Wooing Shakespeare, A Travesty or Success? A Case Study with Othello’s Soliloquy in Indian Cinemas

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Dr. Jayashree Premkumar Shet


Shakespeare’s plays are unique with their popular soliloquies, where the characters open up to the audience. This is a technique used to “make the audience listen and follow the story line”. (Barton, 127). Such soliloquies of Shakespeare have great power to draw audience and readers.  This study wants to analyze how iterations, adaptations, translations of Othello’s Soliloquy in two versions of modern English Prose, (Intra Translation) a translation in Tamil by the researcher (Inter Translation) and in four of the Indian language films: Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi are presented(Semiotic Translation). This research presents a diachronic comparative investigation of the translations and adaptations with the Source Text, and also within themselves.  All the five of them differed in their length with the source text, choice of words, reliability on their cultural context and also due to their post-colonial perspectives. The study also could find some adopted liberal and some free translations. However, they render their translations and adaptations following norms of linguistic theory or post-colonial one. The study reinstates that the longest and most widespread communion between a Western playwright and the myriad Indian Film Industries during both the colonial and the postcolonial times of India is based on a passionate bond that can neither be broken nor bent. This study has higher educational implications. Iterations, adaptations in films will enhance in teaching so as to cater to all kinds of learners especially auditory and visual learners.

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