Othello Reading Log

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William Shakespare’s tragedy Othello reveals the theme of illusion and reality through Othello’s illusions that his loving, caring, honest wife has committed adultery. These illusions are created by jealous Iago who plants seeds of uncertainty and doubt into Othello's mind and turns his world upside down. Othello's fall comes partly because he can't distinguish between the illusions created by Iago and reality, which is that Desdemona loves him and has been loyal to him as well as the reality of Iago’s true nature.

The illusion created by Iago’s ‘proof’ is the primary incident which causes Othello’s trust in Desdemona to disintegrate. Iago uses Desdemona's handkerchief given by Othello to do this. The handkerchief is a visual reminder of Othello’s and Desdemona's love for one another. Iago takes possession of the handkerchief and converts its symbolism into evidence of Desdemona’s infidelity with Cassio. Cassio is seen with Desdemona's handkerchief by Othello and jumps to the conclusion that Cassio and his beloved wife Desdemona are having an affair. The handkerchief appears to be proof of Desdemona's infidelity, when in reality the handkerchief is misleading evidence that is planted into the hands of the oblivious Cassio by the villainous Iago.

Throughout the play as Othello becomes more and more crazy and untrusting of Desdemona. I kept thinking to myself how ridiculous the situation was. All Othello had to do is ask Desdemona what was going on and discuss their feelings with one another. Desdemona is consistently suspected for her dishonesty. The play depends heavily on the characters not seeing things. Othello accuses Desdemona but never sees her committing infidelity and believes Iago over his wife. Othello completely trusts Iago and refers to him as 'honest Iago', throughout much of the play. Iago is consistently being praised for his honesty by all of the characters including Desdemona and even refers to himself as ‘honest.’ Without Iago's appearance...
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