Shakespeare’s tragedy of Othello centres on deceit and naivety. The story begins in Venice, Italy and establishes the immediately the deceitful nature of Iago. Iago manipulates and lies throughout the story and is extremely influential. The protagonist, Othello held very little power in Venice however the transition of setting from Venice to Cyprus consequently transitioned the change of power to Othello. From this position Othello controls everything but there is much that he is unaware of. Iago’s personal vendetta with Othello sees him manipulate and deceive almost everyone that he meets including Othello. In Act 3, Scene 3, Iago’s method of deceiving Othello is evident as he shrewdly attacked Othello’s weaknesses and guided him into believing that his wife yearned for another man. Othello’s use of hyperbole, metaphor and repetition express his naive, unsophisticated and extremely vulnerable nature. Othello’s response to Iago’s insincere description of the relations between his wife and Lieutenant Cassio evoke an exaggerated reaction. Othello’s character is portrayed as being a bold fearless warrior always in control. “I had been happy if the general camp, pioneers and all, had tasted her sweet body, so I had nothing known” (ln 348), expresses Othello’s hyperbole. Being an extremely successful soldier, he is required to suppress his emotions however the quote above expresses his insecurity and inability to reason. Othello’s emotions guide him in this passage as he exaggerates his wife’s yearning for a man. The above quote expresses his dislike of dealing with the domestic matters and preferring them kept secret from him. Othello’s hyperbole personifies his insecurity and favoured ignorant position expressing his unawareness of what is happening around him. The passage effectively portrays Othello’s inability to logically approach Iago’s lies but allow his emotions to overly exaggerate the extent of the possibility of his wife’s situation. Iago’s deceptive...
Citations: Shakespeare, William. Othello. 2nd ed. Bangalore: Thomson Nelson & Sons Ltd, 2002.
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