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Othello Essay

1330 words - 5 pages

Othello is in essence one of the greatest tragedies of William Shakespeare. The play has several very important issues that are interwoven into the body of the play. Issues such as race relations, jealousy, and of personal deception. To me the most important of these is the issue of personal deception, to be more precise the relationship of Othello and Iago. Iago is the master of deception. We, as the audience, are the only ones who really know that Iagos goal is to destroy Othello in any way that he can. It may seem as though Othello is very naïve in believing the things that Iago tells him, and that someone of Othellos status and experience should be wary of such things, but that is not so. On the contrary, Iago not only deceives Othello, but throughout the whole play, he also deceives everyone else. Emilia, his own wife, Cassio, the innocent lieutenant, Desdemona, the wife of Othello, and Othello, who is the main victim of the whole play.Emilia is Iagos wife, and it would seem to the conventional "eye" that she should have played a leading role in the ploy to ruin Othello. This is definitely not the case. Iago not only fools Emilia along with everyone else, but he uses her to get the very thing that will ruin Othello and Desdemonas relationship, that being the handkerchief. Emilia is a loyal servant to Desdemona, and she would never dream of doing anything to hurt her. It is obvious that Emilia has no clue that her husband is scheming to ruin Othello. When she is struggling within herself and is debating whether or not to give Iago the handkerchief, she says, ""¦and give't Iago. What will he do with it, Heavens knows, not I; I nothing but to please his fantasy" (III, iii, 296-297). This shows how naïve and unsuspecting she is of her husband.Emilias is the one person who should the evil manner of her Iago. Considering the fact that she too was fooled by him, shows that Othello is not necessarily naïve, but that Iago is a very suave individual. In another passage Emilia says, " I will be hanged if some eternal villain, some busy and insinuating rogue, some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office, have not devised this slander. I will be hanged else" (IV, ii, 130-132).Emilia says this without knowing that one of Iagos probable motives was the fact that he wanted Othellos position. She could not have possibly imagined her husband committing such an act and deceiving everyone, as he was really doing. She says to Othello, when Othello reveals to her that it was Iago that told him of the supposed affair of Cassio and Desdemona, "If he [Iago] say so, may his pernicious soul rot half a grain a day! He lies to th' heart. She [Desdemona] was too fond of her most filthy bargain" (V, ii, 152-154).Desdemona not only trusted Iago, but loved Iago because she believed that he "˜loved' Othello. She asked for his Iagos help and guidance throughout the whole play. There were even instances when she begged...

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