Treachery and Betrayal in Othello

1408 Words Apr 26th, 2010 6 Pages
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 …show more content…
The more that Othello’s character changes the less reality he sees, and the more fiction he sees, which makes him betray someone he loves, because appearances are not always true.

Othello and Desdemona are not the only couple that suffer acts of betrayal from within their very own relationship. Emilia and Iago are another couple that, whose characters’ change causing them to lose touch with reality. Emilia is always suspicious of Iago but she still trusts him, for example when she gives Desdemona’s handkerchief to Iago reluctantly “If [the handkerchief]be not for some purpose of import,/Give't me again: poor lady, she'll run mad/ When she shall lack it” (III,iii,156-159). Emilia does not want to give the handkerchief to Iago because she thinks he might to something to hurt Desdemona and Othello with it. Therefore she asks him indirectly to give it back to Desdemona. In doing so Emilia is betraying her husbands trust by doubting his intentions. This small event is enough to change her view of her husband, and plant doubt in her mind as to the reality of his actions versus their appearance. Ultimately this small action has great consequences to her life. Near the end of the play, once Othello kills his wife, Emilia finds out and she confronts Othello, and she reveals that it was her husband that betrayed him. In doing so, she has betrayed all trust that she and her husband had. Making Othello see the