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Essay about The Character of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello

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The Character of Iago

 
  The old cliché "One bad apple ruins the bunch" is what enters one's mind when discussing the villainous, deceitful, protagonist Iago in Shakespeare's tragedy "Othello." It is amazing how one person alone can completely destroy, or deteriorate a group of good natured, trusting, loyal peoples' lives in a matter of days- three to be exact. What is the motive behind Iago's heinous, selfish acts, one may ask? A rather obvious theme in the Shakespeare's tragedy, "Othello", is that of the many facets of jealousy, which instigate the evil-doings of protagonist, Iago. Jealousy can be best defined, in the thinking of Renaissance, as a derivative or compounded passion. It is a species of envy, which is in turn a species of hatred. Hatred finds its opposite in love and is opposed to love. Envy is opposed to mercy. Yet while jealousy is opposed to love, it often rises from love. Like envy, it has something of the grief or fear that comes from seeing another in possession of what which we would possess solely for ourselves. Though jealousy is compounded, it still partakes in the nature of hatred, and hatred brings in its wake anger and revenge (Nardo 122). This could not be more accurate in the horrid actions Iago resorts to in his insatiable desire to get what he feels is rightfully his, regardless of who he hurts along the way. Iago serves as a prime example that keeping your enemies closest does not always work to your advantage. Let us now examine the heights of deceit to which Iago rises in his selfish, tactless rage to acquire what he wants. The best demonstration of Iago's jealous ways are shown through his twisted motives and his strategically planned out course of action in which he...


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...lies, and deceit, and furthermore teaches us to beware of "Iago's." They are definitely out there. Try and weed out the bad apples before their irreversible, permanent damage ruins the bunch.

 

Works Cited List

 

Charney, Maurice. All of Shakespeare. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993

 

Jorgensen, Paul A. William Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1985

 

Leone, Bruno. Shakespeare: Reflections on the Tragedies. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.

 

Nardo, Don. Readings on Othello. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2000.

 

Bevington, David, ed. Shakespeare's Othello. Toronto: Bantam Books, 1988.

 

Allshakespeare.com. 14 April 2003 http://www.allshakespeare.com/othello

Questia.com. 10 April 2003. <http.www.questia.com/facts/Othello>

 

 

 


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