Othello: What You See Is Not What You Get Essay

1048 Words Jun 16th, 2012 5 Pages
Illusion versus reality is an easily recognised theme in the play Othello, written by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare effectively combines illusion with reality in the play, Othello. The illusion easily distorts the reality of the characters and their thoughts and actions. These illusions are evident in the main characters of Iago, Michael Cassio and Othello. This review will discuss the illusion versus reality that is seen in the play. Illusion being judgements of an individual from what is seen from the outside, and reality being the truth and what is on the inside. This review will also discuss the various ways in which the theme of reality versus illusion are evident and how the value of the play Othello, is tied to its concern with …show more content…
Through the use of this quote, Iago is attempting to reassure Othello that if Desdemona is capable of deceiving her father, she is also capable of deceiving her dear husband, Othello. These incidents of Iago’s demonic acts tie to the concern of illusion versus reality culminating in the events of Act 5, Scene 2 because, if Iago hadn’t planted the seeds of evil in Othello’s mind, then the murderous acts that took place in Act 5 would not have happened.

Throughout the play, Othello’s reality transforms from being Iago’s illusion to Iago’s reality. Meaning that at the beginning of the play, Othello was a loving, noble, and honest man. However, as the play progressed, he developed an evil, demonic character, one such as Iago, which is hidden under the illusion of being ‘Honest Iago’. This transformation of character is evident through the quote, “If thou dost slander her and torture me...abandon all remorse; / On horror’s head horrors accumulate...for nothing canst thou to damnation add / Greater than that.” (3:3,372-377). This quote shows how immensely Othello’s language has transformed from being loving and kind, to evil and demonic. The way Othello’s language changes throughout the play ties to the concern with illusion versus reality culminating in the events of Act 5, Scene 2 (Part 1) because, the transformation in Othello’s language hits its climax in this particular act. This is evident in Act 5 Scene 2 when he talks of murder. At this point,

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