In this essay, I am going to explain how Iago conforms to the literary
tradition of a villain.
Firstly, to answer this question, we must understand what exactly is
meant by the term 'villain'. The Collins Plain English Dictionary
states that a villain is someone who 'deliberately sets out to harm
It is clear that Iago is clearly someone who has intentions of
destroying other people, whether they are his main targets or merely
pawns in his game.
Shakespeare himself created some of the most memorable villains of all
time. The list includes Iago (Othello), Richard III, Cornwall and
Edmund (King Lear), Aaron the Moor (Titus Andronicus) and Macbeth.
What all these characters share is their willingness to commit the
most heinous of crimes in order to acquire what they want.
With the exception of Macbeth, none of these characters seem to have a
conscience. Macbeth is the only one who shows the slightest hint of
remorse over the crimes he has committed. He has terrible nightmares,
illusions and eventually turns himself mad with worry over whether or
not he will be found out.
The rest of the characters are described as ruthless villains by
"about.com". Richard III, according to the website, is 'tyrannical and
'In a play rife with heinous evildoers, Cornwall towers over them all.
Infinitely greedy and exceptionally cruel, he delights in gouging out
Aaron the Moor is accused of 'masterminding vile crimes and remaining
defiant to the end, 'If one good deed in all my life I did, I do
... middle of paper ...
...y, someone with a
beautiful, loving wife and unquestionable respect from the people
around him - someone like Othello, the Moor.
In conclusion, it must be apparent to all that Iago is clearly a
villain and possibly a psychopath. His jealous tendencies towards
Othello led him to be consumed with hatred, and he spread that
detestation around to inflict others with it. Roderigo began hating
Cassio and Othello loathed Desdemona. I don't think Iago symbolises
evil, I think he is evil. Throughout the play, he exploits the other
characters racial prejudices and personal insecurities. He is able to
bring out the most unpleasant traits in human nature (especially
jealousy) and turn them to his advantage. In reading this play, we can
all see the tragic effects of what happens when we allow our emotions
to rule our actions.
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