One of the Greatest Villains in Literary History
This essay will be analyzing the character of Iago from Shakespeare's play Othello. I will use examples from the play and literary criticisms to explore Iago's methods and motives of manipulation throughout the play.
Through the course of the play, Iago cautiously and brilliantly entraps Othello into the belief that his loving and faithful wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio. He does this through a long series of suggestions and hesitations that entice and create hallucinations in Othello's head which eventually lead to his destruction. More importantly however, he supplies motive for Othello to murder his innocent Desdemona, satisfying his overwhelming appetite for revenge.
Iago's appetite for revenge stems from the fact that Othello passed him over for the lieutenant position in the Venetian Army. Othello gives the position to Michael Cassio, instead, who despite his lack of experience in battle, is well educated and has a great knowledge of the strategy of war. This shows how Iago wishes for revenge against both Othello and Cassio, and thus, they become the most important targets of his devious plan.