During this most recent semester we, as a class, have waded through a sufficient sampling of works by the good bard. During this experience, a plethora of characters have successfully held the spotlight, evoked aspects of the nature of man, and twisted the extremes of human emotions into knots. By retreating to ponder these noble souls and most horrid villains, one immediately recognizes a character worthy of more close examination is the dastardly and enigmatic puppeteer culpable for the tragic finale of Othello. Iago, or more ironically, "honest Iago," as he is called, is complex role to be considered for two principal reasons. Primarily, because the depth of his character is somewhat endless, but also because when we contrast him with other main antagonists throughout other Shakespearean efforts, some interesting insights can be revealed. Stemming from said contrasts involving Iago, we immediately begin to shift our thoughts to the apparent differences between antagonists within the Shakespeare. This brings us to the pressing issue of do we consider Iago to be the most complete antagonist? Is he the bard's most complete depraved creation, or just an assemblage, or mosaic of previous more one-sided evil doers?
When beginning to flesh out the skeleton of Iago's character, it must be first understood that he is not the admitted and obvious opponent of the tragic hero. Iago is a hidden antagonist, or rather he disguises his intentions within the actions or deeds others. He manipulates and "plays" other characters (pardon the pun) showing the reader that he values others as if they were tools available to be used for achieving his own ends, or pawns in a game center...
... middle of paper ...
...s from all aspects of Iago's character. Oddly, the Merchant of Venice comes midway through the Poetic period which falls before the Tragic period, and in some ways we could consider it a transitional work because of its obvious similarities and stark differences.
Either way, whether we consider above chronological significance or not, there is certain thread constantly reminiscent of Iago running throughout these plays which cannot be denied. Thus Iago, and all the horrible splendor surrounding him, must certainly fall into the category of Shakespeare's greatest and most complex villains. Hopefully, if nothing more, examination of these characters will help us to avoid calling out, as Cassio did for the very enemies who have created our unfortunate situations. In Act 5, Scene 1, we hear Cassio say "Iago! I am spoil'd, undone by villains! / Give me some help!"
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- As in almost all tragedies, especially those of William Shakespeare, the tragic hero always runs into misfortune. The play Othello is no exception. In this play, every character acquainted with the tragic hero appears to be unfortunate. While these misfortunes are oddly related to Othello, are they his fault or did each character attract them out of their own actions. To answer this daunting question, one must consider the three most unfortunate characters: Othello, Desdamona and Roderigo and analyse their downfall which eventually lead to their deaths.... [tags: William Shakespeare Othello]
1138 words (3.3 pages)
- The character of Iago has traditionally been viewed as the most infamous villain in all of Shakespeare. The conniving ringmaster of the tragedy of Othello, Iago serves as a necessary catalyst for the action of the play. He takes such a principal role in the drama that the play has commonly been described as Othello’s tragedy, but Iago’s play. Scholars have disagreed, however, as to whether or not Iago can simply be described as an ingenious villain lacking all regard for morality. Many have seen some of his most inhuman or evil qualities as the very thing that makes him human; others have attributed his manipulative ambition to a deep-seeded psychological need to belong and have drawn clear... [tags: Shakespeare]
1649 words (4.7 pages)
- Analysis of Act One of Othello by William Shakespeare Act 1 is an exceptionally indicative passage of writing in which Shakespeare attempts to divulge the coarse essence of Iago's nature to the audience. Indeed, by the conclusion of line 66 the audience not only understands - in broad terms - Iago's motives and grievances, but also something of the manner in which he intends to consummate vengeance against his ostensible antagonists.... [tags: Papers]
1476 words (4.2 pages)
- Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello William Shakespeare, born: 1564 died: 1616, is considered one of the greatest writers who has ever lived. He had a unique way of putting things into words. All of his plays, sonnets, and poems have gotten great recognition. But when Shakespeare wrote Othello he created one of the most controversial villains of all times; Iago. He is best described as disturbing, ruthless, and amoral. No other character can even come close to his evil (Iago: The 1). Iago, in the play Othello, is a very intriguing villain.... [tags: William shakespeare Othello Iago Essays]
1219 words (3.5 pages)
- Iago of William Shakespeare's Othello Who is Iago. Iago poisons people's thoughts, creating ideas in their heads without implicating himself. His first victim is Roderigo. Roderigo remarks, "That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse as if the strings were thine." [Act I, Scene I, Line 2] Throughout the play, Iago leads Roderigo, professing that ". . . I do hate [the Moor] as I do Hell pains." [Act I, Scene I, Line 152] He tells Roderigo to "Put money in thy purse" [Act I, Scene III, Line 328] so that he can win Desdemona with gifts.... [tags: Iago William shakespeare Othello Essays]
1540 words (4.4 pages)
- Iago's Mind in William Shakespeare's Othello In Shakespeare’s play Othello, the character of Iago takes on the role of a person warped within his own thoughts and feelings. Although people today have the benefit of psychology, back in the 1600s people with severe psychological disorders were left un-medicated and free to roam as citizens of society. Although Iago would have benefited from medication of today, in his mind he was the best, even though his own imagination got the better of him and fed his own misguided mentality.... [tags: Iago Psychology Shakespeare Othello Essays]
1491 words (4.3 pages)
- Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello Unequivocally, Iago plays an important and major function in the tragedy of Othello. By the end of the play, Iago has been directly responsible for the deaths of Roderigo, Emilia and the protagonist and his love. Iago's importance to the play is revealed by his contribution to the plot and his significance relative to other characters. Iago's function, which invariably adds to the importance he has on the play, is to lead to the downfall of Othello therefore revealing the themes of hate, jealousy and revenge.... [tags: William Shakespeare Othello Essays]
2694 words (7.7 pages)
- 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. Iago is very distressed, because Michael Cassio was promoted to Othello?s lieutenant instead of himself.... [tags: William Shakespeare Othello Iago Essays]
1441 words (4.1 pages)
- The Character of Iago from Othello The character of Iago is crucial for the play, and its essence has often been presented as ‘the evil taking a human form.’ What is important to any attempt to understand this play is the mechanism that makes the action moving forward. If this is ‘the force of evil’, represented in the character of Iago, this gives him the most relevant role, the power to forward the entire course of the play in certain direction. A number of fortunate circumstances helps his plot, and even in the most dangerous moments everything seems to fit his plans.... [tags: Othello William Shakespeare Iago Plays Essays]
4193 words (12 pages)
- Tragic Heroism in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Othello In tragedy the reader often sympathizes and empathizes with the protagonist who attains "wisdom through suffering." Tess Durbeyfield, in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Othello, in William Shakespeare's Othello are protagonists who elicit the sympathy of the reader as they suffer, act, and triumph over their antagonists, who are embodied by the characters of Alec D'Urberville, Tess' wealthy defiler, and Iago, Othello's amoral lieutenant.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
579 words (1.7 pages)