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Iago Vs. Moriarty: An Argumentative Comparison

1657 words - 7 pages

In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the antagonist Iago shows evil motivations towards the protagonist Othello that could be considered obsessive. This pattern of behavior can be compared to the BBC television rendition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and its antagonist Moriarty. Iago and Moriarty’s obsessive behavior greatly effect Othello and Sherlock’s lives respectively that provide a solid argumentative comparison between the two. William Shakespeare’s Othello presents and “evil” character, Iago, who can be compared to the Arthur Conan Doyle TV adaption of BBC Sherlock’s Moriarty.
Iago takes on many different persona’s to enact his plan of revenge upon Othello. He plays the friend, a trustworthy and credible source of information for Othello in his feat of drama with his innocent wife, Desdemona. He also plays the wingman for Roderigo who is madly in love with Desdemona, encouraging him to make advances towards her to woo Desdemona away from Othello. Iago even persuades Roderigo to kill Cassio with his lies about Cassio and Desdemona’s affair. “...you may take him at your pleasure: I will be near to second your attempt, and he shall fall between us.” Iago promises to assist Roderigo in the murder of Cassio and he will be rewarded with Desdemona’s love (Navigators.) Iago’s true persona, though, is a heartless, woman-hating villain who would go to great lengths to get revenge against Othello for preferring Cassio over him for the military promotion.
Very much like Iago, Moriarty takes on varying personalities to gain an advantage against his opponent. To Sherlock Holmes, he is Moriarty; the intellectually challenging and dangerous criminal that seeks to eliminate his competition. For Molly Hooper, the trusted pathologist of Sherlock, Jim Moriarty is know by the description “Jim from IT” the flamboyant and awkward boyfriend who uses Molly to meet Sherlock and deceive him. Finally, Moriarty plays the more complicated role of Richard Brook, an average struggling actor that befriends journalist Kitty Riley who poses as a Sherlock-obsessed writer. Moriarty tries to confuse the public into believing that Moriarty isn’t real and all a creation of Sherlock Holmes to make himself look good. ““Of course he's Richard Brook. There is no Moriarty. There never has been. Look him up.” “What are you talking about?” “Rich Brook. An actor Sherlock Holmes hired to be Moriarty.”” (Claire.) The quote provides evidence that Moriarty is hiring individuals to deceive Sherlock as well as his friends into believing Holmes’ intellect is all a ruse.
Early on in Shakespeare’s play, Iago decides he hates Othello because he was not promoted by him. Iago believes that he wasn’t promoted because Othello’s love for Desdemona made him choose Cassio over him. Iago gains this idea because Desdemona and Cassio are friends. “‘tis the curse of service, Preferment goes by letter and affection, And not by old gradation, where each second Stood heir to the first.” (Othello.) In...

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