An analysis of the character iago in othello by william shakespeare

Each thing Iago says is cause for worry. He claims a reputation for honesty and plain speaking, yet he invents elaborate lies in order to exploit and manipulate other people. He treats others as fools and has no time for tender emotion, yet he is a married man and presumably once loved his wife. He cares for no one, yet he devotes his whole life to revenge rather than walk away in disdain.

An analysis of the character iago in othello by william shakespeare

Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. The play is known as pro-peace work, as it can be viewed as a direct response to the war between Venice and Turkey. However, the center of the play is rather interpersonal than political peace, as it depicts the basically doomed relationship between a moor and a noble woman.

In order to understand the meaning of the above listed factors, it would be useful to address briefly the social and historical context of the literary work. With the plot concentrating on ambivalent or momentary emotions, the characters automatically move towards proving all racial biases and prejudices, exiting in Elizabethan society.

As one can presume, Shakespeare in his tragedy to certain degree challenges the existing societal values in order to establish humanism as a worldview and demonstrate the most undermining aspect of cross-gender relationship.

As it has already been noted, first and foremost, Othello is a soldier, or, more precisely, a warrior. At the beginning of the play he says: He might not be aware of this fact, but he is addicted to warfare, no matter whether he likes his occupation or really loathes it as a tyrannical compulsion, as he seeks to combine the other dimensions of his life including friendship, social life and romantic relationships with his original profession — as flexibly as possible.

For instance, the majority of his friends are his mates from the army, his social life is reduced to inquiries about urban changes caused by military conflicts; finally, even the matrimony can not convince him to switch to a sedentary lifestyle.

Therefore, the main character is already married to military service, which appears to have seized the greatest part of his identity.

His military career also rewards him with a number of tales and stories about war, and they in fact made him an interesting interlocutor, attractive for Desdemona. Having lost the means of demonstrating his masculinity, Othello fells uneasiness and discomfort, spending increasingly more time at home, with his wife.

Othello in this case faces a problem of choice, because he has always identified himself as a heroic romantic lover and linked his family life with his military advancements. Other factors might be found in his relationships with Iago and Desdemona.

Due to the fact that Othello has made a brilliant military manager, his own ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood is to great extent limited or impaired, especially in terms of cross-gender relationships, in which he is unlikely to be experienced enough having spent his younger years in barracks.


On the one hand, he loves Desdemona, because he wooed and won her and now regards her mainly as his prize. In addition, being a racial outsider in Venice, the Moor needed to marry local woman in order to strengthen his position and increase his self-esteem.

At the beginning of the work, the author indicates that no meritocratic factors come into play, when two warm hearts were uniting, since Desdemona ignores family taboos and barriers, constructed by her relatives, seeking only to stay with her beloved, even if she will need to leave her home for faraway and dangerous places: As one can assume, the young woman is ready to sacrifice her safety and comfort and abandon her friendly environment in order to stay close to Othello, regardless of his race and profession.

For instance, the protagonist has darker skin, which might also be associated with the darkening of sight; moreover, the final scenes are set in the rooms carefully sealed from sunlight. The facts about himself suggest the same: Although concerned about the possible dangers, Othello fails to exhibit his fears to the first person involved; he rather indirectly reveals them to Iago, his evil genius.

This emotion can be interpreted in the following way: Expanding the theme of prejudices, it is important to note that Othello appears really embittered and frustrated with Venetian inhospitableness and racial intolerance and therefore subconsciously vents his anger and pain on the nearest and weakest creature, viewing Desdemona as a representative of hostile white community.

Hence the author demonstrates the decline of the marital relationship through the disappearance of trust between the mates, and the author blames primarily Othello for his narrow-mindedness and gullibility.

Works cited Adamson, J. Yale University Press, Iago - Othello’s ensign (a job also known as an ancient or standard-bearer), and the villain of the play.

Iago is twenty-eight years old. William Shakespeare’s Othello is about the destruction of the title character, Othello, by a cunning schemer named Iago.

Through the play, Iago gradually succeeds in turning people against each other. Iago from Othello is a central character and understanding him is key to understanding Shakespeare's entire play, Othello - not least because he holds the longest part in the play: 1, lines.

An analysis of the character iago in othello by william shakespeare

Iago’s character is consumed with hatred and jealousy. Critical Analysis of Othello Introduction William Shakespeare's Othello is an ideal example of a romantic tragedy. It tells a story in which reality brings the play to its tragic end against events which involve the themes of greed, jealousy, revenge and appearance.

Othello is, perhaps, one of the most complex and controversial plays written by the famous poet, writer, actor, and playwright William Shakespeare. Writing an analytical essay on his play can be as difficult as reading the play itself.

This is why we have prepared this three-in-one guide for you. Iago's Ambitions in William Shakespeare's Othello ‘Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light’ (Act 1 sc. 3 L) Iago says this statement in a soliloquy at the end of act 1 sc.


Shakespeare's Iago