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In Shakespeares play Othello the Moor of Venice, Shakespeare cleverly uses the character known as Iago to personify realistic evil.

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Introduction

Hayden Kallas Mr. Beckers Honors English Literature February 25th 2012 In Shakespeare's play Othello the Moor of Venice, Shakespeare cleverly uses the character known as Iago to personify realistic evil. Shakespeare accomplishes this perfect personification of evil by bestowing Iago with the traits that lead to a state of amoralism and generalized evilness. The real difference with Shakespeare's writing is that the character Iago is not simply evil to the point that it is unrealistic but rather he has believable qualities that make him that way. One such trait is how manipulative Iago is. Another is his lack of moral boundaries. Then there is how incredibly clever and deceptive Iago is. Although not a trait, Iago's inherent evilness cannot help but be built upon by his allowing himself to become overtaken and obsessed with jealousy. Another reason that Iago is a great personification of evil is because he so closely resembles historical and other literary figures that are generally considered to be evil as well. The first and foremost quality of Iago that makes him so amoral would have to be his manipulative actions. Iago is manipulative from the very beginning of the story starting with Act 1 scene 1in which he relates to Desdemona's father what has been going on with Desdemona's love life. ...read more.

Middle

their overall state of being, he is unbothered by stealing, and he does not shy away from the ultimate amoral action of killing a innocent human being. Although not a quality, Iago demonstrates jealousy which as everyone has been taught can only lead to amoral actions. Iago is jealous of 3 main things; he is jealous because he thinks he has been cuckold by Othello, he is jealous of the pure love between Othello and Desdemona, and he is jealous of Cassio for obtaining the position that Iago believed that he was much more qualified for. In act 1 scene 3 Iago justifies his plotting against Othello by saying that " it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets 'has done my office." What Iago is saying is that he has heard a rumor that his own wife was cheating on him with Othello. Because of this, Iago feels insecure and jealous so he enacts revenge against Othello. The second time Iago falls prey to jealousy is when he decides to take down Desdemona and Othello's relationship. Iago's own relationship is obviously a little bit shaky because he is willing to believe that his wife was cheating on him. Because his relationship is not satisfactory, he is jealous of fresh unvarnished love. This is partially what leads him to plot the downfall of Othello's relationship. Then there is the jealousy of Cassio. ...read more.

Conclusion

The main attribute that warrants their comparison is that they both are clever in the sense that they know how to get what they want and they have no moral boundaries to prevent them from trying to achieve it. Hitler was also very manipulative. Hitler manipulated the German Workers party into adopting his own personal motives and thus created the Nazi party. He did this by convincing them that it was in their own best interests to adopt those beliefs. A similar situation occurs in Othello when Iago convinces Roderigo that it he will get what he wants (Desdemona) if he acts in the way that Iago advises him to. Both Hitler and Satan are both generally considered evil, and because Iago so closely resembles them he must be evil as well. In summary, Iago is a personification of evil because of his qualities and the similarities between him and other evil characters. Iago is manipulative of all those around him. He has no moral boundaries to control his behavior. His jealousy causes him to act evilly. Iago is clever which by itself would not be bad, but is made so because he uses it for wrong. Finally Iago is considered evil because he shares the qualities of two of the most evil figures known. For these reasons it is concluded that Shakespeare has succeeded in creating a memorably evil character. ...read more.

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