The Pitfalls Of Deception In William Shakespeare's Othello
“O, sir, content you; I follow him to serve my turn upon him: we cannot all be masters, nor all masters cannot be truly follow’d. You shall mark many a duteous and knee-crooking knave, that, doting on his own obsequious bondage, wears out his time, much like his master’s ass, for nought but provender, and when he’s old, cashier’d: whip me such honest knaves. Others there are who, trimm’d in forms and visages of duty, keep yet their hearts attending on themselves, and throwing but shows of service on their lords, do well thrive by them and when they have …show more content…
It appears Iago’s jealousy of Othello and Cassio leads him to believe they committed adultery with his wife. However, it is equally possible that the reverse is true; he may have first been deceived into suspected them with his wife, which then enkindled the jealousy he harbors towards them in other aspects of their lives.
In either case, being thus deceived about his wife’s fidelity he is driven to deceive them and plots to create a jealousy equally as strong in Othello.
Ultimately this illustrates how jealousy can lead to deception and, likewise, deception to jealousy. It begs the question which comes first, or if they might be in some way related at a deeper level.
The depth of Iago’s scheming also becomes apparent towards the end of the quote. It is not enough gain to just exact his revenge on Othello; he also wants to garner Othello’s favor, the man he despises, to make of him a complete fool, all while simultaneously deposing Cassio.
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger; but, O, what damned minutes tells he o’er who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly …show more content…
While warning Othello of the dangers of jealousy, namely that it makes a fool of those who succumb to it, he begins to stoke that very vice in Othello’s heart.
Iago also makes an interesting and astute insight into human nature. He proposes that those who no longer feel love towards the one whom they know betrayed them have the better lot. Those who are unsure and unable to severe the bond between them and the one they feel betrayed by suffer most because they still strongly desire that love but are unsure whether it exists. They are thus tormented.
I think that is certainly a very interesting and true aspect of betrayal; when you feel betrayed it often manifests as hatred or disgust towards the purported betrayer, and yet you have loved them in some way. I think it may well be the struggle of trying to reconcile these two opposing emotions that causes much of the pain after being