Othelloanalysis of Iago





Othello - Analysis of Iago

Shakespeare\'s Iago is one of Shakespeare\'s most complex villains. At first glance
Iago\'s character seems to be pure evil. However, such a villain would distract from
the impact of the play and would be trite. Shakespeare to add depth to his villain
makes him amoral, as opposed to the typical immoral villain. Iago\'s entire scheme
begins when the "ignorant, ill-suited" Cassio is given the position he desired. Iago is
consumed with envy and plots to steal the position he feels he most justly deserves.
Iago deceives, steals, and kills to gain that position. However, it is not that Iago
pushes aside his conscience to commit these acts, but that he lacks a conscience to
begin with. Iago\'s amorality can be seen throughout the play and is demonstrated by
his actions.

For someone to constantly lie and deceive one\'s wife and friends, one must be
extremely evil or, in the case of Iago, amoral. In every scene in which Iago speaks
one can point out his deceptive manner. Iago tricks Othello into beleiving that his
own wife is having an affair, without any concrete proof. Othello is so caught up in
Iago\'s lies that he refuses to believe Desdemona when she denies the whole thing.
Much credit must be given to Iago\'s diabolical prowess which enables him to bend
and twist the supple minds of his friends and spouse. In today\'s society Iago would
be called a psychopath without a conscience not the devil incarnate.

Iago also manages to steal from his own friend without the slightest feeling of guilt.
He embezzles the money that Roderigo gives him to win over Desdemona. When
Roderigo discovers that Iago has been hoarding his money he screams at Iago and
threatens him. However, when Iago tells him some fanciful plot in order to capture
Desdemona\'s heart Roderigo forgets Iago\'s theft and agrees to kill Cassio. Iago\'s
keen intellect is what intrigues the reader most. His ability to say the right things at
the right time is what makes him such a successful villain. However, someone with a
conscience would never be able to keep up such a ploy and deceive everyone
around him. This is why it is necessary to say that Iago is amoral, because if you
don\'t his character becomes fictional and hard to believe.

At the climactic ending of the play, Iago\'s plot is given away to Othello by his own
wife, Emilia. Iago sees his wife as an obstacle and a nuisance so he kills her. He kills
her not as much out of anger but for pragmatic reasons. Emilia is a stumbling block
in front of his path. She serves no purpose to him anymore and she can now only
hurt his chances of keeping the position he has been given by Othello. Iago\'s
merciless taking of Emilia\'s and Roderigo\'s lives is another proof of his amorality.

If one looks in modern day cinema, one will see the trite villain, evil to the core.
Shakespeare took his villains to a higher level. He did not make them transparent
like the villains of modern cinema. He gave his villains depth and spirit. Iago is a
perfect example of "Shakespeare\'s villain." His amorality and cynicism give, what
would be a very dull character, life.





Bibliography:

none...the book i suppose