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"role of Iago"

William Shakespeare has occupied a lofty position for his extraordinary characterization. In Othello, he has portrayed a remarkable character of lago. lago is the most villainous character among all the villains of Shakespeare. He is presented as pure, white and unadulterated evil. According to A.C. Bradley, "lago stands supreme among Shakespeare's evil characters, because the greatest intensity and subtlety of imagination have gone to his making". lago plays a vital role in this play. He is the central character of the play. He is more interesting than Othello and discuss on the role of lago in Othello.

lago is a born villain. He is constantly impelled to injure and destroy all that is good and beautiful. A noble soul like Othello, a spotless girl like Desdemona, and an innocent man like Cassio are all provocation to lago's own vicious mind. He alone is at the root of all the mischief and mischance's in the play. lago is a self-confessed villain. He openly declares that he is out to nuin the love and beauty in the lives of his rivals and enemies. He is a personitication of evil.He is a man of genius but his genius is of a devilish kind. He displays a rare originality, daring, subtlety and artistry in planning and executing his designs.

lago's principal motive against Othello is that Othello has appointed Cassio to the lieutenant's post to which lago had a much stronger claim. Besides, he suspects that the Moor has slept with his wife Emilia. His revenge upon Othello is to take the from of injecting the poison of jealousy into the mind of the Moor. He is able to achieve his purpose because he is a perfect dissembler and a thorough hypocrite. Throughout the play, he wears the mask of friendship towards all his victims - Othello, Desdemona, Cassio and Roderigo. He has a deep love of power. Besides, he is intellectually much superior to all the other characters. But it would be wrong to say that lago is a motiveless malignity.

lago has an amazing genius for plotting and for manipulation. Apart from the credulity of his victims, he succeeds because of his fertility of mind in inventing lies and falsehoods. He brings Cassio into disrepute and has him dismissed. He drives Othello desperate and almost mad with jealousy. In achieving this result he employs various devices. He drops Desdemona's handkerchief in Cassio's apartment and then tells Othello that he saw Cassio wiping his beard with it. lago possesses a vast knowledge of human nature and human dealings; otherwise he could not have been such an effective schemer and manipulation. He is a Machiavellian. He believes in will-power. He is full of envy and jealousy  by habit.

To sum up, we can say that lago is a villain character in the tragedy, Othello. He has destroyed all around him and himself. But Othello is a victim of lago. He has destroyed his love and even his beloved wife Desdemona. From the beginning to the end of the tragedy, lago remains supreme for his handling intrigues. Othello, on the other hand, lost his wife. Solago is more interesting than Othello.


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