Thematic Analysis Of Shakespeare 's ' Othello ' Essay
Shakespeare’s enduring characters have been entertaining audiences and readers alike for over 400 years. Nevertheless, scholars have often debated the motives and essential essence of Othello’s villain, Iago. Was Iago acting out of jealous motivation; or, like author Samuel T. Coleridge noted, merely “motiveless malignity”? In a play where there is a lack of a heroic ‘good guy’ character the fact that the audience sees Iago as truly evil is a testament to the depth of his character.
In Iago’s initial on-stage appearance he explains that he has been has been overlooked by military general Othello in favor of Michael Cassio for a promotion. Iago proceeds to lay out a plan that will enmesh Othello, Cassio, and Othello’s new wife, Desdemona. The villain’s plan is to convince Othello of an affair between Desdemona and Cassio. He explains that the only reason that Cassio has found favor with Othello was his part of arranging the courtship of Othello and Desdemona. Iago remarks, “out of [Desdemona’s] own goodness make the net that will enmesh them all” (II.iii.353).That Iago’s plan also contains the innocent Desdemona as a participant is the first revelation of his lace of empathy.
Iago is a Machiavellian schemer and deceiver and is often called ‘honest Iago’ displaying his skills at deceiving the play’s other characters. Othello truly sees Iago as an honest friend and trusts him to the point of going so far as murder his wife. Iago has built up a relationship…