In every great play, there must be a villain to assist in forming the base of the plot. Without a villain, no story or play will be successful or interesting. Shakespeare is well known for his use of different types of villains in his plays. “What constitutes a villain? -- You could probably write a whole thesis on that one. I'm going to adopt a rather loose working definition - villains are people who do bad stuff.” (Dooley) Dooley’s description of villains is a very accurate summary of the description of villains. They are, essentially, people who do things that are seen as morally wrong by readers. Many of the villains in Shakespeare’s plays come across as almost sociopathic. In Shakespeare’s plays Othello, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hamlet, the villains are Iago, Oberon, and Claudius, respectively.
Iago, from Othello, is a very interesting villain to analyze. A good way to describe Iago would be to call him an amoral villain. Iago completely lacks any form of a conscience. In today’s world, Iago would be considered a complete psychopath. “Through his words and actions, which are carefully thought out, Iago is able to manipulate others for his personal benefit.” (Huntsmen) Not only is he an envious deceiver and a thief, Iago is a cold-blooded killer. When his wife, Emilia, reveals his plot, Iago murders her. He straight-up kills his wife, the woman he supposedly loves, all because he saw her as an obstacle. Does Iago feel bad about killing Emilia? Nope, he doesn’t feel an ounce of remorse because he’s a guy and most of them don’t care about women. Iago is quoted in Act One, Scene One as saying “Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty”. Iago should know that, if Heaven is his judge, he is going nowhere but down because he is a manipulative bastard.
In Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon could be considered to be the villain. However, Oberon is most definitely not the same type of villain as Iago. One of his evil acts is that he wants to use the small child as a henchman. That’s not a very cool thing to do, at all. Oberon’s actions get worse, though. “Do you amend it then; it lies in you:/Why should Titania cross her Oberon?” (Act 2, Scene 1, Line 487) When Oberon gets mad at Titania because she won’t let him have the child, he makes her fall in love with a hideous man. To compare how foolish Titania looked loving this man, imagine Jennifer Lawrence falling in love with Justin Bieber. “Many critics recognize Oberon's kindness in releasing her from this spell as soon as he has gotten what he wanted from her — the boy — but his treachery must still be acknowledged.” (Anglish) In the end, however; Oberon feels very guilty and remorseful. He isn’t a complete sociopath like Iago is. He is actually a pretty decent guy, who made a simple mistake out of rage, and is living with the consequences.
The play Hamlet contains many characters that could...