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The ways in which Shakespeare portrays the themes of deception and jealousy In Othello the play and Othello the character.

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Introduction

The ways in which Shakespeare portrays the themes of deception and jealousy In Othello the play and Othello the character The main characters in relation to jealousy in the play are Othello and Desdemona. Desdemona is the object of Othello's jealousy, which is planted in his mind by Iago's deception. This enhances Othello's position in the minds of the audience as the tragic hero, and deeply links these two themes. The very status of being the tragic hero in the minds of the audience enhances our sense of his deception by Iago. His complete trust in Iago makes Iago seem all the more evil and deceitful in our eyes. Othello's trust in him is demonstrated early in the play: "Honest Iago, My Desdemona must I leave thee." Act 1 scene 3 Ironically, this show of his complete trust in Iago could in fact serve as a prompt for his plan to bring down Othello (his plan is at this stage undeveloped, although even when it is in progress, it relies as much upon Iago's resourcefulness and fleetness of mind as it does upon prior planning). ...read more.

Middle

His subsequent speech affirms his status as a good, careful man who has given his life's service to Venice and is brought down by the evil scheming of one to whose behaviour he is unsure of how to react. However, Iago's deception of him causes him to descend into jealousy and complete helplessness of position, and he eventually destroys himself. Through all this, although he becomes suspicious of Iago at one point, he believes him unconditionally after Iago gives him fabricated circumstantial evidence. Iago has the complete trust of Othello, as is demonstrated by Othello's lines, "For such things, in a false and disloyal knave Are tricks of custom, but in a man that's just They're close dilutions, working from the heart, That passion cannot rule." Act 3 scene 3 This actually tells us that if Iago were a deceitful person, Othello would not have believed him. ...read more.

Conclusion

The realisation of what he has done in committing this act eventually drives Othello to kill himself. Through this detailed assessment and evaluation of these themes, I have made it clear how Iago deceives everyone everybody who knows him with his quickness of mind and meticulous planning combined. By the end, however, he is not in control of the situation and can only try to change events, as is revealed in his line, "This is the night, that either makes me or fordoes me." Act 5, scene 1 I have also noted how Iago's deception leads to Othello's jealousy and its counterproductive (at least for Iago, and everyone involved) outcome, heavy with the moral that Iago's plotting and scheming does not work and is his eventual undoing. The complete futility and heartlessness of Iago's most evil of plots is summed up by one of the final lines of a character whose death is an unneeded by-product of Iago's cold-hearted plot, Desdemona: "A guiltless death I die" Desdemona, Act 5 scene 2, line 123 ...read more.

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