Iago in Othello

Topics: Othello, William Shakespeare, Michael Cassio Pages: 3 (1105 words) Published: June 12, 2012
Iago of Othello

William Shakespeare began writing tragedies because he believed the plots used by other English writers were lacking artistic purpose and form. He used the fall of a notable person as the main focus of his tragedies (Tragic Hero) developed through the characterization of his pivotal characters correlated with a common theme or a controlling idea. His play Othello, written in approximately 1604 displays this style with the theme of human nature, its being of both good and evil within a person. He illustrates this through his two main characters, Othello and Iago. Paradoxically they are displayed as the exact opposites in the play, but they are exactly the same in that they both possess this ambivalence of good and evil.

There is no character in all of Shakespeare's plays so full of serpentine power and poison as Iago. He is envious of Michael Cassio and suspects that Othello has wronged his honor; but his malignancy is all out of proportion to even his alleged motives through which he shows his ambivalence of nature. His goodness of nature is not pure but simply good in appearence to the other characters. The reader sees the true evil of Iago and how he fools the other characters into believing he is an honorable man. His false displays begin with him and Roderego informing Brabantio of Desedemona's marriage to Othello, a Moor. The reader knows from the conversation between Iago and Roderego in Act I scene 1 that the two men are upset that Iago is not Lieutenant and Roderego cannot have Desedemona and they are acting out of Malice and retaliation. But, to Brabantio, their acts appear to be out of concern for the well being of Desedemona and respect for Brabantio.

The second instance in which the ambivalence is shown is after the Turkish fleet was destroyed by the storm in Act II, Iago acts acts like a friend to Cassio during the celebration and drinks with him. Knowing Cassio's low...
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