character in Shakespeare’s Othello
Emilia's husband; “Othello” villain; Shakespearean
villain; Enemy of the Moor; Storied traitor; Cassio's rival;
Verdi villain; Play plotter
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in English language:
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name in man and woman, dear my lord,
the immediate jewel of their souls.
steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
he that filches from me my good name
me of that which not enriches him,
makes me poor indeed.
Act 3, scene 3, 155–161
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
Fishbourne and Kenneth Brannagh as Othello and 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.
fits into the character type of the malcontent because of his
bitter and cynical view of what he sees in the play.
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.
role of Iago has been played in theatre by many famous film
stars, such as Ian McKellen, Christopher Plummer, Laurence
Olivier and Kenneth Branagh.
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