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Appearance versus Reality in Shakespeare's Othello

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The play 'Othello' is an epiphany of the ultimate battle between appearance versus reality in the respect that Iago is the complete opposite from what he appears to be. Everyone involved with him separately thinks that he is doing them favors, when actually he is a backstabbing, conniving person who is the essence of evil and is often referred to as half-man, half-devil. Contrary to Iago, Othello is often referred to as a God-like figure, innocent in every way: trusting and naïve. Unfortunately for Othello, this serves as his eventual downfall helping Iago play Othello like a harp, which results in Desdemona's death. Iago's two-sided face and the other characters' readiness to believe him before thinking twice is the driving force of the play and its plot.

Everyone involved with Iago separately thinks that he is doing them favors, when actually he is a backstabbing, conniving person who is the essence of evil and is often referred to as half-man, half-devil. 'I am not what I am.' This is a quote that should not be taken for granted. In this quote, Iago describes himself as a demonic Satan-like person contradicting God's quote 'I am that I am.' Indeed, Iago represents the very essence of the play's theme: appearance versus reality. In reality he is the cunning, untrustworthy, selfish, and plotting evil that the audience gets to know through his soliloquies, but in his appearance he is that same old, trustworthy, run of the mill Iago that they think they know so well. In fact, Othello, after he murders his own wife, accredits Iago as, 'An honest man he is, and hates the slime/ That sticks on filthy deeds.' Inopportunely for Othello, who seems to trust Iago so, Iago is the exact opposite of what Othello takes him to be. Iag...

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...by Othello, and yet denied it every bit, preserving her honor as, in her eyes, a sacred and tangible reality.

The play ?Othello? is an epiphany of the ultimate battle between appearance versus reality in the respect that Iago is the complete opposite from what he appears to be. Everyone involved with him separately thinks that he is doing them favors, when actually he is a backstabbing, conniving person who is the essence of evil and is often referred to as half-man, half-devil. Contrary to Iago, Othello is often referred to as a God-like figure, innocent in every way: trusting and naïve. Unfortunately for Othello, this serves as his eventual downfall helping Iago play Othello like a harp, which results in Desdemona?s death. Iago?s two-sided face and the other characters? readiness to believe him before thinking twice is the driving force of the play and its plot.
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