Appearance And Reality In Shakespeare's Othello

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Shakespeare’s plays are known to display countless themes, some of which manifest through the body of the works as a whole. The dichotomy between appearance and reality he uses as a recurring element in Othello, The Moor of Venice highlights the understanding Shakespeare has of his own characters and how he portrays them. This idea that people and objects are often not what they seem, falls at the heart of most of his plays. Reality can be identified as the truth of what exists in contrast to the appearance, which is merely the impression given to something. Deception, for example, is a major tool Shakespeare’s characters exploit in their encounters to hide their true identities. Iago’s beginning success in his attempt to hoax the dramatis personaes was due to his ability to be fickle. As the antagonist, “honest” Iago uses his deceptive nature to depict an impression far from his reality. Throughout the classical tragedy Othello, The Moor of Venice, the ensign, Iago, manages to betray many characters, while still maintaining his appearance of honesty and dedication to attain a desired reality. The malice and evil-spiritedness of Iago is established in the opening act of the play. He was speaking to Desdemona’s foolish suitor, Rodrigo, where he freely admits of his hatred towards Othello, the Moor. In act 1 scene 1, he states: Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago. In following him, I follow but myself. Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, But seeming so for my
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