Good and Evil in Othello Essay

698 Words Dec 2nd, 2013 3 Pages
The idea that "there would be no good without evil" is a good place to start when thinking about Iago and Othello as rival characters in Shakespeare's Othello. The play shows us how good turns into evil in the complex character of Othello, who turns out to be more than a victim of Iago's wrongdoings but also a character who is both good and evil. In Shakespeare's play evil is not something absolute. Evil demonstrates itself as a different quality with each person, perhaps the point when a person forgets moral boundaries and gives way to instincts beyond his or her control. With Othello and Iago, Shakespeare uses characters who bring out opposite qualities in each other. We can imagine circumstances in which goodness can sprout out of …show more content…
After years of being frowned upon because of his race, Othello cannot fully believe that Cassio and Desdemona are loyal to him. As for Iago, he has depths that are similar to Othello's. On the outside, Iago seems to have no interest in people's well being, caring only for his jealousy and vengeance against Othello. Beneath that, he demonstrates the same layer of insecurity as Othello. In his discussion with Roderigo, Iago expresses his belief that no human can be truly good. This brings us to one of Iago's most interesting characteristics: mystery. By the end of the play, the audience has a relatively good idea of who Othello is. We learn about his past, his flaws, and his virtues; and we conclude that Othello is not wholly evil. Most readers consider Iago a malevolent character, but one has to remember that we know nothing about his past, who he is, or the reasons behind what he is doing to Othello. In the first act, Shakespeare makes a point that the audience cannot understand any of the characters motives unless it is said aloud to another character, by presenting Othello as someone who steals Desdedoma against her will using witchcraft. Iago appears to have a different motive for destroying Othello every time he talks to a different person, we never discover the true meaning behind his "evil" deeds. One can sympathize with Othello's wrongdoings, saying he

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