"Othello" is basically the story of how one influence corrupts an unsuspecting group into believing lies. It sounds awfully similar to the one creation story in the Bible in which the serpent convinces Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge, even after God tells them not to eat from it. The serpent is not meant to be thought of as a literal serpent, but rather to symbolize evil. Just as the Serpent, Iago can easily be seen as the evil force in the story. It is possible that Iago too is not meant to be taken literally, but to show the influence of evil in the characters. The characters who act on the influence of evil received their punishment: Roderigo, who loves Desdemona, goes on to die because of that; Cassio, who drinks too much at the celebration, goes on to be severely injured by Roderigo; Emilia, who steals the handkerchief, goes on to die because of that; and Othello, who kills Desdemona, goes on to kill himself. This also provides a reason why Othello does not ask any other character about Desdemona's unfaithfulness, that is, because it is his own suspicion the entire time. Iago shows such pure evil that the only possible explanation for his lack of conscience is that he represents the evil intentions of all the characters in the play. The fact that Iago is married to Emilia could be seen simply as Emilia's closeness to evil and this view would also explain how their relationship is so unlike that of Othello and Desdemonas'. Instead of Iago physically murdering Roderigo and Emilia, it might be seen that in following evil, the two commit their own "original sins" that prevent them from a much longer life just as Adam and Eve.
Emilia, in stealing the handkerchief, can be seen as an Eve figure because not only does she follow Iago in taking it, but she also plays a major part in the influence of Othello's "original sin." Othello, being an Adam figure, is deceived by both Iago and Emilia. Othello's "original sin" that leads him to his own...
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