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Othello and Primary Colors

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The Art of Deception involves the skilled use of chicanery. Shakespeare's play, 'Othello' and in Mike Nichols film, 'Primary Colours, present the Art of Deception through the characters of Iago and Jack Stanton. Othello, being set in the renaissance period, had different values to those accepted in the 20th Century, the period in which Primary Colours is set. Thus context plays an important role in how deception is presented, and affects both the meaning and values of each text. Whilst both texts portray deception as the driving force in their plots, the motives, methods and consequences of deception in each text are different. The motives for deception are the reasons for deceiving and are influenced by the context and values of texts. Motives are vital to the Art of Deception, because it provides a purpose for deception and acts as a compelling force. Motives also indicate to the audience why the Art of Deception is being practised. ...read more.


The methods employed by both Jack and Iago, depict their skills at deceiving, thus portraying their "art" in deception. Methods of deception show the audience how deception will be executed. In Othello, Iago uses emotive oratory to delude others. The metaphors "Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe," and "Your daughter and the Moor are making the beast with two backs," create strong imagery of Othello. Although a lie, it would have been convincing to Shakespeare's audience as being a black African in Elizabethan times made Othello an outcast. Iago also plays on the weaknesses of others to achieve his selfish goals. Knowing that Cassio has "very poor and unhappy brains for drinking," he wants to "fasten but one cup upon him," so that "he'll be full of quarrel and offence." Adultery was seen as a deadly seen, especially for a woman to commit in Shakespeare's time. Iago uses this value as stimulant for Othello's jealousy, by lying to him about Desdemona's affair with Cassio thus making him "the green-eyed monster". ...read more.


The consequences of deception in Othello reflect the value that good will always prevail because Iago is punished however "it isn't the cheat that goes to hell; it's always the one he cheated on." This 20th Century value is evident in Othello as well as Primary Colours because both deceivers entrap their victims. In Primary Colours good does not prevail due to dishonest practices by all protagonists. The cyclic structure of the film where Jack shakes various characters' hands conveys Jack's success as it represents a new start for the team. The slow motion emphasises the cyclic structure and the ending with the American Flag depicts the consequences of deception in the 20th Century, In conclusion, the Art of Deception is a skill which requires motives for dedication, methods to deceive, and consequences to determine its success. Shakespeare's militaristic society causes Iago to deceive when he isn't promoted, while Primary Colours expects deception to occur in the game of politics. Shakespeare's religious society believes in morality and that good must prevail while Primary Colours believes it is the best player who wins. "It's a question of character." Suppression = prevention Oppression = ruling ...read more.

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