In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the antagonist Iago shows evil motivations towards the protagonist Othello that could be considered obsessive. This pattern of behavior can be compared to the BBC television rendition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and its antagonist Moriarty. Iago and Moriarty’s obsessive behavior greatly effect Othello and Sherlock’s lives respectively that provide a solid argumentative comparison between the two. William Shakespeare’s Othello presents and “evil” character, Iago, who can be compared to the Arthur Conan Doyle TV adaption of BBC Sherlock’s Moriarty.
Iago takes on many different persona’s to enact his plan of revenge upon Othello. He plays the friend, a trustworthy and credible source of information for Othello in his feat of drama with his innocent wife, Desdemona. He also plays the wingman for Roderigo who is madly in love with Desdemona, encouraging him to make advances towards her to woo Desdemona away from Othello. Iago even persuades Roderigo to kill Cassio with his lies about Cassio and Desdemona’s affair. “...you may take him at your pleasure: I will be near to second your attempt, and he shall fall between us.” Iago promises to assist Roderigo in the murder of Cassio and he will be rewarded with Desdemona’s love (Navigators.) Iago’s true persona, though, is a heartless, woman-hating villain who would go to great lengths to get revenge against Othello for preferring Cassio over him for the military promotion.
Very much like Iago, Moriarty takes on varying personalities to gain an advantage against his opponent. To Sherlock Holmes, he is Moriarty; the intellectually challenging and dangerous criminal that seeks to eliminate his competition. For Molly Hooper, the trusted pathologist...
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...he met the detective, fell victim to Moriarty’s games. “Moriarty is playing with your mind too. Can’t you see what’s going on!” (Sherlock). During Holmes’ last days before his faked suicide, he pleads with John to see reason through Jim’s manipulations, as does Desdemona with Othello’s accusations. Even Sherlock’s oldest friend Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade was doubting Holmes’ credibility.
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Sherlock. Dir. Mark Gatiss. Perf. Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott. Hartswood Films, 2010.