Consider the view that ‘The Changeling’ presents deception as intrinsic to successful relationships
Deception in ‘The Changeling’ can be seen as split into two parts; characters deception of themselves, and the deception of others. Both underlie most successful romantic relationships we see onstage, however, deception is show to destroy the success of platonic relationships.
Beatrice and Alsemero’s relationship is an example of one dependent on deceit. Right from the beginning of the play, we see Alsemero deceive his own instincts about Beatrice’s true nature. Discussing her in his opening soliloquy, he expresses some concern about her reappearance “‘Twas in the temple where I first beheld her, and now again the same. What omen follows of that?”. “Omen”, with its deeply negative connotations (especially for a superstitious…show more content… Later on in this scene, Beatrice exposes herself as being able to hate without reason, and instead of realising his original suspicions are realised, he beings to defend her, “this is a frequent frailty in our nature”. “Nature” reminds the audience of his first instincts when meeting Beatrice, and the concept of “fragilty” reveals to an audience that Alsemero may consider his instinctual dislike of Beatrice to be a weakness. However, Alsemero has no real reason for deceiving himself about Beatrice bar one; her beauty. This is interpreted by Daalder as a form of insanity: “we see an incipient madness in the way he does not recognise his own sexual impulse for what it is, but rationalises it as though it was something totally different – in fact spiritual and noble”. This interpretation is strongly supported in the text, as in his soliloquy, he links her beauty and religion, “I love her beauties to the holy purpose”. For a Jacobean audience, the main mark of a successful