Good And Evil In Othello

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According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Iago is a “being next to the devil, only not quite the devil (Shaffer, 1968).” This opinion reads true for many as they delve into the world that is Othello. Shakespeare planted a character in Othello that readers will not soon forget. Unlike many Shakespearean plays, Shakespeare leaves out the aspect of magic and otherworldly things, and instead focuses on pure human evil and a tragedy (Bevington, 2014). Using Iago as an antagonist, he stuns readers with just how vulnerable and, in contrast, evil seemingly normal people can be. When Iago digs his claws into an ignorant character, their lives are forever altered in tragedy. It would not even be too far-fetched to label Iago as a genius, regardless …show more content…
Set in Venice and Cyprus, it is one of Shakespeare’s many tragedies and is said to be one of his finest, dramatic works (Othello, 2007). As mentioned above, Shakespeare forgoes magic and, instead, focuses solely on human emotion and action. The main characters in Othello are Othello, Desdemona, and Iago. Both Othello and Desdemona, thanks to Iago’s jealousy and betrayal, end up being the central focus of tragedy. As readers/viewers make their way through this illustrious play, they are given first-hand knowledge of Iago’s intentions and deceitful tactics. When Othello was first performed in the early 1600’s, the audience was so affected by Iago’s deceitfulness that they would often shout at the characters in the play, warning them of Iago’s intentions. They even went so far as to threaten harm on the actor that played Iago (Othello, …show more content…
He lacked passion. Not once in Othello does he express remorse. Instead, he is determined to follow through with his plans and seems much self-assured that he will be successful. It is almost as if Iago had a God complex. He seemed to see himself as ominous, holding the fate of all other innocent characters in Othello in his hands. He preyed upon the vulnerability, naivety, and plain good of other characters. He was an excellent judge of character and had the uncanny ability to read people. This made it possible for him to construct his plans and ultimately destroy multiple lives within the span of one story. Imagine what kind of good Iago could have done had he used his intelligence in a positive manner! Instead, he was seemingly attracted to tragedy and the misfortune of others, gaining amusement and fulfilment by misleading them so. In conclusion, readers are shown throughout Othello that Iago is a jealous, manipulative, ruthless, conniving, and albeit intelligent man. Some may be put off by such foul characteristics, but one cannot deny that he could be referred to as the main character. Without Iago, there would be no Othello. Shakespeare made sure to create such character that would prompt scholarly discussions and analyses for years to

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