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Iago

3 Comments


Shakespeares Globe by Kieran Lynam

Shakespeare's Globe by Kieran Lynam via Flickr

Iago is William Shakespeare‘s devilishly clever ‘sour grapes’ character in the tragic play Othello.

Passed over for a promotion in the Venetian army, Iago gets insanely jealous of anyone with anything and plots and schemes his chilling revenge through lies and treachery.

Through his deceits he exemplifies intelligent evil at its worst.

After manipulatively tricking Othello into murdering his wife, Desdemona, Iago is finally discovered and, in the compelling BBC TV production of the play, goes to his grisly fate cackling with maniacal glee. Iago is content with the knowledge that his hideous revenge has been secured, despite his captor Lodovico’s decree, The time, the place, the torture,—O, enforce it!

The Bard adds:

It is interesting that, while we learn about Iago’s “fate,” we do not actually see him punished (on stage, that is) which Shakespeare could have easily arranged (given the number of fights and deaths in the play). So, in one sense, evil incarnate goes unpunished before our eyes. The question, of course, remains–why?? » See in context

Ari Moore adds:

I disagree that Iago was “evil” – there are numerous allusions in the play to his being impotent, ferociously intimidated by what he believed was Othello’s superior sexual prowess. I don’t know if that makes him “evil” so much as misguided and unable to deal with life in a healthy way. » See in context

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3 thoughts on “Iago

  1. It is interesting that, while we learn about Iago’s “fate,” we do not actually see him punished (on stage, that is) which Shakespeare could have easily arranged (given the number of fights and deaths in the play). So, in one sense, evil incarnate goes unpunished before our eyes. The question, of course, remains–why??

    Like

  2. I think it’s more potent left to our imagination. Just the word “torture” makes most people shudder. Perhaps there were political reasons too (?)

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  3. I disagree that Iago was “evil” – there are numerous allusions in the play to his being impotent, ferociously intimidated by what he believed was Othello’s superior sexual prowess. I don’t know if that makes him “evil” so much as misguided and unable to deal with life in a healthy way.

    Like

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