The Villains of Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hamlet

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William Shakespeare was the greatest dramatic director of his time, and today is still possibly the greatest playwright to ever live. His dramatic works allowed the people of his time to understand what was wrong with society, and enjoy all of the things that were right about it. The messages he wished to convey still echo and resonate in the minds of anyone who has witnessed a Shakespeare play in today’s world. “The early plays are filled with life and vitality, praising and glorifying the virtues of true love, even when in the presence of deep tragedy.” (Terrall) Throughout all of his plays, he is sure to include two character types: a protagonist and an antagonist. Within each individual play, the protagonist is relatively easy to pick out. The antagonist, or villain, on the other hand, is not always so simple to perceive. Typically the villain in most of Shakespeare’s plays is male, and he will often be close to the protagonist in some form or another. Villains from Shakespeare’s Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hamlet are depicted in much the same way throughout each play; the three most influential villains, and those that will be analyzed are Iago from Othello, Puck out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and last but not least, Claudius in Hamlet.
Iago and Puck initially seem to have nothing in common, as one originates from a tragedy, and the other from a comedy; however, there are certain characteristics that are comparable between the two. The difference between these two men is quite obvious: one is a fairy while the other is human. To say that they are nothing alike would be a false accusation though. Each of these men provides major obstacles for the protagonist, or protagonists, in the case of A Midsummer Night’s Dr...

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