Iago as the Representation of Evil in Shakespeare's Othello

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Iago as the Representation of Evil in Othello

In Shakespeare's, Othello, the reader is presented the classic battle between the deceitful forces of evil and the innocence of good. It is these forces of evil that ultimately lead to the breakdown of Othello, a noble Venetian moor, well known by the people of Venice as an honorable soldier and a worthy leader. Othello's breakdown results in the murder of his wife Desdemona. Desdemona is representative of the good in nature. Good can be defined as forgiving, honest, innocent and unsuspecting. The evil contained within Othello is by no means magical or mythical yet is represented by the character Iago. Iago is cunning, untrustworthy, selfish, and plotting. He uses these traits to his
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It is this jealousy and the ignorance of Othello that lead to the downfall of Desdemona, the one truly good-natured character in the play.

As the play opens we are immediately introduced to the hostility of Iago against Othello. Iago has been appointed the position of servant to Othello instead of the more prestigious position of lieutenant. Michael Cassio has been appointed this position. Iago feels betrayed because he considers him self more qualified than Cassio to serve as lieutenant. Iago then foreshadows his plans for Othello to Roderigo, "O, sir, content you. / I follow him to serve my turn upon him (Act I, Scene I)". Iago already realizes that Othello thinks about him as an honest man. Roderigo is used by Iago as an apprentice and someone to do his "dirty" work. Roderigo is naively unsuspecting. As the play shifts from Venice to Cyprus there is an interesting contrast. Venice, a respectful and honorable town is overshadowed by the war torn villages of Cyprus. It could be said that Venice represents good or specifically Desdemona and that Cyprus represents evil in Iago. Desdemona has been taken from her peacefulness and brought onto the grounds of evil. Iago commits his largest acts of deceit in Cyprus, fittingly considering the atmosphere. Ironically, the Venetians feel the Turks are their only enemy while in fact Iago is in hindsight the one man who destroys their stable state. Act II Scene III shows
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