mixed with possessive love. The protagonist of the play is Iago who establishes his plot to ruin black high ranking officer, Othello. On the path to Othello's ruining he also destroys the lives and reputations of many other key characters in the play. The play ends tragically with the murder of Desdemona, Rodrigo and Emilia and finally the suicide of Othello. The play carried several themes and messages such as evil, which is portrayed by Iago, jealousy, which is portrayed by both Iago and Othello, Love which is displayed by the relationship of Desdemona and Othello, particularly in the beginning of the play where through direct dialogue to each other and dialogue between either of them and another character, Shakespeare expresses their complete and utter devotion to one another. These themes, I believe give the text an aspect of timelessness and universality and eliminate any sort of used by date on Shakespeare's Othello.
Othello is a text that has had many appropriations. One such example is the film production "O" (2001) directed by Tim Blake Nelson. This film explores the storyline of Othello set in the scene of a high school, the film has been appropriated to give the targeted audience a greater understanding of Shakespeare's themes and messages. In this case the target audience is teenagers, particularly those in western society as the setting is very westernized with the main focus being basketball which is predominantly found in western countries such as the USA. Being reproduced so recently is proof that Othello does not have a used by date yet it does have aspects of timelessness and universality.
Othello has also been appropriated into film intended to appeal to a more mature audience. This film is British and based around the police force where Othello is the Police Commissioner. This film uses film techniques such as the character of Iago staring directly into the camera during his monologue, to create understanding and follow the themes of the text closely. This is yet another example of how Othello doesn't have a used by date.
Shakespearean works are a large part of the current NSW English curriculum in high school. Othello is a text recommended for the preliminary HSC course in both standard and advanced English. This results in the text being critically analysed across the state, as a result of this, the techniques used in Othello and of course the plot are critically analysed by many students across the state. Therefore if Othello is able to be studied by such a large number of students, it must still retain a wealth of information applicable to modern day English students. This therefore proves that Othello does not have a used by date, yet it does have educational prospects. The themes of Othello are clearly still factors in modern day life, it speaks of universal issues such as jealousy, love and truth, these can be found world wide and on a varying scale from children to the most powerful men and women of the world.
The fact that as recently as 2001 Othello was appropriated into a film aimed at delivering the messages of Othello to a western teenage audience clearly shows that Othello does not have a used by date. As long as human error still exists, Othello will still have meaning. As long as the constant battle between good and evil exists, the conflict between Iago and Othello will still have meaning. These days when the line between good and evil is becoming increasingly blurred, plays such as Othello provide interest and provoke thought. Othello does not have a used by date and if it is destined to, this used by date will be unseen until human society has a complete revolution and the themes of Othello are no longer applicable.