Shakespeare’s play “Othello” is known for it’s complex characters and its central ideas which create a mixture of emotions for the audience. As Shakespeare uses these aspects in his plays, as he is able to bend our minds and understanding of “Othello”, so that we are able to gain a greater insight of the central concepts that are shaped by his complex characterisation. “Othello” has many central ideas within it, ‘Appearance and Reality’, ‘Revenge’ and ‘Power play’ are the three which Shakespeare highlights in detail. These are shaped through the exploration of the main characters, Othello, Iago, Cassio, Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca. By Shakespeare interconnecting the two aspects, he has been able to better affect his audience.
The idea of verisimilitude is prominent in the play. Shakespeare uses this notion of appearance and reality, primarily in the characterisation of Iago, the “Janus” of the narrative. Shakespeare makes Iago expresses his hate for the Moor within a soliloquy that is found in Act 1, Scene 3. Iago Describes his strong passion on how he will betray Othello by poisoning his ear. This not only creates a the central idea of the plot but also about how Iago is not what he seems to be. Iago seems to follow the saying “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer” as he betrays his enemy Othello into thinking he trust worthy and loyal while remaining with Roderigo in fulfilling their plan.
Desdemona is also caught in Iago’s trap as she too believes him to be “honest Iago”, a man of virtue who works in the interests of herself and her husband. But as Iago plans hes betrayal on Othello, he is faced with reality when the death of Desdemona comes into action. By causing her death Iago can longer hide his ‘Loyal Appearance’ as they all realise that in reality, Iago is a deceitful and an untrustworthy man. Resulting with Iago shaping the central ideas of the play “Othello” itself.
The notion of ‘Power Play’ is yet another of Shakespeare’s themes...
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