William Shakespeare was baptized on this day in 1564

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IAGO (ee-AH-goh)

Fictional character in Shakespeare’s Othello

Common clues: Emilia's husband; “Othello” villain; Shakespearean villain; Enemy of the Moor; Storied traitor; Cassio's rival; Verdi villain; Play plotter

Crossword puzzle frequency: 6 times a year

Frequency in English language: 26255 / 86800

News: Why Iago Would Have Scorned the SATs

Video: Iago tells of a handkerchief


Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,

Is the immediate jewel of their souls.

Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;

'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;

But he that filches from me my good name

Robs me of that which not enriches him,

And makes me poor indeed.

Othello Act 3, scene 3, 155–161

Iago is a fictional character in Shakespeare's Othello. Iago, one of Othello's best friends, spends most of the play attempting to bring about Othello's downfall out of jealousy. He eventually does destroy Othello's reputation (which leads the Moor to kill himself), but sets the stage to his own doom when his wife Emilia reveals the whole of his plot. At the end of the play Iago is ordered imprisoned and executed by Cassio, Othello's chief lieutenant.

Lawrence Fishbourne and Kenneth Brannagh as Othello and Iago.

Iago is one of Shakespeare's most sinister villains. Shakespeare contrasts Iago with Othello's nobility and integrity of character. He has more lines in the play than Othello does - the most any of Shakespeare's non-title characters has.

Iago fits into the character type of the malcontent because of his bitter and cynical view of what he sees in the play.

While the play suggests motives for Iago's hateful scheming, many readers feel that a deeper root remains hidden. Iago cites suspicion that his wife has been unfaithful to him with Othello or bitterness that Othello passed him up for a big promotion. Whatever his deepest motivation, his hatred towards the Moor is unwavering and moves the action of the play forward. Some modern directors interpret Iago's hate as racism.

The role of Iago has been played in theatre by many famous film stars, such as Ian McKellen, Christopher Plummer, Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Iago".

IAGO (358) 38 Tu >1 06 "Othello" villain

26 Tu >1 09 Shakespearean villain

17 Mo+ >1 08 Othello's nemesis

12 Th >1 09 Emilia's husband

11 Tu- >1 08 Othello's ensign

10 We- >1 07 Othello's betrayer

10 Th- >1 05 Verdi villain

10 Th >1 05 Cassio's rival

9 We+ >1 00 "Othello" fellow

7 Mo+ >1 00 "Othello" role

7 We- >1 05 "Othello" schemer

5 Tu+ >1 05 "Othello" baddie

5 Tu+ >1 07 Othello's false friend

5 We+ >1 09 "Otello" baritone

5 We+ >1 99 Bard villain

4 Mo >1 04 Villain in "Othello"

4 Tu+ >1 00 "Othello" conspirator

4 We >1 04 Othello's ancient

4 Th >1 08 Parrot in "Aladdin"

4 Fr- >1 03 Globe plotter

3 Mo+ >1 09 "Othello" conniver

3 Mo+ >1 07 Rival of Cassio

3 Mo+ >1 06 Othello villain

3 Tu- >1 09 "Othello" plotter

3 Tu NYT 08 Othello's undoer