Iago's Hatred for Othello in William Shakespeare's Play
"Though I do hate him as I do hell pains."
In Shakespeare's play "Othello", Shakespeare introduces one of the
most complex villains ever seen in the world of literature. Iago's
pure hatred for Othello convinced his own mine to tamper with
Othello's life, manipulating him into causing the ultimate tragedy.
Iago is portrayed to have many motives into why he does what he does
to Othello. He is shown to be racist towards Othello, due to his black
skin, Iago is also shown to be jealous of Othello because he has a
better life style than himself. Because of this, Iago seeks to have
revenge against Othello, and is obsessed with hurting him. Iago is
also shown to be power crazed, and because of this he wants to remove
any threat to himself and his job. This makes himself seem as though
he has lost his grip on reality, and maybe a little mad. This could
also be the reason why he is portrayed as a Machiavellian villain. All
of these motives are in one human being - Iago; this suggests that
iago could have been written into Othello as the Devil, as he enjoys
bringing pain and suffering to other's lives.
The Orson Welles "Othello" film shows Iago's character as power
hungry, as he controls everyone else in the film. Whereas the Olivier
version of Othello, interprets Iago as the Devil. This suggests that
Iago's character is pure evil and that he has no intention of being
good to others around him.
Iago was originally written into Shakespeare's play "Othello" as a
form of entertainment for the audience. The Merchant classes and the
ordinary people were often the only spectators of the plays. The
ordinary people would have found Iago entertaining because of his
sexual innuendos and his violence towards others. However, the
Merchant classes would have been more entertained by the amount of
shock portrayed in the play by Iago.
Iago, being evil in the play, could symbolise the evilness in society
at the time when the play was written as the government attempted to
ban Catholics from the towns and cities, furthermore Iago's character
could have been written to criticise the government as Shakespeare
himself was Catholic. As well as this, he was also rumoured to be
dating a black woman at the time. This shows that Iago and Othello's
characters could have been written to show the pain within
Shakespeare's own life.
Iago shows great hatred to many of the characters in the play. One of
the reasons for his hatred is the jealousy he has for others who lead
a better life than him. One of those characters Iago has great
jealousy for is Cassio.
"I follow him to serve my turn upon him."
The repetition of the 3rd person pronoun "him" shows that Iago wants
to dislike Cassio as he doesn't say his name, but refers to him as