In the Tragedy of Othello, by William Shakespeare, a great injustice is done to the main character, Othello the Moor. Othello is manipulated by the villain Iago to satiate Iago’s need for control and his desire for revenge. Othello the General has promoted another, Cassio, to hold the position that Iago feels he deserves. For the injustice that Iago feels has been committed against him, he brings about the destruction of Othello and his wife, Desdemona, using Cassio as his tool for doing so.
Iago is the master villain in Othello, and is indeed a prototypal villain; that is, he is the mould for many other villains in their own deeds. He appears to be cunning, decisive, and able to take advantage of any set of circumstances. He moulds the people around him and his surroundings to suit his own “peculiar” ends. Furthermore Iago appears to be a good and honest person to all involved parties until just before the close of the play. Everyone is his willing dupe. Every master villain attempts his level of excellence.
Iago, to achieve his revenge manipulates Othello into wrongfully suspecting his wife of infidelity, and makes him insane with jealousy, enough to kill her in his rage. Othello is the general of the city of Venice, and as foreigner, a dark-skinned Moor. Othello appears to be a ...
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... everything possible to his advantage, even his reputation for honesty; for no more reason than that he was passed over for a promotion. We know that the noble Othello is fooled, and simultaneously feel sorry that such an honest man has been duped.
Snyder, Susan. "Beyond the Comedy: Othello" Modern Critical Interpretations, Othello Ed. Harold Bloom, Pub. Chelsea House New Haven CT 1987. (23-37)Norman Sanders, ed. Othello. Cambridge: New York, 1995: 12.
C. W. Slights. "Slaves and Subjects in Othello," Shakespeare Quarterly v48 Winter 1997: 382.
J. Adelman. "Iago's Alter Ego: Race as Projection in Othello," Shakespeare Quarterly v48 Summer 1997: 130.
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