Othello as a play-within-the-film in post-independence Indian cinema1 | Intellect Skip to content
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Indian Othellos: Shakespeare Adaptations in India
  • ISSN: 2059-0660
  • E-ISSN: 2059-0679

Abstract

This article aims to explore the appropriation of as a play-within-the-film in three Indian movies: (Natesan 1953), (Kar 1961) and (Mirasi 1963). and are Tamil movies, whereas is an example of Bengali cinema. In the three films, the same scene from Shakespeare’s – the murder scene – is performed as part of college theatricals. Although the films immediately associate Shakespeare with education, their appropriation of goes beyond a college performance and provides insight on the main plot. The performance of the murder scene foreshadows the rest of the plot ( and ), and explores racial dynamics and miscegenation in relation to the protagonists in and introduce variations to the plot to add new layers of meaning. As the three films are set in postcolonial India, the use of the Shakespearean play inevitably becomes a site of negotiation between colonizers and colonized; the three films negotiate changing controversial political issues across the time period to which they all belong. and generate then a new understanding of , which becomes paramount to trace the evolution of Shakespeare in postcolonial India.

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2021-08-01
2024-04-14
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