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Coleridge states that Iago is a being next to the devil driven by motiveless malignity. Comparing the presentations of Iago and Don John, and considering the context of the plays in performance, how far do you agree that the villains

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Unit 2 Explorations in Drama. English Coursework AS X Candidate Number: Center Number: Essay Question: Coleridge states that Iago is "a being next to the devil" driven by "motiveless malignity." Comparing the presentations of Iago and Don John, and considering the context of the plays in performance, how far do you agree that the villains are purely evil? Word Count: 2004. Coleridge states that Iago is "a being next to the devil" driven by "motiveless malignity." Iago's character and motives are intricate and there are diverse interpretations of his villainy and his attempts to bring about the tragedy of Othello. Nevertheless there are several ways of interpreting "Shakespeare's" Iago, where one might state that Iago is simply a manifested spirit of malignant evil who delights in his perversity, symbolizing the Satan figure. Alternatively Iago can be connected to the stock Malcontent image, having a deeply disturbed perception of the world. A Malcontent has a cynical, unsettled and displeased with the world as he sees it. Iago can also be recognize as the vice character, as his motives are to lure and manipulate the characters by taking advantage of their trust. ...read more.


Similarly, the pivotal scene in Much Ado About Nothing is Act 3 Scene 2. This is the turning point where ideas of villainy and trickery are introduced. Like Iago, Don John uses manipulative techniques to make their evil scheme work. "Means your lordship to be married tomorrow?" [3.2.73] Here, he is creating a sense of doubt and builds on Don Pedro's and Claudio's suspicion. Like a Machiavellian malcontent stock character, Don John plays on Cassio's doubt, and uses this as his strength to tear him apart. "The word is too good to paint out her wickedness..." [3.2.74] He goes to extreme measures and makes a hyperbolic statement. He manipulates them by placing "Honor" and "Reputation" at the center of this climax and "it would better fit your honour to change your mind" [3.2.74] Don John understands that his reputation is not great and uses proof to convince Don Pedro and Cassio about the truth concealed in Hero. Borachio is the malicious and spiteful character, as he is part of the evil scheming, and deceives Claudio and Don Pedro in thinking he was making love with Hero, as he states "I have tonight wooed Margaret...by the name of Hero." ...read more.


[1.3.30] Iago can be interpreted as a "Dark Clown" for the entertainment he gets from his evil scheming and pleasure in playing and manipulating his victims. There is a sense of irony, as the mocking statements he makes are there for his entertainment. Auden has described Iago as a "Dark Clown" as his motives is intricate, and like a Machiavellian stock character, there is a sense of amusement that we understand from Iago's perspective. There is a deeper meaning to understand when Iago says "For I am nothing if not critical" [2.1.117], as the audience understands that Iago is incredibly cynical. Also, Iago takes great enjoyment when other characters call him "Honest Iago". Ultimately, Iago is the Invidia, stemming from his malcontent and Machiavellian beliefs, where Iago does symbolize the Satan figure to a justified level, using his power to manipulate his victims for his own gain. Iago resents humankind as a whole, as they consider virtue before vice, illustrating his disturbed perception of the world, which creates reason to demonstrate malevolency. Don John is driven by "motiveless malignity" however, there is a limit to his malignity, and is not a comparison to the Devil as he seeks for villainy advice from his companions. ?? ?? ?? ?? 5 ...read more.

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