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Discuss this interpretation of Iagos role in the light of the critical views you have read

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"Iago's special relationship with the audience unbalances the morality of the play and comes close to turning the villain into a villain hero." Discuss this interpretation of Iago's role in the light of the critical views you have read. Iago is one of the main characters in this Shakespeare play. Shakespeare presents him as a compelling villain, who seems to revel in his ability to destroy. His role leads to the deaths of Othello, Desdemona, Emilia and Roderigo and according to D.R. Godfrey, is one of "the most completely villainous characters in all literature." In this play Iago is the external force according to Aristotle's definition of tragedy. He uses the weaknesses of Othello - the hero of the tragedy - to get his revenge after Othello gave the job of lieutenant to Cassio and not Iago. Jealousy is one of the mains motives in his role. Iago is eaten up by sexual jealousy. He hates the Moor because he thinks the Moor has slept with his wife and yet there is no evidence that Othello takes any interest sexually in his wife. "Twixt my sheets he's done my office" (1.3.379). Here, we know that Iago doesn't understand love or loving relationship as he is eaten up with sexual jealously. This does make him a fascinating character as he telling Roderigo and the audience that Othello slept with his wife but he doesn't care. Jealously is his initial motive for disgracing Cassio. ...read more.


Furthermore, in Act two scenes three, he questions the audience about his villainy. He has advised Cassio to ask Desdemona to speak to Othello about getting his job back, but the audience know that he is a villain. "How am I them a villain" (331-337). He revelling his own acting abilities. His attitude is very crude and materialistic but he doesn't care if he a villain. This is fascinating; and yet, he is enjoys himself by asking the audience how is he a villain when he knows the answer. Throughout the play, Iago treatment to Roderigo and his persuasive powers are also cruel. "By th'mass, 'tis morning; pleasure and action make the hours seem short............Nay, get thee gone" (2.3.356-359). Iago continues to control Roderigo smoothly; he is confident with his plan and oppose aside Roderigo's complain. However, his behaviour toward Cassio and his moment about reputation is very comic. "Cassio hath beaten thee and thou by that small hurt ....yet fruits and blossom first will be ripe" (2.3.361-364). In Act Three, Scene Three (34) Iago's deceptively open a short and simple line "Ha, I like not that". He doesn't like the way Cassio walks away from Desdemona manners, gives apparently ignoring Othello. Iago next speech is skilfully a false view of Cassio's judgment. "Cassio, my lord? No I cannot think it, that he would sneak away so guilty-like, seeing you coming". He then repeats the question again which allow Othello himself to think of the answer. ...read more.


"He foams at mouth". Next he is viewing on women; he thinks all women in Venice were prostitute, including Desdemona and his wife. 4.1.93-35, "A housewife that by selling her desires buys herself bread and clothes; it is a creature..." He reduces down Desdemona in object. This is horrible evil. Throughout, the act, the audience realise everything that he done to Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Roderorigo but other character doesn't realise. Iago appear on the next scene in line, 164-166, "I pray you be content; 'tis but his humour...... And does he chide with you". He acting this but he still has a bit of compassion. He is not all evil but realistically evil lead to dangerous. He then uses horrible ironic, "Hank how these instrument summon to supper;........ all thing share be well(168-170)". He thinks all his plan is going on well. Iago reappear at the beinging of act 5 this shows his plan is successful, "here, stand behind this bulk;......... and fix most firm thy resolution". At the end of the scene he use rhymed couplet, he appear as evil coming and he play a high stage as a gamble. "this is the night that either makes me, or fordoes me quite". He is success in his plan. For Shakespeare's judgement, Honigmann perhaps says that "indirectly these denunciations of Iago also help to rehabilitate Othello who's smothering Desdemona comes close to turning the hero into a villain." I would agree with Honigmann, as at the end of the play Othello kill his own wife and stab him after. Therefore, evil had won at the end of the play and I believe that good and evil is exist in the world. ...read more.

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