Othello

It’s All a Matter of Perception: Reality and Iago’s Megalomania 11th Grade

In the way reality is theorized, the metaphysical has the potential to replace the empirical as the dominating approach to understanding reality. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago is intrigued by the fluidity of reality, particularly in how contradicting elements of perception such as truth and suspicion, and proof and conjecture, can be interchangeable. He applies this view of reality to become Othello’s puppet-master by preying upon Othello’s limited capacity to see beyond the tangible and as such, Iago enjoys watching the spectacle of Othello’s downfall come to life in his theatre. Throughout Iago’s soliloquies, it becomes clear that he approaches reality as something that he can design: the manipulation of reality gratifies his god-complex.

In order to understand Iago better, it is crucial to first discuss metaphysics. Metaphysics is the study of reality that calls into question what reality is, how reality is perceived and interpreted, and how it is incorporated into human existence. This philosophy is arguably one of the most complex, dimensional philosophical lenses because it evokes the study of the abstract and its relation to the empirical, rather than the empirical alone. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,...

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