Theme Of Appearance And Reality In Othello

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In the tragedy, Othello by William Shakespeare the main character, Othello, is being told many lies by a close friend which in turn leads him to make rash decisions. Since Othello is a tragic hero, he has a flaw that he is not able to overcome which leads to his downfall. In this case, Othello’s flaw is that he has insecurities about himself which enhances how easily he is able to believe that his wife is having an affair without any physical proof of her doing so. The close friend, Iago, that deceits Othello is doing all these cruel acts in order to become second in command, but still decides to continue his malice intent even after he achieves this. Not only does he trick Othello, he is also able to weave other people into his plan without …show more content…
The theme of appearance versus reality is already in place when Iago states how he is following Othello only “to serve [his] turn upon him” (1.1.45). The seed of hatred towards Othello was already planted in Iago because someone told him a while ago that Othello has “’twixt my sheets ’Has done my office” (1.3.430) which means that he believes that Othello may have slept with his wife. After hearing both of these things, Iago is pushed over the edge and will do anything to get back at Othello. The first cruel act that Iago commits is that he reveals the secret relationship of Othello, a black man, and Desdemona, a white woman, to Desdemona’s father (1.1.137-141). Iago is trying to get people to turn against Othello and cause troubles in his personal life. Iago’s need to put Othello’s life in shambles reveals how Iago is one to hold a grudge without a meaningful cause. Not only is he ruining Othello’s life, he is also manipulating the innocent Roderigo. Iago tells Roderigo that he is trying to help him win over Desdemona and how he can do so by putting “money in thy purse” (1.3.395); however, Iago’s true motive is to just take all of Roderigo’s money. One of the main themes in this play is betrayal and multiple times Iago betrays Roderigo in order to benefit himself. Though it seems to Roderigo that everything Iago says is true, the true …show more content…
He is going to use the fact that Cassio, the lieutenant, is close to Desdemona to provoke Othello into believing that they are having an affair. In many of Iago’s soliloquies he reveals his true motives and in his second soliloquy he states how “Cassio loves [Desdemona], I do well believe ’t. That she loves him” (2.1.309). Even though there is no clear proof that they are sleeping together, Iago will use his manipulation skills to make Othello believe so. The first step in his cruel plan is to get Cassio drunk and start a brawl and after this event happens, Othello removes Cassio from the lieutenant position when he finds out Cassio was at fault. However, the person who told Othello it was Cassio’s fault was Iago (2.3.244-261). The fact that many people believe these lies that Iago tells, reveals how gullible and trusting the people of Venice are. They are quick to believe anything without substantial proof. This happens again when Iago is filling Othello’s ear with hints that Cassio and Desdemona may have a secret relationship. Iago uses trivial proof such as how Desdemona “did deceive her father, marrying you” (3.3.238) and how she could do the same thing to Othello as well. Although, Othello is a little convinced from hearing stuff about Cassio and Desdemona having an affair, he will not fully believe it without any physical proof. Unfortunately, Iago being

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