Constructing Black Masculinity In Oliver Parker’s Othello (1995) Cover Image

Constructing Black Masculinity In Oliver Parker’s Othello (1995)
Constructing Black Masculinity In Oliver Parker’s Othello (1995)

Author(s): Tarik Bouguerba
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Sociology, Sociology of Culture, Film / Cinema / Cinematography
Published by: Шуменски университет »Епископ Константин Преславски«
Keywords: Black masculinity; black bodies; the politics of screening; racism; Shakespeare

Summary/Abstract: This paper examines Oliver Parker’s Othello (1995), an excellent American filmic production of Shakespeare’s play . The article also offers a reading to Oliver Parker’s film production of Othello (1995) where the story offers yet an opportunity to explore anti-Black sentiment in the American society with focus on black masculinity. Othello is therefore portrayed as “indolent, playful, sensuous, imitative, subservient, good natured, versatile, unsteady in their purpose… they may but be compared to children, grown up in the stature of adults while retaining a childlike mind”. (cf. Collins 1996: 89) This article is particularly interested in how Parker’s Othello fetishizes the black male body through exploiting the racialist dogmas about black Americans. Heavily punctuated with flashbacks, this production constructs a two-fold narrative; one approaching the plot from a traditional perspective whereas the other dealing with a rightly African American subjectivity. In conclusion, although Oliver Parker’s rendition of Shakespeare’s Othello preserves much of Shakespeare’s poetry, it is however a new mediatising form produced at an age “the white elite uses filmic representations of African Americans” as means to control and even contain race relations in the USA. (Hogdon qtd. in Aldama 2006: 198)

  • Issue Year: 2/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 101-118
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English