The Theme Of Deception In Shakespeare's Play Othello

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In Shakespeare 's play Othello, Emilia is a driving force of the plot, giving her husband, Iago, the capability to perform his evil plan. Therefore, the motivations of Emilia are important ties to the theme of betrayal (the finality of her actions ends with her lady 's, Desdemona 's, death) and faithfulness. One such occasion in which we see her character is in her speech about the double standard of the culture for husband 's faithfulness, or faithlessness, compared the wife 's. What we gain from this speech is and understanding through subtext on why Emilia did what she had done and ultimately the conflict between her guilt and Desdemona 's purity. Before we get to this speech, Shakespeare gives us many reasons why Iago wants Othello …show more content…
In their discussion before the speech, Desdemona says that she would not cheat even if she was offered the world, demonstrating her complete purity. Emilia 's response is skeptical, saying ' 'But for all the whole world... who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? ' ' (1239) In comparison to Desdemona, Emilia doesn 't have the virtue that her lady does, which prompts the response of her speech. On a deeper level, Emilia is trying to rationalize her affair, ' 'And have we not affections,/ Desires for sport...? ' ' But Desdemona had already answered; it was only Emilia that felt that way. And Emilia knows that she doesn 't compare to Desdemona because when Othello kills Desdemona, Emilia says ' 'O, the more angel was she. ' ' and ' 'O, she was heavenly true. ' ' (1246) Desdemona is something perfect and chaste, which is always a symbol to Emilia that she is …show more content…
This would have us focus on Iago 's complete disregard for whether or not it was true, but then we would lose out on a serious part of Emilia 's character. Also we would lose a strong reinforcing section to the theme of the value of fidelity. We would also fail to see a reason behind Emilia 's actions and may very well call it as her being oblivious. And her action of stealing her lady 's prized handkerchief could be seen as blind loyalty to her husband. But with this speech, a deeper and more conflicted character is

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