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Othello Comparative To The Talented Mr Ripley Essay

1100 words - 5 pages

Anthony Minghella’s film “The Talented Mr Ripley” exemplifies and affirms the notion of deceit represented in William Shakespeare’s play “Othello”. This demonstrates how values and attitudes presented in both texts offer the same representation of deceit despite being established in different contextual settings. Through the exploration of values and attitudes in “Othello”, set in 17th century Venetian society and “The Talented Mr Ripley” set in 1950’s Europe, evidently expose the parallel notion of deceit present in both texts.

Shakespeare’s character Iago, in “Othello” is a strong character that illustrates deceit by going against the 17th century society’s values of honesty and loyalty. Iago is conveyed by Shakespeare to go against the social norm and ways of thinking during the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare illustrates Iago’s hate and jealousy towards Othello and Cassio through his soliloquys. “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine” here Iago is referring to Cassio being from Florence, representing a foreigner as Iago is a Venetian. “ A fellow almost damned in a fair wife, that never set a squadron in the field, nor the division of a battle knows… As masterly as he: mere prattle, without practice Is all his soldiership” (1.1.21-34) this allows the responder to gain a deepened understanding of Iago’s jealousy towards Cassio and hate towards Othello through his malicious tone. Iago’s jealousy grows to deceit. Throughout scene one the audience begins to notice Iago’s manipulative plot to destroy Othello, since Othello’s fatal flaw makes him vulnerable to “honest Iago’s” deceit, Iago will lead Othello “by th’ nose” into disaster and bring to “light” this “monstrous birth” (1.3.390). Monstrous resonating with sinister and demonic imagery, giving the audience a stronger understanding of the strength jealousy has. Through “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!” (3.3.195-197) Shakespeare portrays Iago ironically to be loyal, pure and honest by warning Othello of jealousy but in reality is deceiving him. Shakespeare portrays Iago’s character in a way that conveys his manipulative intentions and deceitful actions influenced by jealousy. The motivations behind practicing deceit are prompted by jealousy, which contrasts against loyalty values in the Elizabethan era.

Similarly to Shakespeare’s “Othello”, the film directed by Anthony Minghella “The Talented Mr Ripley” conveys deceit through the jealousy felt by Tom Ripley and his overriding ambition to become a “somebody”. The film parallels the world of “Othello”, as 1950s, New York operated on a strict social hierarchy. The film setting presents the post-world war period, where America arose from war and chaos to a free spirited, flourishing and optimistic nation. The deceit demonstrated through the film begins from where Mighella’s use of close ups shows Ripley wearing a Princeton jumper. Through this the viewer gains an insight to Ripley’s talent of manipulating and creating duplicity when Ripley plays...

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