Iago in Shakespeare's Othello Essay

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William Shakespeare's Othello is a remarkable tale of trust, deceitfulness, lust and the most destructive of human emotions: vengeance and hatred. Iago better known as Othello's antagonist embodies vengeance and hatred to move an agenda to squash all who oppose Iago's plans. As defined by Merrium-Webster the definition of a protagonist is a principal character in a literary work or a leading actor, character, or participant in a literary work. Othello by Shakespeare is a play about Othello an example of a tragic hero with all figures centered around Othello as the protagonist yet, Othello has two main leading characters. Iago and Othello have stark contrasts as leading roles and different themes represented through the actions, words, and…show more content…
As a masterful leading machiavellian character Iago exploits the flaw all characters poses in Othello which is faith versus doubt in others. A powerful role to mold an entire play behind the goal of a singular entity under the eyes of a scholar qualifies as a protagonist( Hull). Iago breaks the boundaries that define antagonist or protagonist by being complex enough and having enough lines that place him on par if not above Othello (West 42 ). The main flaw in the protagonist argument is how Iago is a static character without any clear transformation. Evidence from his lack of change exist in act one and to the final act is continuously lying and trying to create chaos. Antagonist or protagonist Iago's actions qualify as morally wrong when usually a protagonist that drives the plot is working for good; however, by definition a protagonist is not inertly of good moral code. ( Hull) Iago has an interesting set of flaws and advantages showing characteristics of a psychopath. Without flaws Iago would lose his humane characteristics and potentially lose the audiences interest ( West 13). Iago has no positive moral compass and an unexplained desire to destroy friend or foe even after the fact that Othello murders Desdemona qualifies the character as psychotic. Iago even recognizes his planning of evil actions to ruin Othello as simply a game " Let us be conjunctive against him. If thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure, me a sport. (Act 1 Scene
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