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Explore How Shakespeare Examines the Themes of Jealousy and Deception in ‘Othello’ the Play and ‘Othello’ the Character

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sunnybb
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Shakespeare tragedy often follows the same basic story line with a fatal tendency, and Othello is no exception. Shakespeare stories are often about one hero, and the story builds up to the eventual death of this character. The hero often starts the story with happiness and no obvious problems, and as the story develops the character’s life begins to crumble and eventually leads to their death after everything has been lost. Othello is a prime example of this Shakespearian story line, where we see everything Othello has at the start of the story fall to pieces and end in tragedy with the character’s suicide. Jealousy and deception are central themes in many of Shakespeare’s plays, and are often what leads to the hero’s downfall.

There are a number of key scenes in Othello that represent these themes of jealousy, deception and tragedy throughout the play. In Act 2 Scene 3 Iago uses different techniques in order to deceive Othello and change his opinions of Cassio. Iago says: ‘I would rather have this tongue cut from my mouth, then it should do offense to Michael Cassio.’ Iago is setting up his later deception, as he is tricking Othello into thinking that he likes Cassio and would never speak ill of him, which enables him to seem more believable when he later deceives Othello about Desdemona’s affair. This deception is confirmed when Othello says ‘I know Iago, thy honesty, and love doth mince this matter, making it light to Cassio.’ Othello is suggesting that Iago may not tell the whole truth as he wants to protect Cassio. This is ironic as Iago is actually wanting to do the opposite, and his deception has worked better than he expected. This highlights a weakness in Othello which is that he feels like an outcast because of his race, and he is easily deceived as he is too trustworthy and this is what leads to his eventual downfall.

Act 3 Scene 3 is possibly the…...

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