Julius Caesar Betrayal Essay

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The Veiled Betrayal

Although Julius Caesar is probably the Shakespearean play with the most obvious betrayal in the form of backstabbing, many of his other plays deal with that same theme. Most notably, a tale that epitomizes the treachery of a so-called friend is Othello. As with any tragedy, one character's double-crossing actions can destroy everything for those around them. In the case of Shakespeare’s Othello (1604), Iago, the supposed friend and trustworthy ensign to the eponymous character, betrayed everyone around him by putting up an honest facade while destroying Othello and Desdemona’s marriage. His deception cements him as one of literature’s most notorious villains. From the get go, the audience sees Iago as a scheming, evil, …show more content…

He manipulates Othello into seeing a completely different and false treachery. Due to Iago’s scheming, Othello was beyond convinced that Desdemona was sneaking around with Cassio behind his back. He felt she betrayed their “sacred” matrimony and irrationally thought his only solution was to smother her to death. This fake betrayal exemplifies the themes of jealousy and the fragility of the love between Othello and Desdemona. Iago made sure Othello’s jealousy ran so rampant that his mind was overtaken by anguish. He was certain that Desdemona shattered the love between them, but it was really his fault for falling into Iago’s web of lies in the first place. One seed of doubt ruined everything and showed that no matter how strong a loving connection may be, it can easily snap with some duplicitous meddling. In the beginning Othello spoke to Desdemona with love when he said “It gives me wonder great as content / To see you here before me. Oh, my soul’s joy! / If after every tempest comes such calms / May the winds blow till they have wakened death” (2.1.186-189). However, when Iago convinced him she was unfaithful, Othello quickly changed his tone when speaking to his wife. Scathingly, he declared “O thou weed, / who art so lovely fair and smell’st so sweet / That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne’er been born!” (4.2.70-73). Just like that, he goes from being the happiest man on earth when he sees her to

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