrupts people would add a strange twist to the story.

I would have Frodo as Othello. Both of these characters seem to play the role of main character although Othello does not get much screen time.

Iago would be a tricky character to place as most of those that embark on the journey are heroic and not greedy or envious. Iago would need to be Golem as he can be very manipulative as he covets the power that the one ring would get him.

Samwise would have to be Desdemona because Golem influences frodo to mistrust Sam. https://goo.gl/images/DyuF1w

Cassio would be Aragorn as Frodo quickly loses trust in him.

Saruman would be Brabantio. This would be a stretch in terms of character relationships in Lord of the Rings as Saruman has no investment in Samwise however his general antagonistic feel seemed to match that of Brabantio.

 

September 28th, 2017 by smithkk

Modern Othello

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.

September 28th, 2017 by choc

Iago Needs an Intervention

 

In act 2, scene 3, we see Iago orchestrate an alcohol-infused party to try and get Cassio to be disgraced. In this scene, not only are we made aware of the fact that Cassio is a lightweight, but that also Iago can handle his alcohol: “Oh, they are our friends. But one cup. I’ll drink for you.” (24)

But after he gets situated in the party atmosphere, he starts to sing and engage in banter. After that, I started reading the rest of the scene as if Iago was that kind of party person that nobody really knows how to talk to—the kind that gets drunk and way too comfortable and nobody knows how to respond to or deal with.

So if I were to stage Othello, I’d use this scene for just that: humanising the villain Iago with not empathy, but by characterising him as the overly human, cringeworthy lame drunkard with few people to genuinely enjoy his tirades.

In line 48, when Cassio is questioning Montano over the size of his pint, I’d have Iago drink unashamedly out of a giant barrel. In line 70, when he finishes singing, I’d place a long half-minute awkward pause or silence until Cassio eventually has to break the silence by going uhhhhhHHHhhh…….why…. this is a more………. exquisite? song than the other. (Iago, of course, thinks himself a brilliant singer.) (while Cassio says “There be souls must not be saved,” (74) Montano and the gentlemen would look pointedly towards Iago, having suffered from his singing voice.)

This also would serve to put a comedic twist on Iago’s lines further on in the scene, where Iago’s free and inhibited professions of love may appear originally—to some—as a situationally and historically appropriate declaration of companion and friendship, but on the other hand, in a modern sense, could be portrayed as an overbearing drunk friend who’s emotionally volatile and is overly free with professions of love.

When Iago says of Cassio: “(I) would do much to cure him of this evil” (105) and otherwise is discussing Cassio’s drinking habit, Montano would look at him as though he should be the one worried about himself. This also gives credence to how Iago was chasing after Roderigo but fails to catch him (gives up midway, or perhaps too drunk to walk in a straight line.)

Of course, this interpretation comes from somethin only limited to this scene, but I’d love to see Othello entirely the same except Iago turns into a huge baby whenever he gets drunk.

September 28th, 2017 by mudds

Othello: Color-Swap

It is no secret that we live in a society where race, unfortunately, is a topic of contention. Racism is believed to be exclusive to minorities and while it is true that micro and macroaggression targets minorities in much higher concentrations, racist comments and actions can also be perpetrated against Caucasians. Furthermore, while it isn’t a large an issue as aggression and racist attacks on minorities, it is an important point to understand and get to the bottom of. Perhaps if we start with the small things, we can move on the larger issues and problems and tackle them on a unified front.

Therefore, in an effort to promote discussion and social change, I would create an Othello production where the entire cast, except Othello, is black. Othello would be white and all of the racist lines and insults would be changed to reflect racism against white people. I know for a fact that this would cause a wave of backlash and discussion across the country because many people can’t understand or fathom reverse racism when presented to them in a popular media form. I believe it would be a welcome change and an important building block in this current political and social climate.

September 28th, 2017 by Rachel Lockwood

Othello in a New Light

I would be interested to see Othello in the context of a podcast. I would have the moderator of the podcast be a neutral player who is not related to the plot at all. The moderator would then ask questions to the “guests” on the show (the characters in the play) whose names would be modified to align with more normal names of current time. These questions asked by the moderator would work to reveal the general plot of the play. However, I would want each of the guests on the show (characters in the play) to remain completely true to the character’s traits within the play. For instance, I would have the person acting as Iago remain completely crude in his answers regarding the person playing Othello and the women in the play. The person playing Othello would still come across as wise, confident, and worldly. The people acting in the role of the men would think of the women in the same regard as they do in the play (as “fair, gentle, obedient creatures”). In general, this podcast would be the play set in a real life setting. These actors would essentially be telling the story as if it happened to them, with the exact same plot and character traits that are present in the play, in real life.

