It is the end of the school year and the exams and assignments are rolling in. One of my students who is doing a n independent ENG4U course was required to compose a contemporary media conversation based on dialogue & situation from Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Othello“. This is part of what she produced.
Emilia: hey dez, i really have 2 talk 2 u! Msg me when you come online. (3:05pm)
Dezzy: what up em? Hope it’s not something serious lol i totally bombed a math test today and i’m not really in the mood for any more bad stuff. (3:35pm)
Emilia: well i hate 2 b the bearer of bad news… (3:36pm)
Dezzy: tell me! (3:36pm)
Emilia: kay,when school ended today i was supposed to be meeting up with iago so he could walk me home (not like he seems to enjoy it) and i found him in a pretty heated conversation with othello. I wanted 2 no what they were talking about so i hid and listened.(3:39pm)
I saved the full version as a pdf. Re-imagining of Shakespeare’s works has been going on for a long time. This is quite fitting, considering how much of the Bards work was inspired/borrowed from earlier sources. If students can take the current vernacular and use their own media literacy to express their understanding of older more established forms of literature should we not give them that opportunity.
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we introduce media literacy for the 21st century.
Of course a further challenge would then to explore with your students what is lost and gained in this re-interpretation. How does the contemporary language and its related cultural values, beliefs & ideologies alter the message ? In what way does the codes and conventions of the medium construct a different reality ? Has the target audience been changed ? Will would want know how you would make a living using this medium to tell the story – identify a business interest/model using the TOAD triangle.