The role of deceit in literature provides a unique yet integral role in the development of character, plot, or simply the text’s literary purpose as a whole. In William Shakespeare’s 1603 tragedy: Othello (The Tragedy of Othello, the Merchant of Venice), a number of the characters utilize deception to achieve individual agendas; however, the deceit comes to haunt them in the end. Mostly, deception is used within a character’s verbiage and exact diction. Each individual character’s reasoning for deceit is usually dependant on the severity of the deceit itself and also whether or not the final ends of the character’s agenda are virtuous or evil. Desdemona hiding her relationship with Othello from her father is a more virtuous act of deceit, as it is simply to preserve their relationship and not trouble her father Brabantio. He states, “O, she deceives me Past thought!” In wanting to protect him, Desdemona wove a web of deception out of love for her father and the hurt he may feel. Thus, this act of deceit was not so severe as to mar the character of Desdemona, but it may rather mark her as a virtuous individual who suffers an unlikely fate. Of the same deceit of Desdemona’s father via Desdemona, Iago says to Othello, “She did deceive her father, marrying you.”  The very nature of implanting seeds of doubt in Othello’s mind is far more harsh than Desdemona’s righteous deception. Therefore, deceit overlaid by the characters varies in degree from kind-heartedness to indignity as well as in levels of deception where one lie may be more deceitful than other. As mentioned previously, deceptions do not solely lie within unfaithful and evil acts; sometimes, the deceiver does so out of good intentions. In Act 4, Desdemona deceives Othello with more good intentions rather than malicious ones when Othello falsely suspects that Desdemona is cheating on him when she could not produce the handkerchief he gifted her: “Othello ‘Lend me your handkerchief.’ Desdemona ‘I have it not about me.’ Othello ‘Is’t lost? Is’t gone? Speak: is’t out o’th way?’ Desdemona ‘It is not lost.'” Her protection from Othello’s rage was the only true intention of her deceit. Iago’s trickery and deception, specified in the first paragraph, is of a far more malevolent and severe caliber than Desdemona’s, as his intents are completely evil and self-righteous. His never-ending web of jealous deceit results in his ultimate demise at the end of the play with Othello’s outburst of fury: “You told a lie, an odious damned lie: Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie! She false with Cassio! Did you say with Cassio?” Iago’s deceptions seem ceaseless as he responds with: “I told him what I thought, and told no more Than what he found himself was apt and true,” further projecting the root of the problem from him onto someone else. Deception is an art form in dishonesty that many, such as Iago are willing masters, while still others, such as Desdemona, deceive for what they believe to be the common good. For characters like Desdemona, the ends of those she loves being happy outweighs the means of their own ignorance with her deception of them. Conversely, the perversion of Iago’s deception is that the ends of his agenda—his own promotion and vengeance against the Moor outweigh the gruesome means of allowing several to die. This is an integral facet of the text as a whole.