Dramatic Irony In Shakespeare's Othello

1473 Words6 Pages
Othello, written by William Shakespeare, is about hot the main character Othello is manipulated by Iago and suicides after smother his wife Desdemona because he takes his appearances as reality and believes she is unfaithful. Shakespeare uses language features which are dramatic irony, symbolism and imagery to manipulate the reader’s response to the idea of appearances become reality. In the play Othello, dramatic irony is a language feature used to manipulate the reader’s response to the idea of how easily people believe in appearances. The phrase ‘honest Iago’ is constantly used by Othello to describe Iago. We as readers know that Iago is not honest but Othello himself doesn’t know that and he only regards Iago as a loyal friend that he’s…show more content…
Shakespeare uses the handkerchief as a symbol to manipulate the reader’s response to the idea of how easily humans believe sight. The handkerchief is an important symbol through the play because when Desdemona holds it, it symbolises Othello’s love to her. However, when Cassio holds it, it becomes the crucial proof of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness. This shows that with something as simple as a handkerchief, our appearances can become reality. Othello once says to Desdemona, “An Egyptian to my mother give…make it a darling like your precious eye.” This emphasizes the importance of the handkerchief and it is meaningful to Othello. Othello gives it to Desdemona because he trusts and loves her. “To lose’t or give it away were such a perdition, as nothing else could match.” This shows that the handkerchief needs to be treated as something precious and it’s unforgivable to lose it or give it away. This also explains why Othello loses his rational mind after finds out another man holds it. “Give me my Handkerchief! My mind misgives.” This shows the handkerchief has huge impacts upon Othello and ‘misgives’ shows that for Othello, appearances is becoming reality. When we see something, we automatically take it as reality. Before the handkerchief is found, Othello is not convinced by whatever Iago says. He keeps asking for the ‘ocular proof’ and he keeps making excuses to avoid facing Desdemona’s betrayal because he refuses to accept it and is too afraid to face the ‘reality’. However, the handkerchief forms the ‘ocular proof’ as it’s a part of the physical world and Othello sees it by his own eyes. In this way, the appearance has totally become reality. Sometimes we don’t believe what we hear but we take what we see as reality automatically. Shakespeare manipulates the reader’s response to the idea of that it’s a human nature to believe

More about Dramatic Irony In Shakespeare's Othello

Open Document