The Character of Iago In Othello, by William Shakespeare, one of the most intriguing characters is Iago. At first glance he seems to be pure evil, but I think his actions are much more complex. Through thought-out words and actions Iago is able to manipulate others to do things that benefit him and move him closer to his goals. This character is consumed with envy and deceit that leads to theft and killing. Iago is the main driving force in this play, pushing Othello and the other characters towards their tragic endings.
Iago’s cunning strength lies in his ability to undermine every single character through their weaknesses. Specifically, Othello and Roderigo are the main victims of his lies and deceit. The trait Iago abuses in Roderigo is his naive nature. From the very start of the play, Iago cheats Roderigo of his money and later tricks him into attempting to kill Cassio: “I have no great devotion to the deed, / And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons. / ‘Tis but a man gone.
Reprint from Introduction to The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare. N. p.: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1957.
Shakespeare is brilliant in his transformation of the handsome, fairly two-dimensional rogue in Cinthio's original to the evil egotist who preys on human emotions, a character so deep he could undergo psychological analysis. Indeed is can, and has been said, "Iago is the spirit of negation set against the spirit of creation," Geoffrey Wilson Knight. He shows immense wit throughout the play but uses this gift and his graft of words for pure evil and to bring about human suffering, something he sadistically enjoys. This idea of intelligent and scheming subordinates would have worried the Jacobean audience who relied strongly on the class structure. S.T.
Iago, as the height of evil and villainy, has the typical immorality and cunning about him. Due to Iago's innate sense of deception, he has two major personalities, one of appearance and the other of reality. But Shakespeare instead of making his villain transparent, Iago is given depth and spirit. The deceitful nature of Iago is conveyed to the audience by his treachery of the other characters, especially Othello. Iago appears to be extremely plausible, building a fabricated trust with those who surround him.
In William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, Iago the antagonist of the play is one of Shakespeare’s most multifaceted villains. Through deception Iago makes his fellow characters believes he is a true and honest man. All the while he is manipulating and deceiving every single one of them. Iago is not the typical villain one would now see in cinema. He has much more depth and complexity, and can be believed to be amoral; this is what gives his character such prowess.
He conceals his animosity of Othello to plot vengeance, a brilliant, thought out scheme to exploit his master. Iago is egotistical as he creates jealousy in other characters to make them feel as he does. He is blinded by his ego, envy and anger, his main goal is for everyone to feel as he does, he thrives for others to be equally jealous. He aims to complete his goal through betrayal and manipulation of multiple characters, particularly Othello. No Fear Shakespeare: Othello written by John Crowther states, Iago’s motivations are notoriously murky...he claims to be motivated by different things: resentment that Othello passed him over for a promotion in favor of Michael Cassio; jealousy because he heard a rumor that Othello slept with Iago’s wife, Emilia; suspicion that Cassio slept with Emilia too.
Iago’s deceit and manipulation in Othello Iago is widely credited, in the words of Agatha Christie, as “the greatest villain of all time”. He is a manipulative character who “weaves a web of deceit” by exploiting even the tiniest faults in others. By maintaining a facade of comedy and boyishness he uses his honesty and twisted truth to play others “like a virtuoso” and “drive... them to madness”. In the play Othello, Act 2 Scene 1 is perhaps the most enlightening scene with regards to the truly manipulative character of Iago. Containing several soliloquies and interactions between all of the main characters, his manipulation is well encapsulated both in this scene in the play and in the 1965 Stuart Burge film adaptation.
The Irony of William Shakespeare's Othello Irony plays a great role in ?The Tragedy of Othello?. The villain, Iago, plans from the very beginning of the play to ruin Othello?s life. All the major characters in the play believe that Iago is an honest and trustworthy person. The tragic irony is that Iago fools them all. Throughout the whole play Iago manipulates the people around him and lies to them.
San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Reprint from Introduction to The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare. N. p.: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1957.