Lovable Villians

argumentative Essay
625 words
625 words

Within most modern movies and shows there is a villain in which the audience either feels bad for, or actually likes. These are very complex and interesting characters who usually have a relatively bad past. Shakespeare portrays a lot of these same qualities within his plays and most of his villainous characters are likable as well. This quality is translated into the modern day in all forms of entertainment. "The frequency with which these moments (sympathy and empathy) occur in the plays allows audience's to understand and identify with the villain, but renders these characters more difficult to classify and harder to hate." (Marino). In the following essay, the ideas of the villains within Othello, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Hamlet will be compared and contrasted. The villain in Othello is Iago, and needless to say, he is extremely intelligent. Comparatively, in Midsummer Night's Dream and Hamlet, the villain is intelligent. In contrast, however, they do not seem to be as intelligent as Iago is. Iago has everything pretty much worked out and though he does seek revenge for past wrongs, he usually does not let that get in the way of what he thinks needs to be done. Such a situation is when Cassio is in a fight with Roderigo outside of Bianca's house, and in the dark Iago simply kills Roderigo in cold blood. Algernon Swinburne says of Iago, "An Iago is abnormal : his wonderful intelligence, omnipotent and infallible within its limit and its range, gives to the unclean and maleficent beast that he is the dignity and the mystery of a devil." (Swinburne). There isn't really a villain within Midsummer Night's Dream, more like there are multiple tricksters, Puck being the foremost of these. Puck is almost a cute character that... ... middle of paper ... ...any times it seems like they completely control what they are doing, but other times it is seen that other forces are at work. It just remains to be examined what exactly these forces are and where they come from. Works Cited Bradley, Andrew Cecil. Shakespearean Tragedy; Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. N.p.: Macmillan and Co., 1922. Print. Evans, Robert C. “’This Sport Well Carried Shall Be Chronicled’: Puck as Trickster in William Shakespeare’s ”A Midsummer Night’s Dream.“ N.p.: University at Montgomery, 2010. Print. Kastan, David Scott. “His semblable is his mirror”: Hamlet and the Imitation of Revenge. N.p.: EBSCO, 2002. Print. Marino, Kelli Rae. “Someone, Anyone”: Contemporary Theatre’s Empathetic Villain. N.p.: University of Arizona, 2008. Print. Swinburne, Algernon Charles. Three Plays of Shakespeare. N.p.: Harper and Brothers, 1909. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Compares the ideas of the villains within othello, midsummer night's dream, and hamlet.
  • Compares othello's villain, iago, with midsummer night dream and hamlet, but they aren't as intelligent as he is. he seeks revenge for past wrongs but does not let that get in the way.
  • Compares puck to the other villains in midsummer night's dream in that he cares about what is going on and is actually trying to fix some things.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's villain, iago, is selfish and cares about nothing but his own life and pleasures. claudius is willing to live with what he has done to be with the queen and rule the kingdom.
  • Explains that shakespeare's tragedies were well written and each tragedy has a link to the next in composition and style. the villains portray the image of both doing action and having action done to them.
  • Cites bradley's shakespearean tragedy; lectures on hamlet, othello, king lear, and macbeth.
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