Role Of Iago In Othello Essay

In Williams Shakespeare’s Othello the protagonist Othello is emotionally and physically defeated by the antagonist Iago. Othello is the hero of the play while Iago is the “psychopathic” villain, whose villainous ways guides the play. Which leads to Othello tragically committing suicide, due to Iago’s’ vengeance.

Iagos’ villainous ways are driven by Othello not giving him the position of lieutenant (a substitute acting for a superior). This leads to his bad ways because he’s driven by his own selfish desires, and feels he should stop at nothing to get what he wants. Even if that means taking down Othello and Michael Cassio who was appointed lieutenant. His plan was to take them down by destroying their friendship and trust in each other by getting close to them.

His first victim was Cassio, and with the help of Roderigo Iago was able to hatch a solid plan. First by studying Cassio and Desdemona (Othello’s wife) interactions together: from how they held hands to the way they talked to each other. As their way of making the most innocent interactions between the two seem a lot less innocent. As shown in act 2 scene 1 when Iago said “Good lord! Did you notice how she and Cassio were fondling each other’s hands? Did you see that?”, and Roderigo followed saying “Yes, I did. But that wasn’t romantic, it was just polite manners”. Resulting in Iago saying “They were lusting for each other. You could tell by how they were acting that they’re going to be lovers”.

Then a little further in this same scene Iago secretly set Cassio up to look bad in Othello’s eyes, by having Roderigo get Montano to pick a fight with Cassio. Then he convinced Cassio to fight while being intoxicated in front of Othello. Leading to Othello taking away Cassio’s lieutenant position. Due to the fact he stabbed Montano leaving him wounded. This event is a plus for Iago because there’s one less obstacle for him to fulfill his selfish desire, allowing the plan to fall perfectly in his lap. Considering Othello said “ Iago, I know you’re fond of Cassio and are downplaying this for his benefit. Cassio, I love you, but you’re never again going to be one of my officers”.

Now that Cassio is no longer lieutenant and Iago now was given the position, he’s still not 100% happy nor is his plan 100% complete, he wanted complete revenge. This lead to his new plan that involves taking down Cassio and Othello but sadly involving Desdemona and his own wife Emilia, who are both two innocent wives that loved their husbands.

Now going to extreme lengths he has his wife convince Desdemona to take Cassio’s side, and then getting Cassio and Desdemona together so that he can bring the Moor so he will see them together. Later during Iago’s conversation with Othello he throws in the jealousy card “green-eye monster” and tells Othello that his wife is committing an adultery with Cassio. From this Othello gets filled with anger and wants to kill Cassio, but doesn’t and as a result Othello kills Desdemona. But life being the way it is the truth later does come out. Not to just Othello but also Emilia.

The truth coming out hurt Othello terribly, and so he stabs himself and lays next to his deceased wife’s body. While Emilia was left upset at the fact that her husband was selfish and allowed Othello to kill Desdemona and then commit suicide after. Sadly Iago did not care about how his wife felt and as a result he killed her.

This play is driven by selfish reasons of the antagonist Iago. Who showed that he will do anything possible to get what he wants. Even if that meant going to lengths to destroy people for a position that he shouldn’t have. Which revealed his only care was himself.

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