I chose this directorial change because I was interested in knowing how the audience of this podcast would react. As we were discussing in class on Tuesday, people who speak in crude language about something tend to be followed because their audiences feel as though they are being brutally honest and not hiding any piece of information from them. Which characters in this podcast be supported- Othello, Iago, Desdemona? Would people be supportive of Iago’s honesty, or would they call him out on his racism and sexism? Would people defend Othello? In the current social and political climate, I think it is hard to tell how people might react.

September 28th, 2017 by parkjo

High School Musical meets Othello

Just think about it. A few big details would have to be flipped around, but the basic lineup is all there.

1. Troy Bolton as Iago

  • the more lines he has, the more times we get to see Zac Efron
  • really good at basketball=experienced in battle

2. Jason Cross (generic not-that-good basketball player) as Roderigo

  • “generic, not that good” pretty much says it all

3. Chad Danforth as Cassio

  • not as good at basketball as Troy=a reason for Troy to be bitter about Chad being promoted to team captain

4. Zeke Baylor (the basketball player who bakes) as Othello

  • I strongly believe that he didn’t get enough credit from the original HSM franchise
  • Well-rounded
  • African-American with darker skin, works with the racism theme–yes, Chad is also black, but his skin color is much lighter and historically lighter-skinned African-Americans are more easily accepted

5. Sharpay Evans as Desdemona

  • blonde, fair, outspoken

6. Ryan Evans as Brabantio

  • Brotherly protectiveness instead of fatherly protectiveness

Main ideas

  • Troy is jealous that Zeke promoted Chad to team captain over him, even though Troy is more skilled.
  • Jason is pining after Sharpay, but she’s dating Zeke, so he enlists Troy’s help

The HSM theme of jocks vs. theater kids would basically be eliminated, but imagine the fun of writing racist songs and getting to film and choreograph them in the sacred halls of East High.

WHAT TEAM?

September 14th, 2017 by parkjo

What the heck did I just read?

8th grade was not, in hindsight, the greatest age for me to encounter “Invisible Monsters” by Chuck Palahniuk. In just a few hundred pages, my 13-year-old self was bombarded with a model who gets shot in the face and meets a transgender sugar baby funded by three drag queens who turns out to be the model’s (formerly believed to be) dead gay brother. And that’s only one of many plotlines. Don’t even get me started on the policeman boyfriend who starts an affair with the model’s best model friend, breaks into the two models’ shared apartment to attempt to murder our main character, gets accused of shooting our main character, gets drugged, locked in a trunk, and set on fire by our main character, and ends up marrying the best model friend. At the time, like Bishop with the unfiltered photos in NatGeo, I was too young to have been faced with such raw and perhaps dramatized facets of life and fully understand what I was looking at; I don’t think I really knew what it meant to be transgender, or a drag queen, or the dangers of AIDS specifically in gay communities. I was simply fascinated and highly entertained by the screaming, drugging, knifing, shooting, and house burning that ensued throughout the book. Now, though, I’m stunned by how much like a soap opera it reads, and yet I remember how thoroughly enamored by it I was, even though I didn’t understand 75% of what was happening. For all my abilities at close reading, analytical skills, and high-nosed literature, I can’t deny it; I always have been and will forever be a sucker for all that is cheesy and dramatic.

September 14th, 2017 by choc

A game of depth

Super Paper Mario was an adventure game for the Nintendo Wii, released in 2006. The premise for the game’s design was intriguing: the stage—the canvas for the player’s exploration, was a blend of the traditional 2D platforming of the older titles with the 3D free-roaming adventure offered by the newer, the player switching between the 2D and 3D landscapes to allow themselves to traverse obstacles and solve puzzles—a brain teaser, combined with the well-known hand-eye gymnastics of typical Mario game.

Being your traditional pick-up-and-play franchise of video game, it’s not accurate—most of the time—to expect a heavy-handed story to follow a Mario title.

This one was different. Its premise was simple: an unlikely group of heroes must prevent the end of the world. How it was achieved, not so—the force behind the certain doom that they were meant to prevent turns out to be a true prophecy, while the book that guides the heroes is false. The light prognostics was written in order to delay the dark one, but to only delay. That was my first encounter with what’s known as the Human Condition—one reading of it.

There is a location you gain access to after world 5 known as the Overthere, a “coffee bar” in which you can show your patronship for 10 coins to hear a story.

a

 

These two stories from a deep corner of the game that few would have visited during a normal play-session, when comparatively analysed, reveal the motivations and backstory for Dimentio, who seems to be an minor character without any explanation for who he is, how he got there but becomes, after a plot twist, the final villain.

I saw these two stories a few years after I’d finished the game. My world had shifted from 2D to 3D. I fell in love with literature.

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