Betrayal By William Shakespeare 's Othello Essay

1087 Words Nov 6th, 2015 null Page
The stinging wounds that betrayal can leave are a universal tragedy known to almost everyone. Betrayal by a supposed friend of loved one can destroy relationships and change lives. Unfortunately, betrayal of trust can be spurred from secretly held feelings of anger or loathing that are never revealed, and are instead used to fuel duplicitous acts. Famed playwright William Shakespeare was no stranger to showing acts of betrayal in his plays, creating some of the most quintessential villains whose desire to wreak havoc is expressed through betrayal. In Shakespeare’s Othello, each act of betrayal catalyzes the next and displays how jealousy and resentment can lead to treachery.

Iago’s initial betrayal of Othello propels the events of the play and shows how even a seemingly strong friendship can be shattered. From the beginning, Iago confides that he wants to destroy Othello because he feels slighted. Iago affirms that he is only “trimmed in forms and visages of duty,” and that he only serves Othello in order to “serve [his] turn upon him” (I.1.44, 52). Iago believes that if he appears devoted to Othello, it will be easier to look out for his own interests. Although Othello genuinely believes that Iago is his trusted companion, Iago carries nothing but secret disdain for Othello and the play opens with Iago plotting his friend’s demise. Iago’s reasoning for his desire to harm Othello changes several times throughout the play, but he makes it clear that his original intent was…

Related Documents