Treachery and Betrayal in Othello

Topics: Othello, Deception, Iago Pages: 4 (1420 words) Published: May 8, 2010
Treachery and betrayal, they belong hand in hand, like a married couple, for they both ultimately lead to misery and sorrow. In William Shakespeare’s play, Othello, acts of treachery and betrayal have great dramatic significance. They greatly contribute to the theme that appearance does not always portray reality, and reality is not what one sees but more often what one does not see. The acts of treachery and betrayal in Othello help to develop this theme through character development. Such acts include: how Iago deceives Othello by being his friend and enemy at the same time. Othello betraying his wife’s love and trust. Emilia (Iago’s wife) betraying her very own husband for justice. Finally Iago’s betrayal of Roderigo, using him and his money for his evil plans, and then killing him. Through ought all of these acts of treachery and violence and betrayal a common theme seems to be developed, mostly through the development of characters.

Iago’s character is a prime example of how acts of treachery and betrayal can alter people. Iago starts of by wanting to ruin Othello’s reputation as a great and wise general, as Iago says in (I, i,44) “I follow him to serve my turn upon him”. Iago tells this to Roderigo, showing that he intends to betray Othello, by pretending to be his friend and then corrupting and betraying him. As the play progresses, Iago’s intentions are less driven by reason, and more driven by revenge, and blind lustful impulses, “[Othello] shall fall between us…” (IV,iii,246). Iago says this to Roderigo, when he says it is evident that at this point Iago’s character has undergone deep change. For not only does he want to ruin Othello’s reputation, but now he wants to obliterate, destroy, and crush Othello’s reputation, but he also wants to obliterate, destroy, and crush Othello’s entire life. This change in character is mainly due to the fact that the treacherous and betrayal acts that Iago has committed have altered his ways of thinking and have...
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