Shakespeare has written many works with various villains, but out of all of them, without a doubt the most sinister one is Iago. Most of the antagonists in Shakespeare's plays have valid clear motives for the troubles the cause. Iago on the other had does not, for the most part he just has hatred for the world especially Othello. He is the main character of the play in the sense that he is the cause of all conflict in Othello. All of the problems he causes are through lies, treachery, and manipulation. Some of his hate is fuelled by jealousy and revenge. The ironic part is that he wants to be known as "honest Iago". Iago is the epitome of evil as he manipulates those who trust him without just reason or remorse.
Iago is an evil character as while he has no legitimate reason for his evil plans, he rationalizes the reasons for his actions and still sets out to ruin the lives of those around him.
He hates Michael Cassio, for receiving the lieutenancy instead on himself. Ranting to Roderigo, he says, “[Cassio is] mere prattle without practice/Is all his soldiership…And I, of whom his eyes had seen proof…must be beleed and calmed. (I.i.27-32). Iago believes that he has been unjustly overlooked for the position, as he is clearly more qualified than Cassio. He also believes Cassio has slept with his wife, he “fear[s] Cassio with [his] nightcap(II.i.329)." Though he hates Cassio, much of his hate is directed towards Othello. It may be as Othello has given Cassio the promotion, but Iago does not give that reason, instead he says, “I hate the Moor,/And it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets/’Has done my office. (I.iii.429-431) Iago believes that both Othello and Cassio have been with his wife. He has no evidence o...
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...fuses to divulge information, he says, “Demand me nothing: what you know, you know/From this time forth I never will speak word. (V.ii.355-356) Iago shows no remorse for his actions, even refusing to come clean or ask for some sort of forgiveness when he is caught.
Iago is the epitome of evil as he manipulates those who trust him without just reason or remorse. He only driven by hatred, with has no legitimate reason for his evil plans. Iago is seen as an honest man, and he uses this as leverage to spread lies and manipulate without suspicion. And when all is said and done, he shows no remorse for what he has done. Iago is truly evil to the core, continually playing a game of deception, with everyone, the audience, even himself. He has depth and his actions are the main drive of the play. Iago, with his hatred and amorality, is an example of a perfect villain.
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