Othello: What You See Is Not What You Get

1063 WordsJun 1, 20125 Pages
Illusion versus reality is an easily recognised theme in the play Othello, written by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare effectively combines illusion with reality in the play, Othello. The illusion easily distorts the reality of the characters and their thoughts and actions. These illusions are evident in the main characters of Iago, Michael Cassio and Othello. This review will discuss the illusion versus reality that is seen in the play. Illusion being judgements of an individual from what is seen from the outside, and reality being the truth and what is on the inside. This review will also discuss the various ways in which the theme of reality versus illusion are evident and how the value of the play Othello, is tied to its concern with…show more content…
Proof of this is when Desdemona questions Othello, “Talk you of killing?” Othello confirms with Desdemona that he is talking about murder which therefore, caused a shocking reaction from Desdemona: “Then heaven / Have mercy on me!” By Scene 2 of Act 5, it is clear that Othello’s mind has been poisoned with demonic and diabolical thoughts, as a result of Iago’s convincing and duplicitous nature. This is evident through the quote: “Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men. / Put out the light, and then put out the light.” Othello is insisting that death must be put upon Desdemona as a result of the sins she has allegedly committed. ‘Put out the light’ was mentioned twice by Othello. This symbolises that he is going to put out the physical light that is burning, but he is also going to put out Desdemona’s light; meaning that he is going to take her life. This relates to illusion versus reality because, in Othello’s mind, Desdemona must be killed so that she doesn’t deceive any other men. In his view, he is saving her from further possible sins, resulting in him doing the correct thing. In my opinion, the statement that “she must die”, is an illusion. The reality is that he still loves her, as he kisses her before he kills her. This is evident in the stage directions of that particular scene. Othello also shows great emotion which is evident in the audio clip as he is weeping “cruel tears”. Overall, the play Othello, includes many

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