The two villains in Much Ado About Nothing and Othello share much in common, despite their numerous differences. It is evident that Shakespeare framed the second piece of literature to be similar to the first. Although shorter, the plot of Othello is definitely more complex. The villains play a major part in the novels, and are very much alike in their line of thinking.
The comedy, Much Ado About Nothing depicts the story of a group of high-ranking soldiers who travel through a town called Messina. They had been to the town before, and this time Claudio confesses his love for the governors daughter, Hero. Because Leonato is so fond of Claudio, the wedding is set to be a few days away. This gives Don John, Claudios bastard brother, a chance to show his true hatred for Claudio. He comes up with a scheme to make Claudio think that Hero is cheating by dressing Margaret in her clothing and perching her near the window with another man. When Claudio sees this, he says that he will humiliate Hero instead of marrying her.
The next day Claudio does exactly as he had said, degrading Hero in front of all her family and friends. Because she did not cheat on him, she did not expect that kind of reaction. She is so dejected that she faints, and everyone assumes she is dead. Eventually Borrachio is overheard talking about Don Johns plan, and Don John is arrested. Later Claudio learns that Hero is not actually dead, and they are finally married.
Othellos Iago is very much similar to Don John. He wants to get revenge on Othello for not being chosen as lieutenant and also suspects that Othello has slept with Emilia. Somehow Iago manages to manipulate Othello into thinking that Desdemona cheated on him. When he demands that she show him the handkerchief he had given her, and she does not, he is convinced that she is being unfaithful. This is when he decides that he must kill her. Later in the novel Othello suffocates Desdemona out of jealousy.
The villains of both novels contain an unusually large number of similarities. Both Don John and Iago are determined to break up the key relationships of the two novels. Iago tricks Othello for revenge, Don John out of sheer hatred for Claudio. The bastard brother goes through a period where he acts very pleasant toward Claudio, and Iago seems to be the ally of Othello throughout the entire piece. Both Don John and Othello used unsuspecting women to break up the main characters. Don John used Margaret and Iago used Emilia. Finally, both villains are strong egotists. Don John shows it in the way that he does not interact with the other characters. Iago believes that Othello is much too trusting, and respects no one but himself.
Although Shakespeare meant to create these two evil characters alike, there are a few differences between them. Don John set up Claudio using other people to convince him. I go used his manipulative speaking and wits, along with Othellos gullible nature to convince him. Don John and Iago caused the two main characters to take different methods of revenge on their women. Othello killed Desdemona in a jealous rage, whereas Claudio merely humiliated Hero. Iago seeks revenge on Othello for two reasons: he suspects Othello slept with Emilia, and he also despises Othello for choosing Cassio as lieutenant instead of him. One final and resounding difference between Don John and Iago has to do with the past of each character. Shakespeare portrays Iago as an intelligent and sometimes caring character until Othello supposedly wrongs him. On the other hand, Don John has more of an evil aura about him, and shows his hatred for Claudio right from the start.
Overall, the characters of Don John and Iago are very similar, although the latter is much more intelligent and complex. These two men are what draw the readers attention to the novel, and share so much in common that the two seemingly unrelated works are read in tandem constantly.