preview

Theme Of Loyalty In Othello

Good Essays
The Tragedy of Othello, written by William Shakespeare, is a play about a Moor of Venice and his downfall by deception and love. The themes of two-facedness, narcissism, and honor are all prominent in this play; the theme overarching these, however, is loyalty. Similar to a satirist, Shakespeare shows that the true nature of a person’s loyalty is not always as it appears. Othello’s loyalty to his own honor exposes his false loyalty to his wife. Iago, the antagonist, is deceptive in portraying himself as honest and committed to those he supposedly loves, but at the same time he plans their downfall. Honor, narcissism, and deception are each concepts Shakespeare uses to convey the ambiguity of loyalty in people. When first introduced, Othello, the Moor, seems to be committed to his beautiful wife, Desdemona, and to the army of which he is general. Yet, as time progresses and after being put in difficult circumstances, his loyalty takes a different form. A struggle between opposing loyalties begins to emerge. Convinced his wife is cheating on him with Lieutenant Cassio, Othello seeks to preserve his honor of having a chaste wife, to the point of…show more content…
He is perceived as “honest” Iago, but this is a product of his deception. He claims to be motivated by truth and never completely tells a lie; yet, he is committed to telling the truth for his own purposes. Moreover, he is two-faced. His narcissistic side is seen in asides, where he divulges schemes to ruin Othello and Cassio. Beginning to plan their downfall, Iago reveals, “But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do, as if for surety. He holds me well; The better shall my purpose work on him. Cassio’s a proper man. Let me see now: To get his place, and to plume up my will In double knavery.” (1.3.557-62). He purposely misleads people to trust that he is honest out of love for them, but his deeper intent is to bring about their destruction and his