Deception Theme

For the theme of deception I chose to read Othello. While not strictly a young adult text and therefore different from the other stories on this list, I think it is a story that raises all the necessary questions for looking closely at deceit as a theme.

Iago as a character is especially useful to study in close detail when considering a deceitful person. He seems almost inhuman in his quest to destroy everyone and everything around him. This brings about the question of how would this paly be different if Iago had motives we would understand? If we could relate to and sympathize for Iago would Othello still be a hero?

This is such an interesting question because though Iago is certainly the master of puppets in this play, he is certainly not the only one who practices deceit. Like many other Shakespeare plays, many of the events could have been avoided if all characters were more honest and made more of an attempt to communicate with one another.

This play works very well to bring up important moral questions that I think nearly every young adult should find their own way to answer. Questions like: what makes Iago so successful at manipulating everyone? Why does evil triumph? DOES evil triumph? Is deceit ever necessary/forgivable?

These questions and more are all ones that the play brings to the mind of the reader.


The picture I chose represents the nature of Iago to be always metaphorically carrying a knife behind his back that he keeps a secret for such a long time.


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