Iago As A Villain In Othello

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Everybody knows that the most enthralling stories have a good villain. A “good” villain refers to a character who is ruthless, cunning, and an all-around mastermind who keeps the audience guessing. One of the most interesting villains is Iago from William Shakespeare’s Othello. Iago is a villain who has been analyzed for 500 years and still has no clear motivations for his evil acts. Fast forward a few centuries from the time Iago was created and take one of the most interesting characters from the CW’s television series The Vampire Diaries who happens to be the elusive vampire, Katherine Pierce. Both of these villains are similar in their manipulative nature, their motivations, and their impacts on the characters and stories.
One of the most prominent traits in Iago is his ability to manipulate. His entire plan of bringing about the downfall of Othello involves him manipulating characters into believing what he wants them to believe. In fact, he is so good at manipulating people that no one even suspects him of doing anything wrong because they believe he is such an honorable man. “Iago deceives Othello by also manipulating other people to achieve his ends” (Boyce). This shows that Iago is able to deceive mostly everyone in the play. However, Iago himself says in Act I scene i line 62 of Othello “I am not what I am.” He means that he is not the loyal, honest friend that he appears to be to everyone else. His manipulations include using Roderigo for his money if he helps him against Othello while making it seem like he will help Roderigo win Othello’s wife, Desdemona (Shakespeare). He also manipulates Othello by making it seem as if Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair, which is what ultimately brings about the hero’s downfa...

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...lings for her doppelganger, she taunted the boys about it, trying to turn them against each other again. Not to mention the jealousy she caused Elena to feel from all the flirting that she directed towards one brother in particular (The Vampire Diaries). Many of the decisions made in both stories were made because a character was driven by a jealous impulse, planted there because of Katherine or Iago manipulating them.
Katherine and Iago are two very similar characters. One is immortal and the other is not, but their characters are alike as villains because of the way they manipulate, what their motivations are, and how they affect the stories they are in. However, these characteristics make them all the more interesting. They help drive the plot and can be considered “good” villains because they are, in fact, ruthless masterminds who keeps the audience interested.
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