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William Shakespeare’s Othello: the Creation of a Villain


William Shakespeare’s Othello: the Production of a Bad guy

William Shakespeare’s Othello includes the essence of true disaster. Filled with questionable active ingredients such as Desdemona’s disobedience to her dad, slurs of bigotry concerning Othello, and treachery in its purest form at the hands of Iago-who by some is stated to be Shakespeare’s greatest villain. In a metaphorical sense, Iago can be compared to the sun and the other characters and elements of the play to planets- for the characters and their actions all orbit around Iago.

Fueled by jealousy and revenge, Iago takes on the world as if it were a video game of chess, stepping on others and using them as pawns in order to get his ultimate goal, toppling Othello. At the start of the play, we are warned of Iago’s anger at not being selected to be Othello’s lieutenant. Rather, Michael Cassio is named lieutenant and Iago is named as the Moor’s ensign (third in command). In Act I Scene I, we are also presented to Roderigo, who loves Desdemona. Roderigo has actually been paying Iago to help him win Desdemona’s affection.

However, Iago has actually been embezzling the money and Desdemona has fallen in love with and married Othello. In action to Roderigo’s determination, Iago informs him of his hatred of Othello and his strategies of toppling him in the following lines: “I follow him to serve my turn upon him. We can not all be masters, nor all masters Can not be truly followed … Were I the Moor I would not be Iago. In following him I follow but myself” (1. 1 42-58). Throughout the course of the play, it’s clear that Iago is various from other bad guys of his kind.

Iago acts without conscious, as if possessed or psychotic. He will let absolutely nothing get in his method be it a good friend of even his own spouse. In Act II Scene I after getting here in Cyprus, Iago constructs a plan to overthrow Cassio. Iago pulls Roderigo aside and persuades him that Desdemona will grow tired of Othello in the following lines: “When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there need to be again to inflame it, and to offer satiety a fresh apatite, loveliness in favour, sympathy in year, good manners, and appeals, all which the Moor is malfunctioning in.

Now, for desire of these needed conveniences, her fragile inflammation will find itself abused, start to heave the canyon, disrelish and abhor the Moor” (2. 1 220-227). Iago goes on to persuade Roderigo that Desdemona will move on to Cassio next. Iago gets Cassio drunk and ignites a brawl. After seeing Cassio’s actions, Othello strips him of his title. The wheels of Iago’s craven strategy are now set in movement. He informs Cassio that he should have Desdemona consult with Othello about forgiving him and restoring his position, all the while fabricating an affair.

When Othello and Iago see Desdemona and Cassio leave after speaking, Othello requests for information if it remained in reality Cassio he saw and Iago replies by saying “Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I can not think it, That he would take away so guilty-like Seeing your coming” (2. 3 37-39). Iago totally persuades Othello that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair and has his wife, Emilia, obtain Desdemona’s scarf so that he can plant in Cassio’s chamber as evidence. Iago informs Roderigo to eliminate Cassio but Roderigo stops working and winds up getting wounded himself.

Sustained by jealousy and anger, Othello suffocates Desdemona who in death claims to have actually dedicated suicide in order to secure her truthful obedience to her other half. Seeing Desdemona’s last words, Iago’s wife Emilia tells Othello about her husband wanting Desdemona’s scarf. Othello realizes that he has been a victim of Iago’s treachery. Without thought, Iago eliminates Emilia and flees however is eventually captured. Iago’s plan becomes a success when Othello kills himself in the last scene. The method William Shakespeare crafted his characters is second to none.

In many disasters, the villains are usually one dimensional. Whereas in Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago is multidimensional. Iago is not only a treacherous bad guy but likewise a genius in his own right. Iago is able to encourage Roderigo, a rich Venetian to pay for help in courting Desdemona, he triggers Cassio to be benched from his lieutenant position, gets his own spouse (though unaware) to partake in his plan in stealing Desdemona’s handkerchief, and accomplishes his ultimate goal in Othello’s damage.

The play revolves around Iago’s words and actions because he’s callous, he pushes everyone out of his way for his own goals. Iago is a bad guy, pure and simple, and is the reason Othello continues to read today. Works Cited Greenblatt, Stephen. The Norton Shakespeare Based Upon the Oxford Edition. Second ed. London, England: W. W. Norton & & Company, Ltd.


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