Public And Private Identities In Shakespeare's Othello

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Phonies, or a fake people are those with multiple identities. These people act different in public and private, or in different groups of people. Phonies have been criticized in literature for hundreds of years, but one of the most notable times, and possible the first time it was criticized was in Shakespeare's Othello. Shakespeare uses characters in Othello, such as Iago, Othello and Desdemona, to show how the worst of people usually have an extreme difference in their identities, while the most genuine people only have one identity. Shakespeare purposefully makes some characters in Othello have differences in their public and private identity, which reveals how genuine, loyal and irreproachable characters in Othello, and people in real life, actually are.
The most recognizable character in Othello that has different identities is Iago. In public,
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This can be seen when Othello compliments Iago throughout the play, saying, “This fellow is exceedingly honest and knows all qualities, with a learned spirit, of human dealings” (3.3.299-301). Othello truly believes that Iago is loyal to him and in no way depraved or baneful. Even near the very end of the play, Othello still thinks that Iago is loyal, when he stabs Cassio. Othello says, "O brave Iago, honest and just, that hast such noble sense of thy friend's wrong! Thou teachest me" (5.1.31-33). Iago’s public identity is so convincing that nobody suspects him through the entire play. Iago needs to acts extremely nice to everyone in public, because that is the best way he can get people to trust him. He needs people’s trust so he can betray and hurt them in the future. A main reason that Iago’s plan works so well is that Othello, and many other characters like his public identity and never question his veracity. On the opposite side of the spectrum, in private, Iago

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