Othello and the Cask of Amontillado Speech

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Do the characteristics of villainy exist in all of us? Revenge, betrayal, manipulation are all features of the archetypical villain which convey the flaws in humanity. This idea is demonstrated through Shakespeare’s Iago from Othello and Edgar Allen Poe’s Montresor from The cask of Amontillado, as they play the roles of two evil, back-stabbing characters in which we all learn and love to hate. Through the archetype of the villain, composers explore how humanity needs very little motivation to stoop to evil, and this evil is easily catalysed into action. Iago envy’s and is jealous of Cassio’s promotion, and promptly plans to seek revenge; similarly in the case of Montresor, Fortunato’s insulting remarks easily created vengeful urges, which in the end led to his murder. Iago’s ability in reading and understanding the human mind enables him to control and deceive others, as he drove Othello mad from jealousy, introducing the “green eyed monster” as he understood the human nature of how easily love could drive people into becoming blind and losing control over their emotions. The irony in the continuous repetition of the phrase “honest Iago”, demonstrates how well one can manipulate people to gain their trust and create a façade to conceal their true selves, in order to control people. When Iago claims "I am not what I am," he cryptically suggests that he's not what he appears to be and it is understood to be an inversion of God's line, "I am what I am" which is in keeping with the play's alignment of Iago with the devil. His heightened devious nature comes across only within his many soliloquies. This evokes the frustration of the audience to discover the cunning and deceitful nature of the darker side of humanity which is portrayed through his archetype of the villain. Likewise, Montresor also understands the human mind very well. In order to lead Fortunato to the vaults where the Amontillado supposedly lies, he cleverly states “I am on my way to Luchesi...
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