One of the most brilliantly crafted villains in history, Iago is an incredibly intelligent and creative man who shows throughout the play how apt he is at twisting the truth and turning the facts upside down, using strategies and tactic any politician would envy. Right through the play he demonstrates his ability to harm and destroy people’s lives, all through his brilliant and persuasive word use, which ultimately, is his weapon. He plants ideas in the characters’ heads, causing their minds to fester and warp their thoughts. Iago, who believes he deserves Cassio’s place as Othello’s lieutenant, spends his time plotting, manipulating and scheming. He hates Cassio, and Othello, for choosing Cassio as his Lieutenant. Iago uses a mixture of hints and hesitations to convince Othello that his wife Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. The protagonist, Othello, is Iago’s foremost victim; he believes that Iago is a man of “of exceeding honesty, knows all qualities, with a learned spirit" [Act III, Scene III].
“There are a kind of men so loose of soul
That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs.
One kind of this is Cassio.
In sleep I heard him say, ‘Sweet Desdemona,
Let us be wary, let us hide our loves.” [Act III, Scene III]
This scene is an excellent example of...
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...ruth he kills himself, as he cannot bear to live without Desdemona.
“I never would have given her up not even if God himself offered me a jewel as big as a planet in exchange for her.” [Act 5,Sc.2]
Shakespeare constructed the character of Iago which became synonymous of the word villain. Right through the play the audience cannot believe what they are seeing; his tricks and lies are astounding, as they watch him declare his honesty promising to one character as he deceives another. Iago is seen as such an innocent and trustworthy man by all the characters in the play. He masterfully ensnares his victims’ minds, allowing him to do what he pleases with them, as he tries to exact his revenge. Through his deception he manipulates and lies to Roderigo and Cassio whilst simultaneously planting ideas in Othello’s mind, which in the end leads to the downfall of them all.
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