Jealousy And Deception In Othello

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William Shakespeare’s Othello is a play about the downfall of the Moor of Venice induced by evil villain Iago. The characters are put into focus by their moral virtue, all except Iago because he is a Vice. The English Oxford Dictionary defines Vice as immoral or wicked behavior (OED). The motive of being passed over for a promotion is not enough to pin the cause of Iago’s wickedness. It is Othello who needs to be scrutinized, in terms of passion. Leo Africanus describes the Moor as honest, trusting, but jealous and given to passionate vengeful rage when wronged. (Vitkus, 161) This is extremely evident in Shakespeare’s play. Othello causes his own downfall being blinded by jealously. William Shakespeare’s use of jealousy and deception are partnered with the themes of appearance versus reality. Othello’s greatest conquest in this play is not Iago but his own vice, Jealousy.

First performed 1604, Othello was onstage at a time when Turkish fleets threatened the English. The British Isles and
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Othello could have prevented the horrific events that led to the death of Desdemona if he were not absorbed in his own allusions of marital deception. Iago uses the handkerchief as evidence for sealing Othello’s nightmare. Othello is turned from Christian to Turk and refuses to acknowledge his wife’s promise of love. He attacks Desdemona who is innocent in the crime of treason. In the first act we learn Desdemona has eloped with Othello. During the early Renaissance period, it was illegal for any woman to marry a man without her parents’ consent. The shock from this betrayal killed Brabanzio, her father. Desdemona’s boldness in her choice was not a whim of lust but a strong force of passion. The audience hears in the first scene Brabanzio voice his disgust for Iago. Brabanzio: “Thou art a villain” Iago: You are a senator” (1.1.2103) Brabanzio is the only person who recognizes Iago’s treacherous
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