Looks can be deceiving. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby and the play Othello by William Shakespeare, both display themes of appearance versus reality. This is visible from the actions of the characters as they challenge the importance of social reputation. They sacrifice their personal integrity through jealousy of others possessions, trickery and manipulation, and the disguising of true identity. They way characters appear in both works is a mere shell encasing the true self, thus allowing characters to use trickery and manipulation to accomplish their endeavours to achieve their goal.
Judging a character too quickly will cause the downfall of protagonists. In Othello, the main character that prominently displays jealousy is Iago. Iago portrays the antagonist in the play. He is the “Ancient” or standard bearer of the flag for the military. After working under General Othello’s command for many years Iago felt it was time for someone with dignity to be promoted to being lieutenant in command. When Othello declares Cassio, a bookkeeper and accountant, to be lieutenant Iago is abruptly filled with envy and anger over Othello’s decision. Iago felt jealous of Cassio and that Othello has deprived him of his rightful position. He believes that a military position should be given to a man with military experience. This conflict is the foundation that causes Iago to begin his evil plot and conspiracy against Othello. Iago deceives Cassio into making Othello jealous by distorting the truth of Desdemona’s affairs with Cassio, leading Othello to subconsciously fall into his trap and feel envious and angered towards Cassio. The same situation occurs in the Great Gatsby.
Gatsby is the prominent character that displays jealousy. Gatsby’s character exhibited that he has everything that money could possibly buy, but he only displays this character in order to impress his lost lover, Daisy. When Gatsby returns from the war, he realizes that Daisy has married an affluent man, Tom. His jealousy towards Tom leads Gatsby to believe that Daisy has never stopped loving him. Gatsby then plots how he could capture Daisy’s heart once more through his wealth. Gatsby falls into a false reality that appears to have a true love connection between him and Daisy, but instead it was simply an alternate truth (mirage) of what he has (had) in the past. His jealousy towards Tom cost Gatsby his life. Tom used the grief of George Wilson after he lost his wife Myrtle, to manipulate him into taking Gatsby’s life.
Protagonists often senselessly trust the antagonists who use manipulation and trickery. When the truth is unveiled it is too late for the character to revoke what is done. In Othello, Iago uses manipulation to compel Roderigo to attack Cassio by misrepresenting who Desdemona’s love should belong to. After tricking Cassio into falling into his trap Othello immediately discharges...