Othello Ongoing: Feminist and Postcolonial Adaptations

Shireen Hikmat Alkurdi, Hanan Khaled Al-Jezawi


As long as Shakespeare’s great plays are there, there have been varied and ongoing adaptations of his works. This long history of appropriation of the Bard’s works reflects different cultures and movements throughout time. This research aims to study two adaptations of Shakespeare’s Othello in the twentieth century, trying to illustrate how Shakespeare’s Othello has been adapted to suit the different audiences and their cultures in comparison to the original work. Both of Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief by Paula Vogel and Harlem Duet by Djanet Sears are considered postmodern and feminist adaptations that tackle the issues of gender, class and race from another perspective. This research aims at studying, analyzing and comparing the two adaptations with the original work by Shakespeare focusing on the different cultures, audiences and reception of the works. It also sheds the light on postcolonial and feminist perspectives in the adapted works in comparison to the original Othello. This comparative study concludes that these two adaptations are powerful enough not only to change the audience perception of the original work but also to transform their emotional response.



Appropriation; Drama; Feminist perspective; Othello’s adaptations; Postcolonial

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9094


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