• Beds, Handkerchiefs, and Moving Objects in Othello

    Author(s):
    Sujata Iyengar (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Subject(s):
    Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616, Motion pictures, Materialism, Sociology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Shakespeare, Adaptation, Film, New materialism
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6883H
    Abstract:
    This paper argues that a viewer watching Othello in an unfamiliar language, without subtitles, can more narrowly focus upon the life of things in the play and in adaptations or appropriations of it. Jane Bennett argues in Vibrant Matter for a renewed vital materialism — an emphasis on objects in the world and on attributing agency or actantial ability to them. In Shakespeare's Othello two objects dominate the play: most obviously, the handkerchief; less obviously, because it is sometimes part of the stage, the bed in which Desdemona is smothered. I consider the ways in which a South Indian, a North Indian "Bollywood" and an Italian teen movie adaptation of Othello permit these objects to act expressively. These adaptations (Kaliyattam; Omkara; Iago) indigenize and transform both the handkerchief and the "tragic loading" of the bed, in the last case turning (or returning) the Shakespearean source from tragedy to comedy.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

    Downloads

    Item Name: pdf iyengar-beds-handkerchiefs-and-moving-objects.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 152