April 16, 2012
The Power of Misrepresentation
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” (Einstein). Basing a judgment on appearance is rarely the correct assumption about the individual. Not everyone is what he or she appear, or even claim to be. Appearance versus reality is one of the major themes in Othello. Shakespeare uses many literary devices throughout his play to develop this theme. Iago is known for being honest and loyal towards Othello, and the remaining characters of the play. However, he is not what he portrays himself to be. During scenes, he reveals his schemes to the reader. Dramatic irony and asides are effectively used to develop the theme of appearance versus reality. Dramatic irony is used when Othello believes Iago is honest and also when Desdemona is accused of being unfaithful towards her husband, Othello. Dramatic irony is created by providing the reader with information that other characters may not encounter before it is too late. After Iago manipulates Othello to doubt Desdemona, Othello begins to believe that Iago truly does love him and is only trying to ‘protect’ him from jealousy and harm. Seeing Iago as an honest and loyal man, Othello cries, “This honest creature doubtless/ sees and knows more, much more than he unfolds” (Shakespeare, 3:3:42-43). This quote is an example of dramatic irony because Iago truly knows much more than he pretends to. For instance, Cassio and Desdemona’s affair is a fabrication, yet Othello believes that Iago knows more than he exposes. Iago knows that there is nothing going on between Cassio and Desdemona. The reader is fully aware of Iago’s scheme at this point. However, Othello has not yet figured it out. This quote relates to the theme because Iago is believed to be noble by Othello, when in reality he is trying to cause the downfall of others for his own benefit. Another way dramatic irony was used was Shakespeare’s strongest method,...