Is Iago A Villain?

April 24, 2020 by Essay Writer

Considering Iago as a “Villain” in the play Othello, Iago has a prominent role in the downfall of Othello and those around him. People could say that Iago’s actions make him out to be a simply scheming liar and purely an evil character. Others say Iago’s talent for understanding and manipulating the desires of those around him that makes him both a powerful and a compelling figure that represents some greater force.

We see early in the play that Iago is the manipulative character that lacks smart decision-making. At the point in the play, Iago has planted these seeds and immediately needs to find how far he will influence Rodrigo and how he will utilize his influence and become more powerful. He immediately gets fools Rodrigo and tells him Desdemona is now crazy about him. Rodrigo doesn’t consider what he tells him at first but Iago keeps persuading him and manipulates his naive thoughts. Iago keeps feeding fibs to change his mindset to discus, giving him bad feelings towards Casio. Othello, Cassio, Rodrigo, Emilia, and Desdemona were nobody just victims of Iago. His persuasiveness mixed with his illusions had everyone fooled. He was the only individual by himself idea and strength are what he was searching for.

Iago explains his tactics to Rodrigo. He tells us that he does not follow Othello out of love or duty but because he feels he can exploit him for his own personal gain “in following him I follow but myself;/Heaven is my judge nor I for love and duty”. This quote explains a lot about Iago mindset, and how he willing to exploit people for personal gain and that heaven is his only judge. Iago doesn’t believe he needs a reason. He doesn’t explain himself and doesn’t care whether he is understood. He understands human weaknesses and vulnerabilities enough to exploit them. But that’s not empathy. He doesn’t get a promotion that he wants because Othello favors someone else.

These feelings Iago takes are general jealousy. By placing Othello through the similar beliefs he himself had gone through, Iago takes revenge by sadistic joy, inflicting pain and suffering to others. Iago is a strong character who is able to manipulate others emotions. Although Iago does his best to get Othello to fall into insanity, Othello is to a fault because of his naivety and envy. He lets himself be controlled by Iago and does not facts check what he says. Iago doesn’t need a reason. He doesn’t explain himself and doesn’t care whether he is understood. He understands human weaknesses and vulnerabilities enough to exploit them. He doesn’t get a promotion that he wants because Othello favors someone else.

We can understand Iago a lot from his circumstance, Othello is the leader, holds a higher position than Iago, also stronger in physical circumstances than Iago. This is the significant incitement to Iago’s sadistic emotions conquering such a strong individual gives him much higher gratification than other common people. Forward, Iago’s hate towards Othello is from racial favoritism.

I would definitely say one could see him as a scheming and a liar more than a greater force. He has manipulated everyone around him and used people’s downfalls to boost himself my own personal gain. Time and time again he has shown that he is willing to Play with people’s emotions And lie to put a further narrative.

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