Iago: the Almost Too Perfect Villain

Topics: Othello, Iago, Desdemona Pages: 3 (1232 words) Published: March 12, 2007
Nobody is perfect, but I'm so close that it scares myself. Exact thing applies to Shakespeare's Iago, the almost too perfect villain in the play Othello. Different from the other typical trite villains, Iago has more depth in him other than being plain pure evil. Consumed with envy and plots Iago deceives and kills those who trust him, using the mask of "honest". As an amoral villain, it is not that Iago pushes aside his conscience to commit these acts, but that he lacks a conscience to begin with. Iago's amorality results in the marginality of Othello the Moor whom he supposed to be loyal to, Cassio who is given the position he desires, Emilia the wife he does not love, and sadly, Iago himself. Throughout the whole play, the audience can see the amorality of Iago though the rest of the characters are oblivious to it. His "honesty" blinds the others who are put into marginalization. Shakespeare has done a brilliant job in creating a dazzling villain, the one with great intelligence, despite the tragic outcome he causes.

Iago's mouth drips with sickening sweet talk whenever he is involved in a conversation with Othello, although we all know the truth hidden behind all the saccharine, the nauseating Othello-is-going-down plots. Iago has never gotten over the fact that Othello is a black man with a past as a slave who gains the respect of the Venetians as a reliable and trusted general. "And I, God bless the mark, his Moorship's ancient." (I.1.33). Iago's twisted plot to put Othello in marginalization begins with his effort to rein the fury of Brabantio toward Othello. He realizes that he can use Brabantio to achieve his goal; therefore he will escape the blame. Iago uses Othello's elopement with Desdemona as his first weapon to put Othello in marginalization. "Call up her father, rouse him, make after him, poison his delight, proclaim him in the street, incense her kinsmen, and though he in a fertile climate dwell, plague him with flies: though that his joy be...

Cited: Shakespeare, William. Oxford School Shakespeare: Othello. Ed.Roma Gill. Toronto:
Oxford University Press 1989
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