Othello and O

Othello, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the 16th Century which portrays a “black” soldier as the hero of Venice who is highly regarded by others before jealousy and deception take place and gradually tear down his high rank status. Its transformation O, on the other hand, is the 21st century film version directed by Tim Blake Nelson. Again, the film shows a basketball player as the most important role in a typical American Basketball team and an equivalent wind-up of jealousy and deception before the fatal death of this heroic player. Clearly, Othello and O demonstrate the idea that despite differences in the context of time, such that these two texts are made 400 years apart, both Shakespeare and Tim Blake Nelson are able to utilise similar universal themes Although, there may be contextual differences in settings and techniques, the themes such as deception and tragedy are all evenly explored in both texts.
The role of deception involves lying to others and causing them to believe what is false.   It is the driving force throughout both Othello and O to bring many characters undone, leading them all to a tragically, violent fate. In Othello, deception is especially employed by Iago to achieve his revenge. Immediately in the opening play, Iago deceives through his dialogue with Roderigo. Iago may seem to love and obey the Moor, when indeed he is only serving Othello to get what he wants. In Act 1 scene 1, he states:
“In following him I follow but myself…”
The first impression of Iago has alluded to webs of lies and deception. Then his speech concludes with “I am not what I am” to further emphasize Iago’s duplicity.
In addition, deception is fully revealed in Act I, Scene 3, where Iago confesses the truth about his thoughts in his soliloquy. There is an obvious contrast between Iago’s nasty reality (when confiding his bitterness to the audience) and his show of false affection (when speaking to other characters). After Iago pretends friendship...