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Appearance vs. Reality in Shakespeare's Othello

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Appearance vs. Reality in Othello       


In William Shakespeare's "Othello", there is an on going conflict between what characters seem to be initially and who they actually turn out to be at the play's end. Iago, Othello's 'trusty' Ancient, and Othello, 'the noble moor', turn out to be quite the opposite. Even Desdemona, Othello's faithful and constant wife, sometimes deceives others or herself.

In this essay, I will discuss the topic "appearance vs. reality". Appearance, a way to describe an individual from what they see on the outside, can actually be deceived from what's reality; what's on the inside. In the play of Othello, by William Shakespeare, the main character Othello is a prime example that supports the topic, 'appearance vs. reality". To all his peers, he is known as 'the noble moor', one who is calm and respects others. But if you read further into the play, your point of view about him will drastically change...and surprise you!

Othello, the main character in the play of 'Othello", is known to his peers as 'the noble moor'. In the beginning of the play, Othello appears to his audience as a strong and confident character. He shows that he has confidence and appears not scared. In Act I Scene II, he asks Brabantio "What if I do obey?". This question seems more of a challenge than an actual question. It appears to be rhetorical; Othello daring anyone to actually answer.

The second trait that describes Othello frist appearance to his audience is that he speaks his mind; he's honest. he's not afraid to say how he feels and what he chooses to say, he makes sure that his words are the words of truth. In Act I Scene II, he describes himself as "my parts, my title, and my perfect soul shall manifest me rightly". This quote is actually saying that whatever people say about him or how people perceive him as, who he really is will change everyone's viewpoint about him. His position in life, his heart, and how he carries himself will make others realize the type of person he actually is.

And the last trait that describes Othello, in the beginning of the novel, is that he always seems to appear very calm. In Act I Scene II, he asks "What is the news...what is the matter, think you?" Othello appears very calm, but maybe he appears over-calmed or over-confident. This is a trait that describes Othello's personality.

These are traits that Othello chooses to let his audience see and know, but there is another side of him. A side that only one gets to know and understand, when you learn more about him as a person rather than a character. The whole view that Othello portrays, deceives his audience into thinking that he is innocent. The whole idea of being 'the noble moor' is actually a false appearance that Othello wants his peers to see, but the question is..."Is othello's personality really like that?"

In the article "Othello" by William Shakespeare, taken form the 'Shakespearean Criticism, Volume 4', the article was about the 'unique' character of Othello; casted as a black man, falls in love with a white women; Desdamonia. The author, Wolstenholme Parr, focuses on Othello's characteristics; his personality traits. The author describes Othello's personality as a jealous, affectionate, and rebellious person. In the following three paragraphs, the 'after' personality will be described. The 'after' personality is the personality that the audience comes to learn, see, and eventually understand. It surprises you because this is not the Othello that you meet in the beginning, but it's the Othello that you will remember.

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