Ambiguous Characters Of ' Othello ' And Henry Higgins From Pygmalion

1543 Words Aug 18th, 2015 7 Pages
Morally ambiguous characters are very common. From the classic works of literature, such as Shakespeare’s Othello, to modern characters, such as Marvel superheroes, morally ambiguous characters are used by writers to make a point and to spark an idea in the minds of their audience. Two examples of these types of characters are Iago from Othello and Henry Higgins from Pygmalion. Both characters played pivotal roles in their perspective plays. Despite being static characters, both played important roles in driving forward the events and developing the theme of the play. There are, however, both similarities and differences between the two. Iago presents his ambiguity somewhat differently than Henry Higgins.
Iago is a perfect example of a traditional morally ambiguous character. We, as the audience, have a love-hate relationship with Iago. As bad as he is, we cannot keep ourselves from admiring his cleverness and his use of language to manipulate others so easily. The ambiguity, and the irony, of his character are shown through his title: the Honest Iago. Despite admitting to being a liar and warning others that “[he] is not what [he] is” (I.I.66), the other characters continue to believe his every word and trust him with their life–literally. He continuously changes the motive of his vengeance against Othello. Yet, despite his ambiguous motives, he plans well and all his actions lead to outcomes, which are mostly positive only for him. Those actions, however, do not always…

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