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Appearance Vs Reality In Othello By William Shakespeare

620 words - 2 pages

Appearance vs Reality is one of the most fundamental and oldest philosophical themes in human history. All people live their lives relying on their knowledge and perception, and are thus bound to them. These boundaries are what they tend to accept as "reality". However, knowledge and perception are both vague concepts; as a consequence, their reality could be nothing more than a mere mirage shaped by their beliefs. William Shakespeare, one of the most renowned writers of the English Language, knew of the connection between appearance and reality and often provided his characters with multiple personalities in order to depict them in a specific fashion. In Shakespeare's play Othello, the antagonist (named Iago) embodies the theme of people aren't always what they appear to be as he egregiously misleads Othello and other characters into a treacherous world composed of deceiving truths where they find themselves unable to distinguish what seems to be real and what actually is real.
At the beginning of the play, when Iago attempts to convince Roderigo to help him to take revenge on Othello, he reveals to him his most captivating secret "I am not what I am"(I.I.67). And since Iago states earlier "I follow him to serve my turn upon him" (I.I.44), it can be inferred from both statements that Iago is not manifesting the true nature of his character because he intends to ruin Othello's life by portraying himself as a good servant so that when his master plan is in motion Othello will not suspect him of anything and instead, will listen to his thoughts and hunches; subsequently, allowing Iago to control his mind and feelings by distorting his perspective.
Later in the play, Iago plans to stain Cassio's reputation because of his supposed affair with his wife. In order to accomplish this, Iago forces Cassio into a compromising situation by persuading...

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