Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2, Free University of Berlin (Institut für Englisch Philologie), course: Shakespeare and Cinema, 10 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: There can hardly be two more different genres than a classical 16th century Shakespearian drama and a 20th century motion picture. But despite the enormous differences, many screen adaptations of Shakespeare's plays have been produced. The purpose of this paper is to show how a classical Shakespearian tragedy such as Othello can be used as a basis for a 20th century motion picture and what changes the directors made in order to attract a modern audience with a Shakespearian play. There are many adaptations of Othello, which are quite different. They range from word for word almost theatrical realisations of the play as for example the BBC version with Anthony Hopkins to modern adaptations such as the teenager movie 'O' where only the main theme of Shakespeare's Othello is kept and which is probably not recognised as a Shakespearian adaptation. In order to be able to compare the adaptations, this paper focuses on the adaptations of Othello by the directors Orson Welles, Serge Yutkevich and Oliver Parker. They are all fairly close to Shakespeare's original but at the same time have some individual traits, which can only be found in these special versions of Othello. It should also be interesting to see how they can be distinguished according to the time when they were made, since the view and interpretation of Shakespeare's play will differ depending on the time when the movie was directed. According to the topic of this paper, a summary of Shakespeare's Othello is not necessary since the general plot and a detailed knowledge of Shakespeare's play is not crucial for the analysis of the motion pictures. The first main part of this paper gives descriptions of each adaptation. Selected key scenes will be illustrated in order to show the most distinctive features the adaptation has compared to the other adaptations. Then in the second main part the gathered information will be used in order to compare and contrast the different adaptations. A final conclusion restates and combines the facts in order to show how a classical drama can be used as a basis for a motion picture and in which way the directors made changes in order to create an interesting movie for the modern viewers.