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Darkest Sins and Heavenly Shows: the Nature of Iago’s Villainy in Shakespear’s Hamlet

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William Shakespeare’s Othello is a classic work of tragedy named after its protagonist. It is an engaging piece of literature due to the intents and subsequent actions of not the honorable Moor however of his ensign or ancient. The character of Iago is responsible for the conflict within the story.

He is villain who controls the other characters by assessing and exploiting their weak points with total lack of conscience, and he accomplishes this hoax by employing clever usage of language.

His approaches include benefiting from Roderigo’s sensations towards Desdemona– Othello’s fan– and using the trust that Cassio and Othello have for him versus them, and he does it to fantastic result. As formerly mentioned, Othello is not the only character in this play with feelings for Desdemona. Roderigo is a Venetian gentleman who has long pined for her affections, even going as far to pay Iago to assist him in winning her heart. Sadly for Roderigo, Iago does not have his best interests in mind, specifying “Therefore do I ever make my fool my handbag.

For I mine own gained understanding should profane if I would time use up with such a snipe however for my sport and revenue” (1. 3. 382-385). Based on this admission, one should concede that Iago is aiding Roderigo purely to please his own desires. Another display screen of Iago’s manipulative villainy can be discovered in Act 2 when he makes Roderigo think that Cassio would be next in line to win Desdemona’s love if her and Othello were no longer married as he experienced the two holding each other’s hand (2. 1. 251-252).

He goes on to suggest that Roderigo provoke Cassio in some method (2. 1. 264-268) which results in Cassio’s loss of rank and ultimate disgrace. In essence, this diabolical act originates from Iago’s jealousy towards Cassio. In truth, it could be argued that Iago dislikes Cassio nearly as much as he hates Othello for passing on him and promoting Cassio to the rank of lieutenant (1. 1. 7-32). Cassio trusts Iago, and the rascal utilizes that trust and his credibility as a truthful guy to cause the good lieutenant to fall from grace.

For instance, Iago pressures Cassio to have another drink while fraternizing the other officers, which puts him in a susceptible state(2. 3. 26-29). A mix of Roderigo’s provocation and Cassio’s uncharacteristic ill character leads to the incident which leads to the lieutenant’s humiliation and loss of title. Putting his rely on Iago as soon as again, he accepts the mischief-maker’s guidance to speak to Desdemona, hoping that she can sway Othello to change his mind.

This, of course, is part of Iago’s plan to make it appear that the two are having an affair. In a famous line from the text, Iago whispers to the audience “when devils will the blackest sins place on they do suggest with divine programs as I do now (2. 3. 346-348). In doing so, he prepares to “pour pestilence into his ear” (2. 3. 351). This strategy triggers Othello to additional doubt not only Cassio but Desdemona too, assisting Iago accomplish his primary goal of damaging Othello by ruining his marriage and getting rid of the influence of his true good friends.

Last but not least and most importantly, Othello is a character who pays more dearly for Iago’s atrocious deeds than any other. Being a military male in an odd land, he frequently feels isolated and insecure, seeking the counsel of Iago, a fellow soldier who he trusts above all others. Othello states Iago to be extremely sincere, saying “O brave Iago, sincere and just, thou has a noble sense of thy friend’s incorrect” (5. 1. 31-33). On the other hand, Iago relishes the thought of controling his exceptional, declaring “Make the Moor thank me, like me, and reward me for making him egregiously an ass” (2. 317-320). Iago then continues his plot by influencing Othello to question Desdemona’s loyalty by making him think that his race played a part in her alleged infidelity. He does this by saying “The did trick her daddy, weding you, and when she seemed to shake and fear your looks she loved them most” (3. 3. 207-209). His referral to her face being “begrimed and black” as his own (3. 3. 390-391) recommend that he dislikes himself rather for being black. He likewise describes their unnatural marital relationship as “nature erring from itself” (3. 3. 229).

Iago then replies by stating that she declined other suitors of her “own clime, complexion, and degree”, which is a subtle ramification that Othello is not on the very same human level as the other Venetian men. This evidence makes the possibility of Desdemona’s cheating more credible upon the discovery of the scarf– the symbol of her fidelity or absence thereof in Othello’s eyes– which solidifies Othello’s belief that his better half has been untrue. To conclude, the nature of Iago’s villainy in Shakespeare’s Othello is that of pure manipulation, produced by skillful use of wit, language, and “incredible shows”.

The most amazing aspect of his villainy was that he had the ability to achieve so much without physically having to do anything, utilizing individuals as pawns to exact his vicious vengeance. He remains bold until the very end, declining to discuss himself, mentioning “Need me nothing. What you know you understand” (5. 2. 300). Although the other characters, and the audience, are flabbergasted by such refusal, it seems like fitting conclusion for such a character, toying with people’s minds and emotions even in the face of death.

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