In Othello, the major themes reflect the values and the motivations of characters.
Iago Othello Driven by an overpowering lust for evil rivaled only by Satan, Iago grabs the title as worst Shakespeare villain hands down. On the surface, Iago's motive for wanting to destroy Othello could be one of several.
The most obvious is that he has just been passed over for a promotion which has gone to Cassio. He confesses to Roderigo that this is the reason for his hatred; the reason for his desire to ruin Othello: One Michael Cassio, a Florentine A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wifeThat never set a squadron in the field But he, sir, had th' election Iago suspects that his wife, Emilia, has committed adultery with Othello: I hate the Moor; And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets 'Has done my office.
I know not if't be true; Yet I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety. It is possible that Iago has his own secret passion for the Moor's new bride, and he is enraged at the idea of the "old black ram" 1.
It cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her love to the Moor She must change for youth. When she is sated with his body, she will find the error of her choice. Iago is using jealousy and anger as excuses to perpetrate evil.
Even if Iago had received the promotion; even if he had no suspicions or jealous feelings, he would invent other motives to provide the framework for the diabolical mischief he must create.
To Iago, the ruination of Othello is a game: Let us be conjunctive against him. If thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure, me a sport. Iago is "an unbeliever in, and denier of, all things spiritual, who only acknowledges God, like Satan, to defy him" William Robertson Turnbull, Othello: A Critical Study, Iago has no conscience, no ability to perform good deeds.
Iago is a psychopath, and is not capable of forming affectionate relationships or feeling guilt and concern over his behaviour.
Unlike Othello, Iago does not have the free will to refrain from wickedness. His nature does not enable him to see the goodness in any one or anything; he is driven by a lust for evil beyond his control.
Iago stands supreme among Shakespeare's evil characters because the greatest intensity and subtlety of imagination have gone to his making, and because he illustrates in the most perfect combination the two facts concerning evil which seem to have impressed Shakespeare most.
The first of these is the fact that perfectly sane people exist in whom fellow-feeling of any kind is so weak that an almost absolute egoism becomes possible to them, and with it those hard vices — such as ingratitude and cruelty — which to Shakespeare were far the worst.
The second is that such evil is compatible, and even appears to ally itself easily, with exceptional powers of will and intellect. In the latter respect Iago is nearly or quite the equal of Richard, in egoism he is the superior, and his inferiority in passion and massive force only makes him more repulsive.
How is it then that we can bear to contemplate him; nay, that, if we really imagine him, we feel admiration and some kind of sympathy?
Henry the Fifth tells us: There is some soul of goodness in things evil, Would men observingly distil it out; but here, it may be said, we are shown a thing absolutely evil, and—what is more dreadful still—this absolute evil is united with supreme intellectual power. Why is the representation tolerable, and why do we not accuse its author either of untruth or of a desperate pessimism?
To read the full lecture please click here.William Shakespeare's Othello, from the play, Othello, is a tragic hero because he enters the play as a strong, powerful character but is reduced to a man driven by jealous rage by the end.
Othello has everything, loses it all and has no one to blame but himself. In the beginning of the play.
Antagonist Character Role Analysis Iago. You can't get much more antagonistic than Iago is towards Othello. At the same time, you could make the argument that Iago is the real protagonist, since his character dominates the play and he is the one with the most soliloquies (which is a pretty clear "main character" signal in most Shakespeare plays).
His character also balances the morality and tone of the play in a negative aspect: while Othello shows a genuine respect for his wife, Desdemona, Cassio - though for the most part, a gentleman - displays a lack of true respect and commitment to women as a whole, especially his mistress Bianca, revealing the one major flaw in his character.
Throughout Shakespeare’s play, Othello, the major theme of jealousy is explored in detail through the main characters Othello and Iago's actions.
In the tragedy Othello, Shakespeare focuses on how jealousy affects Othello and the other major characters to result ultimately in their destruction. Many characters in “O” have a counterpart to Othello. Odin to Othello, Desi to Desdemona, Hugo to Iago, Emily to Emilia, Roger to Roderigo, and Michel to Cassio.
Some of the name in the film also contain a kind of special meaning. The tragic plot of Othello hinges on the ability of the villain, Iago, to mislead other characters, particularly Roderigo and Othello, by encouraging them to misinterpret what they see.
Othello is susceptible to Iago's ploys because he himself is so honest and straightforward.