William Shakespeare’s Othello – Iago | Character Analysis
The tragic play, Othello was written by William Shakespeare in 1603. The play revolves around various themes, such as, betrayal, hatred, evil, forgiveness, jealousy, and trust. The play depicts how the life of Othella and his co-characters are destroyed in the hands of the antagonist, Iago.
Shakespeare makes little reasoning for the actions of Iago in the play. Though he shows hatred towards Othello and jealousy for Cassio, he still destroys the life of other characters. The evil nature of Iago causes agony and pain to the characters of the play, irrespective of his hatred. Though there might be ostensible reasons for Iago to desire Othello’s destruction, he is solely malevolent in his behavior. His evil actions show an obsessive pattern of finding pleasure through destruction and manipulation.
Iago is a confidence trickster and an inveterate liar. He manipulates others to get his desire done. His marks of honesty in his years of service under Othello are actually deceptive behavior. Once his jealousy is induced, he turns malicious, destroying his own master. His manipulation abilities are ruthless, such that he goes to the extent of destroying or killing anyone for the sake of his hatred. The life of Desdemona, Roderigo and even his wife Emilia are no exception to it.
Iago is judgmental in his thoughts, when he accounts Othello of having an affair with his wife, Emilia. He is obsessive to destroy Othello, rather than finding the truth behind his suspicions. Moreover, he uses these judgmental thoughts as a justification for his actions. Also, he not only avenges Othello for Emilia but also spoils Desdemona life for the sake of revenging Cassio. All of these attitudes of Iago are merely reflection of his innate malevolent behavior.
Iago was a destruction seeker. He wishes to destroy the life of others, even though the reasons are pointless. His obsession towards manipulation and scheming has led to so much pain and destruction, including his own life.