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Othello Act Iv Scene Ii Reflection

611 words - 3 pages

In Act IV Scene ii of Othello, the disillusioned man finally confronts his wife, Desdemona, about the sins she supposedly committed. Within the exchange of accusations and pleas of innocence, Shakespeare plays with a variety of metaphors to demonstrate the power of imagination, and the blinding effect of believing the figments created by it. More explicitly, set off by the poisonous nudge of Iago’s insinuation, Othello envisions a distorted image of the “real” Desdemona, seeing only what he believes in, rather than the truth that is in front of him.
Shakespeare uses ironic metaphors that express Desdemona’s supposed deceptive duality, to reveal the delusional effects that imagining and believing can have. When Desdemona insists on her fidelity, Othello demands that she swear it, because she, “Being like one of the heaven, the devils themselves Should fear to seize [her],” comparing Desdemona’s “deceptive” appearance to that of a whore disguised as an angel (IV.i.44-45). Here, because Othello is completely blinded by his imagination, he believes that he speaks to a whore in disguise, when actually he is speaking to “one of the heaven” (IV.ii.44). The most interesting irony of this comparison is that Othello, “Whom passion could not shake[.] Whose solid virtue The shot of accident nor dart of chance Could neither graze nor pierce,” misses the fact that Desdemona truly is an angel, whose outright fidelity and purity would prevent even devils from seizing her, as he said himself (IV.i.292-294). Later in the scene, Othello continues his ignorance by lamenting, “Was this fair paper, the most goodly book, Made to write ‘whore’ upon?”(IV.ii.82-83). Again, Othello is not able to perceive reality; he does not realize it was his imagination, though with the help of Iago’s words, that wrote “whore” on the excellent book...

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