The Theme Of Deception In Shakespeare's Othello

Good Essays
The theme of Deception in William Shakespeare’s Othello is one of the most recurring and powerful theme in the entire play. It was deception that was the fuel of the plot which leads to the classic downfall of the ‘hero’, common in Shakespeare's tragedies. Iago, most oftenly referred to as ‘honest’ Iago, was one of the greatest examples of a deceptive individual. Iago uses his great strength in lying and multi layered personality to exploit each character's weakness to bring about their downfall. He uses Roderigo’s love for Desdemona to take advantage of him, misleads Cassio by taking advantage of his trusting self, and uses Othello’s personal insecurities to bring about his downfall.

To begin with, Iago uses Roderigo unsuspecting and naive
…show more content…
Firstly, Iago insinuates that desdemona has been having an affair because she prefers people of her ‘kind’. Iago very convincingly states “As, to be bold with you,/Not to affect many matches/Of her own clime, complexion and degree,/Whereto we see in all things nature tends” (Othello, 3.3.233-236). He basically said that it would make sense for Desdemona to be attracted to Cassio because they are the same age, race and class opposed to Othello who is older, black and less attractive. Furthermore, Iago uses Desdemona’s past against her. “She deceive her father marrying you” (Othello, 3.3.210). He says that since Desdemona would deceive her father, the one she most loved, it is very likely she would do the same to him. Slowly, Iago begins to wear down Othello to his breaking point. He starts to trust nothing but the words of ‘honest’ Iago. He cocoons Othello with a coat of lies using his jealousy and doubt to turn him against his wife. He is so brainwashed by Iago's lies that he even promotes Iago to his desired spot as lieutenant. He begins to believe Iago's lies as truth and Desdemona's truth as lies. In essence, Iago Takes advantage of Othello's self-doubt to turn him against his wife bringing about his
Get Access