Deception in Othello
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Deception in Othello Deception is a reoccurring theme throughout the play which touches all protagonists at various levels. The plot is based on the dishonesty and delusion of the characters. It is difficult for the audience to judge who is deceiving whom. the audience Often becomes part of the trickery and remains unaware that they themselves are being deceived. Deception is performed by all characters, however to different extents and purposes., The three main characters in scene one, Iago, Othello and Desdemona, become involved in a mutual.. Iago is a character which leaves the audience dubious about his true intensions. Nevertheless, Desdemona and even Othello himself can be found guilty of trickery. Deception is perceived as a powerful and destructive force. In the first scene it becomes the main source of tension between the protagonists, and continues to degenerate their mental state throughout the play and eventually leads the final downfall of the characters. Throughout the first scene deception becomes a method applied by all characters in order to establish their power and control over others. The structure of the plot is based on Iago's self-centered plan, which aims to promote his position. He intends to trick other in order to achieve his plan. He announces to the audience that he will follow Othello "to serve my turn upon him", which prove his dishonest and wicked side.
Iago's main weakness is envy, and that is all that is revealed about him. In many ways Othello is similar to Iago, both men want to be successful, respected and in control of how they are perceived, and they achieve that through trickery. Othello is accused by others of bewitching Desdemona and forcing her into marriage. In the scene Othello successfully persuades the senate that he was not responsible for "wooing" Desdemona to follow him. He delivers a long speech where he justifies himself for marrying Desdemona and suggests that his only "witchcraft" was love. This emotional explanation partially appeals to the Duke, however the audience's reaction will depend on whether they want to believe in Iago's warning against Othello or " the moor's" own declaration. The audience can suspect that it is possible that Othello has another side which he is not revealing to the others. Othello can be accused of projecting himself in a genuine and honest manner, in order to win the support and sympathy of the other characters in the play as well as the audience. The respect he receives from the senate is based on his professional image and can only be sustained through careful management. It is not certain whether he is trying to cover an animalistic and brutal side to him, as suggested by Iago, or whether Othello employs this technique as means of survival.
As a result it is unclear which character is the subject of deception, as the protagonists are trying to convincingly persuade the audience to their own truths which perhaps they exaggerate, however at the same time they also conceal the truth from other characters, for personal benefits. Throughout the first scene, deception is driven by jealousy, passion and self-centeredness. Through deception characters want to control their future, however as proven by Iago and to some extent by Othello, deception can temporarily aid personal plans, but in the long run it is an uncontrollable force. It is also suggested that even those who do not participate directly in deception that is ill-meant, also suffer from it. Desdemona, who seems to be the innocent one, also experiences terrible fate in the end, as a result of complex plans of Iago and Othello. The audience is also entangled in the plot, and is unable to truly understand where the true deception lays. Due to lack of explanation of the character's emotions the audience also feels deceived, despite the fact that Iago revealed his plans. Shakespeare suggests that there can be no master of deception, even the audience leaves the play unaware of the 'real truth and protagonists, who carefully conceal their true feelings and intends, eventually become powerless and become their own victims.
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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
Deception is an interesting and complex topic to explore for any Shakespeare tragedy and this essay does try and explore the different ideas thrown up by this theme in 'Othello'. There is a good understanding of the characters; however the points are not always related to the text and they require more support. When analysing a text through a particular theme it is important to relate points back to the theme and use a question that allows for this.
Marked by teacher Laura Gater 22/04/2013
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