The Theme Of Evil In Shakespeare's Othello

2010 Words Apr 11th, 2004 9 Pages
Just what is "evil" in Shakespeare's play? Iagos will for "revenge" on Cassio, who has been promoted to a higher army rank than himself? Is Iago evil? Essentially, Iago could be described as the central trouble-making, ill-willed character of the play; he leads a lot of the characters into a state of confusion, convincing them to think poorly and wrong of other figures in 'Othello' that are in fact innocent of their accused crimes.

But does this make him an "evil" individual? Let us begin by defining the word "evil". An evil person may be considered as somebody who condones bad or morally wrong activities that cause ruin, injury, misfortune or destruction.

From this definition, it becomes clear to us that Iago could very well be taken on
…show more content…
True, he seeks revenge, but was it his original intentions that people were killed for the pursuit of his vengeance on Othello and Cassio? It is doubtful. At any given point in the play, Iago does what he thinks best to climb out of the current situation he stands in. Naturally in doing so, he digs his own grave deeper and deeper, not achieving the desired task, but only causing more confusion from the point of view of the other characters and thus leading to bleak suffering of all the persons mentioned in the character list of the play.

From my point of view, Iago lacks any type of solid, convincing ground for his "evil" activities on the characters; he simply never backs up his actions with proper reasoning, clearly taking advantage of the vulnerable and uneasy atmosphere following the threat of invasion Cyprus finds itself in. For example, in the first scene he makes a claim to being angry at Othello for not having considered him worthy of promotion to lieutenant. (Act I Scene 1, lines 7-32) Additionally, at the end of Act I, Scene 3, Iago is under suspicion Othello has slept with his wife, Emilia: "It is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets, he has done my office". (Act I Scene 3, lines 369-370) This suspicion comes up again at the end of Act II, Scene 1 when we learn that he lusts after Desdemona purely because of his desire to get even with Othello, "wife after wife" (Act II Scene 1, line 286). These claims do not seem to show any proper
Open Document