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Othello: What You See Is Not What You Get

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Othello: What You See Is Not What You Get

Illusion versus reality is an easily recognised theme in the play Othello, written by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare efficiently integrates impression with truth in the play, Othello. The impression quickly distorts the reality of the characters and their ideas and actions. These illusions appear in the main characters of Iago, Michael Cassio and Othello. This review will go over the impression versus reality that is seen in the play.

Impression being judgements of an individual from what is seen from the outside, and truth being the fact and what is on the inside. This review will likewise go over the different methods which the style of reality versus illusion are evident and how the worth of the play Othello, is connected to its worry about the theme culminating in cases of Act 5, Scene 2 (Part 1). The duplicitous character of Iago proves the theme of illusion versus truth very effectively in many scenes through many wicked acts of vengeance, deceit and betrayal.

In Act 2 Scene 3, Iago’s plan of revenge is exposed to the audience through the use of prose. “My partner needs to move for Cassio to her mistress/ (I’ll set her on);/ Myself the while to draw the Moor apart,/ And bring him leap when he might Cassio discover/ Soliciting his other half. Ay, that’s the way!/ Dull not device by coldness and hold-up.” (2:3,343) Through this quote, the audience is come to be knowledgeable about Iago’s duplicitous nature, as he prepares to poison Othello’s mind in the hope that he will be convinced that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair.

This associates with illusion versus truth due to the fact that the reality is that Desdemona is not having an affair with Cassio, nor with any of the other characters in the play. Iago has actually produced an illusion to cause conflict, and to anger Othello, as an act of vengeance to Othello for not offering him the promotion of lieutenant. Iago also discusses to Othello that, “She did trick her daddy, marrying you” (3:3,209), referring to Desdemona. Iago mentions this out of spite, and in the hope that doubt will be produced in Othello’s mind about the illusionary affair in between Desdemona and Othello.

Through using this quote, Iago is trying to reassure Othello that if Desdemona is capable of tricking her daddy, she is also efficient in deceiving her dear partner, Othello. These events of Iago’s demonic acts tie to the concern of illusion versus truth culminating in cases of Act 5, Scene 2 because, if Iago hadn’t planted the seeds of evil in Othello’s mind, then the homicidal acts that took place in Act 5 would not have happened. Throughout the play, Othello’s truth transforms from being Iago’s illusion to Iago’s reality.

Meaning that at the start of the play, Othello was a caring, worthy, and honest male. However, as the play progressed, he developed a wicked, demonic character, one such as Iago, which is hidden under the impression of being ‘Sincere Iago’. This change of character is evident through the quote, “If thou dost slander her and abuse me … abandon all remorse;/ On scary’s head horrors build up … for nothing canst thou to damnation include/ Greater than that.” (3:3,372 -377). This quote shows how exceptionally Othello’s language has actually changed from being caring and kind, to wicked and demonic.

The method Othello’s language changes throughout the play ties to the worry about illusion versus truth culminating in cases of Act 5, Scene 2 (Part 1) because, the improvement in Othello’s language strikes its climax in this particular act. This is evident in Act 5 Scene 2 when he talks of murder. At this point, Desdemona has actually simply concerned the realisation of Othello’s demonic nature, as she is stunned with the way in which he is acting towards her. Proof of this is when Desdemona questions Othello, “Talk you of killing? Othello validates with Desdemona that he is speaking about murder which for that reason, triggered a stunning reaction from Desdemona: “Then paradise/ Have grace on me!” By Scene 2 of Act 5, it is clear that Othello’s mind has actually been poisoned with demonic and wicked thoughts, as an outcome of Iago’s convincing and duplicitous nature. This appears through the quote: “Yet she should die, else she’ll betray more guys./ Put out the light, and after that put out the light.” Othello is firmly insisting that death needs to be put upon Desdemona as a result of the sins she has apparently dedicated. Put out the light’ was pointed out twice by Othello. This symbolises that he is going to put out the physical light that is burning, but he is also going to put out Desdemona’s light; implying that he is going to take her life. This relates to impression versus reality because, in Othello’s mind, Desdemona must be killed so that she doesn’t deceive any other men. In his view, he is conserving her from more possible sins, resulting in him doing the right thing. In my viewpoint, the statement that “she must die”, is an impression. The reality is that he still likes her, as he kisses her before he eliminates her.

This is evident in the stage directions of that specific scene. Othello also reveals excellent feeling which is evident in the audio clip as he is weeping “vicious tears”. In general, the play Othello, includes many aspects of the style impression versus truth which are ties to its worry about the style culminating in the events of Act 5, Scene 2 (Part 1). The audience is under the illusion that Iago is an ‘sincere guy’, nevertheless, the reality is that he is wicked, demonic and duplicitous. Desdemona is caring and caring, however, as a result of her relationship with Cassio, her loving language towards Othello declines.

The truth of Othello at the start of the play was that he was an honorable, truthful and caring Moor. This quickly changes into an illusion as he becomes an evil, demonic and wicked character, as he is under the fantastic impact of Iago. In my viewpoint, everyone has a 2nd character; one is an impression and one is a truth. The play Othello expresses this opinion in what could be viewed as a severe case. Nevertheless, Shakespeare’s smart usage of language methods makes the conflict between the characters in the play seems realistic and imaginable.

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