The word “evil” can be interpreted in many ways. However, most people use the term evil to describe deliberate wrong doing that causes harm to others. Within the foundation of any compelling story there is always the struggle of good vs evil. The person who possesses the evil characteristics in the story is often labeled the villain. In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, the character Iago possesses evil characteristics leading to destruction. In the Disney movie Aladdin, the villain Jafar possesses similar evil characteristics that lead to the same type of destruction. Both characters have motives, and when comparing the two one will find that although they come from different stories the evil traits they possess cause them to seem like a mirror image of one another.
In Shakespeare’s Othello Iago is known for being trustworthy and respected. Throughout the play, characters often refer to him as “Honest Iago.” Othello, whose military judgment is superior has even taken him and labeled him captain because of these traits. Iago seems to go against his reputation and act in ways that somebody who is trustworthy would not. This gives the idea that Iago is in fact a villain (Empson). Perhaps, Iago has always been evil and just created a false reputation, or maybe he was once an honest man and just decided to switch up his values. This still does not change the fact that Iago is a manipulative trickster whose desire for power and revenge leads him to destruction.
When it comes to manipulation Iago knows best. Iago goes out of his way to basically destroy Othello, the man who trusts him the most. Iago spends most of his time planning revenge towards Othello and we are left wondering why. When people do bad things it is usually so that they can gain something from it, but Iago seems to give no clear reason as to why he is so set on making Othello’s life miserable (Johnson). Iago spends his time getting Othello to turn on the person he loves the most, Desdemona. Lacking empathy Iago stops at nothing, and convinces Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him and that Iago will help him get revenge. In the end, Othello ends up killing Desdemona and then realizes that what Iago has made him believe is all lies. Iago however, is left in his own destruction that he has caused. His true personality is revealed and everyone can see who he really is, but the reasons why he does what he does is left unsaid. (Shaw).
Iago gives us a few possibilities on what his motives may be. The first possible motive is the rumor that Othello has slept with Iago’s wife. In Act one, Scene three Iago says “I hate the Moor; and it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets; He has done my office: I know not if't be true” (Act 1, Scene 3). This sounds like a motive, however Iago doesn’t really believe that it is true. He goes on and says that he is going to act like the rumors are true and just continue with what he is doing (Johnson). The second possible motive is power....