Iago My Hero Iago, My Hero Of all the characters presented in Shakespeare’s literature the most sinister one is without a doubt Iago. He is a ruthless sociopath. No other character can even come close to his evil. Most of the antagonists present in Shakespeare’s plays have valid reasons for the troubles they cause. Iago doesn’t for the most part; he just has a burning hatred for the world, especially Othello.
Iago is the only reason there is any conflict in Othello. If he were not a character, Othello and Desdemona would have lived happily ever after. From the beginning to the end he causes conflicts. He is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of many characters. Shakespeare didn’t just create Iago’s character to be evil. He wanted him to be the epitome of it. All of the problems he causes are through lies, treachery, manipulation, and a deep unknown hatred.
Some of his hate is fueled by jealousy and revenge. The ironic part is that he is known as honest Iago. Every act contains an evil plot set up by Iago. They all play into his grand scheme. In the very beginning of Act I Iago displays his hatred for Othello. He is angry with him for making Cassio the lieutenant.
Jealousy is his first motive. He then tells Roderigo (a former suitor of Desdemona) that Othello and Desdemona are getting married. The two of them then go and tell Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, that Othello and his daughter have just eloped. This infuriates Brabantio. Soon after, Brabantio gets a gang after Othello.
Iago’s treachery is first displayed here. When Othello is confronted Iago is on his side. Iago was the person who instigated the whole situation. Shakespeare does a very good job in showing what kind of person Iago is, right from the beginning of the play. The reader begins to realize this before any of the characters in the play do. He did this so the reader will begin to see how evil Iago is, yet how unjustified his reasoning is. Act I is where Iago pieces together his whole sinister plot to get revenge.
He first tells Roderigo to sell all he has and move to Cypress to court Desdemona. The last stanza of Act I is where he manifests his grand scheme. His idea is to get Othello into thinking Cassio is in love with Desdemona. That way Cassio will be dismissed from lieutenant and Othello will lose Desdemona. As soon as everyone arrives in Cypress Iago puts his plan in effect. He gets Roderigo to believe that Cassio and Desdemona are in love y instructing him to observe Cassio’s mannerisms around Desdeona.
And being a Florentine Cassio is all over Desdemona. This is a very significant part in showing Iago’s evil. He gets Roderigo who has wronged absolutely no one to develop a hatred for Cassio who just happens to be a victim of circumstance. Iago wants Othello to lose respect for Cassio. This sinister plan works.
He gets Cassio drunk then has Roderigo provoke a fight. Soon after Cassio stabs an innocent man named Montano. Othello comes out, discovers what has happened, and dismisses Cassio from the lieutenancy. Half of Iago’s grand scheme has succeeded. However, he still wants to be Lieutenant. He convinces Cassio to arrange a meeting to talk with Desdemona about re-instating him as Lieutenant.
Little does Cassio know why Iago really wants him to meet with Desdemona. At the end of this act Cassio says about Iago, I never knew a Florentine more kind and honest. Shakespeare wrote that line to show how innocent Cassio was and how evil Iago was. Othello sees Cassio talk with Desdemona, and Iago comments on how that is suspicious. He then tells Othello not to feel jealous, (which is the exact opposite of what he really wants him to feel). Othello then confronts Iago because he believes that Iago knows more about Cassio and Desdemona’s relationship.
He threatens Iago with is life. Iago then puts the last parts of his evil plan into motion. Quickly Iago comes up with a story about how he heard Cassio talk in his sleep about Desdemona and wipe his beard with the special kerchief. Othello then vows to kill Desdemona, while Iago promises to kill Cassio. He is than appointed Lieutenant because of his “honesty” and “loyalty”.
This part of the play greatly affects the audience the most. Without any reason Iago has just caused the demise of three people. There is no valid reason why any human would do this. To further show Iago’s evilness he gets Roderigo to attempt to kill Cassio. This is where Iago’s plan begins to fade. As Iago plans, Othello murders Desdemona; however, Cassio never dies. Because of information he receives, Othello then confronts Iago and finds out what really happened.
He is devastated by the fact that he murdered his soul mate. Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Roderigo are all innocent victims. None of them have wronged anyone. Iago is to lame for their hardships and deaths. He embodies the concept of evil.
Tragedies often present characters that have sinister motives. By creating Iago, Shakespeare gave us the most sinister of all. Shakespeare.