Othello is Much Ado About Nothing Essay - Essay Prowess

Othello is Much Ado About Nothing Essay


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Othello is Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare in both the “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Othello” uses the theme of deception. Deception is used to show tragedy and comedy in both plays. In ‘Othello”, the theme is established around the villain character Iago, who uses deception to take advantage of other characters. Iago is a true deceiver and understands his best weapon is the ‘victim’ trusts (Shakespeare 88). The theme of deception is demonstrated via Iago  because he is represented as a smart and quick-witted character. Other characters such as Cassio, Roderigo and Othello become the victims of his deception. In addition, Roderigo loves Desdemona, but is fooled that he has the potential to win her (Shakespeare and Gayle 378). However, after Roderigo expectations fail, he becomes desperate and broke.

Similarly, in “Much Ado About Nothing”, the theme of deception is demonstrated through Don John, whose work leads to distrust and conflict. The villain is determined to ensure that everybody, including his brother is unhappy. He also tricks Beatrice and Benedick, as Dr. Henze notes that both partners are self-deceptive in their deception  that each is the final individual they would marry (Shakespeare 187).

However, there are differences in the role of deception in the two plays. In “Othello”, Iago succeeds in using deception because no character suspect him as a villain (Shakespeare and Gayle 209). In this respect, his plans were unknown throughout the play. In “Much Ado About Nothing” the villain deceptive plans are known to other characters.


The two villains in “Othello” and “Much Ado About Nothing” have several differences, despite sharing some similarities. Don John has hatred towards his brother Claudio. During the Claudio’s wedding with Hero, he plots to ensure that his brother believes that he fiancé is cheating on him. Don John dresses Margaret in Hero’s clothes and allows another man to sit next to her (Shakespeare 105). When his brother sees this he decides to embarrass her fiancé. Similarly, Iago manages to cheat Othello so that he thinks that her fiancé, Desdemona, is not faithful to him. Othello decides to kill her. However, there are several differences between the two villains. Iago uses his deceptive tactics via his wits and manipulative speaking as well as gullible character of Othello to convince him (Shakespeare and Gayle 300). Contrary, Don John cheats Claudio via other characters to convince him. In addition, they caused their victims to take different forms of revenge on their fiancés. Claudio decides to humiliate her while Othello decides to kill Desdemona.

The plots of the two comedies are similar, although there are various differences. The plot of both comedies uses a story of villains planning to cause harm to other characters. The play “Othello”, involves a soldier in Venice, Othello and his unfaithful ensign, Iago. It demonstrates the themes of betrayal, love and revenge. The play starts with Roderigo, who have been giving money to Iago in his pursuit of Desdemona (Shakespeare and Gayle). However, he learns that she has married another man. The play “Much Ado About Nothing” show a story of two senior members of the army – Claudio and Leonato in the town of Messina. Claudio meets the daughter of the governor, Hero and they decide to marry (Shakespeare 113). However, his bastard brother, Don John plots a scheme to destroy their relationship. The differences between the two comedies is that the plot of Othello is shorter and complex while that of “Much Ado About Nothing” is longer and simpler.

Shakespeare demonstrates to the audience the importance of acknowledging appearance versus reality. In “Othello” Iago mislead Othello and Roderigo, by motivating them to misinterpret what they observe. Othello is an open and honest character, but the villain manipulates him to see the appearance he wants, instead of the reality of what is happening (Shakespeare and Gayle 104).  Therefore, human beings should be cautious with the appearances of people.



Work Cited

Shakespeare, William, and Gayle Holste. Othello. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2002. Print.

Shakespeare, William. Much Ado About Nothing. New Haven: Plain Label Books, 2008. Print.